CWF 2019 – Brown’s Creek Riparian Improvement


Project  •  How does it help Brown's Creek  •  Cost  •  Photos


Project Location along Brown's Creek
Brown’s Creek is a DNR designated trout stream currently impaired for turbidity and lack of cold water assemblage. The main stressors for Brown's Creek are total suspended solids and thermal loading.

BCWD identified 2,400 linear feet of Brown’s Creek near the Millbrook development in Stillwater in need of additional riparian shading through a recently completed Riparian Shade Study (funded through a state Clean Water Fund accelerated implementation grant). Working with the city of Stillwater and the Millbrook Home Owners

Removal of Invasive Species
Association, BCWD removed invasive woody trees and shrubs and strategically planted native plants, shrubs and trees to increase the amount of shade over the creek during the growing season to reduce stream warming in reaches 10B and 11. This project began with the invasive species removal in late fall/winter 2021 and native planting was completed early fall 2022.

What did we construct?

Restore 2,400 linear feet of Brown's Creek riparian native vegetation by removing invasive woody species (such as buckthorn) and planting native trees and shrubs.

How does the project help Brown's Creek?

Brown's Creek was improved by decreasing erosion from invasive species and increasing shade from deep rooted native plants along

Benefits of Native Planting

2,400 linear feet in an area that was being warmed. This will ensure that cold water species can survive and reproduce in this reach and further downstream. Recent fish surveys have shown improvements in cold water fish populations naturally reproducing and increasing their range. These cold water species include fish such as native rainbow darters and stocked trout species (brown trout and rainbow trout). Not able to support native trout as of 2022, but the conditions are trending in the right direction!

How much did it cost? $87,000 total

Paid by the following:
$78,760 2019 Watershed Based Funding Metro Grant
$20,000 BCWD local levy



Invasive Woody species management

  • Not just common buckthorn, but glossy buckthorn, amur maple, mulberry, and asian honeysuckle
  • Watershed District would cut and treat invasive species
  • Ongoing treatment (spraying and cutting) necessary, otherwise invasives will come back and frequently even more dense.  Millbrook HOA has committed to five year of maintenance.

Proposed tree and shrub planting along Brown's Creek

  • Shading - maintain and lower critical stream temperature
  • Habitat improvement both in stream and along banks
  • Invasive tree removal and strategic replacement with native species
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