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Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem, Macroinvertebrate, No Classification, Cool-Warm Headwater
High Phosphorus Levels
Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe
Fish and Aquatic Life
Sand Creek is a small spring-fed stream located in southwestern Monroe County. It flows in a northwesterly direction for approximately 1.4 miles before reaching the Little La Crosse River near Leon. This stream drains moderately steep forested hills and agricultural lands and has a gradient of 28 feet per mile. Sand Creek is a Class III trout stream for its entire length.
The most recent survey, completed in 1973, documented cool, clear water with a stream bottom comprised predominantly of sand with small amounts of silt, gravel, rubble and detritus. Bank cover consisted mainly of upland hardwoods with lesser amounts of swamp hardwoods; however, excessive livestock grazing of streambanks was contributing sediment to Sand Creek. In-stream cover for fish was scarce. Brook trout and several forage fish species were present but in low abundance. The Sand Creek fishery would benefit from stable streambanks and the addition of in-stream habitat structures. A fish and habitat survey of Sand Creek should be conducted to document its current status. There are no DNR stocking records for Sand Creek. Access is possible from one road crossing.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Sand Creek, a Black River tributary, is a high quality Class I trout stream containing brook trout. Below HWY 108, Sand Creek contains sport fish. Adjacent lands are primarily wooded with stands of old growth timber. Streambank grazing and cropland erosion negatively affect the La Crosse County portion of Sand Creek (Wright). This stream has good water quality and potential for fishery habitat improvement. The DNR designated a corridor surrounding Sand Creek for streambank protection via land purchase. Through this program, the DNR has acquired approximately 715 acres surrounding approximately one and a half miles of Sand Creek. In-stream habitat structures were installed and prairie and oak savannah restoration efforts began in 1997 on a newly acquired one square mile piece of land. The prairie will be maintained by periodic burning. Preliminary endangered resource inventory work was done on the property. More detailed information should be collected for both aquatic and terrestrial species (Talley).
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Sand Creek (1689700) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds 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).
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 Targeted Watershed Area (TWA)
Western District proposes to conduct HUC 10 watershed assessment monitoring in the Big and Douglas Creeks watershed located in Jackson, Monroe, Trempealeau and La Crosse counties. For this project we will be using the watershed delineation designated as BR03 - Big & Douglas Creeks Watershed in the Black-Buffalo-Trempealeau Basin Report.
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|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10017361||Sand Creek (Cataract) St. 2 Lake Rd. Crossing||1/1/2015||11/11/2017||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008571||Sand Creek Station Sommers Rd.||6/3/2008||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008585||Just Below Forks||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008895||Confluence Of S Fork Sand And Main Sand Sec 34||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10017362||Sand Creek (Cataract) St. 3 Point In S34 Near West Side Of Section||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10017364||Sand Creek (Cataract) St.4-12 1375 Ft Upstream Of Lake Rd.||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008574||Sand Creek At Hwy 108||5/27/2014||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10034987||Lake Rd. upstream - Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008644||West Section Line Of Section 34||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10014023||Sand Creek(Cataract)Station 5-1962-Sw 1/4 Nw 1/4 S2||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10029768||Sand Creek Section34 SE of NW||7/29/2004||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10008576||Behind Pfaff'S House In Line With Far North Corner Of Old Shed||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10017366||Sand Creek (Cataract) St. 1 1060 Ft Downstream From Mouth Of Cr. 34-13||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10034988||Sand Cr north DNR parking lot down hill trail to water||8/7/2014||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10017365||Sand Creek St. 14 Upstream From Mouth Cr. 34-13||Map||Data|
|1689700||Sand Creek||10039131||Sand Creek near trail on state land||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Sand Creek is located in the Big and Douglas Creeks watershed which is 210.33 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (58.40%), agricultural (24.20%) and a mix of grassland (8.90%) and other uses (8.50%). This watershed has 375.17 stream miles, 473.57 lake acres and 7,564.97 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.
Sand Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem, Macroinvertebrate, No Classification, Cool-Warm Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Cool (Warm-Transition) Headwaters are small, sometimes intermittent streams with cool to warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are uncommon to absent, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are common to uncommon. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.
Cool (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent,
mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.
Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.