PurposeWatershed plan update 2010. This 109-square miles watershed lies within Rock County west of and adjacent to the Rock River, and stretching from the state line at Beloit to just above Janesville. While predominately agricultural, there are significant urban areas at Janesville and Beloit. We know little about the water quality and use potential of the tributaries to Bass Creek and to the Rock River in this watershed. Stevens Creek may have potential for trout.
Habitat surveys of portions of the watershed were conducted in May 1996. Two reaches of Bass Creek were surveyed and two portions of Stevens Creek were evaluated. The surveys indicated fair to poor streambank habitat with moderate to severe erosion in some areas, possibly due to streambank pasturing and degradation of water quantity and quality in upstream reaches. This watershed ranked high for funding under the state's priority watershed program.
This watershed is ranked as a second priority for soil loss in Rock County. Rock County Land Conservation Department staff estimate about 3.4 miles of streambank are eroding. In the watershed, more than 59% of the cropland exceeds an average soil loss of about 7.5-8 tons/acre/year. There are 37 barnyards ranked high and 74 barnyards ranked medium by the barnyard ranking criteria used in the Turtle Creek priority watershed. Most of the problematic barnyards are located along Bass Creek and tributary headwaters in the north and west portions of the watershed. Bass Creek Land Conservation staff believe that this source of sediment and nutrients (barnyard and streambank pasturing) could be reduced through implementation of a priority watershed project. About 68% of the watershed's 63,198 acres are in cropland.
This watershed has a high participation level in the Farmland Preservation Program; about 72% of eligible land is enrolled in the program. This watershed has a high susceptibility for groundwater contamination based on WDNR groundwater susceptibility mapping. Bass Creek watershed was selected as an Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) project. This program, funded by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), targets critical watersheds for implementation of agricultural best management practices that will also protect water resources.
Study DesignWatershed specified for planning and assessment purposes. Assessment of water quality condition in this respective county will use protocols described in WisCALM of the year of assessment. Minimum assessment work includes biological data (macroinvertebrates, fish indices), chemistry and habitat data. Additional work includes identification of priorities and goals, creating recommendations for actions, and updating narratives for watersheds and waterbodies. Assessments are to be double checked by at least one additional biologist.
Related ReportsRun Project Summary ReportView Umbrella-ProjectsView Related-Projects
Water Quality Planning
Targeted Watershed Plans
Watershed at a Glance
Assessments and recommendations for the Bass Creek (LR03) Watershed
Rock Co., entire creek segment i listed and approved in code NR102 as OERW
Water Quality Planning
Project: Bass Creek (LR03) Watershed Planning