Eagle Creek and Joos Valley Creek TMDL

Purpose

Eagle and Joos Creeks In Buffalo County, Wisconsin, both streams were listed due to not meeting their potential designated uses. The upper 7 miles of Eagle Creek is identified as currently supporting a warmwater forage fishery (WWFF), but has potential to support a coldwater (Class II) sport fishery. Joos Valley Creek is identified as currently supporting a warmwater forage fishery (WWFF), but has potential to support a coldwater (Class III) sport fishery (WDNR 1990, 1996). Both streams are severely limited by excessive sediment loading, elevated water temperatures and habitat unsuitable to support a coldwater fishery. TMDL for Eagle Creek and Joos Valley Creek

Objective

USEPA Decision Document for the Approval of the Eagle Creek Joos Valley Creek Sediment TMDL is documented and the streams have been delisted.

Outcome

While the management practices installed in the Eagle and Joos Valley creeks watershed clearly have made improvements in water quality, what wasn’t anticipated was the change in the land use related to economic and generational shifts. As many of the watershed’s dairy farmers retired, younger family members were not interested in continuing dairy farming. The cows were sold off and about 40% of the farms are now owned by absentee owners who use the farms for hunting and recreation. Those lands are often leased to local farmers for predominantly corn production. Some of the smaller farms in Buffalo County are converting to less labor-intensive poultry farming. A few dairy farms still pasture cows, but the number of cows in the watershed has substantially decreased. Cows that once roamed woodland pastures on the steeper portions of the watersheds also created soil erosion due to compaction and disturbance of the more erodible soils. Woodland pastureland has been virtually abandoned – which has been extremely beneficial to water quality. The voluntary removal of a significant number of cows from the landscape may also be an important unintended contributor to water quality improvement. The long-term USGS study supports historical observations that BMPs can and do make a difference in water quality. Those monitoring results support a sense of what are the "right" changes that have been made. Wisconsin’s Priority Watershed Program has ended, but the state’s investment in the installation of watershed management practices continues to pay off. With time, these changes will bring a healthy trout population back to Eagle and Joos Valley creeks.

QA Measures

Run Project Summary Report

TMDL/303d Projects
Implement TMDL
Eagle and Joos TMDL
2006
Active
 
Reports and Documents
Data Documentation
Condition Assessment Report
Condition Assessment Report
Waumandee Priority Watershed Project
Data Documentation
Final TMDL Report
Data Documentation Eagle Creek, Impaired Waters Delisting Documentation, Buffalo County
Data Documentation Joos Valley Impaired Waters Listing Documentation, Buffalo County
 
Activities & Recommendations
TMDL Approved (USEPA)
This Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for sediment addresses sedimentation and degraded habitat impairments conditions in the upper 7 miles of Eagle Creek, and the entire 7 mile length of Joos Valley Creek, a tributary of Eagle Creek. The TMDL identifies load allocations and management actions that will restore the biological integrity of these streams. Both streams were identified as a medium priority on the 1998 303(d) list.
 
Waters