Crex Meadows Assessment TWA, Burnett County

Purpose

Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is located in Burnett County north of Grantsburg. Since 1945, the DNR has constructed more than 18 miles of dikes to restore 15,000 acres of wetland wildlife habitat and 5,000 acres of deepwater marshes. Drainage flows to the south via 3 tributaries to the North Fork Wood River and Wood River. The Wood River drains to the St. Croix River which is a National Wild and Scenic River. Lake St. Croix is located downstream. A TMDL project is underway for the Lake St. Croix watershed. Wisconsin and Minnesota are working cooperatively on the project with a goal of improving water quality, and especially reducing phosphorus loading. The DNR and Burnett County LWCD receive inquiries about high turbidity caused by iron floc (iron hydroxide) in waters downstream of Crex Meadows. Turbidity plumes are often present at the mouth of the Wood River and into the St. Croix River. Crex Meadows is located in an area with naturally occurring iron deposits. Water level manipulations, including periodic draining and filling of flowages have resulted in mobilization of iron, which is sensitive to oxidation/reduction cycling. Groundwater data from a USGS study shows that groundwater iron concentrations downgradient of the flowages can be 18 times higher than upgradient of the flowages (see attached report). Phosphorus export may also be a concern because phosphorus is often mobilized along with iron. One sample of flowage discharge had a TP concentration of 163 ug/l. This project will: 1. Assess iron distribution and transport . 2. Establish a baseline for the current quality of water discharges. 3. Explore management options that could improve downstream water quality. Monitoring will be conducted in 2014. Craig Roesler will be the lead staff person.

Objective

Local water quality impacts include iron floc turbidity, phosphorus export and biological impairments. This project may identify management options within the watershed that can improve downstream water quality. A targeted watershed assessment will be coupled with this project to provide biological data for the receiving streams. Three discharge streams will be monitored - Hay Ck, 2643000; Whiskey Ck, 2646600; Unnamed trib, 2647100. Flowages that may be monitored include - Phantom Flowage, 2144100; North Fork Flowage, 2647300; South Refuge Flowage, 2644400; Upper North Fork Flowage, 2648900; Middle North Fork Flowage, 7215114; Dike 4 Flowage, 2645400; Dike 6 Flowage, 2643100. Up to 20 sites may be sampled for soil iron concentrations. Up to 15 additional surface drainageways may occasionally be sampled. The property manager and staff will be consulted to help identify suitable sites. SWIMS station numbers are TBD.

Outcome

The project will: 1. Describe iron distribution and transport. 2. Establish a baseline for the current quality of water discharges. 3. Explore management options that could improve downstream water quality. The project will contribute to Wisconsin's efforts towards the Lake St. Croix watershed TMDL. A report of findings will be prepared and entered into SWIMS. Management options will presumably be implemented in future years. The potential to rely heavily on transparency measurements may minimize future monitoring costs to evaluate effectiveness of practices.

Study Design

Soils will be tested to determine the mass and distribution of iron, since this is the source of iron in the system. 30 soil samples will be tested for particle size, TOC, iron, and bulk density. Soil profiles will be examined to see how iron re-distributes with water level fluctuations. Water released from the flowages will be tested at the 3 stream sites (in Project Objective) on 12 dates for TP,TSS, turbidity, color, and iron. Field tests will include D.O., temp, transparency, pH, conductivity, and flow. Water in 8 flowages will be tested once in late winter and once in late summer for TP and Fe. Field tests will include D.O., temp, transparency, pH, and conductivity. Summer sediment samples will be tested in 8 flowages for % solids, % volatile solids, TP, iron, and particle size. Twenty-five samples will be collected for misc. surface flows (upgradient of flowages and "background" sites) and tested for TP and Fe. Field tests will include D.O., temp, transparency, pH, and conductivity.

Related Reports

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

Targeted Watershed Approach
Evaluation (TP SSC, Stressor, Bioassess)
NOR_06_CMP14-Year2
2014
Complete
 
Reports and Documents
Unnamed Stream 155 m ds North Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
NC.Ver_Stn_10042530_SSN_515076555_Report.pdf
Unnamed Stream 10m DS of Lundquist Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Whiskey Creek 110m DS CTH D, 2014, Natural Community Verification
Unnamed Stream 3m US Fossum Rd, 2014, Natural Community Validation
North Fork Wood River at CTH D Lower Crossing, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River at HWY 70 US of Granatsburg, 2014, Natural Community Validation
North For Wood River 30m US Fossum Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Hay Creek 177m DS Benson Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River 427m DS STH 70 (first crossing), 2014, Natural Community Validation
Ekdall Cr 5m above mouth, 2014, Natural Communidy Validation
Wood River 60m US WIlliams Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Iron Creek 124m DS sadlers Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Unnamed (North Fork Cr) stream 160m DS of North Fork Flowage, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Unnamed Stream near Bang Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Hay Creek 20m US Borg Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Hay Creek 170m DS STH 70, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River North Fork Upper CTH D crossing, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River at W River Rd. 1 mi above St. Croix R, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River North Fork N Fork Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
Wood River 460m DS STH 70 Second Crossing, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Whiskey Creek 192m DS Whiskey Creek Flowage, 2014, Natural Community Validation
Unnamed Stream Near Nordstrum Rd, 2014, Natural Community Validation
N Fork Wood River 20m US Shearman Rd., 2014, Natural Community Validation
NOR_06_CMP14 status 10 13 2016
 
Activities & Recommendations
Monitor or Assess Watershed Condition
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is located in Burnett County north of Grantsburg. Since 1945, the DNR has constructed more than 18 miles of dikes to restore 15,000 acres of wetland wildlife habitat and 5,000 acres of deepwater marshes. Drainage flows to the south via 3 tributaries to the North Fork Wood River and Wood River. The Wood River drains to the St. Croix River which is a National Wild and Scenic River. Lake St. Croix is located downstream. A TMDL project is underway for the Lake St. Croix watershed. Wisconsin and Minnesota are working cooperatively on the project with a goal of improving water quality, and especially reducing phosphorus loading.
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
A targeted watershed assessment will be coupled with this project to provide biological data for the receiving streams. Three discharge streams will be monitored - Hay Ck, 2643000; Whiskey Ck, 2646600; Unnamed trib, 2647100. Flowages that may be monitored include - Phantom Flowage, 2144100; North Fork Flowage, 2647300; South Refuge Flowage, 2644400; Upper North Fork Flowage, 2648900; Middle North Fork Flowage, 7215114; Dike 4 Flowage, 2645400; Dike 6 Flowage, 2643100. Up to 20 sites may be sampled for soil iron concentrations. Up to 15 additional surface drainageways may occasionally be sampled. The property manager and staff will be consulted to help identify suitable sites.
 
Watershed