Watershed - Pigeon Creek (BT04)
Pigeon Creek Watershed

Details

The Pigeon Creek Watershed is approximately 59,618 acres in size and consits of 227 miles of streams and rivers, 97 acres of lakes, and 1824 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by forest and agriculture. None of the trout streams in this watershed are fully supporting their potential use. Use of the streams is limited by nonpoint source pollution. If nonpoint source pollution impacts were controlled in the watershed, Fisheries Management estimates it is likely that 28 miles of trout stream would be improved.

Date  1991

Ecological Landscapes for Pigeon Creek 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

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.

Pigeon Creek Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
 
Date
Status
Expansion of a citizen based stream monitoring program within the Elk Creek watershed is recommended.
7/13/2010
Proposed
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
 
Date
Status
Expansion of a citizen based stream monitoring program within the Elk Creek watershed is recommended.
7/13/2010
Proposed
 
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Jackson
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
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
 
Nine Key Element Plan
Beaver Creek PWS Plan
Date
Status
The Beaver Creek 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 that are causing general habitat degradation. Other reasons for carrying out this project include reducing the impact of agricultural nonpoint pollutant sources on Lake Marinuka, which was recently rehabilitated through an Inland Lake Project by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
7/1/1987
Proposed
Projects
 
Pigeon Creek WatershedWatershed History Note

The Pigeon Creek Watershed is dominated by the coulee landscape. Coulee is a term derived from the French verb "couler", meaning to flow. The entire coulee region of west central Wisconsin has been dissected by water erosion into a series of narrow ridges separated by steep sided valleys called coulees. This area is one of the only parts of America consistently missed by advancing glaciers over the millennia, hence the name "Driftless or Unglaciated Region". This has preserved the unique topography of the region. The interesting topography was formed over 100 million years ago. This entire region was a vast prehistoric sea, with an underwater mountain range. The sea eventually disappeared, leaving just the sea-floor mountain range, which now defines the landscape of southwest Wisconsin as it slowly changes, shaped by wind, water, and man. Fertile soils are farmed on the bottom and sides of coulees. The narrow ridges, often protected with woodlands, are capped by erosion resistant dolomite bedrock which commonly overlies sandstone. During formation of the coulees, erosion cut through the dolomite and removed the underlying weaker sandstone thereby creating the valleys. One of the earliest inhabitants of the coulee region was the passenger pigeon. Huge flocks of passenger pigeons once roamed North America. Larger than the mourning dove which it resembled, the passenger pigeon derived its name from an Indian word meaning "wanderer" or one who moves from place to place. Flying at a normal speed of sixty miles per hour, the pigeon moved hundreds of miles in migration and 50-100 miles a day during the nesting season, searching for food. The largest nesting on record anywhere occurred in southwest Wisconsin in 1871. The nesting ground covered 850 square miles with an estimated 136,000,000 pigeons. John Muir described the passenger pigeons in flight. "I have seen flocks streaming south in the fall so large that they were flowing from horizon to horizon in an almost continuous stream all day long." Many reasons have been given for the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Each year millions were trapped, clubbed, or shot for food and pleasure. The last known passenger pigeon died in a Cinncinnati zoo in 1914.

Date  2010