Watershed - Lower Trempealeau River (BT01)
Lower Trempealeau River Watershed

Details

The Lower Trempealeau River Watershed is approximately 113,345 acres in size and consists of 333 miles of streams and rivers, 4,667 acres of lakes and 13,987 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by forests and agriculture.

Date  1991

Nonpoint and Point Sources

Most of the streams in the Lower Trempealeau River Watershed have stream habitat that has been severely degraded by agricultural nonpoint source pollution. All streams that were assessed are considered to have degraded fishery habitat resulting from streambank destruction and in-stream sedimentation.

Date  1991

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Trempealeau River 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

Lower Trempealeau River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Lower Trempealeau River Watershed
River and Stream QualityAll Waters in Watershed

The Trempealeau River at Dodge has been monitored for the past several years as a LTT network site. The median total phosphorus concentration at the site is 369 ug/L which is the highest amoung the 42 LTT sites. Concentrations of bacteria, suspended solids and dissolved silica are amoung the highest of other LTT sites. Very limited biological data has been collected from the river and the extent of high phosphorus concentrations are not known. Another unknown, is the impact the high phosphorus concentrations are indirectly having on the biological community. The Department would like to request funds to evaluate the Trempealeau River including a site on both the North and South Branch Trempealeau Rivers at eight locations for fish, macroinvertebrates, continuous dissolved oxygen, continuous temperature, habitat and water chemistry. Fishery and habitat data would be collected during July or August and macroinvertebrates would be collected in the fall.

Date  2012

Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
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.

Lower Trempealeau River Watershed

Priorities

10/18/2012
All streams that were assessed are considered to have degraded fishery habitat resulting from streambank destruction and in-stream sedimentation
10/18/2012
Most of the streams in the Lower Trempealeau River Watershed have stream habitat that has been severely degraded by agricultural nonpoint source pollution.
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
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 1808000
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 1808000, AU:3993880
5/21/2016
Proposed
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
1769900 name Trempealeau River TMDL ID 489 Start Mile 0 End Mile 31.28
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
 
Monitor to Evaluate Projects
 
Date
Status
Evaluate progress in decreasing sediment loading to the Fountain City backwater complex and improving water quality of the streams in the watershed.
11/22/2010
In Progress
 
Lower Trempealeau River WatershedWatershed History Note

Native American peoples populated this watershed long before the Europeans arrived and their sacred mounds can be found in the area of today's Perrot State Park. The Village of Trempealeau was founded in 1851 by French explorers looking for furs. They found a bluff surrounded by water and called it "La Montagne qui trempe à l'eau," which means "mountain with its foot in the water." The name was later shortened to Trempealeau. In 1871, the Trempealeau Hotel, Restaurant and Saloon was established and was one of the few survivors of the 1888 fire. The original bar still exists and the hotel and restaurant still welcome guests. From Brady's Bluff, enjoy the view of Trempealeau Mountain and the Mississippi River valley. Wisconsin Department of Tourism Photo. http://www.trempealeauhotel.com/trempealeauhotel/default.asp?ID=29&PageData=425 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trempealeau_County,_Wisconsin

Date  2010