Springville Br Bad Axe River, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02)
Springville Br Bad Axe River, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02)
Bad Axe River, Springville Branch (1642200)
12.30 Miles
0 - 12.30
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 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.
2013
Good
 
Vernon
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.

Overview

Springville Branch, located in west central Vernon County, flows for approximately eight miles in a westerly direction before reaching the North Fork of the Bad Axe River. It has a moderate gradient of 40 feet per mile and drains steep forests, lowland pasture, agricultural land and a portion of the City of Viroqua. The natural origin of Springville Branch is in the small village of Springville where springs well up in the stream bed creating a quicksand like stream bottom. However, since the City of Viroqua discharges stormwater and treated wastewater to a natural channel that eventually reaches the Springville Branch at Springville, the length of the perennial flowing stream has increased. The downstream end of Springville Branch flows through Duck Egg, a Vernon County park, where a wet flood control structure is owned and maintained by Vernon County.

Springville Branch contains cool, clear water which turns turbid during periods of rain and associated run-off. Fish kills have sporadically occurred during high flow events throughout the years. The ultimate source of these fish kills has not been positively identified. Springville Branch is a Class II trout stream from its mouth upstream to Springville (approximately 7.6 miles), and a limited aquatic life stream upstream of Springville to Viroqua. Limited aquatic life streams cannot provide the life cycle requirements for fish species, and have limited ability to support other fully aquatic life forms.

The latest fish and habitat surveys, completed in 1998 and 1999 documented a stream bottom composed mainly of gravel and rubble with lesser amounts of silt and sand. The presence of beaver dams caused silt accumulation and altered flow of the stream. The streambanks contained little to no erosion. A wide variety of aquatic vegetation and aquatic insects, as well as pickerel frogs and wood turtles were documented during these surveys. Fish collected include brook and brown trout, smallmouth bass, green sunfish and a variety of forage fish species. Maintenance or improvement of Springville Branch includes control of beaver dams, reduction of non-point source runoff, and proper operation of the Viroqua Wastewater Treatment Plant. WDNR stocked Springville Branch from 1960 to 1998 with brown trout and occasionally with rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. Four road crossings and Duck Egg County Park provide access to the stream.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Bad Axe River, Springville Branch, T13N, R5W, Section 19. Surface Acres = 13.8, Miles = 7.6, Gradient-=40.0 feet per mile.
This clear, hard water stream flows in a general westerly direction and is a tributary of the North Fork Bad Axe River. The entire stream is Class III brown trout water, and that portion from Springville downstream is also considered smallrrouth bass water. Carp and forage fish species are also present. The winter aerial groundwater survey found open water in the lower half of the stream and scattered open areas elsewhere. Gravel is somewhat more prevalent than sand and rubble. Other bottom types include some silt and small amounts of boulder and detritus. Four road crossings provide access. Beaver are present. Teal and wood ducks nest along the stream, and migrant puddle ducks use the water. Pollution in the form of domestic sewage has been known to enter the stream from the Viroqua municipal sewage treatment plant, and washwater from the Cooperative Creamery at Viroqua has also been observed entering the stream above the sewage treatment plant. These two pollution sources appear to comprise the total initial flow of the Springville Branch.

From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W., 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1973

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Springville Br Bad Axe River, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02) Fish and Aquatic LifeSpringville Br Bad Axe River, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02) RecreationSpringville Br Bad Axe River, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02) Fish Consumption

General Condition

The Bad Axe River, Springville Branch was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; 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 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

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

Control Streambank Erosion
The Springville Br Bad Axe River fishery would benefit from the reduction of stream bank erosion

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

Springville Br Bad Axe River is located in the Bad Axe River watershed which is 195.49 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (55%), forest (37%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (3%). This watershed has 468.27 stream miles, 489.81 lake acres and 2,552.28 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High 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

Bad Axe River, Springville Branch is considered a 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.