Around a dozen members of the local Hemingway chapter of Trout Unlimited gathered along Elkhorn Creek Thursday afternoon to get to work on a stair-stepping fish ladder, an aid to help trout migrate and spawn in springtime.
Volunteers shoveled concrete into wheelbarrows and buckets, transporting the mix on the back of a four-wheeler and pouring it into framework slabs.
“We wanted to get the pouring all done before winter came,” chapter member Ed Northen said.
Volunteer Alex Klokke, also a Trout Unlimited member, said the ladder—a $50,000 endeavor funded by individual donations and Trout Unlimited’s “Embrace A Stream” grant program—was possible with support from the Lane Ranch Homeowners’ Association.
“This [ladder] will help trout migrate up Parker Gulch to the Big Wood and spawn,” Klokke said. “In the spring, they’ll be able to jump up 8 to 12 inches in each stairstep, rest in a pool and jump again, gaining elevation.”