Casey Springs Restoration Project

Phase 1, May/June 2023

Casey Springs is a coldwater stream that flows through the Sindelar Wildlife Access Area in Winneshiek County.  This spring creek has wild Brown Trout and a restored population of native Iowa Brook Trout.  Only 17 streams in Iowa have reproducing populations of the native South Pine Creek-strain Brook Trout.

Since acquiring the property in 2018, the Winneshiek County Conservation Board (WCCB) has developed a two phase plan for stream habitat enhancements.  Phase one of this restoration plan was completed In June of 2023.  Phase two of this restoration plan is scheduled for the spring of 2024.  The current project installed a floodplain bench along 2,200 feet of stream bank and added (8) rock weir structures and (10) root balls to further enhance in stream natural habitats for wild trout and a wide variety of additional wildlife species within the overall ecosystem of this coldwater stream. 

This phase of the restoration work was completed on time and within budget.  The Winneshiek County Conservation Board is excited to have this restored project area to use as an outdoor classroom. In addition to native Brook Trout, many species of wild flowers, attracting pollinators and thick grasses providing habitat for other wildlife will make Sindelar Wildlife Access Area a valuable outdoor learning experience for students of all ages and backgrounds for many years to come. 

Funding partners for this restoration work included the Winneshiek County Conservation Board, State of Iowa Fish Habitat grants, the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association, Iowa’s Coldwater Conservancy, the Trout and Salmon Foundation, the Driftless Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Trout Unlimited Embrace a Stream Grant Program, and the Winneshiek County Community Foundation. 

See Before and After Photos provided by Paul Krahn from the Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort (TUDARE) and Michael Siepker, Fisheries Biologist with the Iowa DNR.