2.72 - 6.02
Coldwater, Macroinvertebrate, Cool-Warm Headwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
Harder Creek, in the Balsam Branch Watershed, is a 6.03 mile river that falls in Polk County. This river is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Harder Creek flows between Half Moon Lake and Balsam Lake. The creek contributes
phosphorus to Balsam Lake and should be included in any watershed work done to control
nonpoint source pollution in the Balsam Lake watershed.
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.
The Half Moon Lake Conservancy is sponsoring a project involving the acquisition of two lake lots totaling 31.5 acres and a conservation easment on 8.14 acres on Tamarack Bay of Half Moon Lake and inlcuding portions of Tamarack Creek, a tributary to Tamarack Bayall in the town of Milltown in Polk County.
The Balsam Lake P&R District will purchase 18.5 acres of property in the Stumps Bay area of Balsam Lake. The property will be maintained in a wild state and managed in accordance with the property management plan submitted with the lake protection grant application dated April 28, 2005.
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|
|2620900||Harder Creek||10013512||Harder Creek at Dav Drive||Map||Data|
|2620900||Harder Creek||493100||Harder Creek at Hwy G||6/15/1993||9/12/2010||Map||Data|
Harder Creek 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.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.
Harder Creek is considered a Coldwater, Macroinvertebrate, 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.