Watershed - Butternut Creek (UC12)
Butternut Creek Watershed

Details

Butternut Creek flows through Butternut Lake and enters the North Fork of the Flambeau River. Butternut Lake, a eutrophic lake, is part of the statewide Long-Term Trend Monitoring program. A portion of Butternut Creek upstream of the lake is listed as Class III trout water in the Wisconsin Trout Stream Book. This segment is marginal as a trout water (Lealos 1993). The stream where it exits the lake is listed as Class II trout water. Data from the 1970s indicate some impact from the village of Butternut Wastewater Treatment Plant, which discharges to the Creek above Butternut Lake. The treatment plant has since gone to a groundwater discharge. There are two veneer mills in the village of Butternut that have had spills which could affect Butternut Creek or the lake. Town and country roads, and other nonpoint sources may contribute excess sediment to the stream.

Date  1996

Ecological Landscapes for Butternut Creek Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The North Central Forest Ecological Landscape occupies much of the northern third of Wisconsin. Its landforms are characterized by end and ground moraines with some pitted outwash and bedrock controlled areas. Kettle depressions and steep ridges are found in the northern portion. Two prominent areas in this Ecological Landscape are the Penokee-Gogebic Iron Range in the north extending into Michigan, and Timm's Hill, the highest point in Wisconsin (1,951 feet) in the south. Soils consist of sandy loam, sand, and silts. The vegetation is mainly forest, with many wetlands and some agriculture, though the growing season is not as favorable as it is in southern Wisconsin. Lake Superior greatly influences the northern portion of the Ecological Landscape especially during the winter season, producing greater snowfall than in most areas in Wisconsin. The historic vegetation was primarily hemlock-hardwood forest dominated by hemlock, sugar maple, and yellow birch. There were some smaller areas of white and red pine forest scattered throughout the Ecological Landscape, and individual white pines trees were a component of the hemlock-hardwood forest. Harvesting hemlock to support the tanneries was common at the turn of the century, and the species soon became a minor component of forests due to over-harvesting and lack of regeneration. Currently, forests cover approximately 80% of this Ecological Landscape. The northern hardwood forest is dominant, made up of sugar maple, basswood, and red maple, and also including some scattered hemlock and white pine pockets within stands. The aspen-birch forest type group is also relatively abundant, followed by spruce-fir. A variety of wetland community types also are present, both forested and non-forested.

Date  2010

Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2002
Waters Involved
Butternut Lake
Status
Complete

Price County: Lmi-Phase Ii Butternut Wq Assessment/Modeling: The Price County Land Conservation Dept will sponsor a project which will collect all needed data to create a response model for Butternut Lake including a water budget, detailed phosphorus budget, lake water quality modeling and evaluation of groundwater impacts. Deliverables will include all data collected and a final report summarizing the findings.

DNR will be provided with a copy of reports and publications produced in both written and electronic (PDF) format. DNR will also be provided with a summary of all the efforts under this grant that are not included in reports or other written documents.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2002
Waters Involved
Butternut Lake
Status
Complete

Price County: Internal Loading Assessment - Butternut Lake: This project will examine the internal phosphorus flux from sediments in Butternut Lake. This information will be used in future modeling efforts.

Project Deliverables:
1. Data on the internal phosphorus flux from sediments in Butternut Lake
2. A summary report of findings.

The grantee will provide the Department of Natural Resources with two (2) copies of the summary report along with an electronic version of the final report.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2004
Waters Involved
Butternut Lake
Status
Complete

Price County: Paleoecological Analysis Of Butternut Lake: The Price County Land Conservation Department will sponsor a project involving the collection of a sediment core from a deep area in Butternut Lake's main basin, by Paul Garrison - Wisconsin DNR Research and USGS. This grant pays for the collection and analysis of the core. It is cost shared with the USGS which will take the report written by WDNR and incorporate the results into a final USGS report, on Butternut Lake done under planning grant LPT198.

Goals:
1. Determine fluctuations in lake water quality since the onset of European settlement.
2. Determine changes in deposition rates of various constituents in the sediment core that reflect changes in Butternut Lake's watershed loading to the lake.
3. Evaluate the inferred long-term water quality fluctuations in relation to recent and current lake water quality and current phosphorus loading to the lake.

Products
1. Core collected.
2. Core analyzed by WDNR and other labs.
3. Report by WDNR on the result of Core analysis.
4. Report by USGS fit into LPT 198 Final Report.


Butternut Creek Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Price
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor for Use Designation
 
Date
Status
Triennial Standards Review Process - review 1976 data to determine designated use.
7/1/2010
Proposed
 
Butternut Creek WatershedWatershed History Note

The Butternut Creek Watershed, located in Ashland and Price counties, was once home to small bands of Chippewa Indians who lived along the streams and lakes. The Chippewa were nomadic people, moving from place to place in search of food. In order to replenish the land, they did not hunt and fish in the same place they had hunted the season before. They made birch bark canoes and floated along the lake shallows for wild rice. In the spring, syrup would be tapped from maple trees. Wigwams, made of birch bark, were easy to pack and move to their next site. The skeleton of the wigwam would be left intact to be reused when they returned. The Indians would frequently visit the town of Butternut and its people. Butternut received its name during the construction of the Wisconsin Central Railroad in the 1870's. Near the head of Butternut Lake in the north, butternut trees were found. The butternut or 'oil nut', resembles an oversize black walnut tree. Pioneers made a delectable relish from the fruit of the butternut by a pickling process with spices and vinegar. This was usually served with wild game, fish, or fowl. Matthew J. Hart erected the Butternut House in the fall of 1876. The Butternut House was the only hotel between Highway 101 and Ashland. Hart also supplied the Wisconsin Central Railway personnel with their construction needs. The Butternut House was used as a stopping place for the wannagans. A wannagan is a large boat used by the lumberjacks to carry food, sleeping equipment, and clothing. Meals were prepared on the boats, but served on shore. The men slept in tents. Later, this term was applied to any camp store carrying supplies for lumberjacks.

Date  2011