Watershed - Bear Creek (LW14)
Bear Creek Watershed

Details

The Bear Creek watershed drains 126.5 square miles. Bear Creek, the main water resource in the watershed, drains to the Wisconsin River in southeastern Richland and southwestern Sauk counties. The southern portion of watershed lacks surface water features. Much of the watershed is in the driftless, or unglaciated area of the state. The largest percentage of land cover in the watershed is broad-leaf deciduous forest. Agriculture, particularly dairying, is the largest land use in the watershed. There are significant grassland, forest land and wetlands in the watershed. These small wetland complexes are typically wet meadows and are adjacent to the streams in the watershed. Some of the wetlands are locally significant for waterfowl as well as for other wildlife species.

Date  2002

Population, Land Use

The watershed's 2000 population was estimated to be around 9,385. The largest municipalities in the watershed are Lone Rock and Spring Green. These municipalities have experienced high population growth in the past decade. The dominant land uses in the watershed include agriculture and forest, encompassing 45% and 41% of the land area, respectively. The trends in agriculture toward fewer dairy farms with reduced need for alfalfa and pasture, means many of those acres are being replaced with corn and soybeans. In steeply sloping areas of the state, such as much of the Bear Creek Watershed, this inevitably means higher rates of runoff of soil and nutrients. Significant upland acreage in this watershed was historically enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) beginning in the late 1980s and continuing through the 1990s. This program required taking cropland out of production and planting it to grasses. Many of these contracts have - and continue to - expire(d), meaning in transition they will become sources of sediment and nutrients again, particularly if they are used primarily for corn and soybean production, as is the case in much of Wisconsin.

Date  2010

Nonpoint and Point Sources

Water quality in the watershed is affected by nonpoint sources of pollution, such as from cropland and barnyard runoff. The portion of the watershed on the Wisconsin River floodplain is in an atrazine management area. Elevated levels of atrazine, an herbicide used on corn, have been found in some tested private water wells. Soils are permeable which allows atrazine to reach groundwater in some locations. In addition, the Village of Spring Green is closely monitoring a leaking underground storage tank site (LUST) to ensure that contamination from this site does not make drinking water unsafe. For more information, see the “Groundwater Contamination Sites in the Basin” section in the Basin Overview. The Lone Rock wastewater treatment plant discharges to groundwater in the watershed. The Spring Green Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges to the Wisconsin River. Two industrial facilities, the Hanor Company’s Crouch Farm and Pecks Feed & Grain, also discharge to groundwater in the watershed

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Bear Creek 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. The Bear Creek Watershed has a variety of good quality habitats and rare plant communities that are listed on the state's Natural Heritage Inventory, (NHI), kept by the Bureau of Endangered Resources. These communities include: cedar grove, dry cliff, dry prairie, moist cliff, oak barrens, oak openings, pine barrens, sand barrens, sand prairie, southern dry-mesic forest, southern mesic forest, alder thicket, emergent aquatic, floodplain forest, oxbow lake, shrub-carr, southern sedge meadow and springs and spring runs.

Date  2002

Recreational Opportunities

The Lone Rock, Bakkens Pond, and the Spring Green Units of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway are in the watershed. Combined, these four units cover 4,238 acres, and 960, 2,678 and 600 acres respectively. All three units have a boat launch and are used for canoeing and fishing. The Bakkens Pond Unit also has opportunities for birdwatching. A state fishery area is located along Bear Creek. The fishery area contains approximately 800 acres of state-owned land and is located just north of Lone Rock on Highway 30.

Date  2002

Fisheries

Five different streams and stream segments in Bear Creek Watershed are considered trout waters by NR 102, Wisconsin Administrative Code, and the state Fisheries Classification NR 1 rules. There are 3.86 miles of Class 1 high quality trout waters having sufficient natural fish reproduction to sustain populations of wild trout, and the remaining 18.29 miles are class II waters having some natural fish reproduction, but may require fish stocking to maintain a desirable sport fishery.

Date  2010

Wildlife and Habitat

The watershed is also home for a variety of rare plant and animal species including; 7 species of beetle, 1 species of bird, 6 species of butterflies, 6 species of dragonflies, 15 species of fish, 1 species of grasshopper, 4 species of moths, 11 species of mussels, 29 species of plant species, 2 species of snakes, and 2 species of leafhoppers. These plants and animals are also listed on the state's Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI).

