Fish and Aquatic Life
The Lower Big Eau Pleine River is classified as a warm water game fishery. This watershed receives a significant amount of nutrients and sediment from NPS run-off, particularly animal waste. The entire Big Eau Pleine River is listed on the EPA 303 (d) list as an impaired waterbody for low dissolved oxygen and high levels of bacteria.
Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company (WVIC) owns and operates a dam on the Lower Big Eau Pleine River. The present operation practices at the dam may contribute to increased suspension of oxygen-demanding sediments. It is unknown if this or other factors such as decomposing algal blooms, reduced iron and manganese species from sediment poor water, are the major contributors to formation of low dissolved oxygen sag (Gunnison, 1988). Future studies could determine which of the above is the major factor; so possible remediation can be conducted. In any event, reduction of nutrients and sediment from NPS run-off is needed. Kreitlow, James D. 1991. Upper Wisconsin River Central Sub-Basin Water Quality Management Plan. PUBL-WR-287-91-REV. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The Lower Big Eau Pleine River is classified as a warm water game fishery. This watershed receives a significant amount of nutrients and sediment from NPS run-off, particularly animal waste. The entire Big Eau Pleine River is listed on the EPA 303 (d) list as an impaired waterbody for low dissolved oxygen and high levels of bacteria. Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company (WVIC) owns and operates a dam on the Lower Big Eau Pleine River. The present operation practices at the dam may contribute to increased suspension of oxygen-demanding sediments. It is unknown if this\ or other factors such as decomposing algal blooms, reduced iron and manganese species from sediment poor water, are the major contributors to formation of low dissolved oxygen sag (Gunnison, 1988). Future studies could determine which of the above is the major factor; so possible remediation can be conducted. In any event, reduction of nutrients and sediment from NPS run-off is needed Kreitlow, James D. 1991. Upper Wisconsin River Central Sub-Basin Water Quality Management Plan. PUBL-WR-287-91-REV. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
The Big Eau Pleine Citizens Organization (BEPCO) proposes to upgrade its web site and financial management system to improve its outreach and capacity to implement projects for the betterment of the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir in Marathon County.
Marathon County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.
Monitor Fish Tissue
Water Quality Planning
The Big Eau Pleine Citizens Organization proposes to collect data on agricultural practices within the Fenwood Creek watershed and initiate a dialogue with farmers and rural property owners for the purpose of working to reduce polluted run-off to the Big Eau Pleine Flowage in Marathon County. Major project elements to include:a) water quality monitoring and analysis, b) outreach events.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitoring - the Department started a multi-year water quality study in 2009 to develop a TMDL for the river and flowage. Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a 6348 acre lake located in Marathon County.
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
The Big Eau Pleine Flowage is listed on the Federal 303 (d) list for violations of the state dissolved oxygen and pH water quality standards. The Big Eau Pleine River is also on the list for dissolved oxygen levels below the water quality standard. Both listings are a result of excessive nutrient loading, primarily phosphorus, to the river and flowage.
Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a 6348 acre lake located in Marathon County. It has a maximum depth of 46 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings. Fish include Musky, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake's water clarity is low.
Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a medium hard water drainage lake (impoundment) on the Big Eau Pleine River having slightly acid, medium brown water of low transparency. Approximately 95 percent of the shoreline is upland, with the remainder being wetland. The littoral materials are composed of sand (60 percent), muck (25 percent), rubble (10 percent), and boulder (5 percent). Aquatic vegetation is sparse. Fish inhabiting this flowage include northern pike, walleye, muskellunge, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, black bullhead, carp and white sucker.
