Mormon Creek, Coon Creek Watershed (BL03)
Mormon Creek, Coon Creek Watershed (BL03)
Mormon Coulee Creek (1648300)
16.83 Miles
0.84 - 17.67
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2015
Fair
 
La Crosse
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Yes
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
No
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Cold
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.

Historical Description

Mormon Coulee Creek is a backwater area of the Mississippi River. There is spring seepage and there is a continuous flow of water to the river from the pond. It has hard, alkaline, and clear water with a high transparency. Northern pike, perch, and bullhead dominate the fish species. The pond has a history of winterkill. There is access with parking. Beaver are present and muskrats are significant. Wood duck, mallard, and teal nesting takes place and migrant puddle ducks use the pond.

Source: 1976, Surface Water Resources of Buffalo County Lizzie Paul Pond, T21N, R12W, S29 Surface Acres = 44.0, S.D.F. = 1.08, Maximum depth = 4.0 feet.

Date  2002

Author  Cynthia Koperski

Mormon Creek, Coon Creek Watershed (BL03) Fish and Aquatic LifeMormon Creek, Coon Creek Watershed (BL03) RecreationMormon Creek, Coon Creek Watershed (BL03) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Mormon Coulee Creek (miles 0.84-17.67) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

The lower end of Mormon Coulee Creek is located on the south end of the City of La Crosse and the Town of Shelby. The stream has a fairly wide valley here surrounded by steep hills. The major land use was agriculture until fairly recently. Due to the close proximity to the City of La Crosse and beautiful landscape, numerous housing developments have been built in the lower end of the Mormon Coulee Creek watershed and more are planned. Trout streams in urban areas are rare due to the detrimental effects of stormwater runoff. Stormwater from areas with impervious surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks and streets generate more runoff of rainwater than vegetated areas. This added volume of runoff is often times warmer than the cold temperatures healthy trout streams require. When this warm water is discharged to trout streams and their tributaries, warming of the stream creates conditions which stress trout. The accumulation of these subdivisions eventually will produce stormwater volumes that exceed what agricultural lands previously generated. Additional volume of stormwater can reduce in-stream habitat through its scouring and erosive action. Infiltration of stormwater reduces surface water volume fluctuations in the stream during both dry and wet periods by returning the stormwater to groundwater, as was the case with natural vegetation or agricultural crops. Rain and snow that percolates through the ground, rather than over the land surface, is much cooler once it reaches the stream. All new subdivisions in the Mormon Coulee Creek watershed should detain and infiltrate their stormwater. To reduce the costs of stormwater systems and reduce the affects of stormwater to the stream, the City of La Crosse and the Town of Shelby should create a stormwater plan for the Mormon Coulee Creek watershed with costs shared by new subdivision developments.

Date  2011

Author  Lisa Helmuth

Condition

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'.

Reports

Recommendations

Monitor Fish Community
The WDNR should survey Mormon Coulee Creek in the near future to determine if the introduction of wild brown trout develops into a self sustaining population.
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
The City of La Crosse and the Town of Shelby should create a stormwater plan for the Mormon Coulee Creek drainage area, with costs shared by new subdivision developments
Monitor Targeted Area
The La Crosse County Land Conservation Department should continue baseflow sampling of Mormon Coulee Creek to determine water quality trends.

Management Goals

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

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

Monitoring Projects

Volunteer Monitoring

Three Volunteer Stream Monitoring stations have been monitored by five volunteers from 2005 through 2010 in the Coon Creek Watershed. All stations are monitored using Water Action Volunteer (WAV) Level 1 procedures and are entered into the WAV database (http://www.uwex.edu/erc/wavdb/). On average, stations were monitored monthly from May through October with a total of seventeen fieldwork events entered for the watershed. All stations were monitored for biotic index, flow, dissolved oxygen, instantaneous temperature and transparency.

Volunteers collect macroinvertebrates twice a year to determine a biotic index for each stream monitored. Streams are considered in poor quality if biotic index is between 1.0-2.0, fair quality if between 2.1-2.5, and in good quality if the index is between 2.6-3.5. Generally, biotic index values rated streams in the watershed to be in poor quality (ranging from 1.3-1.8) in the spring and fair to good quality (ranging from 2.2-3.1) in the fall.

Stream flow varied between the three streams. Flow in Mormon Creek at Mormon Coulee Park Bridge, CBSM-10030753 and Mormon Creek, 1/2 mi. N. Kriebach Coulee Rd bridge, CBSM-10008930 averaged of 10-15 cubic feet per second (cfs), while Timber Coulee Creek near Moen Lane, CBSM-10032014 averaged 36 cfs. From 2005 through 2010, volunteers recorded dissolved oxygen levels in the watershed ranging from 7.4-12.4 mg/l, all of which are suffi cient to sustain aquatic life.

Temperature measurements, used to classify streams as cold, cool or warm water habitats, and which are indicative of the ability of a habitat to sustain aquatic species, were manually recorded at all three stations. Maximum instantaneous temperatures were below 25 C for all streams, suggesting they may be cold water streams.

Stream transparency measurements primarily indicated good water quality with 94% of measurements less than 10 NTU. Only one field event resulted in a measurement above this level. It was recorded on 7/27/2005 at Mormon Creek at Mormon Coulee Park Bridge, CBSM-10030753 with a measurement of 27 NTU.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Watershed Characteristics

Mormon Creek is located in the Coon Creek watershed which is 238.20 miĀ². 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.

Natural Community

Mormon Coulee Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.