Fish and Aquatic Life
This stream is considered a Class I trout fishery in the portions of the stream flowing in Sections 11 and 12. The stream, which originates at McCarthy Lake in Iron County, is joined by several spring feeders before reaching Devils Creek, another Class I trout stream. The Class I trout portions of Ballou Creek are classified as exceptional resource waters. The stream has a high gradient and mostly hard sand, gravel and rocky bottom. Good natural reproduction is evident. Much of the upper portion of the stream has a dense tag alder swamp bordering it while the lower section is hardwood and conifer upland. Beaver are present and there is some migratory waterfowl use of the stream.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation no rare species of macroinvertebrate were found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). Impoundment was a significant factor affecting habitat quality.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Ballou Creek was assessed during the 2018 assessment cycle; available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no index of biological integrity (IBI) values scored in the "poor" category) based on the 2018 WisCALM listing threshold criteria. Temperature data did not exceed thresholds. This water was meeting its designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Amanda Smith
Ballou Creek was assessed during the 2018 assessment cycle; available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no index of biological integrity (IBI) values scored in the "poor" category) based on the 2018 WisCALM listing threshold criteria. Temperature data did exceed thresholds, but this water was still meeting its designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Amanda Smith
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|
|2930700||Ballou Creek||10009783||Ballou Creek - Station1||Map||Data|
|2930700||Ballou Creek||10034373||Ballou Creek upstream Devils Confluence||5/19/2011||10/15/2013||Map||Data|
Ballou Creek is located in the Upper Bad River watershed which is 134.68 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (66%), wetland (23%) and a mix of grassland (4%) and other uses (7%). This watershed has 213.47 stream miles, 1,110.24 lake acres and 20,385.83 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.