Fish and Aquatic Life
Spring Coulee Creek, located in northern Vernon County, flows in a northwesterly direction for six miles before reaching Coon Creek northeast of Coon Valley. It has a moderate gradient of 45 feet per mile and drains steep forested hills and agricultural valley land. Spring Coulee Creek is a Class I trout stream and designated as an Outstanding Resource Water for its entire length.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Flowing in a northwesterly direction, this clear, hard water stream joins Coon Creek at the northern outskirts of Coon Valley. It is a Class II brown trout stream. Forage fish are abundant, including white sucker, creek chub, central stoneroller and blacknose dace. Scattered open water areas were noted in the lower half of the stream during the winter aerial groundwater survey. A sand bottom dominates, but there is considerable rubble present, as well as a little gravel, silt, hardpan, and bedrock in that order of abundance. The stream banks are badly eroded. There is access from four
road crossings. Beaver are present, and muskrat are significant. Teal and wood duck broods may be noted, and some use of the stream is made by migrant puddle ducks. Spring Coulee Creek, T14N, R5W, Section 5. Surface Acres = 8.0, Miles = 6.0, Gradient = 45.4 feet per mile
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W., 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
The most recent habitat survey, conducted in 1974, found cool, clear water that carried a low suspended silt load. The streambed consisted of rubble, sand, silt and lesser amounts of gravel, boulder and detritus. Bank cover consisted of shrub marsh, pasture, upland hardwood, swamp hardwood, row crops and open marsh. In-stream cover was common and consisted of rocks, boulders, undercut banks, LUNKER structures, aquatic vegetation and an occasional log. A fair number of deep holes with good cover were also present. Fishery surveys conducted in the 1980's documented naturally reproducing brook and brown trout populations as well as a wide variety of forage fish species. Spring Coulee Creek was stocked from 1960 to 1986 with brown trout. Between 1986 and 1990, brook trout were stocked. Access to the stream is from DNR owned streambank easements, two DNR owned parcels and four bridges.
From: Koperski, Cindy. 2002. The State of the Bad Axe - La Crosse Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI
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|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10015959||Spring Coulee Cr At Burgers - Archie Burgers Driveway Downstreamapprox 40 Feet First Riffle||10/22/1989||4/20/1990||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009112||Spring Coulee Creek #7- Farm Rd Crossing||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009106||Spring Coulee Creek #1 Neprude Snowmobile Bridge Crossing||10/28/1989||4/14/1990||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10013738||Spring Coulee Sta.2 At Spring Coulee Rd. Us In S10||5/23/2001||7/23/2015||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009110||Spring Coulee Creek #5- Moilan Hill Rd. Bridge||10/28/1989||4/14/1990||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009111||Spring Coulee Creek #6- 300 Meters Downstream Srom Spring Coulee Rd.||10/9/2001||10/9/2001||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10013740||Spring Coulee Station 5 - Spring Coulee Rd. Upstream In S14||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009107||Spring Coulee Creek #2- Bridge On P||3/20/2014||3/20/2014||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009109||Spring Coulee Creek #4- Farm Rd X-Ing On Paul Kogut Property||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10022628||Spring Coulee - 140m Downstream Cth P||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10022629||Spring Coulee - Spring Coulee Rd. (2nd Crossing)||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||633180||Spring Coulee - Near Coon Valley WI||Map||Data|
|1646100||Spring Coulee Creek||10009108||Spring Coulee Creek #3- Peterson'S Field Rd.||Map||Data|
Spring Coulee Creek is located in the Coon Creek watershed which is 238.20 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41%), agricultural (40%) and a mix of open (10%) and other uses (8%). This watershed has 574.90 stream miles, 4,342.05 lake acres and 6,052.31 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.This water is ranked Medium Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.