Fish and Aquatic Life
Fishback Creek, located in southeastern La Crosse County, flows in a southerly direction for two miles before reaching Bohemian Valley Creek (aka upper Coon Creek). It has a steep gradient of 100 feet per mile and drains forested hillsides and agricultural land. Fishback Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length. The lower 0.5 mile is also designated as an Exceptional Resource Water.
Author Cynthia Koperski
A 1975 stream survey documented cool, clear water that carried a low suspended silt load. Rubble comprised the majority of the streambed with lesser amounts of sand, silt, gravel, and boulder. The riparian land consisted of pasture, swamp hardwood, and shrub marsh. Approximately six acres of wetland adjoin the creek. In-stream cover was common and composed of boulders, woody debris and aquatic vegetation. A 1988 fish survey documented brook trout, brown trout and a variety of minnows species. The WDNR should update fish and habitat data from Fishback Creek.
Fishback Creek hasn’t been stocked since 1990. Access is possible from the CTH "G" road crossing where DNR easements border the stream above and below the bridge for approximately 182 feet of public frontage.
From: Koperski, Cindy. 2002. The State of the Bad Axe - La Crosse Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Fishback Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length. The lower 0.5 mile is also designated as an Exceptional Resource Water.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
Monitor Fish Community
WDNR should conduct a fish and habitat survey of Fishback Creek to document existing conditions.
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|
|1647600||Fishback Creek||10013950||Fishback Creek Station 3 - T15n R5w S14 Sw 1/4 Ne 1/4||Map||Data|
|1647600||Fishback Creek||10013949||Fishback Creek Station 2 - T15n R5w S14 Sw 1/4 Se 1/4||Map||Data|
A 2005 fish survey documented brook trout, brown trout and a variety of minnow species. Fishback Creek hasn’t been stocked since 1990. Access is possible from the CTH G road crossing where DNR easements border the stream above and below the bridge for approximately 180 feet of public frontage.
Author Fisheries Staff
Fishback Creek is located in the Coon Creek watershed which is 238.20 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (44.60%), grassland (21.30%) and a mix of agricultural (16.50%) and other uses (17.60%). This watershed has 574.90 stream miles, 4,342.05 lake acres and 6,052.31 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.