Watershed - Muddy and Elk Creeks (LC13)
Muddy and Elk Creeks Watershed

Details

Many protected areas exist in this watershed, including the Elk Creek State Fishery Area, the Muddy Creek State Wildlife Area, the Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area in the northwest of the watershed, and the Dunnville State Wildlife Area on the north side of the Chippewa River in the extreme southwest of the watershed. Varying topography ranges from wetlands to hills. Agricultural land use is abundant in the more level regions. Though the total area of wetland has decreased by one half since pre-settlement times, the Muddy and Elk Creeks watershed contains several expanses of wetland.

Date  1996

Ecological Landscapes for Muddy and Elk Creeks Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Western Coulee and Ridges Ecological Landscape in southwestern and west central Wisconsin 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

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Control
Date
10/1/2005
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half-Moon Alum Research: The City of Eau Claire proposes to contract with the Army Corps of Engineers to identify the optimal application strategy for an Alum treatment and to study the effectiveness of Lime applications in controlling aquatic weed growth in Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: 1) Sediment core collection, 2) Core analysis and experimentation, 3) Test plot applications, 4) Water quality and aquatic plant sampling and analysis. 5) Recommendations and final report.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Control
Date
10/1/2008
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half-Moon Clp, Milfoil Research: The City of Eau Claire proposes to contract with the Army Corps of Engineers to initiate a multi-year program of Endothall and 2, 4, D treatments and possible Alum Treatments with the objective of reducing internal Phosphorous loading and controlling Curly Leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil infestations in Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: 1) Water quality monitoring, 2) seasonal treatments and plant impact assessments, 3) sediment and water quality sampling, and 4) development of long-term control strategy.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Control
Date
10/1/2011
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Clp Treat, Assess: The City of Eau Claire proposes to apply herbacides in whole lake treatments to control Curly Leaf Pondweed in Half Moon Lake, Eau Claire County, in 2012 and 2013. Other project elements to include: 1) aquatic plant sampling and monitoring, 2) water quality sampling and monitoring, and 3) final report.

Additional Special Condition: The attached Special Conditions are requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding being used to provide a portion of the State cost share for this project.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Control
Date
10/1/2013
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Endothol 2: The City of Eau Claire proposes to conduct a second, whole-lake application of the herbacide Endothall, in the form of Aquathol K, to Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire County to control Curly Leaf Pondweed. Major project elements to include: a) chemical treatment, b) pre- and post-treatment plant surveys, c) pre- and post-treatment water quality monitoring, d) re-evaluation of phosphorus inputs from storm sewers, and e) final report.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Control
Date
4/15/2015
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half-Moon Endothol 3: The City of Eau Claire proposes to reduce Curly Leaf Pondweed biomass and continue studies to achieve in-lake phosphorus standards and restore a healthy native plant community to Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: a) whole lake endothal treatments, b) monitoring c) permit costs, d) final report.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
2/15/2015
Waters Involved
Chippewa River
Status
Complete

Friends Of Beaver Creek Reserve, Inc.: Lower Chip. Ais Coord.: The Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve proposes to fund positons to coordinate AIS control outreach, training, monitoring and rapid response efforts in the Lower Chippewa River. Major project elements to include: 1) Volunteer training and coordination, 2) AIS monitoring, mapping, and SWIMS data entry 3) Development of AIS control plan, 3) Outreach and events.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
2/15/2015
Waters Involved
Dells Pond
Status
Complete

Friends Of Beaver Creek Reserve, Inc.: Lower Chip. Ais Coord.: The Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve proposes to fund positons to coordinate AIS control outreach, training, monitoring and rapid response efforts in the Lower Chippewa River. Major project elements to include: 1) Volunteer training and coordination, 2) AIS monitoring, mapping, and SWIMS data entry 3) Development of AIS control plan, 3) Outreach and events.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
4/1/2006
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

