Fish and Aquatic Life
Blockhouse Creek is one of the major tributaries to the Little Platte River. It begins in western Lafayette County and flows 14 miles toward the southwest where it joins the Little Platte River north of Dickeyville. Recent surveys have shown the upper half of Blockhouse Creek is mainly a coolwater non-game fi shery, while the lower half also contains a decent smallmouth bass fi shery with an occasional brown trout or walleye present. There are fishery easements in the lower creek upstream of Snowden Branch. The Ozark minnow, a state threatened species, was also found in this stream.
Author James Amrhein
Blockhouse Creek is a seepage and spring fed tributary to the Little Platte River south of Platteville. The stream flows through a scenic country valley characterized by wooded steep sided slopes. There is a unique natural area through which the stream flows in its central portion. Historically, the stream had a reproducing smallmouth bass fishery (Smith and Ball, 1971). The smallmouth bass population in the stream has not been recently evaluated. There is some public access along the stream. Non-point sources of pollution are affecting instream habitat. Some pollution intolerant species listed on Wisconsin’s threatened and endangered species list have been found in Blockhouse Creek.
Author Aquatic Biologist
A seepage- and spring-fed stream beginning near the Grant and Lafayette County line and flowing southwest to enter the Little Platte River two miles north of Dickeyville. This stream flows through some very scenic, inaccessible country. Tufa Falls is a well-known scenic attraction located along a high limestone cliff in the central portion of the stream. This large, moss-covered, porous rock formation was formed as a deposit from springs trickling over this limestone cliff. A beautiful icicle formation can be seen hanging from the tufa during the winter months. A recreational site and a small lake were proposed to be built on the stream two miles below Tufa Falls in 1965, but nothing has been done up to this date. A variety of bottom materials, numerous pools, good bank and instream cover, and good water quality make Blockhouse Creek a good smallmouth bass stream. Naturally reproduced smallmouth are found throughout the stream. An abundant forage fish population also inhabits the stream. Snowden Branch, its major tributary, is also a good smallmouth bass stream entering from the east one mile above the mouth. Bank erosion is moderate to heavy on Blockhouse Creek. Muskrats, mink, and a few puddle ducks inhabit the floodplain. The upland game includes deer, raccoon, squirrels, and ruffed grouse. Nineteen acres of shrub swamp wetland adjoin the lower reaches of the stream. Five bridge crossings and the Little Platte River provide access. Six farm dwellings lie adjacent to the stream.
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 = 27.28 acres, Length = 12.5 miles, Gradient = 29 ft./mile, Flow = 10.9 c.f.s.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Blockhouse Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate and 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.
Control Streambank Erosion
The DNR should work closely with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation staff, Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, and with Grant and Lafayette County LCD staff on reviewing erosion control measures associated with the reconstruction of US Highway 151 to assure maximum protection of nearby streams.
Monitor Fish Community
Assess instream fisheries habitat in the Little Platte Watershed - Blockhouse Creek and Mounds Branch.
Monitor Targeted Area
The following streams were monitored to determine if the streams should be considered for addition to the states list of impaired waters due to adverse instream habitat impacts from non-point pollution sources as required by section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act: Blockhouse Creek and Mounds Branch
Blockhouse Creek and Mounds Branch Sections of these streams were done in 2009 and are not recommend for listing.
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10021478||Blockhouse Creek Warmwater Smallmouth Bass||1/1/2015||10/29/2019||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10037494||Blockhouse Creek at STH 80/81||6/8/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10010747||Blockhouse Creek - Blockhouse Creek 1 50 Meters Upstream Of Old 151 Bridge||7/14/1992||7/14/1992||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10012956||Blockhouse Creek - Pleasant Valley Rd||10/14/2009||10/19/2015||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10033917||Snowden Branch at Blockhouse confluence||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10010746||Blockhouse Creek - Blockhouse Creek Station 2 230 Meters Downstream Of Confluence With Snowden Branch||10/28/2003||11/1/2018||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10031691||Blockhouse Creek abv Airport Rd. Bridge||1/1/2015||10/19/2015||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||223322||Blockhouse Creek - Airport Rd Near||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10044441||Blockhouse Creek - College Farm Rd||1/1/2015||10/19/2015||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10021489||Blockhouse Creek Upstream County D||5/31/2003||10/19/2015||Map||Data|
|944500||Blockhouse Creek||10021493||Blockhouse Creek Falls||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Blockhouse Creek is located in the Little Platte River watershed which is 154.94 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (46.20%), grassland (38%) and a mix of forest (10.40%) and other uses (5.50%). This watershed has 389.19 stream miles, 19.99 lake acres and 585.06 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.