Fish and Aquatic Life
St. Croix Flowage, in the Upper St. Croix and Eau Claire Rivers Watershed, is a 2,247.33 acre impoundment that falls in Douglas County. This impoundment is an outstanding/exceptional resource water under NR102 under the Fisheries Program. This impoundment is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
This 1913 acre impoundment was created by the construction of a twelve-foot head dam across
the St. Croix River as a WPA project in 1936. The sometimes called "Gordon Howage" is
shallow (mean depth - 6.5 ft.) and contains an abundance of aquatic vegetation and has over a
thousand acres of adjoining wetlands. The flowage has an excellent fishery and is an
outstanding waterfowl and furbearer producer. Migratory waterfowl also use the flowage as a
staging area in the spring and fall.
The shoreline community around the flowage has recently formed a lake association and
requested WRM assistance in dealing with the overabundance of aquatic vegetation which is
causing use problems. A feasibility study to document current vegetation patterns, densities and
any possible causes would be a desireable step for this waterbody.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
St. Croix Flowage (2740300) was placed on the impaired waters list for Mercury in fish tissue in 1998. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This lake is considered impaired for Fish Consumption use and meeting REC and FAL uses.
Author Aaron Larson
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.
Douglas County will acquire approximately 128 acres (six parcels) of land located on the Gordon/St. Croix Flowage to protect the headwaters of the St. Croix Scenic Riverway. The properties include primarily wooded acreage located along both the southern shore of the flowage and Wilcox Island along the northern shore. The property will be managed by the County Forestry Department as either special use areas to preserve and protect the water quality and wildlife habitat of the flowage or as county forest lands. The primary goals - preserve and protect the water quality of the flowage and the high quality fishery and wildlife habitat, rich in both aquatic and terrestial bio-diversity -- protect the southern shoreline of the flowage from further development, and 3) to protect and maintain as a unique benchmark stand the old growth red and white pine stand on Wilcox Island. -
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|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163299||Saint Croix Flowage - The Narrows||6/24/1994||9/14/2020||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10019048||Saint Croix Flowage -- Access at Gordon - Off Flowage Ln ||5/5/2007||8/4/2020||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10031157||Saint Croix Flowage - True Deep Hole||4/28/2010||9/14/2020||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10037314||St. Croix Flowage Eurasian Water Milfoil Bed (Bed 1)||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10037315||St. Croix Flowage Eurasian Water Milfoil Bed (Bed 2)||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||164017||St Croix Flowage - St Croix Flowage||7/19/1979||7/19/1979||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163387||St Croix Flowage - N Wilcox Island - Site C||7/9/1995||8/13/1995||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163423||St.Croix Flowage - East Of Dam||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163235||St Croix Flowage - Near Dam Deep Hole Site A||5/12/1993||9/14/2020||Map||Data|
|2601400||Saint Croix River||10037315||St. Croix Flowage Eurasian Water Milfoil Bed (Bed 2)||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163298||St Croix Flowage - Near Dam||5/4/1994||5/4/1994||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10001296||St Croix Flowage||9/8/1974||9/12/2017||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||10018762||Saint Croix Flowage -- Gordon Dam Access - Nr Cty Y||5/5/2007||8/4/2020||Map||Data|
|2601400||Saint Croix River||10037314||St. Croix Flowage Eurasian Water Milfoil Bed (Bed 1)||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||163236||St Croix Flowage - Main Basin - Site B - Nr Wilcox Island||6/21/1993||9/14/2020||Map||Data|
|2740300||St Croix Flowage ||214||St. Croix River - - Gordon Flowage||10/20/1970||10/20/1970||Map||Data|
St Croix Flowage is located in the Upper St. Croix and Eau Claire Rivers watershed which is 277.89 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (83.90%), wetland (9.50%) and a mix of open (4.30%) and other uses (2.40%). This watershed has 153.93 stream miles, 7,654.41 lake acres and 13,694.48 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.