Wisconsin Farmer Wins Legal Battle Over Brook Trout Stream

In Portage County, Wisconsin, Farmer Donald “Justin” Isherwood just won a legal battle over a brook trout stream. This was no ordinary creek, however. This creek habitat was built by Isherwood himself. 

Donald Justin Isherwood sitting in front of the restored brook trout stream
Courtesy of WPR

Isherwood took it upon himself to turn a drainage “ditch” on his property into valuable creek habitat for brook trout. He did this by lining the bottom of the creek with dozens of old Christmas trees— providing valuable structure for the fish to reside.

Creek with underwater structure
Courtesy of WPR

The creek developed into quite the brook trout habitat, but the local drainage district did not take kindly to Isherwood’s developments. In June of 2017, the local drainage district used construction equipment to destroy the creek habitat. This action was taken only weeks before a scheduled court hearing on the issue.

Construction equipment dredging a creek
Courtesy of WPR

After a couple of years of legal battles, Isherwood has won the case. The court decided that the local drainage district had no right to destroy his trout habitat.

Isherwood has applied for new permits for the development of the creek and will be restoring the brook trout habitat once more this summer. We look forward to hearing about the rebound of this habitat.

Article was written by Flylords Content Team Member Andrew Braker.

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