South Fork Flambeau River, Lower South Fork Flambeau River,Upper South Fork Flambeau River Watershed (UC08, UC10)
South Fork Flambeau River, Lower South Fork Flambeau River,Upper South Fork Flambeau River Watershed (UC08, UC10)
Upper S. Fork Flambeau River (2231200)
34.25 Miles
33.49 - 67.74
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Cool-Warm Mainstem
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2019
Good
 
Price
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
No
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Yes
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.

Overview

SOUTH FORK FLAMBEAU RIVER - The South Fork Flambeau River originates at the outlet of Round Lake in eastern Price
County. Round Lake's watershed includes western Vilas and Oneida counties and runsthrough the Chequamegon National Forest. Several low-head dams form impoundmentsused largely for recreation on tributaries in the South Fork watershed.
The South Fork joins the North Fork in the Flambeau River State Forest in southeastern Sawyer County. Wastewater discharge from the Flambeau State Prison Camp flows to the South Fork via Hackett Creek and a wetland. The entire South Fork of the Flambeau River is designated as an outstanding resource water under state antidegradation.

Larson, Nancy and Lisa Kosmond (Helmuth). 1996. Upper Chippewa River Basin Water Quality Management Plan.
PUBL-WR-345-96-REV. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Overview

The lower South Fork of the Flambeau River supports a warm water sports fishery and
is stocked with muskellunge and bass. We have no recent water quality information on
this stretch of the River. This segment of the Flambeau is very diverse in terms of
endangered resources. It contains the best known population of the extra-striped
snaketail dragonfly (Wisconsin Endangered) in the Midwest. It is a Bureau of
Endangered Resources priority to achieve a protected corridor from the Chequamegon
National Forest down to the Flambeau State Forest. It would be beneficial to aquatic
species to have a forested river corridor connecting two large public forests across the
area of largely private ownership. Protection of water quality and habitat is very
important in this river segment.

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

South Fork Flambeau River, Lower South Fork Flambeau River,Upper South Fork Flambeau River Watershed (UC08, UC10) Fish and Aquatic LifeSouth Fork Flambeau River, Lower South Fork Flambeau River,Upper South Fork Flambeau River Watershed (UC08, UC10) RecreationSouth Fork Flambeau River, Lower South Fork Flambeau River,Upper South Fork Flambeau River Watershed (UC08, UC10) Fish Consumption

Condition

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.

Reports

Recommendations

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.
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.
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.
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
The South Fork Flambeau River Watershed Association under sponsorship by the Price County Waterways Assoc., will build organizational capacity, document baseline river data and educate river users. Activities associated with this project include the creation of an association to advocate for the S. Fork Flambeau River to work cooperatively with other groups and agencies with similar purposes including the development of a plan for partnership development and the integration of the assoc. resources with other managing organziations; establish a water quality testing program to collect baseline data; conduct a riparian landowner assessment to compile information on demographics, perceptions, opinions, & concerns, and assess interest in an educational river fair; collection and compilation of baseline environmental, historical and recreational data including a GIS/Video survey of the river for invasives, buffer conditions, zoning violations, erosion concerns, and habitat conditions/restoration opportunities. River stewardship and environmental awareness will be promoted through education and outreach including the development of an information distribution system, certified buffer awards program, newsletter and media releases and other events. A final report of all activities will be developed and submitted to the Department in both paper and electronic format.

Management Goals

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

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

South Fork Flambeau River is located in the Lower South Fork Flambeau River watershed which is 200.15 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (54.30%), wetland (41.80%) and a mix of grassland (1.70%) and other uses (2.00%). This watershed has 187.09 stream miles, 607.14 lake acres and 42,848.94 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Low for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.

Natural Community

Upper S. Fork Flambeau River is considered a Cool-Warm Mainstem 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.

Fish Stocking