Date  2002

Bear Creek Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Bear Creek Watershed
River and Stream QualityAll Waters in Watershed

While not all waterbodies in the Bear Creek watershed have been assessed, the overall general condition of the water­shed is good. Landscape conditions and land use patterns and watershed conditions in this watershed are inextricably linked. Overall there is great variability in topography, from the steep, hilly land in the north, to the relatively flat Wis­consin River terrace in the south. In the hilly portion of the watershed, forest is by far the dominant land use, which puts a premium on the remaining land for its agricultural use. As is typical of the Driftless area of Wisconsin, ridge tops and valley bottoms are the only areas not too steep to farm. Consequently, farming or pasturing occurs right to the edge of the stream on many farms, with little or no buffer between fields and the streambank. Agriculture is the primary land disturbing activity, as well as the biggest source of nutrients, both land applied and concentrated on livestock farms. Water quality is reflective of this dominant land use, since it accounts for the largest sources of runoff from cropland, pasture and barnyards. Like many of southern Wisconsin’s watersheds, Bear Creek suffered extensive flooding of geologic proportion in the mid-1990’s to the late 2000’s, with the worst damage occurring in 2008. Resource professionals from the Land Conservation Departments of Sauk and Richland Counties report newly formed and greatly enlarged gullies throughout the watershed, particularly in the steep, wooded slopes. Thousands of tons of sediment were transported during these events and deposited in the valley bottoms, adding to the previous deposition occurring since the land was first put under plow in the mid-nineteenth century. This sediment severely limits streams’ potential to support fish and other aquatic life.

Date  2010

Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

There are ten named lakes, ponds, river oxbows or sloughs and approximately 24 unnamed lakes, ponds or sloughs totaling approximately 216 acres in the watershed. Nearly all are located in the floodplain of the Wisconsin River within the Bear Creek watershed. All named lakes have been assessed in the last 5 years through DNR River Planning Grants supported by Sauk County and Sauk Prairie River PAL, a non-profit organization. Information was collected to assess water chemistry, water quality, qualitative habitat, fishes and aquatic plants. Details summarizing the findings of individual floodplain lakes, sloughs, or oxbows can be found in the final Planning Grant reports. Most waterbodies are presently supporting their des­ignated use of fish and aquatic life, with the exception of Blue Hole Slough. Blue Hole is less than one acre in size, and is very shallow with oxygen levels during some periods of the year that are too low to support fish. Yet, it is still important to other aquatic organisms like amphib­ians, waterfowl and aquatic insects. The remaining waters are not only meeting their designated use, but were found to be capable of supporting warm water fi shes, in­cluding state endangered, threatened or special concern species. In general, these waterbodies are in good to ex­cellent condition, having good water clarity and quality, and contain an abundance of high quality aquatic plants and fishes not found elsewhere in the watershed. There are several sloughs with poor water clarity, elevated nutri­ent levels, excessive algae blooms, and high nitrates. Hutter, Jones and Norton sloughs were identified as ei­ther having high nutrients or excess algae growth. Some are very close to agricultural fields where manure and other nutrients are applied to crops grown. These nutrients are either reaching the sloughs through runoff or discharge of nutrient-laden groundwater. For example, Baakens Pond and Hill Slough have high nitrate levels.

Date  2010

Wetland Health

Wetland Status The Bear Creek watershed drains to the Wisconsin River in southeastern Richland and southwestern Sauk counties. Much of the watershed is in the drift less, or unglaciated area of the state. Roughly 7% of the current land uses in the watershed are wetlands. Only 2% of original wetlands in the watershed are estimated to exist. Of these wetlands, the majority are forested wetlands (63%) and emergent wetlands (30%) which include marshes and wet meadows. Wetland Condition Little is known about the condition of the remaining wetlands but estimates of reed canary grass infestations, an opportunistic aquatic invasive wetland plant, into different wetland types has been estimated based on satellite imagery. This information shows that reed canary grass dominates 84% of the existing emergent wetlands and 9.9% of the remaining forested wetlands. Reed Canary Grass domination inhibits successful establishment of native wetland species. Wetland Restorability Of the 1784 acres of estimated lost wetlands in the watershed, approximately 99% are considered potentially restorable based on modeled data, including soil types, land use and land cover (Chris Smith, DNR, 2009).

