0 - 9.27
Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
Barron, Chippewa, Dunn
Fish and Aquatic Life
A permit to apply chemicals to the invasive purple loosestrife along the shores of Sand Creek was
granted from 1991 through 1993 W N R Purple loosestrife, native to Europe and Asia, has
gained a competitive edge over native wetland plants to the near exclusion of most other vegetation.
Once a wetland is dominated by loosestrife, traditional residents such as muskrat and waterfowl
significantly decline in numbers. Others, such as marsh wrens and least bitterns, are displaced
completely from the wetland. Careful use of herbicide is the most effective, efficient and least
destructive means of removing large purple loosestrife plants.
The Sand Creek State Fishery Area has experienced problems with beaver activity. Beaver dams
create pools in the stream that increase water temperature and can affect trout populations. To
preserve the cold water necessary for trout, Fisheries Management needs to continue controlling
beaver in the Sand Creek Fishery Area.
The Chippewa County portion of Sand Creek is designated as an exceptional resource water (ERW)
due to the fishery, quality of the fishing experience, and good water quality. The ERW designation
prohibits any new effluent discharges that contain compounds in excess of background levels found
in Sand Creek, unless the discharge is needed to correct an environmental problem.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Sand Creek 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
|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|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10008774||3-Sand Creek-25th St.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10029372||SAND CREEK - Station 2B - 17 meters upstream of D. Henry's downstream watering hole||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10029371||SAND CREEK -Station 3B - upstream of 30th St.||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10008787||4 Sand Creek 40th St||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10055418||Sand Creek at Bridge St(CTH V)||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10008766||1-Sand Cr.-1342 Th Ave. ||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2086100||Sand Creek||10008772||2-Sand Creek-10th St.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Sand Creek is located in the Pine Creek and Red Cedar River watershed which is 287.89 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (40%), forest (34.80%) and a mix of grassland (18.60%) and other uses (6.60%). This watershed has 538.68 stream miles, 84.94 lake acres and 12,197.18 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.
Sand Creek is considered a Coldwater, 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.