Black Earth Creek Monitoring Project - SCR_02_11 (USGS # BQY43)

Purpose

Black Earth Creek experienced a major fish kill in 2001. Following the kill, the trout population rebounded, but then has been declining during the last couple years to about half of it's peak density. Managers supect periodic fish kills due to manure runoff, but need to gather water quality data during storm events to confirm this suspicion. This monitoring effort will provide a real time assessment tool that will instantaneously notify resource managers when runoff conditions and chemical parameters threaten the stream with excessive nonpoint source pollution.

Objective

The overall objective of the study is to monitor long term water quality trends on BEC and attempt to determine potential water quality parameters that may lead to a decline in fish populations. Data should be collected year round and viewable via the web on a real-time basis. Discharge and water quality data will be published annually in the Wisconsin Water Science Center's annual data report. Regression equations to predict real-time water quality concentrations from water quality sonde data and water quality samples will be evaluated annually to determine the feasibility of establishing an alert system. In order to describe the water quality parameters that occur along Black Earth Creek, multiple monitoring locations are needed. For this study, four monitoring locations have been established. The stations are 05406500, 05406497, 05406479, and 05406457. Stations 05406500 and 05406457 have automated isco samplers and water quality sondes at them. Stations 05406497 and 05406479 just have water quality sondes at them with supplemental baseflow and event grab samples. The real-time water quality data can be viewed by all partners and the public at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current. Can also be found at the USGS realtime flow page using the above listed stations. The principle needs that the monitoring would address, as described by the Wisconsin DNR (WDNR), are to identify water chemistry conditions that may be limiting trout populations. As part of this study, a determination will be made as to the feasibility of establishing an alert system that would use real-time water chemistry parameters to indicate when stream conditions may potentially induce a fish kill. This alert system would notify the WDNR, Dane County, Village of Cross Plain, and other organizations to activate management plans to reduce the impact on the fisheries resource. This alert system is currently in place and ready for spring 2010 runoff samples. This project will collect and analzye water quality data sondes at two locations (05406497/05406479) along BEC to help identify areas of water chemistry changes. These sites would use regressions to estimate the discharge (non-published) between the site locations and the active stream gages located on BEC. Manual EWI samples will be collected during base flow and periods of storm runoff. These samples will be used in the development of the regression analyses to predict real-time constituent concentrations from the water quality sonde data and water quality samples.

Outcome

Scope of Work for USGS component of Study 1. Maintain automated water quality sampling equipment and water quality data sondes at four locations. 2. Monitor and compute annual discharge at the County Highway P location. 3. Collect base flow samples, 60 runoff samples and 5 grab Qa/QC samples to ensure adequate data coverage and quality. 4. Store and publish data collected by water quality sondes and automated samplers. 5. Provide data access via the web for four stations on BEC to cooperating partners. 6. Developement of regression equations to predict real-time water quality concentrations from water quality sonde data and water quality samples. Thus predicting ammonia toxicity concentrations that could cause fish kills or limited recruitment. 7. Document the current annual conditions in BEC, potentially identifying stressors and year variability. Thus leading to advanced treatment of manure.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Targeted Monitoring
Response Monitoring
SCR_02_CMP11
2010
Active
 
Reports and Documents
Power Point Summary for Water year 2011. PPT was part of the description of what has taken place in water year 2011. Findings with the regression analysis as well as a data summary of monitoring events
Meeting between the Black Eath Creek Work Group. Status update and data discussion and analysis.
 
Activities & Recommendations
Monitor to Evaluate Projects
Black Earth Creek experienced a major fish kill in 2001. Following the kill, the trout population rebounded, but then has been declining during the last couple years to about half of it's peak density. Managers supect periodic fish kills due to manure runoff, but need to gather water quality data during storm events to confirm this suspicion. This monitoring effort will provide a real time assessment tool that will instantaneously notify resource managers when runoff conditions and chemical parameters threaten the stream with excessive nonpoint source pollution.