Fish and Aquatic Life
Fishery Survey 1975 - Documented trout upstream of CTH DH which confirms its Class III classification. An updated classification from Class III to Class II for the upper 1.5 miles of Halfway Creek was recommended as a result of this survey.
Hydraulic and Sedimentation Study of Halfway Creek and Sand Lake Coulee Creek. Town of Onalaska, WI. November 1995, Vierbicher Associates Inc. EDA Project No: 06-06-61051. - Documented a substantial sediment load to Halfway Creek which originate in the lands that drain to Halfway Creek.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Halfway Creek, which flows through Holmen, is a twelve mile stream with portions classified as a Class II and III trout stream and a warm water sport fishery. Tremendous siltation from streambank pasturing has decreased in-stream habitat for fish and aquatic insects. Delivery of sediment from several tributaries also contributes to habitat problems seen in Halfway Creek. Streambank pasturing of livestock, barnyard runoff and cropland erosion are documented problems along Halfway Creek and its tributaries (Masterson). The stream has the potential to improve to Class I and II trout and extend the areas inhabited by trout water an additional two miles (Talley). The aquatic insect community above Holmen indicated very good to excellent water quality; however, excessive fecal contamination, suspended solids, and nutrients were also recorded (Masterson). Urbanization of the lower portion of this stream also contributes problems to Halfway Creek in the form of increased stormwater runoff volume and sedimentation from construction sites not secured with erosion control measures.
A cause of increased flood frequencies in the lower portions of Halfway Creek was linked to sediment loading throughout the 36 square mile Halfway Creek watershed. An estimated sediment load of 50,170 tons per year, or 1,400 tons/sq. mile/year, reaches Halfway Creek (Vierbicher). A portion of that sediment load is transported downstream. As the stream gradient decreases near the Mississippi River, movement of this sediment slows and accumulates in the stream channel, causing the stream to become wide and shallow, which leads to lower flood thresholds.
The Holmen wastewater treatment plant discharges to Halfway Creek. Adjustments in plant operation should be made that contribute to frequent treatment plant upsets. During the facility planning process, the community of Holmen should examine regionalized sewerage treatment with the City of LaCrosse as a potentially cost effective option (Cameron).
Metallics, Inc. discharges process wastewater to Halfway Creek. A study to determine water quality below the discharge in Halfway Creek was conducted in 1996. Continuous monitoring equipment measured a number of water quality parameters. No measurable impact to Halfway Creek with regard to temperature, dissolved oxygen or pH were documented (Sullivan and others).
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Halfway Creek (Mouth to Main St. in Holmen (CTH DH)) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate 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
Halfway Creek, from Knutson Rd. to CTH W (miles 7.72 to 11.59), habitat suffers from a lack of in-stream cover and sedimentation caused by streambank erosion, both natural and livestock grazing. This segment was put on the impaired waters list for sediment and degraded habitat in 1998.
Author Ashley Beranek
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 Aquatic Biology
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Halfway Creek, WBIC: 1676000, AU:14054
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|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||323090||Halfway Creek - Above Hwy Z||4/17/1984||11/21/1985||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||323091||Halfway Creek at Hwy 53 Bridge||4/28/1982||9/13/2014||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10015518||Halfway Creek Station 3 - Point Near Cth Zn On Fws Property||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10014047||Halfway Creek Station 1 - 900 Ft Downstream Of Cth Zn Bridge Crossing||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10028919||Halfway Creek off end of Park Lane||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||323078||Halfway Creek - Sw1/4 Of Ne1/4 Sec 7||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10014049||Halfway Creek Station 3 - Hwy 35 Bridge Crossing||4/28/1982||10/14/1992||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10014037||Halfway Creek Station 1 - Cth Zn Bridge Crossing||4/29/1986||9/13/2014||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10009965||Halfway Creek - Halfway Creek Station 2-2002 Hwy V Bridge||4/30/1980||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1676700||Black River||10045482||Phragmites Occurrence - Lake Onalaska||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||323092||Halfway Creek at Hwy Zn Culvert||8/3/1989||10/13/2015||Map||Data|
|1676700||Black River||10045487||Phragmites Occurrence - Lake Onalaska||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10014038||Halfway Creek Station 2 - Cth Xx Bridge Crossing||4/28/1982||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1676000||Halfway Creek||10016069||Halfway Cr. - Second Farm Below Hwy Xx On Southside Of Dike And Barn Cs3aa||3/14/1985||3/14/1985||Map||Data|
|728100||Lake Onalaska||10045482||Phragmites Occurrence - Lake Onalaska||Map||Data|
|728100||Lake Onalaska||10045487||Phragmites Occurrence - Lake Onalaska||Map||Data|
Halfway Creek is located in the Lower Black River watershed which is 189.82 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (42%), agricultural (20.30%) and a mix of wetland (13.80%) and other uses (23.70%). This watershed has 383.70 stream miles, 1,042.10 lake acres and 17,676.19 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.