Watershed - Big and Douglas Creeks (BR03)
Big and Douglas Creeks Watershed

Details

The Big and Douglas Creeks watershed encompasses approximately 210 square miles in Jackson, Monroe and La Crosse counties. A small portion also lies in Trempealeau County. The conversion of land to agricultural uses is not extreme. However, the sandy soils, which characterize this watershed, are prone to erosion with little disturbance. Many streams within the watershed naturally contain shifting sand bottoms. Some streams have exposed banks that contribute sand and sediment during high flow events. Additional sand and sediment reduce the depth and eventually widen the stream. When streams become wider and shallower, stream temperatures can exceed the range conducive to trout survival. Control of nonpoint pollution in this watershed would benefit nearly every stream.

Date  1999

Population, Land Use

Village of Cataract residents are considering a sewer and water system for the community because many on-site sewer systems have failed. The village formed a sanitary district. WDNR staff will work with the community to determine potential discharge locations, wastewater treatment plant alternatives, and community water supply requirements (Pietz).

Date  1999

Ecological Landscapes for Big and Douglas Creeks 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

Wildlife and Habitat

Numerous aquatic dependent species of concern have been documented in this watershed. Management decisions should consider potential affects to these species. Other species may be present but not yet documented.

Date  1999

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1996
Waters Involved
Cataract Pond
Status
Complete

Town Of Little Falls: Cataract Mill Pond Dredging Design Planning: The Town of Little Falls proposes to develop a plan for the dredging of Cataract Pond that includes 1) determining sediment delivery amount, 2) a sediment analysis, 3) determine sediment trap site or partial bottom draw to remove sediment, 4) determine dredging area, 5) locate sediment disposal area and 6) develop sediment stabilization plan. The project will result in a final report describing the project results. A paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report will be provided to the Department of Natural Resources. The sponsor will disseminate information about the project to the public by summary report mailing, entire report mailing, public meeting, and local newspaper article. end.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2002
Waters Involved
Dustin Creek
Status
Complete

Cataract Sportsmen'S Club: Dustin Creek Habitat Improvement Project: The goals of the project are to reduce the streambank erosion by placing riprap at necessary locations. The erosion of the stream bed itself will also be reduced by placing gravel beds immediately upstream of the Rock Wiers at strategic locations. The DNR's LaCrosse office did a stream survey in the summer of 2001 and will conduct another at a later date to compare the results.

Project results will be shared with the public through media coverage -- local newspaper and possibly an outdoors television episode. A final report will be submitted to the River Protection Program.

The DNR will be provided with both a paper and electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public as described in the grant application.


Big and Douglas Creeks Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Monroe
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Jackson
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Fish Community
 
Date
Status
Water Division staff should conduct physical, biological, and chemical surveys of Douglas Creek.
7/1/2013
Proposed
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
1676700 name Black River TMDL ID 51 Start Mile 77.18 End Mile 90.64
11/21/2011
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
 
Monitoring Ecosystem
 
Date
Status
A comprehensive mussel survey should be conducted on the Black River and its major tributaries.  Before any decision is made to riprap eroding sand banks of the Black River, a mussel survey should be conducted.
7/1/2013
Proposed
 
Big and Douglas Creeks WatershedWatershed History Note