Date  2010

Potentially Restorable Wetland Analysis

Impaired Waters

The Lower Wisconsin River was placed on the impaired waters list in 1998 for the pollutant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). While much work has been done to reduce PCBs through controlling industrial waste water, it can persist in stream sediments for many years. The bioaccumulation of PCBs in the aquatic food chain results in contaminated fi sh tissue. PCBs and mercury are the contaminants of greatest concern in fish, prompting safe eating guidelines for all waters in the state. Little Bear Creek was monitored extensively from 2007-2009, and the segment from the mouth upstream to mile 6.77 has been proposed to be added to the impaired waters list in 2010. The pollutants responsible for this proposed list­ing are phosphorus, sediment and water temperature, and the impairments are degraded habitat and eutrophication. There are no lakes, ponds, sloughs or oxbows listed as impaired in the watershed.

Date  2010

List of Impaired Waters

Aquatic Invasive Species

In close cooperation with UW Extension and Wisconsin Sea Grant, education efforts fo­cus on working with resource professionals and citizens statewide to teach boaters, anglers, and other water us­ers how to prevent transporting aquatic invasive species when moving their boats. Additional initiatives include monitoring and control programs.

Date  2010

Groundwater

Groundwater is abundant in the watershed. Farmers using center pivot irrigation in agricultural fields, in the lower portion of the watershed, take advantage of this abundant groundwater and the shallow depth aquifer on the Wiscon­sin River sand and gravel terrace. The water table in the shallow aquifer experiences large fluctuations in response to climate and weather patterns. Unusually heavy precipitation in 1993, and again in 2008, caused the water table to rise above the ground’s surface. Extensive damage to crops, residences and other property was caused by this ‘groundwa­ter flooding.’ Lakes, streams and wetlands in the watershed are not only dependent on groundwater quantity for healthy aquatic life, but also groundwater quality. Elevated levels (well beyond the EPA drinking water standard) of nitrates have been found in private wells in the watershed, in the floodplain terrace of the Wisconsin River. A portion of the watershed, also within the floodplain terrace, has been designated an Atrazine Prohibition Area. Elevated levels of atrazine, a her­bicide used on corn, have also been found in some private wells, though continued testing indicates those levels may be declining. Sandy soils in the Wisconsin River terraces are highly permeable, which allows contaminants to reach groundwater in some locations. Since groundwater is constantly moving toward streams, lakes and wetlands, the pres­ence, or overuse, of contaminants is a cause of concern in the watershed.

Date  2010

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Bakkens Pond
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2014
Waters Involved
Bakkens Pond
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Part 2b Diagnostic & Feasibility Study For Bakken Pond & Long Lake: The River Alliance of Wisconsin proposes to conduct a more detailed assessment of groundwater contaminants to Long Lake and Bakkens Pond, sloughs of the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. This assessment will complete a diagnostic and feasibility study for these waters, and will be used to evaluate optimum buffer locations and sizes, and possibly other management actions, to reduce nutrient loading to these sensitive waters. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and monitored, lake water quality sampling will be performed, and metaphyton cover will be estimated, along with other hydrological information. Fish populations will also be surveyed to assess status of rare, sensitive species. This project will conclude with a final floodplain lakes management and restoration plan. Citizen group meetings will be held in conjunction with Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisc. State Riverway Board, and Town meetings. The final report will also be shared with local news outlets.


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
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Cynthia Slough
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Hill Slough
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Jones Slough
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2014
Waters Involved
Jones Slough
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Part 2a Diagnostic & Feasibility Study Of Norton & Jones Sloughs: The River Alliance of Wisconsin proposes to conduct a more detailed assessment of groundwater contaminants to Norton and Jones Sloughs associated with the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. This assessment will complete a diagnostic and feasibility study for these waters, and will be used to evaluate optimum buffer locations and sizes, and possibly other management actions, to reduce nutrient loading to these sensitive waters. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and monitored, lake water quality sampling will be performed, and metaphyton cover will be estimated, along with other hydrological information. Fish populations will also be surveyed to assess status of rare, sensitive species. This project will conclude with a final floodplain lakes management and restoration plan. Citizen group meetings will be held in conjunction with Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisc. State Riverway Board, and Town meetings. The final report will also be shared with local news outlets.