The reservoir has 66.3 miles of shoreline, of which 2.7 miles is public frontage. A public boat landing with parking is provided. Public recreational facilities include a park area, campsites, and campground. Inlet streams are the Big Eau Pleine River, Freeman Creek, Fenwood Creek, and two unnamed streams. The outlet is directly connected to Lake DuBay, located on the Wisconsin River. Recent winterkills (1973-74) are believed to have resulted from organic pollution. Waterfowl, especially diving ducks, use this flowage on their spring and fall migrations. The flowage is maintained as a low flow augmentation reservoir by the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company. The water control structure has a head of 31.5 feet. Source: 1977, Surface Water Resources of Marathon County Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, T26N, R6E, Section 14 and 23 Surface Acres = 6,830.4, Maximum Depth = 46 feet, Secchi Disk = 3 feet.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018362||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Near County Hwy O||6/21/2003||7/13/2012||Map||Data|
|1412200||Lake Du Bay||10030620||Big Eau Pleine River - Tailwater below Big Eau Pleine Dam||1/9/2006||12/17/2019||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373424||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Near Dam||4/21/1994||4/21/1994||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||375010||Big Eau Pleine River - Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||11/10/2004||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018348||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at South Of Big Eau Pleine Park Rd||7/15/2010||7/7/2013||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018090||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Paradise Dr Nr Cth C||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10020948||Big Eau Pleine Southeast Point||7/1/2007||10/29/2022||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10044997||Big Eau Pleine Flowage mile 5.5 upstream from Dam; mid channel near County Park||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018449||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Near Strand Lane||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10003570||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||7/27/1999||4/15/2022||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018349||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Near Fisherman Cv Off Cth S||9/25/2010||6/22/2014||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||128||Big Eau Pleine Resevoir - Big Eau Pleine Resevoir||5/20/1976||5/20/1976||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373136||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Middle ||7/5/1988||10/25/2022||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018350||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Near Eau Pleine Park Rd||6/29/2011||7/12/2012||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373446||Big Eau Pleine Flowage - Near Shore Off County Park Boat Landing||9/14/2004||6/14/2006||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373425||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Far Dam||4/20/1994||4/20/1994||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018089||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access Off Eau Pleine Park Rd||7/12/2012||7/12/2012||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10007587||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Above County Park - Below Freeman Creek Bay||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018347||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at End Of Rd To South Off Big Eau Pleine Park Road||7/12/2012||9/5/2013||Map||Data|
|1427200||Big Eau Pleine River||10030620||Big Eau Pleine River - Tailwater below Big Eau Pleine Dam||1/9/2006||12/17/2019||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10035066||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Sampler Location on Upstream Side of Dam||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373331||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Headwater above Dam||2/14/1977||12/5/2019||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373135||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Lower ||6/29/2000||10/25/2022||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373417||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Middle Segment Cty Park Landing Near Cth C||10/9/1992||5/6/2022||Map||Data|
|1427200||Big Eau Pleine River||375010||Big Eau Pleine River - Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||11/10/2004||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10018363||Big Eau Pleine River -- Access at Near Sandy Shore Rd||8/16/2012||8/16/2012||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373395||Unn Creek 13-16 at Hwy 107||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10041695||Big Eau Pleine River - George's Landing||9/30/2017||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373123||Big Eau Pleine Lake - Deep Hole||7/30/1973||7/25/2022||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||373418||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Lower Segment Above Dam||10/9/1992||10/9/1992||Map||Data|
|1427400||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir||10007758||Big Eau Pleine Reservoir - Main Channel River Mile 3||1/18/2006||10/25/2022||Map||Data|
|1412200||Lake Du Bay||373455||Eau Pleine Reservoir - Headwaters||Map||Data|
|1427200||Big Eau Pleine River||373455||Eau Pleine Reservoir - Headwaters||Map||Data|
|1427200||Big Eau Pleine River||10044997||Big Eau Pleine Flowage mile 5.5 upstream from Dam; mid channel near County Park||Map||Data|
Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is located in the Lower Big Eau Pleine River watershed which is 138.59 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (37.80%), forest (29.40%) and a mix of grassland (14.80%) and other uses (17.90%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 3,698.60 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.