Fish and Aquatic Life
This spring fed stream is tributary to the Mississippi River southeast of Bagley. Slightly less than 50% of its watershed is forested. The remainder is either cropland or pasture. Although it is classified as a class II trout stream, it is limited by its shallow streambed and flashy nature. Both of these factors lend to water temperatures that are marginal for trout reproduction (Smith and Ball, 1972). Sandy Creek is currently on the state’s 303(d) list of impaired water bodies.
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 6.45 acres, Length = 7.6 miles, Gradient; 25 ft;./mile, Flow = 5.2 c.f.s.
A spring-fed stream beginning two miles southwest of Patch Grove and flowing southwest t. enter the Mississippi River two miles southeast of Bagley. Apprqximately 50 percent of the watershed is still forested and access is quite difficult on many portions of the stream. The stream is characterized by long pools, a gravel bottom, and numerous riffle areas. High water temperatures make it very marginal water quality for cold-water species. Brown trout dominate the fishery and forage species are common. Flash flooding has an adverse effect on natural reproduction of trout and production of bottom organisms. .S"oil ana water retaraing structures are needed near the headwaters to protect the fishery resource. Muskrats and migratory waterfowl are common in the 58 acres of timber swamp wetland found near the mouth while most upland varieties inhabit the surrounding hill country. The Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge provides 0.35 mile of public frontage in the lower reaches. Access is also possible from one bridge crossing and the Mississippi River. Two dwellings are found along the banks.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
Sandy Creek is located in the Mississippi River watershed which is 110.47 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (39%), forest (34%) and a mix of open (14%) and other uses (13%). This watershed has 270.89 stream miles, 1,746.25 lake acres and 6,037.79 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low 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.