Scotch Creek-Big Rib River TWA 2015


The Lower Big River Watershed was selected as a Priority Watershed Project in 1995 and appraisal monitoring was completed in 1996. Following completion of the plan fishery surveys were completed in 1998 at 1996 appraisal sites. The purpose of the appraisal was to document the condition of water resources in the watershed and determine objectives and pollutant reduction goals for major waterbodies (primarily wadable streams). This project will include working with Watershed staff and Marathon County to determine the number and types of best management practices (BMPs) installed in the watershed since 1996. This will prioritize where follow up evaluation monitoring will be completed in the watershed. Ideally, monitoring will be completed in HUC 12 subwatersheds that had the most BMP installation. However, there may also be situations where individual streams or segments will be targeted for monitoring. Initial reviews suggest the Scotch Creek HUC 12 subwatershed has the highest density of BMPS installed since 1996. Therefore, evaluation monitoring will be planned for this watershed but monitoring could be completed elsewhere in the larger watershed pending a more detailed review of BMP installation.


The primary objective of this project is to determine if the implementation of BMPs in the Lower Big Rib River Watershed have resulted in improved water resource conditions in watershed streams. Stream surveys completed during the watershed appraisal in 1996 and 1998 documented water resource conditions prior to the implementation of BMPS. Evaluation surveys will be completed at selected sites to determine if stream conditions improved as a result of BMPs implemented in the watershed.

Study Design

Western District staff with support from Central office and other District staff plan to re-survey stream sites in the Scotch Creek HUC 12 watershed within the Lower Big River HUC 10 Watershed. Qualitative habitat surveys were completed at six sites in the watershed following guidelines developed by Ball. These site will be re-surveyed using the Ball method and the current WDNR qualitative habitat protocol. Fish community surveys were completed at 10 sites in 1998 and will be re-surveyed in 2015. Additional sites may be added to other streams in the Big Rib Watershed if BMPs were installed where previous surveys were completed. Macroinvertebrate samples were at three sites in the HUC 12. These sites will be re-surveyed to evaluate if changes in occurred in the invertebrate community. Additional sites will be surveyed above and below BMPs that were installed to reduce organic loading to streams. Continuous dissolved oxygen monitoring was completed at four sites in the watershed. Two of the four sites fell below the water quality standard. These sites will be re-surveyed in 2015. HUC 12 - 70700021001

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
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Targeted Watershed Approach
Evaluation (TP SSC, Stressor, Bioassess)
Final Report Needed