Fish and Aquatic Life
Sand Branch is a small, spring-fed tributary to the Blue River. The stream is considered a Class II trout fishery. A rare aquatic species has been found in this creek. The stream has a high bed-load of sand that affects the availability of in-stream habitat. Baseline monitoring was conducted in 2000. A cursory habitat evaluation was conducted on the stream during the summer of 2001. The survey found the habitat to be of fair quality. The creek experiences nonpoint source pollution from its watershed and also shows some evidence of bank erosion and sediment deposition.
Author Cynthia Koperski
From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area =.20 acres, Length = 3.3 miles, Gradient = 31 ft./mile, Flow = 1.2 c.f.s.
A small spring-fed stream beginning near the Grant and Iowa County line and flowing in a westerly direction to empty into the Blue River three miles southwest of Musco~a. The stream banks show some erosion in the upper reaches while relatively stable pasture land adjoins the rest of the stream. Brown and brook trout dominate the fishery and are stocked annually by the Department of Natural Resources. Forage species are common and fishing pressure is light. A private fish hatchery with a large scenic spring is located along the stream. Approximately 60 percent of the watershed is covered by extensive woodlands and is excellent habitat for white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse. Other game common in the watershed and along the stream include squirrels, rabbits, raccoon, muskrats, and quail. Access is possible from two bridge crossings and from a road paralleling the stream. The Blue River also provides navigable water access. Six dwellings adjoin the stream.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Sand Branch (1211200), from the mouth to the Grant-Iowa county line, was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available. Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.
Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable
Management goals can include creation or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.
Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.
Grants and Management Projects
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10007996||Sand Br. Station 2 (E. Of Hickory Flat Rd)||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10007992||Sand Br. Station 1 (Cth G)||11/3/2000||11/3/2000||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10015242||Sand Branch General Fish||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10030531||Sand Branch #1||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10030532||Sand Branch #2||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10040594||Sand Branch 400 yds US CTH G||8/8/2003||6/28/2006||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10009258||Sand Branch Station 2||11/3/2000||10/31/2001||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10042420||Sand Branch at Hickory Flat Rd ||Map||Data|
|5034531||Unnamed||10030535||Sand Branch #4||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10009260||Sand Branch Station 3||11/3/2000||10/31/2001||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10030535||Sand Branch #4||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10007997||Sand Br. Station 3||Map||Data|
|1211200||Sand Br||10030533||Sand Branch #3||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Sand Br is located in the Blue River watershed which is 216.19 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.60%), grassland (29.40%) and a mix of agricultural (20.80%) and other uses (8.20%). This watershed has 513.46 stream miles, 416.83 lake acres and 5,825.06 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.