Watershed - Upper Rib River (CW26)
Upper Rib River Watershed

Details

The Upper Rib River Watershed is located in the counties of Marathon, Lincoln and Taylor. The portion of the Upper Rib River Watershed in Lincoln County contains high valued streams not degraded by nonpoint source (NPS) pollution and apparently not seriously threatened by watershed land use. Existing natural areas act as buffer zones, preventing NPS pollution from reaching the streams. However, the streams need protection from major changes in land use through development. Biotic index sampling showed streams in the watershed had both excellent and fair water qualities. Not all streams were evaluated. The watershed was ranked using the Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed Selection Criteria. Based on NPS impacts on surface water quality and habitat, the watershed ranked low for NPS pollution control work. This low ranking may be a reflection of a lack of data. More monitoring needs to be conducted in the watershed to determine if a low priority ranking is justified.

Date  2002

Population, Land Use

Numerous sand and gravel washing operations are on or near the Big Rib River in Lincoln, Marathon, and Taylor Counties. Zmuda (1987) indicated that there were 75 excavation sites disturbing nearly 900 acres of the Big Rib River Watershed. The long-term cumulative impacts to this riverine system caused by sand and gravel excavations are unknown.

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Upper Rib River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Upper Rib River Watershed is primarily located 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
7/1/1998
Waters Involved
Rib Lake
Status
Complete

Rib Lake Inland Lakes P & R District: Lmi-Fd-Rib Lake Rehabilitation/Sediment Analysis, 1998-99: Rib Lake Inland Lake Protection District proposes to conduct a diagnostic/feasibility study of lake bottom sediments as a preliminary step to a possible sunken log retrieval and/or dredging project in Rib Lake.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1996
Waters Involved
Rib Lake
Status
Complete

Rib Lake Inland Lakes P & R District: Rib Lake Water Quality Monitoring And Lake Data Collection: The Rib Lake Inland Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District proposes to 1) research historical lake data, 2) conduct water chemistry analyses (resulting in sampling map and report), 3) perform a plankton analysis (resulting in summary report), 4) perform an aquatic plant community analysis (resulting in map and written interpretation), 5) perform a fisheries analysis (resulting in map and report), 6) perform a sediment analysis(resulting map and report), and 7) perform a land and watershed assessment (resulting in watershed and lake area maps and summary report). A final report will be prepared and a paper copy and an electronic copy of the report provided to the Department on Natural Resources. Information on the project results will be disseminated to the public by newsletter mailing, fact sheet distribution, public meeting, local newspaper article, and TV/radio spot. end.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1996
Waters Involved
Rib Lake
Status
Complete

Rib Lake Inland Lakes P & R District: Rib Lake Comprehensive Lake Management Planning: The Rib Lake Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District proposes to continue the comprehensive lake management planning process. Phase 2 project activities include 1) evaluate the data collected during Phase 1, 2) conduct public informational meetings to gather input for lake management alternatives, 3) develop a lake management plan, and 4) produce a final report summarizing field work, analyzing lake management alternatives, and recommending a course of action. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information about the project will be disseminated to the public by public meeting, local newspaper articles, TV/radio spots, and poster displays.


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
Upper Rib River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 1469200
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 1469200, AU:5746709
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Big Rib River TP
Date
Status
Category 3. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 613055. AU: 12486.
1/1/2018
Proposed
Projects
 
Upper Rib River WatershedWatershed History Note

At the northern end of the Upper Rib River watershed, in Taylor County, Rib Lake and the Village of Rib Lake can be found. Just north of the village is a road which was originally laid out in 1895 and in 1975 it was dedicated as Rustic Road Number 1. The road winds for five miles through outstanding forested glacial topography. The Rustic Road system was established by the Wisconsin State Legislature to help preserve lightly traveled scenic rural roads. Each route is marked by brown and yellow signs, with the route number on a small placard below the sign. The letter "R" prefix is followed by the number designation. Wisconsin is the only state to have a system of rustic roads. There are a few requirements that a road must have in order to be designated as a rustic road, such as having outstanding natural features or areas that set the road apart from other roads, be a lightly traveled road, not be scheduled for a major improvement which would change its rustic characteristics, and preferably be at least two miles (3 km) with a loop, completed closure, or connection to a major highway at both ends of the route. Rustic roads may be dirt, gravel, or paved. They can be one-way or two-way and can have accommodations for bicycles and hiking adjacent to or incorporated into the road or surrounding area. The designation process is initiated by application for designation by a local government.

Date  2010