Fish and Aquatic Life
This stream is considered Class I trout water from its source at a spring pond to its confluence with the Bois Brule River, except for an impounded area behind a six-foot head dam that serves the WDNR Trout Rearing Station. Upstream of the station, the stream supports resident brook and brown trout. Downstream of the dam, the stream supports spawning runs of Lake Superior trout and salmon species. The stream is mostly sand and gravel-bottomed, though there are significant amounts of muck upstream of the dam. Above the station, pondweed, watercress, forget-me-nots and duckweed can be found growing in mucky areas.
A 1970s trout improvement demonstration project involved removal of riparian vegetation and beaver dams. This resulted in increased sunlight to encourage aquatic plant growth and permitted the stream to become narrower and thus deeper. The fish community responded significantly (DuBois (2)). Aquatic insect sampling in the late 1980s below the hatchery resulted in a biotic index rating that showed low diversity for a waterbody in the Brule system, which would indicate the most organic disturbance. Otherwise, fisheries managers at the time did not have any other data to suggest a water quality problem as a result of hatchery operation. In the 1990s, WDNR staff realized that ortho diquat, used to control a fungus on hatchery fish, likely reached the stream. Some evidence exists to suggest the fungicide depressed vegetation downstream and left the sandy substrate without vegetation (Olson). The substance is no longer used in state fish hatcheries. It would be useful to determine whether stream vegetation and aquatic insect indices have recovered in the year or so since this discharge ceased (Olson, DuBois(2)).
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation in 1996, the overall taxa richness for macroinvertebrates was low, four or fewer species present (Epstein 1997).
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The Little Bois Brule River was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus 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|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||10029313||Little Brule River at Ranger Station Rd.||Map||Data|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||163061||Little Brule River at Foot Bridge||Map||Data|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||10047500||Little Brule River - Access off Dennis Rd||Map||Data|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||10013278||Little Bois Brule River- Upstream Confluence With Bois Brule Off Hwy 2- Station #1||Map||Data|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||163026||Little Brule River - Brule Fish Hatchery Brule 001||12/10/1984||9/18/2017||Map||Data|
|2863100||Little Bois Brule River||10013450||Little Bois Brule River- 7 Meters Upstream Hwy 27- Station #2||11/1/2005||11/1/2005||Map||Data|
|2863700||Unnamed||10012433||Little Brule River - Brule Fish Hatchery--Incoming Water||10/2/2000||1/18/2011||Map||Data|
Little Bois Brule River is located in the Bois Brule River watershed which is 199.64 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (66%), grassland (13%) and a mix of wetland (11%) and other uses (9%). This watershed has 220.94 stream miles, 3,539.94 lake acres and 18,373.66 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.