Fish and Aquatic Life
Borah is a first order spring-fed coldwater stream. It joins with Rogers Branch to form the Grant River. About 3.8 miles is considered trout waters, with 2 miles of Class I waters (WDNR, 1980) and Exceptional Resource Waters (ERW). Agricultural non-point source pollution is the primary threat to water quality, fisheries and instream habitat. Excessive streambank pasturing and streambank erosion have historically been the primary sources of water quality and habitat problems. Barnyard runoff and cropland erosion are also potential pollution sources in some reaches (Fix, 1995-2000). The DNR has done habitat improvement work to help increase gamefish populations. A macroinvertebrate study conducted in the spring of 2000 found the stream to have good water quality (WDNR, 2000). Other early assessments showed good water quality and the existance of fair to good instream habitat (Fix, 1991). No fisheries or habitat assessment monitoring, however, has been done in the past five years. Public access is provided at the Borah Creek State Fishery Area in addition to some town road crossings.
Author Aquatic Biologist
From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 9.21 acres, Length = 7.6 miles, Gradient = 25 ft./mile, Flow = 5.1 c.f.s.
A spring-fed stream beginning near Mount Ida and flowing in a southerly direction joining the Grant River two miles north of Lancaster. This stream is often referred to as "Bailie Branch". The lower 3.8 miles is classified as trout water with brown and rainbow trout dominating the fishery. Both fingerling and yearling brown trout are stocked at the present time. This stream contains a fair number of "lunker" brown trout. A fair smallmouth bass population inhabits the lower part of the stream and forage fish are common throughout.
It is subject to flooding because of the large drainage area. Better soil and water control practices would greatly enhance the quality of this stream. Muskrats are present throughout and a few migratory waterfowl are usually observed during the spring and fall. There are no public lands on the stream but access is available from five road bridges. Eleven dwellings adjoin the stream.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Borah Creek (WBIC 964500) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting this designated use and is not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available.
Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable
Management goals can include creation and implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis, habitat restoration work, partnership education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below.
Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.
Grants and Management Projects
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|964500||Borah Creek||10017199||Borah Creek - Borah Rd.||11/2/1984||11/2/1984||Map||Data|
|964500||Borah Creek||223316||Borah Creek - Borah Road||Map||Data|
|964500||Borah Creek||10029923||Borah Cr Station 1 Above Farm on Borah Rd||Map||Data|
|964500||Borah Creek||10042588||Borah Creek at Private Dr||Map||Data|
Borah Creek is located in the Upper Grant River watershed which is 106.09 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (76%), forest (17%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (1%). This watershed has 260.94 stream miles, 7.24 lake acres and 6.79 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.