Watershed - Mill Creek (CW11)
Mill Creek Watershed

Details

The Mill Creek Watershed is located in Portage and Wood Counties. The watershed incorporates the western portion of Stevens Point and extends westward to Marshfield. The Mill Creek Watershed was ranked using the Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed Selection Criteria. Based on available surface and groundwater data, the overall ranking is high, establishing Mill Creek as a priority for future grant eligibility through the State Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Program. The Upper Wisconsin River 208 Task Force (1979) identified the lower portion of the watershed as having both intense and widespread nonpoint source problems, mainly from large livestock populations along the creek. High densities of cattle along streambanks can destroy stream habitat. Wood County conducted a general survey in 1985, finding 18 barnyards within 1,000 feet of Mill Creek with approximately 900 head of cattle. The Portage County Animal Wastewater Pollution Control Plan ranked the Mill Creek Watershed third priority out of 12 watersheds for NPS control of animal waste. Five municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), Marshfield, Blenker-Sherry, Junction City, Hewitt and Milladore, discharge effluent to the upper reaches of Mill Creek or its tributaries.

Date  2002

Nonpoint and Point Sources

The Upper Wisconsin River 208 Task Force (1979) identified the lower portion of the watershed as severely affected by nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, mainly from large livestock populations along the creek. The Portage County Animal Wastewater Pollution Control Plan ranked the Mill Creek Watershed third priority out of 12 watersheds in the county for NPS control of animal waste. Susceptibility to both surface and groundwater pollution were evaluated in the priority ranking. Wood County conducted a general survey in 1985, finding 18 barnyards within 1,000 feet of Mill Creek with approximately 900 head of cattle. Biotic index sampling indicates poor to very poor water quality at selected locations. Streambank pasturing is destroying habitat. The Mill Creek watershed was ranked using the Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed Selection Criteria. Based on nonpoint source impacts on surface water quality, the watershed ranked "High" for NPS pollution control work. The groundwater portion of the watershed ranked "Medium." Five municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) discharge effluent to the Mill Creek watershed. The city of Marshfield, town of Blenker - Sherry, and villages of Junction City, Rewitt and Milladore discharge to Mill Creek directly, or to its tributaries.

Date  1991

Ecological Landscapes for Mill Creek Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Mill Creek Watershed is located primarily in the Forest Transition Ecological Landscape which lies along the northern border of Wisconsin's Tension Zone, through the central and western part of the state, and supports both northern forests and agricultural areas. The central portion of the Forest Transition lies primarily on a glacial till plain deposited by glaciation between 25,000 and 790,000 years ago. The eastern and western portions are on moraines of the Wisconsin glaciation. The growing season in this part of the state is long enough that agriculture is viable, although climatic conditions are not as favorable as in southern Wisconsin. Soils are diverse, ranging from sandy loam to loam or shallow silt loam, and from poorly drained to well drained. The historic vegetation of the Forest Transition was primarily northern hardwood forest. These northern hardwoods were dominated by sugar maple and hemlock, and contained some yellow birch, red pine and white pine. Currently, over 60% of this Ecological Landscape is non-forested. Forested areas consist primarily of northern hardwoods and aspen, with smaller amounts of oak and lowland hardwoods. The eastern portion of the Ecological Landscape differs from the rest of the area in that it remains primarily forested, and includes some ecologically significant areas. Throughout the Ecological Landscape, small areas of conifer swamp are found near the headwaters of streams, and associated with lakes in kettle depressions on moraines. Ground flora show characteristics of both northern and southern Wisconsin, as this Ecological Landscape lies along the Tension Zone.

Date  2010

Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2008
Waters Involved
Wisconsin River
Status
Complete

Portage County: Lmi-Portage Lake Nutrients: The Portage Co. Land Conservation Dept. proposes to continue its funding of a nutrient management educator position to work with agricultural producers to reduce phosphorus inputs into the Upper Wisconsin River watershed and associated flowages.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2008
Waters Involved
Wisconsin River Flowage Number 2 49
Status
Complete

Portage County: Lmi-Portage Lake Nutrients: The Portage Co. Land Conservation Dept. proposes to continue its funding of a nutrient management educator position to work with agricultural producers to reduce phosphorus inputs into the Upper Wisconsin River watershed and associated flowages.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Castle Rock Ditch
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Cruson Slough
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Lake Du Bay
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Little Pine Creek
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Wisconsin River
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2003
Waters Involved
East Branch Yellow River
Status
Complete

City Of Marshfield - Dpw: Stormwater Planning Projects: to cost-share @70% development of stormwater plan, utility district analysis, stormwater ordinances and I & E program.


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2003
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

City Of Marshfield - Dpw: Stormwater Planning Projects: to cost-share @70% development of stormwater plan, utility district analysis, stormwater ordinances and I & E program.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2001
Waters Involved
Mill Creek
Status
Complete

Golden Sand Rc&D: Mill Creek Watershed River Protection Project: The Mill Creek Watershed is located in Portage and Wood Counties. It covers approximately 32548 acres, starting in the city of Marshfield and flowing east/southeast toward Stevens Point for approximately 35 miles. The goals of the RC&D Council for this project include the following: 1.Establish Mill Creek Citizens group as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization
2. Develop education resources for Mill Creek- Write and distribute a regular newsletter.
3.Assist in Watershed Resource Inventory
4.Recruit and train a leadership committee
5. Conduct tributary water sampling
6. Develop GIS maps to assist committee

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


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2004
Waters Involved
Mill Creek
Status
Complete

Golden Sands: Mill Creek Friends Organizational Capacity: Golden Sands RC&D seeks to enhance public understanding and appreciation for Mill Creek in Wood and Portage counties by enhancing the organizational capacity of the Friends of Mill Creek.

Major project elements to include: 1) river clean-up, 2) field day/tour, 3) streambank restoration project, 4) citizen based stream monitoring program, 5) physical inventory of Mill Creek.


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.

Mill Creek Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
1179900 name Wisconsin River TMDL ID 530 Start Mile 237.05 End Mile 268
11/21/2011
Proposed
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
1179900 name Wisconsin River TMDL ID 622 Start Mile 0 End Mile 27.67
11/21/2011
Proposed
 
TMDL Implementation
Mill Creek TMDL Implementation
Date
Status
Mill Creek is a 47-mile tributary of the Wisconsin River. Mill Creek is also listed as an impaired waterbody on EPAs 303d list for low dissolved oxygen, which required the Department to develop a TMDL for the stream.
1/1/2013
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Mill Creek WatershedWatershed History Note

As the name suggests, the village of Junction City in Portage County in the Mill Creek Watershed grew up around the meeting point of two important railroad lines; the East-West route of the former Soo Line Railroad from Stevens Point to Marshfield, and the North-South route of the former Milwaukee Road from Wisconsin Rapids to Wausau. Both rail lines are now part of Canadian National Railway. The Mill Creek Watershed is also home to the Paul J. Olson State Wildlife Area, a 2,995 acre property originally purchased in the 1970’s to preserve grassland habitat for the Greater Prairie Chicken. Scattered parcels are located in western Portage and eastern Wood Counties, ranging from 40 to 860 contiguous acres. Land is still purchased by the state and managed for grassland for Greater Prairie Chickens and other grassland-dependent species.

Date  2010