Fish and Aquatic Life
Graveyard Creek, an exceptional resource water, flows through the Bad River Indian Reservation before reaching Lake Superior. The stream supports a Class I trout fishery and migratory runs of trout and salmon species from the lake. Based on temperature, the stream likely owes some of its flow to groundwater. The stream also does not seem as prone as other streams in this part of the basin to severe low flow conditions. Please see the discussion under the Lower Bad River Watershed about land use and management issues in forested areas of the red clay region. The upper parts of the watershed are privately owned. This stream could be harmed by forestry activity if proper management practices are not used.
The mouth of Graveyard Creek has been identified by the Lake Superior Binational Program as habitat critical to the integrity of the Lake Superior ecosystem as a fish and wildlife spawning and nursery grounds and coastal wetlands. At the mouth of the creek, a sand bar and fringing wetlands provide spawning habitat for lake herring. The area is also used by brook and rainbow trout, and coho salmon.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation two rare species of macroinvertebrate was found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997).
Wisconsin Trout Streams identifies the West Branch of Graveyard Creek as a Class II trout fishery. This name is apparently not officially registered with the Wisconsin Geographical Names Council. An unnamed stream entering Graveyard Creek at T47N R1W S9 matches the length and continuous flow necessary to meet a Class II fishery. The stream falls entirely within the Bad River Indian Reservation.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
West Branch Graveyard Creek is located in the Montreal River watershed which is 226.26 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (70%), wetland (22.70%) and a mix of open (3.10%) and other uses (4.10%). This watershed has 382.88 stream miles, 1,369.22 lake acres and 30,742.44 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.