Watershed - Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka (BR02)
Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed

Details

This watershed drains approximately 160 square miles in Trempealeau and Jackson Counties. The north and south forks of Beaver Creek originate in Jackson County and meet in Ettrick in Trempealeau County to form Beaver Creek. The creek is impounded in Galesville to form the 98 acre Lake Marinuka. Beaver Creek joins the Black River near the Van Loon State Wildlife Area.

Date  1999

Nonpoint and Point Sources

The Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka watershed was selected as a priority watershed project under the Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Abatement Program to protect and improve the many high quality trout streams and their associated forage fish communities. These waters are threatened by agricultural nonpoint source pollutants, notably sediment and animal wastes which cause general habitat degradation (WDNR, 1987).

The intent of the priority watershed project, completed in 1996, was to reduce nonpoint pollution. Follow-up habitat, aquatic insect, and fishery data was collected in 1996 at selected sites in the watershed. Sample sites were chosen near areas of significant improvement in land management as well as in areas where land management changes were minimal.

In-stream habitat ratings improved at 10 of the 29 sites re-surveyed in 1996. Most of the improvements were a result of streambank stabilization from rock rip-rap and cattle exclusion. The end result was stable streambanks with overhanging vegetation that provided cover for fish. Habitat ratings at the remaining sites indicated little change since the earlier surveys. Factors limiting habitat include sedimentation, streambank erosion and wide and shallow stream channels, similar to habitat conditions found during the 1986 surveys (Hazuga).

Date  1999

Ecological Landscapes for Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

This watershed is located in the Western Coulee and Ridges Ecological Landscape in southwestern and west central Wisconsin and is characterized by its highly eroded, driftless topography and relatively extensive forested landscape. Soils are silt loams (loess) and sandy loams over sandstone residuum over dolomite. Several large rivers including the Wisconsin, Mississippi, Chippewa, Kickapoo and Black flow through or border the Ecological Landscape.

Historical vegetation consisted of southern hardwood forests, oak savanna, scattered prairies, and floodplain forests and marshes along the major rivers. With Euro-American settlement, most of the land on ridgetops and valley bottoms was cleared of oak savanna, prairie, and level forest for agriculture. The steep slopes between valley bottom and ridgetop, unsuitable for raising crops, grew into oak-dominated forests after the ubiquitous presettlement wildfires were suppressed. Current vegetation is a mix of forest (40%), agriculture, and grassland with some wetlands in the river valleys. The primary forest cover is oak-hickory (51%) dominated by oak species and shagbark hickory. Maple-basswood forests (28%), dominated by sugar maple, basswood and red maple, are common in areas that were not subjected to repeated presettlement wildfires. Bottomland hardwoods (10%) are common in the valley bottoms of major rivers and are dominated by silver maple, ashes, elms, cottonwood, and red maple. Relict conifer forests including white pine, hemlock and yellow birch are a rarer natural community in the cooler, steep, north slope microclimates.

Date  2010

Hydrologic Features

The Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka watershed has drainage characteristics typical of Wisconsin's unglaciated areas. The topography is dissected with high, narrow, irregular divides, steep bluffs, moderate slopes and broad open valleys. Local relief within the watershed varies from 300 feet in Jackson County to 600 feet in the lower portions of the watershed. This local relief results in stream gradients which vary from 70 to 150 feet per mile in the headwaters, 20 to 40 feet in the middle reaches of main channels, but less than 10 feet per mile in the lower main channel reaches.

As the stream gradient decreases, stream flow velocities also decrease and deposition of sand and silt occurs. Movement and deposition of material in streams is a natural process; however, it may be accelerated by poor land management activities.

Date  1999

Wildlife and Habitat

Several aquatic dependent species of concern have been documented in this watershed. Management decisions should consider potential affects to these species.

Date  1999

Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed
River and Stream QualityAll Waters in Watershed

Aquatic insect populations substantially improved, as indicated by the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) values, at five of the ten sites re-surveyed in 1996. These improved values indicate reduced organic loading since 1986. Macroinvertebrate sites were selected on streams that had best management practices (BMPs) installed to control animal waste. Based on data collected in 1996, these practices apparently reduced organic loading and improved HBI values at these sites (Hazuga).

Results from fishery surveys completed in 1996 indicate the number of brook trout increased since earlier surveys; however stocking levels throughout the watershed were also higher in 1996. The higher densities of adult fish found probably reflects the higher stocking rates. However, the documented increase in young of year (YOY) brook trout numbers suggests conditions for spawning and carryover of adult fish improved since 1985. Increased YOY brook trout densities were generally found on smaller streams where BMPs were installed via the Priority Watershed Program. Installation of BMPs reduced streambank erosion, sedimentation, organic loading and cropland runoff. Streams with YOY brook trout densities that decreased or remained unchanged were also found at sites with BMP installations. Habitat or water quality of these streams apparently has not improved enough to reflect improvements in the fishery (Hazuga).

The Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) ratings, an analysis of fishery survey data, improved at six sites, declined at one and remained unchanged at eight sites in the 1996 surveys. Fish IBI scores generally improve as impacts from nonpoint source pollution decreases in streams. Results from the 1996 surveys suggest an improvement in habitat and/or water quality occurred at the six sites (Hazuga).

