Tree Planting: CCCTU partnered with the Sustainable Resources Institute, Partners for Watershed Restoration, KISMA, and MTU to organize a tree planting event in a riparian area of the Pilgrim River along the Nara trails. Like many locations in the watershed, this area has been taken over by invasive canary reed grass. This fast-growing grass makes it difficult for native plant species to become established, reducing river bank stability and habitat complexity. A group of 18 volunteers planted approximately 150 trees in October. We plan to actively remove the canary reed grass from around the planted trees in 2021 in hopes of increasing their chances of success.
Pilgrim River Regulation Change and New Signage: Over the past several years, CCCTU has contributed funding to a collaborative research effort between MTU, DNR, and USFWS that studied movements of Brook Trout in the Pilgrim River near Houghton. This is one of eight western UP rivers where a protective harvest regulation was implemented in 2014 to enhance Coaster Brook Trout populations, limiting harvest of Brook Trout to one fish over 20 inches. The downstream-most 4 miles of the Pilgrim River was protected by this regulation. Findings from fish the migration study revealed that Coaster Brook Trout migrate into the upper reaches. This was the basis for the DNR extending the protective regulation in 2020 to include the entire Pilgrim River watershed. CCCTU purchased materials and board member Bill Leder (photo) posted seven signs along the Pilgrim River to inform anglers of the new regulation.