Watershed - Kinnickinnic River (SC01)
Kinnickinnic River Watershed

Population, Land Use

The Kinnickinnic River Watershed is located in St. Croix and Pierce Counties and is 13,189 acres in size. It includes 283 miles of rivers and streams, 508 acres of lakes and 1308 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by agriculture (57%) and grassland (22%), and is ranked high for nonpoint source issues affecting streams, lakes and groundwater.

Date  2010

Ecological Landscapes for Kinnickinnic River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

This Western Prairie Ecological Landscape is located on the far western edge of the state just south of the Tension Zone; it contains the only true representative prairie potholes in the state. It is characterized by its glaciated, rolling topography and a primarily open landscape with rich prairie soils and pothole lakes, ponds, and wet depressions, except for forested areas along the St. Croix River. The climate and growing season are favorable for agricultural crops. Sandstone underlies a mosaic of soils. Silty loams that can be shallow and stony cover most of the area. Alluvial sands and peats are found in stream valleys.

Historic vegetation was comprised of dry to mesic prairie grasses in the rolling areas and wet prairies in the broad depressions. Open oak savannas and barrens were found on the hilly topography, with small inclusions of sugar maple-basswood forest in small steep sites. Prairie pothole type wetlands were mainly found in St. Croix and Polk counties. Barrens were found along the river terraces of the St. Croix River. Almost half of the current vegetation is agricultural crops and almost a third of the area is grasslands, with smaller areas of open water, open wetlands, and urban areas. The major forest types are maple-basswood and oak-hickory, with smaller amounts of lowland hardwoods and lowland conifer.

Date  2010

Kinnickinnic River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Kinnickinnic River Watershed
River and Stream QualityAll Waters in Watershed

This watershed is considered a high priority for protection from nonpoint source pollution. The Kinnickinnic River is classified as an Outstanding Resource Water and is considered to be one of the most outstanding Class I trout streams in the state of Wisconsin. Pierce and St. Croix counties are two of the most rapidly growing counties in the state. Water quality and aquatic
habitat in the streams of the watershed are threatened by nonpoint point source pollution from agricultural land use, urban development and rural residential development.

Over 42 miles of streams are Class I trout streams and over 31 miles are class II trout streams. Twenty-four miles are exceptional resource waters and 28 miles are outstanding resource waters.

Date  1992

Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

Over 5,000 acres of lakes are located in this watershed.

Date  2010

Search for Lakes by County

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters

Watershed Grants

Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2002
Waters Involved
Pine Lake
Status
Complete

West Wisconsin Land Trust: Pine Lake Fern Easement: West Wisconsin Land Trust proposes to purchase an easement on 23 acres of the Fern property on Pine Lake (Baldwin) in St. Croix County. Easement protects over 750 feet of lake frontage. Restricts timber harvest, vegetation removal and shoreline development.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2002
Waters Involved
Pine Lake
Status
Complete

West Wisconsin Land Trust: Pine Lake Hamerski Easement: West Wisconsin Land Trust proposes to purchase an easement on 13.5 acres of the Hamerski property on Pine Lake (Baldwin) in St. Croix County. Easement protects 2,377 ft. of lake frontage. Restricts timber harvest, vegetation removal and shoreline development.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2002
Waters Involved
Pine Lake
Status
Complete

West Wisconsin Land Trust: Pine Lake Litzner Easement: West Wisconsin Land Trust proposes to purchase an easement on 4.35 acres of the Litzner property on Pine Lake (Baldwin) in St. Croix County. Easement protects 252 ft of lake frontage. Restricts timber harvest, vegetatioin removal and shoreline development.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Casey Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Mallalieu Lake Plan 1: The St. Croix Co. Land and Water Conservation Department proposes to develop a lake management plan for Lake Mallalieu in St. Croix County. Major project elements to include: 1) Stakeholder group, 2) Surveys, 3) Soil sampling, 4) Land use inventory, 5) Plan development, 6) Ordinance development and enactment.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Casey Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Mallalieu Lake Plan 2: The St. Croix Co. Land and Water Conservation Department proposes to develop a storm water action plan for Lake Mallalieu in St. Croix County. Major project elements to include: 1) Stakeholders group, 2) Surveys, 3) Monitoring, 4) Outreach/Plan Implementation


