Conservation

To apply for a conservation grant use the form below.

Conservation Grant Assistance Application (PDF)

Conservation Grant Assistance Application (Word)

To request funds for a conservation project, complete this form and send to Steve Veysey, 919 Murray Drive, Ames, IA 50010, or e-mail your application to sveysey@gmail.com. Grant requests are reviewed at the Annual Meeting in February, and throughout the year as necessary. Awards typically range from $500 to $2000.

Past Conservation Projects

Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Winneshiek County
HFFA, in cooperation with the three Iowa-based Trout Unlimited chapters, and the Seed Savers Exchange
organization, provided funding, in-kind support, and volunteer hours in July, 2011 to remove an artificial
pond and restore the original stream course of South Canoe Creek, which was altered in the 1950s. The
pond sat at the headwaters of the creek, between the spring source and the main channel of the stream.
South Canoe is one of several creeks being used to expand the population of the threatened South Pine
Brook Trout, the last remnants of native brook trout in Iowa.

More than 40 volunteers showed up on a hot July Saturday to follow-up on two weeks of heavy machine
work and engineering. Volunteers finished and seeded the stream banks, placed rock in the new
streambed, removed invasive species, migrated insects and plants, and completed the bed of a new
bridge. The SSE staff graded and seeded the surrounding site in the following weeks, and planted new
trees in the fall. On completion, the stream segment was returned to its original name of Pine Spring
Creek. This new segment, like the existing portion of the stream, is open to public catch & release fishing,
and is a cold-water riparian restoration demonstration project which is very visible and accessible to the
non-angling public visiting the Seed Savers visitors’ center located on the property. As of June, 2012, the
vegetation has grown in nicely, macroinvertebrates are abundant, and visitors regularly walk down to
inspect the water or simply enjoy the sounds of the cold-running creek.

Patterson Creek, Allamakee County
An a nearly-annual basis, HFFA members volunteer to assist the IDNR in the construction of trout-stream bank hides,
a/k/a lunker structures, which increase overhead cover and, consequently, carrying
capacity and survivability of trout populations in many Iowa streams. The IDNR provides the stout native
oak planks, and HFFA members cut and assemble the lumber into the completed bank hides. Whether
assembled on a particular habitat improvement site, or at the Manchester trout hatchery or the Yellow
River State Forest for later delivery by flat-bed trailer, HFFA-assembled bank hides are ultimately installed
in the to-be-restored streambank by private contractors and IDNR personnel using heavy earthmoving
equipment. Hundreds of feet of bank hide go into Iowa trout streams every year.
Most of these sites are on public land, thereby increasing the quality of the fisheries available to the
Iowa fishing public. Some are on private land open to public fishing. HFFA has been doing stream
improvements, both using volunteer labor and financial resources to physically install instream
improvements like rocks and half-logs, or assembling lunker structures for installation by IDNR
contractors, in cooperation with the IDNR for over 30 years. One recent example is on Patterson Creek. In
June, 2010, HFFA volunteers met streamside on the Howe family property to assemble about a dozen such
bank hides, which were then later installed in the creek, increasing its ability to host holdover trout and
improving the fishing experience on a stream that complements other great streams in the area such as
South Bear Cr. and Waterloo Cr.

Spring Branch Creek, Delaware County
Many of Iowa’s creek fisheries were impacted by the flooding in 2008. Spring Branch Creek – a premier fly
fishing destination in Iowa and one of a handful of streams benefitting from special regulations – was no
exception. As a result of the 2008 flooding, and the irregularly heavy spring rains in 2009 and 2010, many
of the more desirable holding pools and artificial bank hides (see above) that had been previously installed
on Spring Branch had filled in with sand washed in from upstream uplands. Wading the stream in certain
spots became a challenge, and the stream’s reputation for growing large trout began to decline. Adjusting
to a change of plans necessitated by yet more rain, HFFA volunteers shifted from the stream cleanup
originally scheduled for the special regulations section of the Maquoketa River to a novel sand and debris
removal project on Spring Branch using mechanical means to remove the deposits filling up the refuge
holes and bank hides. The section of stream worked on is the famous “wall” section running alongside the
public parking lot at the fish hatchery.