Eau Claire Area School District: Half-Moon Curly Leaf Monitoring: The Eau Claire School District, in cooperation with the City of Eau Claire, and utilizing the talents of DeLong Middle School students, proposes to establish baseline densities for Curly Leaf Pond Weed in Half-Moon Lake, in Eau Claire County, and to monitor the effectiveness of city harvesting efforts. Major project elements to include: 1) GPS aided video sampling, 2) Data analysis, 3) reports and information sharing.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
1/25/1995
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Acq-Half Moon Lake Land Acquisition-Layton, Thompson Parcels: The City of Eau Claire will acquire two city lots and will be used for lake protection purposes. The land will contain an undisturbed vegetative buffer of at least 30 foot along the lakeshore. Mowed blue grass to the water's edge isn't permitted. A trail will be developed for pedestrians and bicycles to connect to the existing trail system within Carson Park. Eligible costs include acquisition of the parcel, appraisal fee and preparation of an environmental assessment.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
6/1/1995
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Lmi-Half Moon Lake School Lakeshore Drainage Improvement: The City of Eau Claire proposes to design detention ponds that will hold storm drainage from the roof of the school and hard surfaces around the school for lake protection.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Lmi-Half-Moon Alum: The City of Eau Claire proposes to apply aluminum sulfate-sodium aluminate to the sediments of Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire County to reduce phosphorus inputs from this source. Major project elements to include: 1) Alum treatment, and 2) Limnilogical monitoring.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
12/23/1991
Waters Involved
Elk Creek Lake*
Status
Complete

Elk Creek Lake R & P District: Elk Creek Lake Dam Operational Manual: 1) Develop an operational and maintenance procedures manual for the Elk Creek Lake dam.2) Disseminate information to the public by public meeting.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/29/1992
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Water Quality Study: Verify thermal structure of Half Moon Lake. Evaluate water chemistry, lake trophic status, algae and zooplankton populations. Evaluate resuspension of nutrients and sediments by power boats to assess contributions of phosphorous to internal phosphorousload.Information will be distributed to the public by public meetings and local newspaper articles. Project results will be reposited at: None listed.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/23/1996
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Water Quality Monitoring And Education: The City of Eau Claire proposes to work with the Eau Claire School District to collect water quality data on Half Moon Lake. Project activities also include educational activities that will increase both the school district's and community's awareness about the lake and the need for lake management planning. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with a paper copy and an electronic copy of a final report detailing the results of the project activities. Information about the project results will be disseminated to the public by public meeting, local newspaper article, and a presentation at the Wisconsin Lakes Conference.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1999
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Assessment - Task One: The City of Eau Claire proposes to examine the water quality and nutrient budget of Half Moon Lake. Task One project activities include: 1) storm sewer gaging, 2) stormwater sampling, 3) lake outflow gaging, 4) outflow sampling, and 5) construction of hydrologic and nutrient loading budgets. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. The project results will be made available to the public through radio, television and newspaper articles, through public meetings, through presentations to community groups, and through a special mailing of the final report.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1999
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Assessment - Task Two: The City of Eau Claire proposes to examine the water quality conditions and nutrient budget for Half Moon Lake. Task Two activities include: 1) sampling and analysis of water from various lake depths, 2) sediment sample collection and incubation, and 3) calculation of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) release rates. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both paper and electronic copies of the final report. Project results will be shared with the public through presentations to community groups.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1999
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Assessment - Task 5, Eau Claire: The City of Eau Claire proposes to continue its study of internal and external nutrient loading in Half Moon Lake. Task five associated with this effort includes completion of "bathtub" modeling and reporting, with results and data interpretation be to submitted in a completed form by September 30, 2000. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided both paper and electronic copies of the final report. The project results will be disseminated to the public through mailings, meetings, newspaper, radio, television and the completion and dissemination of a comprehensive lake management plan.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1999
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Lake Assessment, Tasks 3 And 4, Eau Claire: The City of Eau Claire proposes to continue its study of internal and external nutrient loading in Half Moon Lake. Phase Three and Four activities include "bathtub" modeling and reporting to determine the role macrophytes play in phosporus recycling, and the role Ski Sprites waterski activities play in phosporus recycling and transport. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided both paper and electronic copies of the final report. The project results will be disseminated to the public through mailings, meetings, newspaper, radio, television and the completion and dissemination of a comprehensive lake management plan.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2005
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half-Moon Map-Core: The City of Eau Claire proposes to contract with the UW-Eau Claire departments of Geography and Anthropology to produce a bathymetric survey map, shoreline erosion map, and a map showing the variations organic sediment thickness on Half-Moon Lake in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: 1) analysis of existing bathymetric survey data, 2) production of 10,000 copies of lake survey map, 3) survey, classification and mapping of lakeshore erosion, 4) Ground Penetrating Radar and Vibracore surveys of sediment thickness, 5) development of sediment thickness map.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2011
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Half Moon Alum Evaluation: The City of Eau Claire proposes to evaluate the effectivenes of the alum treatment conducted this year on Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: a) sediment core sampling, b) core sample analysis, and c) final report.

