Assessment and Planning for St. Croix Headwater Lakes Proposed for Impairment NOR_13_CMP15

Purpose

This project will CONTINUE to build on substantial monitoring and planning efforts in the St. Croix Headwaters Watershed in Douglas and Bayfield Counties. Regional and research staff will work together and with local partners to further understand and assess the following lakes that exceed or may exceed TP thresholds: Upper, Middle, and Lower Eau Claire, George, and Pickerel. The results will be shared with the local community and watershed stakeholders for integration into action and implementation plans. 2015 UPDATE: this project does not seek new or additional funds but rather carries over unspent balances from the previously-funded project.

Objective

The project will confirm whether the five lakes should be listed as impaired waters in 2014 and beyond. Specifically, we plan to collect paleolimnological information that will help us understand if the lakes are anthropogenically impaired and do a historical data review, including assessing hypolimnetic oxygen changes over the data record (estimated 30 years). 2015 UPDATE: The project will continue water quality assessment work on lakes that "may exceed" impairment thresholds and complete delisting proposals for those lakes that should no longer be listed. Top/bottom paleo cores were collected at the deep hole on the five following lakes: ~ Upper Eau Claire (2742700) 2015 UPDATE: this is a "may exceeds" lake for 2-story fishery TP and needs additional assessment work. ~ Middle Eau Claire (2742100) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to for removal from impaired water list. ~ Lower Eau Claire (2741600) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to for removal from impaired water list. ~ Pickerel (2489200) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to NOT add to impaired list should it be suggested. ~ George (2465700) 2015 UPDATE: this is a "may exceeds" lake for 2-story fishery TP and needs additional assessment work. The project also includes some outreach, planning, and capacity building in anticipation of management remedies that are focused on land use, with an emphasis on the riparian ring, since the watershed is heavily forested. 2015 UPDATE: the majority of the outreach and planning work will be completed via a 319 project.

Outcome

The project outcome is a better understanding of natural (i.e. pre-European settlement) conditions that can be shared with the local community and integrated into ongoing planning and implementation efforts. Project deliverables include: paleolimnological study reports, historical data assessment report, and planning/outreach summary.

Study Design

Research Scientist Paul Garrison collected a sediment core were taken from near the deep area of each of the five lakes using a gravity corer. Samples from the top of the core (0-1 cm) and a section (45-47 cm) deeper in the core will be kept for analysis. It is assumed that the upper sample represents present conditions while the deeper sample is indicative of water quality conditions at least 100 years ago. An LTE will analyze the cores for diatoms, and SLOH will analyze for Pb210. Garrison will complete reports for individual lakes and share the results at broader watershed- and community-based meetings. LTE Rachel Peacher will continue to analyze the lakes' water quality data record. There is a possibility additional monitoring will be completed on Upper Eau Claire Lake and George Lake. This monitoring may include bi-weekly temp/DO profiles and top and bottom TP samples.

QA Measures

Run Project Summary Report

TMDL/303d Projects
Identify Impaired Waters
NOR_13_CMP15
2013
Complete
 
Reports and Documents
Upper Eau Claire (2742700) 2015 UPDATE: this is a "may exceeds" lake for 2-story fishery TP and needs additional assessment work. ~ Middle Eau Claire (2742100) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to for removal from impaired water list. ~ Lower Eau Claire (2741600) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to for removal from impaired water list. ~ Pickerel (2489200) 2015 UPDATE: not impaired. Write justification to NOT add to impaired list should it be suggested. ~ George (2465700) 2015 UPDATE: this is a "may exceeds" lake for 2-story fishery TP and needs additional assessment work.
 
Activities & Recommendations
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Assess data and complete reports justifying removal or addition to impaired waters list.
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Paleolimnological cores File review/data assessment
Water Quality Planning
Communicate results to local community for integration into existing planning and implementation efforts