Letter: Help protect Rush Creek for future fishers

Letter to the Editor graphic

For the two summers since my retirement, I’ve been fishing Rush Creek a lot. Being there helps make me whole. I get so focused that any real-world troubles dissolve in the moment. I drive the 100-plus miles from Apple Valley with hardly any hesitation. Rush is that wonderful.

Last summer, I took my then-6-year-old grandson Easton out on his first fly-fishing adventure on Rush Creek. The night before, Easton practiced his casting. My son Isaac was there, too. There we were, three generations ready to hit the stream.

Easton caught a brown on about his fifth cast while wet-wading Rush Creek. He proudly netted it himself. Like his dad and me, Easton loved seeing the trout in the crystal-clear water. He couldn’t believe how many fish were present. Predictably, he found the place special. We expected to return to the same idyllic scene another day.

I got the sad news from my neighbor three weeks later. One mile of Rush Creek had been killed off. It was slightly upstream of our spot, but that didn’t matter. I was moved.

Wanting to protect the other fish, I dug for information. I was shocked to find that Winona County has around 1,000 folks who cannot drink their well water because of nitrate contamination.


I write this hoping to raise awareness of nitrate pollution. Every creature, wild or human, deserves our best effort to identify the causes and to bring nitrate pollution under control.

Please get involved.

Lee Stoe, Apple Valley

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