Fish and Aquatic Life
The Balsam Branch is a fertile stream flowing between Balsam Lake, a high value lake which is
susceptible to water quality degradation, and Wapogasset Lake, a high value lake which
currently experiences nuisance weed and algae conditions. This stream, like many of the waters
in this watershed, is impacted by animal waste runoff and soil erosion and should be a high
priority for nonpoint source pollution control work.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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.
Information and Education
The Balsam Branch Partnership, Inc. will conduct an organizational enhancement and informational & educational project in the Balsam Branch watershed in Polk County. Activities involved with this project will include; development of outreach materials, training for Board members, development of a resource guide, conduct of an interpretative program series, development of a strategy for providing recreational opportunities, and the development of a land protection strategy. Reports of ongoing project activities will be disseminated via brochures(s), meeting(s) and workshop(s), and the preparation of a final 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|
|2618300||Balsam Br||493027||Balsam Branch - 2 Mi North Ush 8||Map||Data|
|2618300||Balsam Br||493129||Balsam Branch - Balsam Branch||9/12/1973||11/10/1992||Map||Data|
|2618300||Balsam Br||10013496||Balsam Branch at Cty. C/105th Avenue||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2618300||Balsam Br||10000131||Balsam Branch - 105th Avenue||10/11/2005||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2618300||Balsam Br||10042839||Balsam Branch Kennedy Mill Ave||9/13/2014||9/13/2014||Map||Data|
|2618700||Unnamed||10036942||Open Water Portion of Balsam Branch||6/29/2010||6/29/2010||Map||Data|
Balsam Br is located in the Balsam Branch watershed which is 104.07 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (31.60%), agricultural (28.40%) and a mix of grassland (18.70%) and other uses (21.30%). This watershed has 63.62 stream miles, 6,301.67 lake acres and 5,248.51 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.