Date  1999

Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
10/1/2003
Waters Involved
Marinuka Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Galesville: Lake Marinuka Aquatic Plant Study: The City of Galesville, in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center, Eau Galle Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (EGAEL) proposes to study factors contributing to the influx of aquatic invasive species and the decline of desired aquatic vegetation in Lake Marinuka in Trempealeau County. Major elements of the project to include 1) sample planting and analysis, 2) water sample analysis, 3) secchi disk readings.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1997
Waters Involved
Marinuka Lake
Status
Complete

Lake Marinuka P & R District: Lake Marinuka Dredging Assessment: Lake Marinuka Protection and Rehabilitation District proposes to prepare a complete dredge site plan for Lake Marinuka. The following project activities will be included: 1) sedimentation management plan with a hydraulic dredging cross section of the lake, 2) dredge spoils disposal site plan, 3) sediment core sample analysis. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. The project results will be disseminated to the public by local newspaper articles, newsletter mailings, public meeting(s) and radio/TV spots.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2000
Waters Involved
Marinuka Lake
Status
Complete

Mr Norm Schein: Lake Marinuka G-E-T 6th Grade Lake Assessment: The Lake Marinuka Protection and Rehabilitation District (PRD) proposes to study the past history, present health and future impacts upon Lake Marinuka with the help sixth-grade students at Galesville Elementary School, working in conjunction with the UW - Stevens Point's Adopt-A-Lake program.
Project activities would include: 1) Annual lakebed contour mapping to measure sediment deposition patterns, 2) aquatic plant mapping, 3) water quality monitoring and, 4) development of a written lake history. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of a final report on the project. Project results will be disseminated to the public through the Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau Schools and through the Galesville Public Library.


Grant Details
Targeted Runoff - Rural Construction
Date
1/1/2008
Waters Involved
Joe Coulee Creek
Status
Complete

Trempealeau County: Palmer Farm: To cost-share landowner installation of best management practices designed to enable farm operations to comply with the agricultural performance standards and prohibitions established by the County's Feedlot Performance Ordinance and in Subchapter II of NR 151 by installing runoff management systems which will enable the Palmer Farm to meet nutrient application restrictions and eliminate unconfined manure piles in water quality management areas, prevent direct runoff from a feedlot or stored manure into waters of the state, and restrict unlimited livestock access to waters of the state.


Grant Details
Targeted Runoff - Rural Construction
Date
1/1/2008
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Trempealeau County: Solberg Farm: To cost-share landowner installation of best management practices designed to enable farm operations to comply with the agricultural performance standards and prohibitions established by the County's Feedlot Performance Ordinance and under Subchapter II of NR 151 by establishing discharge management systems which will enable the Solberg farm to meet nutrient application restrictions and prevent overflow from manure storage facilities, unconfined manure piles in water quality management areas, direct runoff from a feedlot or stored manure into waters of the state, and unlimited livestock access to waters of the state.


Monitoring & Projects

Projects including grants, restoration work and studies shown below have occurred in this watershed. Click the links below to read through the text. While these are not an exhaustive list of activities, they provide insight into the management activities happening in this watershed.

Grants and Management Projects
Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Jackson
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
11/8/2011
Proposed
 
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
 
Date
Status
WDNR staff should continue to encourage communities to develop wellhead protection plans in the Watershed and the whole basin.
7/1/2010
Proposed
Projects
 
Restore Hydrology, Morphology
 
Date
Status
Planned drawdowns of Lake Marinuka should be completed prior to October 1.
1/1/2010
Proposed
 
Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka WatershedWatershed History Note

The Beaver Creek and Lake Marinuka Watershed is located in Jackson and Trempealeau counties and includes the communities of Galesville and Ettrick. Ettrick is a village in Trempealeau County which was named for a region in Scotland.

Galesville was named after Judge George Gale, landholder and founder of Gale College in 1854. In the late 1800s, a Galesville minister published a small booklet titled "The Garden of Eden," inspired by the rolling hills and rocky cliffs, spring-fed streams, fertile fields, thick forests, and natural beauty of the Galesville area. With an apple in his hand and cape flying in the wind, Rev. Van Slyke welcomes visitors to Galesville. The newly installed statue, designed and created by resident artist Elmer Petersen, highlights Galesville's motto, the "Garden of Eden". Van Slyke, an itinerant circuit rider, wrote a persuasive theory placing Galesville at the absolute center of the biblical Garden of Eden. His 1886 booklet includes many geographical points describing the fertile valleys, lush hillsides, plentiful fruit trees and the abundance of fresh water. The preacher loved Galesville so dearly he chose his final resting place on the brow of the cliff overlooking the Garden of Eden. His tombstone is easily seen from Beaver Creek flowing below cemetery ridges.

Lake Marinuka is truly one of the most attractive features that Galesville has to offer. Acres of water offer the sportsman, boaters, and those who just like beautiful scenery a wonderful place to enjoy. The Lake was given its name from the legend of Princess Marie Nounko, who was the granddaughter of the Great Chief Decorah. Princess Marie died in 1884 and is buried at Arctic Springs, which is located at the north end of the lake. With Beaver Creek flowing through the lake and spilling over the dam, it creates a perfect environment for many types of fish, such as bass, sunfish and crappies

Date  2010