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
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Norton Slough
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2014
Waters Involved
Norton Slough
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Part 2a Diagnostic & Feasibility Study Of Norton & Jones Sloughs: The River Alliance of Wisconsin proposes to conduct a more detailed assessment of groundwater contaminants to Norton and Jones Sloughs associated with the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. This assessment will complete a diagnostic and feasibility study for these waters, and will be used to evaluate optimum buffer locations and sizes, and possibly other management actions, to reduce nutrient loading to these sensitive waters. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and monitored, lake water quality sampling will be performed, and metaphyton cover will be estimated, along with other hydrological information. Fish populations will also be surveyed to assess status of rare, sensitive species. This project will conclude with a final floodplain lakes management and restoration plan. Citizen group meetings will be held in conjunction with Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisc. State Riverway Board, and Town meetings. The final report will also be shared with local news outlets.


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
10/1/2012
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Study Of Lwr Floodplain Lakes Sauk Co: The River Alliance of Wisconsin will monitor nine floodplain lakes associated with the Lower Wisconsin River to establish baseline nutrient information and help provide information needed to reduce threats to both human health and water quality of these lakes. The data will be compared with private drinking water data and estimated watershed inputs. The analysis will produce management strategies for reducing nutrient inputs to groundwater and lakes, set nutrient targets, and include sociological and educational components. Outreach efforts will include numerous partners, including a local citizens committee, River Alliance, DATCP, DNR, Sauk County, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River and the Town of Spring Green.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2014
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Part 2a Diagnostic & Feasibility Study Of Norton & Jones Sloughs: The River Alliance of Wisconsin proposes to conduct a more detailed assessment of groundwater contaminants to Norton and Jones Sloughs associated with the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. This assessment will complete a diagnostic and feasibility study for these waters, and will be used to evaluate optimum buffer locations and sizes, and possibly other management actions, to reduce nutrient loading to these sensitive waters. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and monitored, lake water quality sampling will be performed, and metaphyton cover will be estimated, along with other hydrological information. Fish populations will also be surveyed to assess status of rare, sensitive species. This project will conclude with a final floodplain lakes management and restoration plan. Citizen group meetings will be held in conjunction with Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisc. State Riverway Board, and Town meetings. The final report will also be shared with local news outlets.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2014
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Proposed

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Part 2a Diagnostic & Feasibility Study Of Norton & Jones Sloughs: The River Alliance of Wisconsin proposes to conduct a more detailed assessment of groundwater contaminants to Norton and Jones Sloughs associated with the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. This assessment will complete a diagnostic and feasibility study for these waters, and will be used to evaluate optimum buffer locations and sizes, and possibly other management actions, to reduce nutrient loading to these sensitive waters. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed and monitored, lake water quality sampling will be performed, and metaphyton cover will be estimated, along with other hydrological information. Fish populations will also be surveyed to assess status of rare, sensitive species. This project will conclude with a final floodplain lakes management and restoration plan. Citizen group meetings will be held in conjunction with Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisc. State Riverway Board, and Town meetings. The final report will also be shared with local news outlets.


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
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2007
Waters Involved
Wisconsin River
Status
In_Progress

Lower Wisconsin River Floodplain Fish & Wq Monitoring


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.

Monitoring Studies

Fisheries monitoring projects in the watershed include a wide variety of “baseline” monitoring and targeted fieldwork to gain specific knowledge related to Wiscon­sin’s fish communities. This work has been conducted on Bakkens Pond, Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek, Long Lake, Marble Creek, Norton Slough, and Wilson Creek.

Date  2010

Bear Creek Watershed

Goals

9/22/2010
• Protect high quality cold, warm and cool water streams and improve conditions in those not meeting designated uses. • Restore and protect sloughs, backwaters, and tribuary streams to the Wisconsin River. • Create/ build upon cooperative partnerships and projects to improve the condition of Little Bear and Bear Creek. • Fund cooperative projects for stream restoration including buffers, hydrology and stream morphology.

Priorities

9/22/2010
• Identify, restore and preserve high quality fisheries in the watershed. • Protect riverine habitat especially in sloughs and backwaters of the Wisconsin River. • Protect ORW/ ERW waters and trout waters. • Restore stream habitat, hydrology and morphology throughout the watershed to recover from damage incurred in the 2008 fl ooding events. • Conduct monitoring to sufficiently understand and abate water quality standards impairments in the watershed. • Set priorities for Little Bear Creek restoration work to eventually remove the water from the impaired waters list.
Watershed Recommendations
Aquatic Plant Monitoring or Survey
 
Date
Status
Two Strategies, one for IR data rollout , the other for Watershed Planning Meetings in the spring.
7/1/2009
Verify
 
