Proposed NOR Copper, Stony and Rocky Creek 303d eval


Our purpose is to identify if these streams are impaired. The Lower Nemadji River Watershed Plan advises that these streams may have impairments for turbidity, phosphorus and erosion and reccomends furthur monitoring. This will also conclude our sampling of all of the streams in this watershed.


Copper Creek (WBIC 2836100) is an 11.2 mile tributary to the Nemadji River. The stream has been assumed to support a balanced fishery and its current and attainable uses are listed as a Class II trout stream although it is unclear whether or not it supports that listing in all reaches. A baseline survey in 2006 at Baumgardner Road did not yield any trout. Overall, very little biological assessment has been performed on Copper Creek. Rocky Run (WBIC 2836300) is a small intermittent drainage feeder to Copper Creek with unpredictable seasonal flows and it is classified as a WWFF. However, during a coastal wetlands evaluation, Epstein noted significant problems including stream bank erosion, barnyards, livestock, croplands, impoundment and tile, and minor contributions from septic systems leading to significant turbidity and to a lesser extent silt. Stony Brook (WBIC 2836400) is a four mile long intermittent tributary to Copper Creek that originates just outside of Pattison State park. Its existing and potential biological uses are listed as “unknown.” Agricultural runoff from barnyards, livestock, cropland, stream bank erosion, and to a lesser extent septic systems, all potentially contribute to significant turbidity and flashy flows. Unnamed Tributary (WBIC 2836700) to Copper Creek is designated as a Class I trout stream with naturally reproducing brook trout and as an exceptional resource water, however no shocking records exist in our database. Unnamed tributary (WBIC 3000143) flows from the outfall of the Superior School District Wastewater Treatment Plant about 2000 feet until it enters copper Creek. This stream is classified as LAL, but was recommended to be upgraded to a limited forage fishery. No shocking data is present in our database. Recommendations: According to the St. Louis and Lower Nemadji River Watershed Plan, all of these streams should have further fish and bug surveys to determine proper use designation. Also, continuous temperature loggers should be placed and baseline data from quantitative habitat surveys should be conducted. Water chemistry analysis including phosphorus, turbidity, total suspended solids and field parameters should also be collected at 6 sites within this system. This monitoring would conclude our study of the Lower Nemadji and St. Louis River watershed.


From this sampling we will be able to conclude whether or not these streams should be added to the 303d impaired waters list and what their porper use designations should be.

Study Design

Backpack shocking, macroinvertebrate collection, water sampling, quanitative habitat ahalysis and continuous temperature loggers will be conducted at six sites on Copper Creek, Rocky Creek, Stony Creek and two of their unnamed tributaries.

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