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Ranging in width from a trickle to 15 feet, the stream bubbles out of the ground near Old Shakopee Road and travels eight tenths of a mile to the Minnesota River. One of only 12 viable trout streams remaining in the metro area, Ike's Creek is pure and cold enough to offer the opportunity of restoring the native brook trout that used to glide through its waters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Stream Habitat Specialist Brian Nerbonne said.

"To make the whole stream accessible to trout, the barrier needed to be removed," Ostlie said. "The dam was effectively doing nothing in terms of what it was initially designed for, so it was an easy target for removal."

Amid the roar of jets overhead, 70 volunteers from the Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management's branch in Minneapolis and nine volunteers from St. Paul based Great River Greening teamed up on a recent Friday afternoon to remove invasive plant species from a Bloomington trout stream's banks, the latest installment in a $45,000 restoration project Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit Wolf Grey / White / Chlorine Blue / Photo Blue that includes contributions from the wildlife refuge, the DNR, the Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Twin Cities chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The lower half of the creek is part of the wildlife refuge and is open to the public, while the upper half is owned by the city of Bloomington and several private landowners.

The Izaak Walton League installed a dam in 1926 to divert the stream in order to circulate the clean Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit Navy Blue

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About a month ago, DNR crews removed the dam and reconstructed the stream to the way it once flowed, with a natural gradient and a meandering curve. After restoring the stream, the next step was to uproot invasive honeysuckle, buckthorn and garlic mustard weeds that were outcompeting the native woodland species, according to Ostlie.

´╗┐Bringing new life to a Bloomington Creek

By Nick Van Heest Sun Intern

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There was still one problem, however, that stood in the way of a sustainable trout population: a dam.

water through several nearby ponds. Historical documents show the creek supported trout until the 1940s when they disappeared for unknown reasons, according to Nerbonne.

"Once a year we come together for a Bluewater day, part of a ten year $50 million commitment by our firm to fund water projects around the globe," RBC Financial Advisor Craig Shaver said. "Polluted water is useless, so this is our attempt to make the world a better place in our own backyard."

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The restoration project began in 2007, when the DNR introduced 1,450 brook trout to Ike's Creek, of which about 150 have survived and reproduced. Fishing is not allowed even catch and release because Nike Vapormax Womens Pink

Restoring Ike's Creek is an ongoing effort, and it could Nike Air Vapormax Mens Green

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the population is still too vulnerable, according to Great River Greening Director of Conservation Programs Wayne Ostlie.

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But the dam was impeding the trout's movement, as they needed to move up and down the stream to thrive.

Located just 800 feet from Bloomingdale's at the Mall of America, the creek officially has no name, but is often called Ike Creek after the Izaak Walton League conservation group that raised fish in nearby ponds in the early 1900s, according to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge wildlife biologist Vicki Sherry.

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"I have a friend who grew up here in Bloomington, and this was one of his favorite places to hang out," Shaver said. "Hopefully, we can bring Ike's Creek back to the state it was in when my friend was little."

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be five to 10 years before significant changes in the canopy are visible, according to Ostlie.

"We're trying to get a healthy forest system in place which will help curb the erosion and lead to a more healthy trout population as well," Ostlie said.

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