Watershed - Lower Middle Sugar River (SP12)
Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Details

The Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed includes a portion of the Sugar River and tributaries from the dam at Albany downstream to the Decatur Lake dam. Agriculture is the predominant land use and the subsequent agricultural non-point source pollution is the major source of impairment to streams in the watershed. The population of the watershed will likely remain steady over the next two decades owing to the relatively small size of the watershed and lack of major municipalities. The watershed has not been ranked for nonpoint source priority. The Village of Albany waste water treatment facility discharges to surface water. A large wetland complex still exists adjacent to the Sugar River although other large areas of wetlands have been drained and put into cultivation.

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Southeast Glacial Plains Ecological Landscape makes up the bulk of the non-coastal land area in southeast Wisconsin. This Ecological Landscape is made up of glacial till plains and moraines. Most of this Ecological Landscape is composed of glacial materials deposited during the Wisconsin Ice Age, but the southwest portion consists of older, pre-Wisconsin till with a more dissected topography. Soils are lime-rich tills overlain in most areas by a silt-loam loess cap. Agricultural and residential interests throughout the landscape have significantly altered the historical vegetation. Most of the rare natural communities that remain are associated with large moraines or in areas where the Niagara Escarpment occurs close to the surface. Historically, vegetation in the Southeast Glacial Plains consisted of a mix of prairie, oak forests and savanna, and maple-basswood forests. Wet-mesic prairies, southern sedge meadows, emergent marshes, and calcareous fens were found in lower portions of the Landscape. End moraines and drumlins supported savannas and forests. Agricultural and urban land use practices have drastically changed the land cover of the Southeast Glacial Plains since Euro-American settlement. The current vegetation is primarily agricultural cropland. Remaining forests occupy only about 10% of the land area and consist of maple-basswood, lowland hardwoods, and oak. No large mesic forests exist today except on the Kettle Interlobate Moraine which has topography too rugged for agriculture. Some existing forest patches that were formerly savannas have succeeded to hardwood forest due to fire suppression.

Date  2010

Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Lakes and Impoundments

Decatur Lake is an impoundment of the Sugar River formed by a dam just upstream of the Village of Brodhead. It covers 151 acres but is shallow and silted in. The lake contains warm water forage species, some panfish and carp, and an occasional bass or walleye. A better game fishery can be found in the adjoining river segments. The mini-fyke data confirms that a good forage base exists for the predator fish. It is also apparent that largemouth bass, black crappie and bluegill are reproducing in Deacatur Lake. This survey documents the existence of fathead minnows, but Fago also documents their existence in his 1974 work. Overall, Decatur can be classified as a fair, warm-water fishery. There are enough gamefish and panfish to attract light fishing pressures. Anglers with low expectations will not be disappointed. This may be a good area to introduce youngsters to panfishing (Byla, 2001). Brodhead has voted to restore and repair the existing dam. The department has recommended a fish passage be installed but funding for such a structure has not yet been obtained.

Date  2002

Rivers and Streams
All Waters in Watershed
Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Early Detection and Response
Date
9/1/2012
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Gambusia Infestation- Sugar River: The River Alliance of Wisconsin intends to test a technique to mechanically remove as many exotic Gambusia (mosquitofish) as possible from the slough where their population expanded this past summer. The goals of the project are to test this method of sequentially blocking sections of the slough from the mouth to the top, shocking, collecting, and netting, in a repeated fashion), and actually removing as many of these destructive fishes as possible in order to create a more favorable habitat for the return of the native topminnows. Without this action, the return of the native species would highly improbable after this drought year, which dried up most of their habitat in this and other river systems. Final results will be presented to DNR in a report, and via poster at the UW-Platteville poster day by another partner in the project from the UW.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2013
Waters Involved
Decatur Lake
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Dlmra Website Dev: The Decatur Lake Millrace Association plans to improve communication and outreach for their young organization by developing a website. This should help increase public awareness and broaden the conversation about things they can do to strengthen the organization and generate ideas and energy to improve the lake. The deliverables include creation and launching of a new website, a membership list, and training for website and list maintenance. A press release and presentation of website availability will be made to City of Brodhead, and posted at the local library to get the word out. A brief final report will be submitted electronically at the end of the grant.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2013
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Dlmra Website Dev: The Decatur Lake Millrace Association plans to improve communication and outreach for their young organization by developing a website. This should help increase public awareness and broaden the conversation about things they can do to strengthen the organization and generate ideas and energy to improve the lake. The deliverables include creation and launching of a new website, a membership list, and training for website and list maintenance. A press release and presentation of website availability will be made to City of Brodhead, and posted at the local library to get the word out. A brief final report will be submitted electronically at the end of the grant.


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.

Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Rock
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
TMDL Implementatoin
Sugar Pecatonica TMDL
Date
Status
Sugar Pecatonica TMDL
1/1/2011
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Lower Middle Sugar River WatershedWatershed History Note

The Village of Albany is situated along the banks of the Sugar River in Green County. The first people to live in the Albany area were Native Americans of the Winnebago tribe. They came in the spring with their children and their ponies, setting up camp, tending their gardens, and fishing in the Sugar River. Legend has it that they called the river "Tonasookarah" meaning sugar and also referring to the maple trees along the riverbank. "Campbell's Ford," the name by which Albany was first known, was an ideal river crossing settled by James Campbell and Thomas Stewart in 1839. Seven years later Captain Erastus Pond, master of a Great Lakes ship, and Dr. Samuel Nichols, from Vermont, attracted by prospects of excellent water power and the scenic area, came to Campbell's Ford with their families. Dr. Nichols built a double log home, which was shared by the Pond family for a few months until they built their own. Both homes were on the east side of the river. These families were followed by others from New York state and New England. Very soon, settlers came from Norway, Germany, Ireland, Wales and Switzerland, and Albany was on its way to becoming a prosperous community, surrounded by thriving farms. Albany gained some fame at the end of the 19th century as a city located on the "RIVER OF PEARLS," because there was an abundance of oysters and clams in the Sugar River.

Date  2011