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1998
Waters Involved
Lake Saint Croix
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: St. Croix Basin Nutrient Mon. Phase 1: St. Croix County LCD proposes to contract with the US Geological Survey to measure nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix tributaries. Yhis project represents Phase One of five planned. Project activities will include 1) Measurement of nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorides and sediment loadings in the Kinnickinnic, Willow and Apple Rivers from Oct. 1, 1998 to Sept. 30, 1999. Seasonal and weekly loadings will be provided for nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorides, and sediments. The data will be distributed via internet and annual reports by the US Geological Survey, and will be made available electronically to the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1998
Waters Involved
Lake Saint Croix
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: St. Croix Basin Nutrient Mon. Phase 2: St. Croix County LCD proposes to contract with the US Geological Survey to measure nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix tributaries. This project represents Phase Two of five planned. Project activities will include 1) Stream flow guaging on the Kinnickinnic, Willow and Apple Rivers from Oct. 1, 1998 to Sept. 30, 1999. 2) Weekly sampling for nutrients and sedments. The data will be distributed via internet and annual reports by the US Geological Survey, and will be made available electronically to the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


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

St. Croix County: St. Croix Basin Nutrient Mon. Phase 3: St. Croix County LCD proposes to contract with the US Geological Survey to measure nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix tributaries. This project represents Phase Three of five planned. Project activities will include 1) Stream flow guaging on the Kinnickinnic, Willow and Apple Rivers. 2) Weekly sampling for nutrients and sedments. The data will be distributed via internet and annual reports by the US Geological Survey, and will be made available electronically to the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


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

St. Croix County: St. Croix Basin Nutrient Monitoring, Model And Plan, Phase 5: St. Croix County LCD proposes to contract with the US Geological Survey to measure nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix tributaries. This project represents Phase Four of five planned. Project activities will include 1) Stream flow guaging on the Kinnickinnic, Willow and Apple Rivers. 2) Weekly sampling for nutrients and sedments. The data will be distributed via internet and annual reports by the US Geological Survey, and will be made available electronically to the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


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

St. Croix County: St. Croix Basin Nutrient Monitoring, Modeling & Plan Phase 4: St. Croix County LCD proposes to contract with the US Geological Survey to measure nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix tributaries. This project represents Phase Four of five planned. Project activities will include 1) Stream flow guaging on the Kinnickinnic, Willow and Apple Rivers. 2) Weekly sampling for nutrients and sedments. The data will be distributed via internet and annual reports by the US Geological Survey, and will be made available electronically to the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2001
Waters Involved
Lake Saint Croix
Status
Complete

City Of Prescott: Lake St.Croix Planning Project- Phase Ii: The objectives of Phase II of this planning project include such things as: 1. Preserver and enhance storm water quality 2. Preserve the natural and beneficial functions of the natural drainage 3. Solve/ prevent runoff problems 4. Solve drainage problems 5. Develop City storm water management ordinance. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public as described in the grant application.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2001
Waters Involved
Lake Saint Croix
Status
Complete

City Of Prescott: Lake St.Croix Planning Project-Phase 1: The primary goal of the project is to improve water in Lake St.Croix through inventory, testing, modeling, and analysis of hydrologic and biological data, which will provide a foundation for development of a lake/watershed and water quality management master plan (LWMMP) for the City of Prescott, Wisconsin. The project goals include: 1. Meetings 2. Background Data Collection 3. Field Reconnaissance Survey 4. Field Data Collection/ Inventory Work 5. Define Drainage basins 6. Categorize and Map Land Uses 7. Identify Existing Biological Communities 8. Identify Existing Biological Communities 9. Characterize the Quality of Stormwater Discharges The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public as described in the grant application.