Easement/Buffer
 
Date
Status
Land should be acquired or easements purchased from willing buyers along the Bear and Little Bear Creeks to aid in habitat improvement work.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Habitat Restoration - Instream
 
Date
Status
Cooperate with Aldo Leopold and Ocooch Chapters of Trout Unlimited, Richland and Sauk County LCD and NRCS and other partners to improve fish and stream bank habitat in Bear and Little Bear Creeks and other tributaries through TRM, Stream Protection and TMDL Implementation grants.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Monitor Targeted Area
 
Date
Status
Continue long term trends water quality monitoring of the Wisconsin River at the Muscoda monitoring station.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Monitor Targeted Area
 
Date
Status
Stream assessment monitoring for fish, aquatic insects and habitat should be completed on Croal Creek, Four Springs Hollow Creek, Pumpkin Hollow Creek, and an unnamed tributary stream to Marble Creek. This assessment would help determine whether they are meeting their cold water classification, and to rate the condition of each stream. Other unnamed and not classified streams may be assessed as time and resources allow.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Monitor Targeted Area
 
Date
Status
Monitor sloughs more closely to help determine cause of nutrient loads, excessive filamentous algae growth, and levels of nitrates.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Monitor Targeted Area
 
Date
Status
Monitor temperature to assess impacts of ponds in the headwaters of Little Bear Creek.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Monitor Targeted Area
 
Date
Status
A stream condition assessment should be conducted on Little Bear Creek to determine if any management actions could help improve the instream habitat.
1/1/2010
Verify
 
Monitor with Baseline Survey
 
Date
Status
Monitor Biser Creek, Croal Creek, Four Springs Hollow Creek, Marble Creek, McCarville Creek and Pumpkin Hollow Creek to determine the stream condition.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Restore Hydrology, Morphology
 
Date
Status
Encourage projects that restore stream meandering of Little Bear Creek.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Restore Wetlands
 
Date
Status
Reduce reed canary infestations in wet meadows and forested wetlands using wetland restoration best management practices.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Restore Wetlands
 
Date
Status
Restore filled, ditched and drained wetlands along Bear Creek and its tributaries through WRP and EQIP programs offered by Richland and Sauk County NRCS and by other cost-sharing programs such as CREP, US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and easements.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Rivers Management Grant
 
Date
Status
Funding for stream restoration projects could also be obtained from the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), and State Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) grants.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Runoff Grant
 
Date
Status
Reduce agricultural runoff and nutrient loads to Bear Creek, Biser Creek, Little Bear Creek, Marble Creek, McCarville Creek and Wilson Creek through use of Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) and other grants in cooperation with Sauk and Richland Counties.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
TMDL Monitoring
Bear Creek TMDL
Date
Status
Propose Bear Creek for TMDL monitoring.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Trout Classification Mgmt
 
Date
Status
Develop Fish Management Plan to improve Marble Creek from a Class II to a Class I trout stream.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Trout Classification Mgmt
 
Date
Status
Biser Creek should be reclassified from a Class II trout stream to a Class I.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Trout Classification Mgmt
 
Date
Status
Increase the trout stream mileage in the Sauk County portion of Bear Creek.
10/6/2010
Proposed
 
Bear Creek WatershedWater Plans and PartnershipsRead the Watershed Plan

A watershed plan has been updated for this watershed in 2010 and is now available for review.

Date  2010

Watershed History Note

The Village of Lone Rock is located within the Bear Creek watershed in Richland County. Lone Rock is so named because, at one time, a massive piece of sandstone stood a short distance from the north bank of the Wisconsin River. The rock became a landmark for early river raftsmen. Over time the rock was cut and used for basements and foundations in the village. What is left of the rock is located west of Highway 130 across from Brace Park. The community was founded in 1856 and during the Civil War, the 6th Wisconsin Battery was organized by Henry Dillon of Lone Rock, who was afterwards elected as captain. Most of the recruits came from Richland County, though there were some from adjoining counties. It was the first battery to receive its full quota of men and should have been numbered the 1st instead of the 6th. The Battery left Lone Rock on September 30th, 1861, going to Camp Utley at Racine where it remained until March 1862, when it was sent south, taking part in many fierce battles, including Vicksburg, Jackson, Corinth and Mission Ridge. Today a bronze monument in Battery Park commemorates these men and their sacrifices.

Date  2010