Eleva Pond, Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08)
Eleva Pond, Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08)
Eleva Pond (1823500)
8.09 Acres
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Small lake describes the size of small isolated waters. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


The Eleva millpond is a 5.9 acre impoundment of Big Creek and Adams Creek. The Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08) map in this plan shows the location of the Eleva Millpond. The watershed covers approximately 20 square miles, or 12,800 acres.

A 1972 WDNR lake survey found that 82 percent of the lake was deeper than three feet. The maximum depth was nine feet and the estimated volume was 25.3 acre feet. By 1987, the water depth in the upper half of the impoundment was less than two feet and the lower half was less than four feet.

WDNR granted a permit in July 1987 to dredge up to 28,000 cubic yards of lake sediment to upgrade and ensure quality trout fishing. The millpond dredging proposal called for mechanical dredging to a depth of six feet in the upper lake and eight feet in the lower lake. The estimated project cost was $40,000. Mechanical dredging occurred during winter 1987 and spring 1988.

Dam Inspection

WDNR staff inspected the Eleva Roller Mill Dam in August 1986. WDNR recommended several repairs pertaining to the concrete and wooden structure and embankments (Coke, 1986). A portion of the dam washed out in April 1994. Repairs were made and the water level restored. A leak was observed in March 1995. The impoundment was then drained and the dam repaired again (Babros).

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

This medium hard water, drainage impoundment is located on Big Creek within the Village of Eleva. The water is clear, alkaline, and has a low transparency. Water levels are controlled by stoplogs. The dam is owned by the village and it has a height of 16 feet. Trout comprise the fishery. Brook and brown trout have been stocked following chemical treatment in 1969 to remove carp. The chemical eradication of fish was the final phase of a renovation program which included dredging by the Village of Eleva. A park provides public access. Beaver have been observed. A relatively few migrant puddle ducks use the impoundment.

Source: 1970, Surface Water Resources of Trempealeau County Eleva Pond, T24N, R9W, S10 Surface Acres = 5.9, S.D.F. = 2.06, Maximum Depth = 8 feet.

Date  1970

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Eleva Pond, Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08) Fish and Aquatic LifeEleva Pond, Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08) RecreationEleva Pond, Upper Buffalo River Watershed (BT08) Fish Consumption


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.




1.The City of Eleva should evaluate installing an effectively designed and maintained sediment trap for long-term protection of its millpond from current high sedimentation rates (Type C).

2.Eleva should develop a program to raise funds annually for continuing lake management, since state and federal funds may not be available in the future for dredging projects (Type C).

3.Eleva should submit a written operation and maintenance plan for the Eleva Roller Mill Dam to WDNR to estimate and possibly reduce dam maintenance costs (Type C).

4.Eleva should consider dam removal as a future management option in lieu of costly dam repairs and recurrent dredging, weighing the benefits of a streamside park against the cost of maintaining the millpond (Type C).

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Management Goals

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Eleva Pond is located in the Upper Buffalo River watershed which is 194.36 miĀ². 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.

Natural Community

Eleva Pond is considered a Small 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.

Small lake describes the size of small isolated waters. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.