Big Eau Pleine TMDL Monitoring


This project consists of mulit-phased intensive sampling effort that utilizes an already developed partnership between, WDNR, Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company (WVIC) and a Citizen Based Monitor (CBM). WDNR will be responsible for obtaining roughly 1/3 of the samples while the other partners will obtain the remainder. Sampling started in October 09 with tributary monitoring at four locations (three tribs and one outflow) which will continue through June 2010. Trib monitoring: The Big Eau Pleine River is the major tributary to the flowage and has an established gaguing station funding with assistance with WVIC. Two additional gauges were installed on Fenwood and Freeman Creeks and funding is needed to continue their operation for a second year. Funding for a second year is needed to continue collecting water chemistry samples monthly from three major tributaries and the outflow from the flowage. A CBM will obtain monthly samples in tributaries once a month with DNR obtaining the balance. Lake Sampling: Bi-weekly lake sampling will commence in April 2010 and will continue through end of the fiscal year. This monitoring is funded from last years special project request. Additional funding is needed to continue lake sampling for the project from July 2010 into 2011. CBM's may gather secchi data over the same period also. DO/Temp/ph/Cond profiles will be conducted at three sampling points on the lake.


The Big Eau Pleine Flowage has a well-documented history of dissolved oxygen problems associated with nutrient loading from agricultural runoff. A special project conducted in 2005, showed very high levels of BOD loading in addition to the nutrients. Moreover, the Marathon County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) has been working with local farmers to control runoff but more quanitfication from specific areas is needed. The finished product, a TMDL, will provide all cooperating partners with a valuable tool for land management. The Big Eau Pleine is an immensely popular fishing destination for anglers accross the state. A noted walleye, bass, pike, musky and panfish population draws anglers of all ages and sports clubs to the area. Many other nonangling citizens use the flowage as a destination for vactions. Finally, this flowage suffers from major algal blooms due to vast nutrient loading. Because of the algal blooms there are large diurnal fluctuations of dissolved oxygen and pH. These values often exceed water quality standards and are responisble for the 303D listing.


There are three tributary sites, 1 outlfow site and 3 inlake sites. This project will fund 12 monthly sampling events for three tributary sites and 24 biweekly events for one outflow site. The flowage will be sampled 9 times during the growing season and spring turnover at three locations. Data will be entered into SWIMS automatically after lab analysis is complete. A final TMDL report will be completed after all monitoring is complete. It should be noted that a third year of monitoring may be need depending on climatic conditions encountered during the first two years of study.

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