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

City Of Prescott: Lake St.Croix Planning Project - Phase Iii: The City of Prescott proposes to finsh out the work that has been done in previous grants and phases. The project activity includes the final report. The Department will be provided with both a paper and electronic copy of the final report.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2002
Waters Involved
Lake Saint Croix
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: St. Croix River Nutrient & Sediment Conference: A one-day educational conference on reducing and managing nutrients and sediments in Lake St. Croix is proposed for February 2003 at Trollhaugen in Dresser, WI, for a targeted audience of approximately 130-140 wastewater treatment managers, local officials and water resource professionals. The goal is to educate, network and to obtain input in pollution budgeting. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public as described in the grant application.


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2002
Waters Involved
Kinnickinnic Pond, Upper
Status
Complete

City Of River Falls: Lake George Restoration Plan: to cost-share @70% a stormwater feasibility study for Lake George


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2002
Waters Involved
Kinnickinnic River
Status
Complete

City Of River Falls: Lake George Restoration Plan: to cost-share @70% a stormwater feasibility study for Lake George


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2005
Waters Involved
Kinnickinnic River
Status
Complete

Village Of Roberts - Dpw: Stormwater Planning Projects: development of stormwater management plan for the Village, creation of erosion control and stormwater ordinances, identification of wetlands within the Village drainage area, and analysis of alternative best management practices to remediate water quality findings of the plan.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2001
Waters Involved
Kinnickinnic River
Status
Complete

Kinnickinnic River Land Trust: Edgar Project: The goal of the Edgar's Project is to protect the numerous threatened natural resources found on the farm from loss to the negative impacts of urban sprawl. The objectives include the purchase of a conservation easement, the involvement of funding partners and the use of the project as a model for the other river protection efforts by the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and other conservation entities.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2011
Waters Involved
Kinnickinnic River
Status
Complete

Kinnickinnic River Land Trust Inc: Kinni School Forest Easement: The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust will purchase a conservation easement protecting 56 acres and 1.05 miles of shoreline on the Kinnickinnic River in Pierce County. Major project elements to include: 1) Easement Purchase, 2) Associated acquisition costs.


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
Monitoring Projects
Kinnickinnic River Watershed

Watershed Recommendations

Kinnickinnic River WatershedWatershed History Note

The city of River Falls is located in the Kinnickinnic River watershed, which covers parts of Pierce and St. Croix counties in the western part of Wisconsin. In the summer of 1848, Joel Foster, a Mexican War veteran from Illinois, heard about the beautiful area of the Kinnickinnic River with the cascade falls while he was visiting in St. Croix Country near Hudson. He spent the following months exploring the region hunting and fishing along the way. He moved up the river until he reached the falls at the junction of the South Fork and the Kinnickinnic. Foster wrote about the two American Indian tribes inhabiting the region - the Sioux and the Chippewa. He noted that both placed such value on the St. Croix Valley that neither claimed it for themselves. The word "Kinnickinnic" refers to the Native American word for the ceremonial tobacco from toasted willow or sumac bark.

Foster decided to spend the winter in the area, along with his 20-year-old black indentured servant, Dick Foster. They set up camp under a rock shelf along the banks of the Kinnickinnic River, about a half mile south of the falls. Using split logs, they dug a pit into the floor, put down a carpet of grass, fastened hooks to hold their rifles and started a fire at the entrance. They heated water to make mud so they could finish the cabin and chimney, but the structure was not completed that first winter. They purchased supplies in Hudson every 10 days or so. The winter of 1848-1849 became the first official year of the settlement of River Falls. The next spring, Foster and Dick completed the log structure and added a root cellar. They called it "Fort Foster".

Two brothers, Nathaniel N. and Oliver Stanley Powell, also claimed land in 1849. They built the first commercial structure in 1852. Two years later the building was converted into a store known as Pioneer Store and rapidly developed into a hotel, post office, and community headquarters. In 1854, the Powell brothers platted the first section in the village - 60 acres on the east side of town. Foster built a saw mill in 1854 and in 1855 the first of four flour mills was established.

The River Falls Journal, the city's first newspaper, was founded in 1857 by Lute A. and Horace A. Taylor. River Falls reached the height of its early industrial growth between 1872 and 1885. The beginning of the railroad insured its continued existence, although the city was not on a main line of the railroad. Growth was curtailed only by the decline of the wheat market in 1882 and the city's location, which was not along a navigable river.

Date  2011