Fish and Aquatic Life
Lake Henry, in Blair, is a 43 acre impoundment of the Trempealeau River. See the Pigeon Creek Watershed (BT04) map in this plan for its location. The watershed area above the lake covers 181 square miles, or 116,000 acres in Jackson and Trempealeau Counties.
A self-help volunteer and Adopt-A-Lake participants on this lake could aid in documenting water quality trends and in increasing awareness about and protective actions for this lake. WDNR Watershed Management staff could collect other water quality data to build on past collection efforts.
By the mid 1970s, lake sedimentation had progressed to where shallow depth and nuisance vegetation severely limited recreational opportunities. In 1977, the Lake Henry Protection and Rehabilitation District proposed dredging.
In 1979, the community completed the dredging of approximately 24 acres of Lake Henry, plus watershed improvements - primarily stream bank riprapping - for a total project cost of $413,000. The project removed roughly 230,000 cubic yards of sediment and the lake volume increased from 71 acre ft. to 214 acre ft. Seventeen acres in the lower end of the lake were dredged to 10 feet and seven acres above that area were dredged to an average depth of 6 feet.
Lake volume in the dredged lake area decreased approximately 40 percent from 214 acre ft. to 129 acre ft. during the 9.5 years following dredging (Table 33). Based on either sediment probing or lake depth surveys in 1981-1984 and 1989, the average sedimentation rate for this period was 14,400 cubic yards per year (See Figure 5, Figure 7, and Table 34).
As with Bugle Lake, the sedimentation rate was highest immediately following dredging, at 31,299 cubic yards per year for the first 1.5 years. This high rate was again attributed to channel bedload scouring. The sedimentation rate over the last five years has decreased substantially to 10,000 cubic yards per year. However, the rate is still significantly higher than the predicted rate from the Lake Henry Protection and Rehabilitation Report of 3,000 to 9,000 cubic yards per year.
Sedimentation appears to be much greater in the upper end of the lake compared to the lower end. The average sedimentation rate measured along a transect in the upper end was approximately 4.7 inches per year compared to an average rate of 2.5 inches per year measured at a lower end transect.
Lake Henry reportedly is maintaining a good northern pike population. Panfish and bass are also present (Talley). Fish cribs have been placed in the lake to compensate for the lack of natural fish habitat.
WDNR staff inspected the Blair Mill Dam in October 1989 and recommended that the city develop a dam operation and maintenance plan. WDNR recommended repairing the concrete dam and embankment as well as installing dam warning signs. As of April 1996, WDNR had not received such a plan. Continued dam maintenance would prolong its life and likely reduce the risk of dam failure or removal orders.
Flooding in and around Blair may be increased by the inability to properly operate the stoplog gates in the dam, which impedes the flow of water through the impoundment. The City of Blair has contracted with a consulting firm to outline measures to resolve this problem (Lepak). Removal of the dam should be considered as one solution to this problem.
Author Aquatic Biologist
This clear, soft water, drainage impoundment is located on the Trempealeau River at Blair. The water is alkaline and has a low transparency. The stoplog water control structure has a height of nine feet and it is owned by the City of Blair. Northern pike, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, crappie, rock bass, pumpkinseed, and bullhead comprise the fishery. Except for near the dam, most of the impoundment is quite shallow and the average depth is approximately 3.5 feet. A public park is located on the south side of the impoundment. Muskrat are significant. Waterfowl use includes nesting mallard and teal and migrant puddle ducks.
Source: 1970, Surface Water Resources of Trempealeau County Lake Henry, T21N, R7W, S16 Surface Acres = 43.5, S.D.F. = 4.41, Maximum Depth = 7.5 feet.
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 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|
|1769900||Trempealeau River||623110||Trempealeau River at Lake Henry Inlet||3/29/1977||8/16/1977||Map||Data|
|1800500||Henry Lake||10039972||Lake Henry - Deep Hole||5/24/2013||10/13/2013||Map||Data|
|1800500||Henry Lake||623247||Lake Henry -- Public Boat Landing||6/3/1992||10/21/1992||Map||Data|
|1800500||Henry Lake||10005932||Henry Lake||8/29/2000||6/12/2015||Map||Data|
|1800500||Henry Lake||10018236||Lake Henry -- Access||Map||Data|
Henry Lake is located in the Middle Trempealeau River watershed which is 205.47 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38.50%), agricultural (31%) and a mix of grassland (21.40%) and other uses (9.00%). This watershed has 489.89 stream miles, 396.56 lake acres and 5,115.26 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.