Fish and Aquatic Life
Smoky Hill Flowage is a medium hard water drained lake (impoundment) having acid, light brown water of low transparency. The immediate shoreline (90 percent) is predominately wetland of shrub and hardwood with the remainder being cleared upland. The littoral materials are composed of muck (40 percent), sand (20 percent), silt (30 percent), and detritus (10 percent). Emergent and submergent aquatic vegetation grow in moderate quantities. In spring, northern pike and carp may spawn in this flowage. A water control structure, having a head of 4 feet, maintains the water level. This impoundment is part of a complex of flowages managed by the Department of Natural Resources for waterfowl within the George Mead Wildlife Area. The entire shoreline is owned by the Department of Natural Resources and provides wilderness type public access.
Source: 1977, Surface Water Resources of Marathon County Smoky Hill Flowage, T26N, R5E, Section 28 Surface Acres = 135.0, Maximum Depth = 10 feet, Secchi Disk = 4 feet
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|
|1419300||Smoky Hill Flowage||10003611||Smoky Hill Flowage||7/27/1999||7/20/2011||Map||Data|
Smoky Hill Flowage is located in the Little Eau Pleine River watershed which is 263.30 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (39%), wetland (23%) and a mix of forest (18%) and other uses (20.00%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 38,285.37 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low 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.