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Peaceful trout streams pose dangerous consequences

Fri, Apr 22nd, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The new fishing regulations are not the only thing trout anglers have to worry about this spring. For the first time in my memory some of the streams are dangerous. The summer of 2004 saw three or four rain storms that climatologists would class as “once in a hundred years”, or at most “once in a decade”. Then in March the area received a very heavy snow fall, as much as 30 inches is some places. Unfortunately, the weather turned unseasonably warm. The snow melt was accompanied by a heavy rain.All this water rushing down our rolling country side has deposited a huge amount of very fine mud into our streams and rivers. Last week I was fishing with my younger brother Jim. We were about a half a mile apart so I decided to see how he was doing. As I walked up the bank I heard him call. He was standing in the water not more than ten feet from shore. Although the water looked only a few inches deep, it was up above his knees. The water was only a few inches deep, but his legs were thigh deep in mud. I got a branch and handed him an end and tried to pull him out. Neither one of us were strong enough for this to work. Fortunately our truck was not too far away and I drove to our home and got Nathan Osmonson to help. With their combined strength, Nate was able to get my brother to shore. It was a warm sunny day so after we hosed layers of mud off Jim and he downed some Gatorade he stopped shaking. He vowed that from now on he would always fish with a friend or make sure he had his cell phone with him.Our tragedy was avoided but in many ways the real tragedy is the mud he was stuck in was the best top soil in Fillmore County. As more and more of our farm land goes to row crops, more and more of our soil ends up in the rivers.

Duke Hust, who lives in rural Lanesboro, was past chairman of the state council of Trout Unlimited.

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