Additional Special Conditions: The attached Special Conditions are requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) being used to fund this grant award.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2004
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

Half Moon Lake Education And Management: The City of Eau Claire, working with the Friends of Half Moon Lake, proposes to develop and distribute information promoting understanding of Half Moon Lakes history and ecology, and to promote partnerships and effective stewardship by lake users and other stakeholders. Specific objectives include: 1) historical signage and brochures, 2) enhancement of existing lake monitoring programs, 3) increased communication with watershed residents through mailings, informational meetings and special events.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2011
Waters Involved
Chippewa River
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Eau Claire Confluence: The City of Eau Claire proposes to develop a vision, partnership and implementation plan for restoration and redevelopment of water frontage on the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers. major project elements to include: 1) Creation of Project Advisory Committee, 2) Community listening sessions, 3) Meetings with commissions, land owners and agency staff, 4) Design and review of alternatives, 5) Plan development and distribution.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
10/18/2000
Waters Involved
Elk Creek
Status
Complete

Dunn County Land Conservation Department: Elk Creek Streambank Stabilization: Elk Creek, a tributary to the Lower Chippewa River, in south eastern Dunn county, is classified as an Outstanding Water Resource by the WDNR. This stream supports a healthy brook and brown trout population and offers excellent angling opportunities. Elk Creek flows through a glacial lacustrine deposit overlain by sand and gravel outwash. This situation causes widespread slope instability and therefore natural streambank erosion. This project would stabilize one of the worst eroding sites on this portion of the stram and overhead bank covers would provide additional habitat for trout. Sediment delivery to Elk Creek Lake would be reduced.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2007
Waters Involved
Elk Creek
Status
Complete

Trout Unlimited-Wi Clear Waters Chapter: Elk Creek Restore: Trout Unlimited, Ojibleau Chapter, in conjunction with the TU National, Xcel Energy and DNR Fisheries Management proposes to continue progress toward restoration of streambanks and trout habitat within Elk Creek in Chippewa County. Major project elements to include: 1) surveys and monitoring, 2) rock placement, 3) construction and placement of lunker structures, 4) replanting, 5) printing, postage and signs.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2008
Waters Involved
Elk Creek
Status
Complete

Trout Unlimited-Wi Clear Waters Chapter: Elk Creek Restore '09: The Wisconsin Clear Waters Chapter of Trout Unlimited (former Ojibleau Chapter) proposes to continue its work toward restoration of trout habitat on Elk Creek in Chippewa County. Major project elements to include: 1) streambank restoration, 2) installation of instream structure, 3) water monitoring, 4) information and education.


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
Muddy and Elk Creeks Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Chippewa
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 3000542
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 3000542, AU:5733692
5/21/2016
Proposed
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW listed from pre-year 2000 FCA data
Date
Status
2050000 name Chippewa River TMDL ID 80 Start Mile 20.73 End Mile 37.58
11/21/2011
Proposed
 
Muddy and Elk Creeks WatershedWatershed History Note

Elk Mound Hill, one of the highest spots in Dunn County at 1,220 feet above sea level, towers over the town. Historians believe the Sioux and Chippewa Indians used it as a lookout. Today, a two-story lookout tower offers panoramic views of prairies and hills. The tower was built as a memorial to Dunn County's deceased rural mail carriers, and is believed to be the only such memorial in the nation. Earl Hansen and Leon Cartwright, owners of farms north of the hill, built the first dirt road up the hill sometime after 1924. The hill and park area was deeded to the Village and County by Louis and Marie Nelson in 1933. In 1934, rural letter carriers of Dunn County planted a tree on the top of the mound, and placed a plaque dedicated to the "deceased rural letter carriers of Dunn County." Soil taken from every carrier's route was placed around the tree. On June 8, 1937, the Dunn County Board voted to accept the park and three acres surrounding it as a county park. In 1937, the county, with Works Progress Administration aid, constructed an observation tower (the castle) about 25 feet in height. The stones came from the Downsville stone quarry, with additional stones and material from a dismantled livery stable in the Village. A dedication ceremony was held Friday, November 11, 1938 and a roll call of deceased Dunn County letter carriers was sealed in a granite marker.

Date  2010