Minnesota Trout Unlimited works to conserve, protect and restore coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Clean water and healthy aquatic systems are essential for sustaining trout populations, and thus are a core focus of our conservation efforts.
Minnesota Trout Unlimited (“MNTU”) coordinates the advocacy, habitat restoration, and educational efforts of our five local chapters around Minnesota. These volunteer chapters are the "watchdogs" of local streams, rivers, and lakes, including Lake Superior. MNTU helps chapters and members implement stream habitat restoration projects, monitor legislation, and effectively advocate for clean water and "fish friendly" policies with federal, state, and local officials.
Programs include extensive habitat restoration projects, advocacy, education, and outreach to youth and veterans. MNTU focuses the attention of state, local and federal policy makers on the needs of trout, steelhead and salmon and the watersheds and groundwater springs which support them.
For six decades our members and chapters have completed habitat restoration and enhancement projects around Minnesota, from Arrowhead trout lakes and North Shore streams through central Minnesota streams to the fertile spring creeks in southeast Minnesota, which lie within the Driftless area. Since 2010 we have improved trout and steelhead habitat in and along 100 miles of streams and reclaimed six inland trout lakes.
We have been at the forefront of efforts to protect and restore Lake Superior and North Shore watersheds. We continue to strongly advocate for adequate regulation of ballast water discharges from Great Lakes vessels to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species into Lake Superior and Minnesota waters. We continue to champion coaster brook trout restoration efforts, wild steelhead rehabilitation and restoration of Lake Superior’s native lake trout fishery. Habitat enhancement projects have been completed on, or are planned for, numerous North Shore tributaries, including the Blackhoof, Amity, Sucker, Knife, Stewart, Split Rock, Baptism, Manitou, Kimball, and Kadunce Rivers.
Together with the Hiawatha, Twin Cities, and Win-Cres Chapters, we are leading the accelerated restoration of stream habitat across the Driftless area of southeast Minnesota. As importantly, we are providing strong advocacy and a unified voice for state policies essential to protect and sustain clean, cold aquifers and streams.
Because clean water and good land use practices are essential to sustaining trout fisheries and watersheds across the state, MNTU educates and advocates on the potential threats posed by poor forest management practices, sulfide mining, excessive groundwater use and contamination, silica sand extraction, poor farming practices, and many other threats. Building upon several years fighting the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and Asian carp into the Great Lakes and Lake Superior, MNTU took a lead role establishing a coalition now working to keep invasive carp from impacting any Minnesota waters. Minnesota Trout Unlimited is an active member of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, the MN StopCarp Coalition, and numerous other partnerships with conservation, sporting, and environmental organizations.
Our national parent organization conducts valuable scientific and economic research to foster more enlightened trout and salmon management practices, lobbies to strengthen federal legislation such as the Clean Water Act and provides a voice for over 300,000 members and supporters nationwide. Minnesota Trout Unlimited provides key support for these efforts, making them more effective by working closely with Minnesota’s congressional delegation.