Apple River, Lower Apple River Watershed (SC04)
Apple River, Lower Apple River Watershed (SC04)
Apple River Lower Site Beach, Apple River (2614000)
0.02 Miles
0 - 0
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.
Not Determined
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.
2012
Unknown
 
Saint Croix
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.
No
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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Overview

The Apple River is a high value warm water stream which supports a regionally noted recreational industry centered on tubing float trips. The river is impacted by nonpoint source pollution generally agriculturally related although rural residential development is increasing. This stream and watershed should be considered a high priority for nonpoint source pollution control.

The Apple River drains a large agricultural area and has moderate water quality impacts as a result of barnyard runoff, streambank erosion, cropland runoff and erosion. The Apple River Flowage has problems typical of man-made flowages including excessive siltation and nutrients combining to create favorable conditions for nuisance aquatic plant growth. The flowage also receives stormwater runoff from the community of Amery which serves as an additional source of nutrients. Implementation of nonpoint source controls in this watershed should include practices aimed at reducing pollution from both rural and urban sources.

Date  1992

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

The Apple River flows west into the St. Croix River. Five flowages are impounded on this stream in St. Croix County: the Huntington (28 foot head dam), McClure (13'), Riverdale (23'), Somerset (17') and Apple Falls Flowages (84'). Two sections of the stream are managed for brown trout, the remainder is managed for walleyes, bass and panfish. That considered trout water is the portion of stream within the village limits of Star Prairie and a mile stretch of stream below the McClure Flowage dam. Fish sp=cies common to this stream are walleyes, smallmouth bass, rock bass, black bullheads, brown trout, carp and white suckers. Also present are muskellunge, northern pike, perch, largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, pumpkinseeds, brown bullheads, burbot and rainbow trout.

A grass-sedge wetlands of 110 acres border the river, providing additional habitat for muskrat and broods of mallards, blue -winged teal, wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Beaver are also present. Public lands here consists of 2,400 feet of state-owned frontage in the St. Croix Islands Wildlife Area. Eight bridges also provide access to the stream. Private development is limited to 20 cottages and homes.
.
Apple River -T31N, R17W, Sec. 1 to T31N, R20W, Sec. 20, Surface Acres = 157.6 Miles = 13. Q Gradient = 8 feet per mile.
From: Sather, LaVerne M. and Threinen, C.W., 1961. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of St. Croix County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1961

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Apple River, Lower Apple River Watershed (SC04) Fish and Aquatic LifeApple River, Lower Apple River Watershed (SC04) RecreationApple River, Lower Apple River Watershed (SC04) Fish Consumption

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

Water Quality Planning
This watershed is located in east-central Polk County and contains the Apple River drainage upstream from below the Apple River Flowage dam in Amery. The watershed is approximately 125,074 acres in size and consists of 139 miles of streams and rivers, 7,663 acres of lakes and 16,247 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by forest (43%), grassland (23%) and agriculture (14%). It is ranked high for nonpoint source issues affecting lakes and medium for nonpoint source issues affecting streams. The Upper Apple River is a fertile warmwater stream which flows into what is known as the Apple River Flowage in the community of Amery. The Apple River flowage has problems typical of man-made flowages including excessive siltation and nutrients which combine to create favorable conditions for nuisance aquatic plant growth.

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

Apple River is located in the Lower Apple River watershed which is 202.16 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (47%), forest (33%) and a mix of suburban (7%) and other uses (13%). This watershed has 151.64 stream miles, 4,391.99 lake acres and 9,095.80 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.

Natural Community

Apple River Lower Site Beach, Apple River's natural community is not yet identified 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.