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Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
Buck Creek, located in northwest Crawford County, flows for 2.7 miles in a southwesterly direction before reaching the Mississippi River. The stream is located south of Ferryville between Sugar Creek and Copper Creek. It has a moderate gradient of 36.4 feet per mile. Only forage fish species were documented in a 1971 stream survey but since that time, Buck Creek has been classified as a Class I Trout Stream. Surveys in 2001 and 2004 supported an update to this Fisheries Program listing in 2008.
Public access is from the lower portion of Buck Creek, which flows through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Buck Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate 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.
Monitor Fish Community
Condition assessment surveys -- WDNR should continue to conduct trout stocking
and habitat assessment surveys on the small 1st and 2nd order streams draining
directly into the Mississippi (e.g. Buck, Du Charme Creek, Leitner Creek, etc.).
Monitor to Evaluate Projects
Fish Stocking Evaluation Surveys on Buck Creek conducted 2002, 2003, 2004
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|
|1636200||Buck Creek||10010096||Buck Creek #2-Bridge On S. Buck Creek Rd.||10/18/2001||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|724600||Lake Winneshiek||10022243||Lake Winneshiek||6/22/2010||9/2/2016||Map||Data|
|1636200||Buck Creek||10009024||Buck Creek #1-Bridge On Buck Creek Rd (Norway Rd)||8/12/2011||8/12/2011||Map||Data|
|1636200||Buck Creek||10034663||Buck Creek at STH 35||11/3/2011||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Buck Creek is located in the Rush Creek watershed which is 240.16 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (46.60%), grassland (16.20%) and a mix of agricultural (15%) and other uses (22.10%). This watershed has 551.06 stream miles, 1,906.88 lake acres and 9,793.93 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.
Buck Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.
A number of small 1st and 2nd order streams, such as Buck Creek, Cooley Creek and the North Branch of Copper Creek, were stocked with feral brook trout. Follow-up fi sheries surveys were conducted to evaluate the eff ectiveness of the stocking program. Preliminary fisheries information from the streams indicates that trout stocking can provide the initial brood stock necessary to establish a viable and self-sustaining brook trout population. However, recent surveys also provide evidence that fish communities in these small streams may be signifi cantly aff ected by extremely high flows.
For instance, pre-stocking fisheries surveys from Buck Creek resulted in poor
Coldwater IBI scores. During -- and a few years after -- the stocking of feral
brook trout in Buck Creek, the Coldwater IBI scores improved to excellent, with 50 to 150 or more brook trout ranging in size from 2 inches to 11 inches found at each station. However, a fisheries survey in 2009 following signifi cant flood events in August 2007 and July of 2008 reported only 20 brook stickleback and no brook trout.
Author Cynthia Koperski
More Interactive Maps
Maps of Watershed