Impaired Water - Gill Coulee Creek (Gills Coulee Creek)
La Crosse County, Wisconsin
BL04
1652300
1.39 - 4.86
3.47
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
On 303d list, also on 1980 trout streams list (class 2).
Habitat surveys dating back to 1972 note severe bank erosion caused by cattle access to the stream. The bank erosion that currently exists is likely a result of past agricultural practices, as more recent watershed surveys did not observe overgrazed pastures. Water chemistry data collected by the La Crosse County Department of Land Conservation (LCD) was compiled and reviewed to characterize water quality conditions at several locations along the stream (Figure A-2). Data collected include grab samples for phosphorus, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, taken between the years of 2003 and 2005. Biological surveys were conducted by WDNR between the years of 1972 to 2004, and include habitat assessments, fish surveys, and macroinvertebrate surveys.
Listing Details
Pollutant
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Degraded Habitat
Current Use
Coldwater - stocked, reproduction
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Coldwater - stocked, reproduction
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Coldwater - stocked, reproduction
303(d) ID
31566-168
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
Gills Coulee Creek is a tributary stream to the La Crosse River, located in La
Crosse County in west central Wisconsin. (Figure A-1) The Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) placed the entire length of Gills
Coulee Creek on the state’s 303(d) impaired waters list as low priority due to
degraded habitat caused by excessive sedimentation.

Gills Coulee is a five mile stream in central La Crosse County that flows southeast before reaching the La Crosse River near West Salem, Wisconsin. It has a moderate gradient of 44.4 feet per mile and drains an area of approximately 5.9 square miles. Gills Coulee is codified as a Class III coldwater trout stream from its mouth upstream for one mile, and as a Class II coldwater trout stream for the remaining length (Table A-2). The existing use for Gills Coulee is currently listed as warm water forage fishery (Table A-1).

Land use in the watershed is dominated by upland forest with steep wooded hills and some lowland pasture and agricultural cropland (Table 2). In many cases agricultural practices occur adjacent to the stream banks, causing immediate sediment runoff to the stream. This is especially evident during high precipitation or snowmelt events.

Habitat surveys dating back to 1972 note severe bank erosion caused by cattle access to the stream. The bank erosion that currently exists is likely a result of past agricultural practices, as more recent watershed surveys did not observe overgrazed pastures. Water chemistry data collected by the La Crosse County Department of Land Conservation (LCD) was compiled and reviewed to characterize water quality conditions at several locations along the stream (Figure A-2). Data collected include grab samples for phosphorus, temperature, and dissolved oxygen, taken between the years of 2003 and 2005. Biological surveys were conducted by WDNR between the years of 1972 to 2004, and include habitat assessments, fish surveys, and macroinvertebrate surveys.
Date
1/7/2011

Impaired Water Notes
The sediment TMDL for Gills Coulee Creek was approved by the USEPA September 26, 2006.
Date
9/26/2006