Fish and Aquatic Life
The North Fork of the Eau Claire River originates in southwestern Taylor County. It flows for approximately 48 miles before joining up with the South Fork in Eau Claire County. The South Fork of the Eau Claire River originates in northwestern Clark County and is approximately 40 miles in length. The main stem of the Eau Claire River flows in a westerly direction for approximately 34 miles before emptying into the Chippewa River in the City of Eau Claire. The Eau Claire County Forest lies along the majority of the river’s main stem. The Clark County Forest lies along approximately the lower five miles of the South and North Forks.
Voss, Karen and Sarah Beaster. 2001. The State of the Lower Chippewa River Basin. PUBL-WT-554 2001. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
South Fork of Eau Claire River T26N, R4W, S19, Surface Acres = 72.0, Miles = 37.0, Gradient = 12.3 feet per mile.
A soft water, light brown colored stream that flows southwest into
Eau Claire County where it joins the north fork to form the main river. Muskellunge,
walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and panfish comprise the fishery.
Carp are also present. About 60 percent of the watershed area is wooded or wild
land. Furbearers, including beaver, and waterfowl are present. Light boat traffic
is possible, but portaging around riffle areas is necessary. There are 23 miles of
public frontage through county forest cropland. Access is posslble from 16 road
From: Klick, Thomas A. and C.W. Threinen, 1965. Surface Water Resources of Clark County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The South Fork Eau Claire River (2137000) from headwaters to Mead Lake miles downstream was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the poor condition category) for the segment that extends from just south of Cth 29 up to the headwaters.
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.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
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|
|2137000||South Fork Eau Claire River||10010338||South Fork Eau Claire River - South Fork E.C. River Station 5 Hickory Rd.||Map||Data|
|2137000||South Fork Eau Claire River||10010161||South Fork Eau Claire River - S.F Eau Claire River Station 4||10/22/1996||10/12/2020||Map||Data|
South Fork Eau Claire River is located in the South Fork Eau Claire River watershed which is 229.49 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (56%), agricultural (22.80%) and a mix of wetland (12%) and other uses (9.20%). This watershed has 421.59 stream miles, 307.67 lake acres and 23,719.61 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, High for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.