Fish and Aquatic Life
Blake Fork is a spring and seepage stream (Smith and Ball, 1971) beginning near Patch Grove and flowing to the Grant River west of Lancaster. Agricultural non-point sources of pollution, particularly sediment from farm fields and eroding banks appear to major problems in the watershed. Some barnyards and at least one animal transfer site may also be problems. Smallmouth bass have been found at two sites on Blake Fork during fish surveys done in 1995-1996 (Wang et.al., 1996). Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores and stream water quality ratings, indicators of environmental degradation, for Blake Fork ranged from fair to poor. In-stream habitat evaluations show Blake Fork to have generally fair habitat quality (Wang et.al., 1996). Macroinvertebrate samples found nearly 70% of the samples to be midges, while conversely, only about 12% of the samples were stoneflies, mayflies or caddisflies (Marshall, 1999). High numbers of midges typically suggest some sort of environmental degradation usually as a result of agricultural non-point source pollution (Gamman, 1983). These data, coupled with the local intensely agricultural land use, indicates the stream is affected by non-point sources of pollution. The stream is considered a high priority for a non-point source pollution abatement project.
Bloomington and Patch Grove both operate permitted wastewater treatment plants that discharge to Blake Fork. Review of DNR wastewater files indicates that the Bloomington and Patch Grove facilities are generally operating well
Author Aquatic Biologist
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 = 16.2, acres, Length = 16.7 miles, Gradient = 20 ft./mile, Flow = 12.8 c.f.s.
A spring- and seepage-fed stream beginning within the Vil!age.of Patch Grove. It flows southeast
through Bloomington and then into the Grant River six miles west 9f Lancaster. About 90 percent of this water- shed has been cleared for agricultural purposes and the stream flows through firm pasture land for its entire length. Flooding is common. The stream is characterized by areas of long flat pools and heavily eroded banks. Farm animals and feed lots are frequently seen along these seriously-eroded banks. Several portions of this stream have been straightened by the local farmers in an effort to lessen these erosion problems, only to cause more of a problem downstream. Smallmouth bass provide a limited sport fishery. Crappies and rock bass were stocked at one time. Forage fish are common and bait dealers have seined minnows from this stream in previous' years. This stream has been heavily polluted in the past and portions of the stream appeared polluted when this survey was conducted in 1970. The Communities of Patch Grove and Bloomington are considered potential pollution sources at the present time.
Game assets include muskrats and some migratory waterfowl which may utilize the stream throughout the year. The stream is accessible from ten bridge crossings with 35 dwellings situated along the banks.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Blake Fork (962000) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; the regional biologist recommended an additional listing for degraded biological community based on current and historical Poor mIBI scores. This water is considered impaired and not meeting its Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Author Aaron Larson
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
|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|
|962000||Blake Fk||10010542||Blake Fk (2)||5/15/1995||5/15/1995||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||10017245||Blake Fork-Sth 35 20 Yds upstream from bridge||11/9/1984||9/18/2019||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||10037669||Blake Fork at Slabtown Road||10/11/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||223220||Blakes Fork - Cemetery Rd Near Bloomington WI||5/10/1979||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||223042||Blakes Fork - Spruce Rd Bloomingtn||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||10010538||Blake Fk (1)||4/29/1996||4/29/1996||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||10039164||Blake Fork Branch at Bloomington Community Park||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||223218||Blake Fork - Sth 133 Sec. 26(B1)||5/10/1979||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||223044||Blakes Fork - Sth 35 Bl Bloomingtn||Map||Data|
|962000||Blake Fk||223328||Blakes Fork - Sth 35/133||Map||Data|
Blake Fk is located in the Middle Grant River watershed which is 79.86 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (48.80%), grassland (37.40%) and a mix of forest (9.70%) and other uses (3.90%). This watershed has 206.44 stream miles, 6.02 lake acres and 0.00 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.