Fish and Aquatic Life
Fall Creek is noted as a native brook trout stream, but is threatened by cattle pasturing the
streambanks, feedlot runoff, and cropland erosion. A streambank easement plan calls for purchasing
easement rights along the stream corridor to reduce the silt load to the stream (WDNR 1990).
The Fall Creek watershed has been selected to receive money for a Federal Water Quality Incentive
Program appropriated from the Federal Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP). High nitrate
levels in the groundwater prompted Pepin County to pursue this project, whlch is completely
voluntary, and use it as an educational tool for the rest of Pepin County. One goal of the project is
to demonstrate that careful manure spreading, nutrient balancing, and proper pesticide application
can be both environmentally and economically sound. Another major goal of thls project is to
reduce the amount of nutrients entering both ground and surface water. This program uses
incentive payments rather than cost share payments (Fall Creek Focus).
Author Aquatic Biologist
The 2018 assessments of Fall Creek showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
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|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10055133||Fall Creek, Downstream of 50th Ave||3/31/2021||9/23/2021||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10009819||Fall Creek at CTH T||6/24/2014||6/6/2021||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10011008||Fall Creek at Fall Creek Road.||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10009896||Fall Creek 2- Hwy 85||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10053325||Fall Creek at BB ||10/26/2019||10/26/2019||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10014991||Fall Creek at CTH R||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10014992||Fall Creek Station 2 (Hwy 85)||1/1/2015||10/15/2019||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||173234||Fall Creek - (30ft upstream) 50th Ave (station 1)||9/20/2000||6/6/2021||Map||Data|
|2116700||Fall Creek||10043857||Fall Creek (Spring) DS CTH BB||5/20/2015||10/15/2019||Map||Data|
Fall Creek is located in the Lowes and Rock Creeks watershed which is 219.17 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (38.80%), forest (34.30%) and a mix of grassland (13.50%) and other uses (13.40%). This watershed has 372.30 stream miles, 317.07 lake acres and 12,231.21 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.