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||10015344||N. Fork Buffalo River - Jackson / Trempealeau County Line||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10034943||N Fork Buffalo River at Hwy 10||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||623093||Buffalo River North Fork - Sth 10 Bridge In Osseo||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10021396||North Fork Buffalo River - Cth R Crossing||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10029762||N Fork Buffalo River I-94 in Osseo||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1829700||North Fork Buffalo River||10021973||N. Br. Beef Stock Cty R||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||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.