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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rat Hereby Names Thee Isherwood Creek

The River Rat's little video clip of an obscure little stream in Portage County could be seen as footage of its death throes -- or of its rebirth.

It's actually called the Isherwood Lateral, and declared long ago more useful as a drainage ditch than a real stream. The potato farmers who own a stretch of it, Lynn and Justin Isherwood (that's them in the picture), want to bring it back as a stream, and they're battling the local drainage district commission to do so.

The bucolic scene of the creek in this video (make sure you turn up your volume to hear real tweets of birds) may be the last you'll see of Isherwood Lateral like this --for now. The bulldozer and backhoe arrived a few days after Rat shot this. You can see the stream wanting to re-create itself here. That's gone now.

But hope is nigh! The drainage district boys with their machines are done, and the Isherwoods, working with River Alliance and Trout Unlimited, will restore the ditch to, if not a creek, "creek-like functions."

So, we say goodbye to the Isherwood Lateral and re-christen this homely stream Isherwood Creek. Rat doubts they'll be updating the stream maps any time soon, but it's good to be optimistic.

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