Fish and Aquatic Life
This watershed contains the reach of Grant River from its mouth upstream to Pigeon Creek. The valley tends to be steeper in this downstream portion of the river. Due to this local relief, land is less intensively cropped than in other parts of the watershed, however, non-point source pollution from streambank erosion is severe. The USGS maintains a flow monitoring station on the Grant River near Burton. Data from this station shows that almost 54,000 tons of sediment were discharged to the river above Burton (Holmstrom, et.al., 1998). This value averages out to slightly more than 5.5 tons of soil per acre from the entire Grant River drainage area above Burton during 1998. That sediment ultimately reaches the Mississippi River at Pool 11. The fishery of this reach of the river includes smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, and catfish. The floodplain-wetlands complex at the mouth of the river provides a highly productive habitat for waterfowl and nongame species (Bachhuber et.al., 1991). Overall, this reach of Grant River is heavily used for canoeing, hunting, fishing and other types of recreation
Author Aquatic Biologist
From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 211.90 acres, Length = 43.7 miles, Gradient = 5 ft./mile, Flow = 170.5 c.f.s.
A seepage and spring fed stream beginning at the confluence of Rogers Branch and Borah Creek two miles north of Lancaster. It lows southwest until nearing Beetown and then turns sharply to the southeast entering the Mississippi River three-fourth mile west of Potosi. This is a large, low gradient stream with an extensive watershed that drains nearly one-third of Grant County. Next to the Platte River it is the second largest river completely within Grant County. Over 70 percent of the land in the watershed is used for agricultural purposes. Flooding of valley bottom lands and subsequent bank erosion is a severe problem along the Grant River and most ofits larger tributaries. Siltation is heavy in the larger pools.
Trout water extends 1.5 miles downstream from the junction of Rogers Branch and Borah Creek. Brown and rainbow trout predominate the fishing in this section of stream. This stream is characterized by excellent water for smallmouth bass which are common throughout. There is good in-stream cover for this species.
Channel catfish, northern pike and a few walleyes provide a limited fisheryas far upstream as the mouth of Blake Fork. This portion of the stream can easily be fished by floating a small boat or a canoe. Forage fish are abundant throughout while rough fish are common in the lower reaches. Better soil and water control practices could greatly decrease flood damage and enhance the existing trout and warmwater fishery habitat. Several different types of pollutants eventually reach the river from major tributaries.
Adjoining wetland totals 282 acres, 60 percent of which is nonwoody and 40 percent is woody. Muskrats are common throughout the stream and waterfowl are common in the lower reaches. Beaver are present in many different areas along the river. Public frontage totals 0.45 mile at the mouth. Additional access is provided by 15 bridge crossings and the Mississippi River.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Grant River (miles 34.87-39.67) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
The 2018 assessments of the Grant River (miles 0-26) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data 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, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Grant River (956000) from its mouth to Pigeon Creek was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data did not exceed 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
2013 TP "May Meet". AU 6901615, miles 34.87 - 39.67. Station 223214. If Clearly Meeting then potential for delisting.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 5P. 2018 TP Results: May Meet. Station: 223214. AU: 6901615.
Nine Key Element Plan
Lower Grant River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Lower Grant River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the lower portion of the Grant River Watershed below the river's confluence with the Pigeon River and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Lower Grant River Priority Watershed Project area. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lower Grant River Priority Watershed Project area.
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|
|956000||Grant River||223214||Grant River - Pigeon River Rd.||4/17/1980||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|956000||Grant River||10052602||Grant River, 0.85 miles downstream of Pigeon Creek, in Town of Waterloo||Map||Data|
|956000||Grant River||10049204||Grant River 88m US CTH U||Map||Data|
Grant River is located in the Lower Grant River watershed which is 129.75 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (56%), grassland (25.40%) and a mix of forest (16.50%) and other uses (1.90%). This watershed has 310.53 stream miles, 33.46 lake acres and 298.95 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.