Small project creates big benefits

for Wisconsin stream

A low-budget fish passage project will reap significant dividends for a Wisconsin trout stream. Though it cost less than $15,000, the project gave fish access to two miles of invaluable spawning habitat in Troutmere Creek, a tributary of the Marengo River.


Troutmere Creek is a tributary of the Marengo River, which is part of the Bad River Watershed of Lake Superior.  A perched culvert in the town of Marengo prevented trout from passing under the road and reaching two miles of the creek upstream of the road crossing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with local and state agencies  to open two miles of the creek to trout and other fish species. Two rock weir structures were installed below the culvert to raise the water level inside the existing structure in order to facilitate fish passage. The Marengo and its tributaries are high quality trout streams. Anglers from near and far visit the watershed to fish its productive waters.

Resource Challenges Addressed

  • Lack of fish passage
  • Sediment build up
  • Blockades to fish spawning habitat


A culvert is replaced using an excavator

A culvert, similar to the one pictured above, needed replacing in Troutmere Creek to allow fish to move freely from one side to the other. Credit: Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department.

Results and Accomplishments

The work gave trout access to two miles of prime habitat in Troutmere Creek. Assessments have not been completed, but the project is expected to improve fish populations by creating access to more habitat and reducing sedimentation, which buried some gravel beds where trout spawn.