4.82 - 15.75
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
Fish and Aquatic Life
The North Fork of Buffalo River flows for about 16 miles before reaching its confluence with the South Fork in the city of Osseo. The first 4.8 miles from its mouth the North Fork is classified as a Class II Trout water. While the remainder of the stream is recognized as an Exceptional Resource Water and a cold Class I Trout water.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The North Fork of Buffalo River (WBIC 1829700) 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|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10028787||North Fork Buffalo River At Bloom Road||7/21/2008||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10034944||Hill Rd. - Fish Station||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10012335||North Fork Buffalo River Downstream Of Junction With Unnamed Stream||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10015344||N. Fork Buffalo River - Jackson / Trempealeau County Line||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10021321||North Fork Buffalo River||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||273125||Buffalo River North Fork - N Fork Buffalo R At Sperber (Ives) Rd||10/8/1999||1/12/2000||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10008401||Station 5 85' Us Of Sperber(Ives) Rd.||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10009733||Nf Buffalo River 24n 6w S5 Habitat Work||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10015343||N. Fork Buffalo River - East Moe Road Crossing||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10021329||North Fork Buffalo River||Map||Data|
North Fork Buffalo River is located in the Upper Buffalo River watershed which is 194.36 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.70%), agricultural (33.70%) and a mix of grassland (17.50%) and other uses (7.10%). This watershed has 438.86 stream miles, 85.35 lake acres and 6,107.52 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.
North Fork Buffalo River is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem 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) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent,
mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.
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.
This stream has 16 miles of Class I brook and brown trout stream. Most of this stream is in a state fishery, including areas of streambank fencing protecting fish habitat. The fishery is naturally limited by the stream channel's shifting bottom, and lack of deep pools. The stream channel tends to be wide and shallow, providing limited in-stream habitat.
Author Aquatic Biologist