Bostwick Creek, Lower La Crosse River Watershed (BL04)
Bostwick Creek, Lower La Crosse River Watershed (BL04)
Bostwick Creek (1650900)
3.65 Miles
0 - 3.65
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.
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
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Impairment Unknown
Total Phosphorus
 
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.
Yes

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.
FAL Coldwater
Fish and Aquatic Life Coldwater - waters that do not have a specific designated (codified use) but which are have documented scientific support to ascertain indicating that the water is a cold fishable, swimmable water.

Overview

Mouth to Barre Mills (class 3); Barre Mills to CTH M (class 2); CTH M to headwaters (class 1)

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Overview

Bostwick Creek, also known as Irish Coulee Creek, is located in central La Crosse County. This stream flows in a northwesterly direction for approximately 13.6 miles, before reaching the La Crosse River. It has a moderate gradient of 38 feet per mile and drains forested hills and agricultural valley land. Bostwick Creek is a Class III trout stream from its mouth upstream to Barre Mills, then Class II upstream to CTH "M", and finally Class I upstream to its headwaters.

A fishery survey conducted in 1965 suggested that Bostwick Creek should not be classified as a trout stream. However, a 1986 fishery survey confirmed natural reproduction of brown trout. The trout population improvement is credited to a combination of consistent stocking and adequate habitat in the upper portions of the stream that allows for natural reproduction and good winter survival. The lower portion of Bostwick Creek contains limited in-stream cover for adult fish. Fishery and habitat surveys should be conducted on Bostwick Creek to determine the current status of the stream. Additional in-stream habitat development in Bostwick Creek would benefit the trout fishery. Bostwick Creek was last stocked in 2001 with wild brown trout. Access to Bostwick Creek is from WDNR owned easements and seven road crossings.

Water chemistry testing of streams throughout La Crosse County was initiated by the La Crosse County Land Conservation Department in 1998. Baseflow conditions were targeted for testing as the most likely to show normal water quality conditions. Sampling takes place four times argeted for testing as the most likely to show normal water quality conditions annually when no rainfall or snowmelt has occurred during the previous 72 hours. Bostwick Creek is sampled at two different locations: near the mouth and approximately six miles upstream from the mouth. Between 1998 and 2001at the middle sampling location, Bostwick Creek met the county phosphorus goal in just over 40% and the county fecal coliform bacteria goal in nearly 50% of the samples taken. At the lower sampling location, Bostwick Creek never met the county phosphorus goal and met the county fecal coliform bacteria goal in only 33% of the samples taken. These data point to a nutrient load that is likely also contributing to high bacterial counts. Data also indicate significant sources of nutrients along the lower six miles of Bostwick Creek. The county ranks Bostwick Creek in the top 50% of county streams on which to expend effort to reduce phosphorus and bacterial contamination. La Crosse County should continue baseflow sampling of Bostwick Creek to determine water quality trends.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Upstream from Barre Mills (class 3)

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Bostwick Creek, Lower La Crosse River Watershed (BL04) Fish and Aquatic LifeBostwick Creek, Lower La Crosse River Watershed (BL04) RecreationBostwick Creek, Lower La Crosse River Watershed (BL04) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Bostwick Creek (WBIC 1650900) from Barre Mills to headwaters 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.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Bostwick Creek (1650900) from the mouth to Barre Mills was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

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

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

Watershed Characteristics

Bostwick Creek is located in the Lower La Crosse River watershed which is 145.46 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38%), agricultural (30%) and a mix of suburban (12%) and other uses (19%). This watershed has 295.20 stream miles, 1,187.12 lake acres and 5,641.64 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.

Natural Community

Bostwick Creek is considered a 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.

Fisheries & Habitat

No change for first 6.2 miles, David Vetrano, October 2003, 608 785-9009, then: "Recent surveys show the lower 3.2 miles of Bostwick Creek may have some natural reproduction but not enough to utilize available food and space. Therefore, stocking sometimes is required to maintain a desireable sport fishery. This portion of stream shows good survival and carryover of adult trout often producing some fish of better than average size...(upper portion). Barre Mill downstream to LaCross River changed from a Class III to a Class II in 2008.

Date  2008

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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