Watershed - Upper Buffalo River (BT08)
Upper Buffalo River Watershed

Details

The Upper Buffalo River Watershed is approximately 124,389 acres in size and consists of 439 miles of streams and rivers, 85 acres of lakes and 6,108 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by forests and agriculture but is ranked high for nonpoint source issues affecting streams and groundwater. The streams in this watershed are kept from achieving their full potential by agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Improvements in some protected areas show the ability of the streams to recover and reach their potential.

Date  1991

Ecological Landscapes for Upper Buffalo River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

This watershed is located in the Western Coulee and Ridges Ecological Landscape in southwestern and west central Wisconsin and is characterized by its highly eroded, driftless topography and relatively extensive forested landscape. Soils are silt loams (loess) and sandy loams over sandstone residuum over dolomite. Several large rivers including the Wisconsin, Mississippi, Chippewa, Kickapoo and Black flow through or border the Ecological Landscape. Historical vegetation consisted of southern hardwood forests, oak savanna, scattered prairies, and floodplain forests and marshes along the major rivers. With Euro-American settlement, most of the land on ridgetops and valley bottoms was cleared of oak savanna, prairie, and level forest for agriculture. The steep slopes between valley bottom and ridgetop, unsuitable for raising crops, grew into oak-dominated forests after the ubiquitous presettlement wildfires were suppressed. Current vegetation is a mix of forest (40%), agriculture, and grassland with some wetlands in the river valleys. The primary forest cover is oak-hickory (51%) dominated by oak species and shagbark hickory. Maple-basswood forests (28%), dominated by sugar maple, basswood and red maple, are common in areas that were not subjected to repeated presettlement wildfires. Bottomland hardwoods (10%) are common in the valley bottoms of major rivers and are dominated by silver maple, ashes, elms, cottonwood, and red maple. Relict conifer forests including white pine, hemlock and yellow birch are a rarer natural community in the cooler, steep, north slope microclimates.

Date  2010

Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Bensel Pond
Status
Complete

Buffalo County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Buffalo County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

Project deliverables include: 1. Copies of any fact sheets or handouts created for public hearings. 2. A summary of the comments received at public hearings. 3. A certified copy of the County Board-approved updated shoreland ordinance or ordinance language (if integrated into other codes). 4. Any GIS maps of the shoreland zone or shoreland condition surveys related to the project.

Specific conditions for this Project: The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports or surveys generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Eau Claire Lake
Status
Complete

Eau Claire County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Eau Claire County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

Project deliverables include: 1. Copies of any fact sheets or handouts created for public hearings. 2. A summary of the comments received at public hearings. 3. A certified copy of the County Board-approved updated shoreland ordinance or ordinance language (if integrated into other codes). 4. Any GIS maps of the shoreland zone or shoreland condition surveys related to the project.

Specific conditions for this Project: 1. The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports or surveys generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2012
Waters Involved
Eau Claire Lake
Status
Complete

Lake Eau Claire Association, Inc.: Lmi-Lake Eau Claire Implement.: The Lake Eau Claire Association proposes to implement practices called for in the lake management plan developed for Lake Eau Claire in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: a) establishment of sediment traps, b) installation of aerator, c) re-establishment of habitat including course woody debris d) water quality sampling and analysis.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Eau Claire River
Status
Complete

Eau Claire County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Eau Claire County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

Project deliverables include: 1. Copies of any fact sheets or handouts created for public hearings. 2. A summary of the comments received at public hearings. 3. A certified copy of the County Board-approved updated shoreland ordinance or ordinance language (if integrated into other codes). 4. Any GIS maps of the shoreland zone or shoreland condition surveys related to the project.

Specific conditions for this Project: 1. The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports or surveys generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Elk Creek
Status
Complete

Trempealeau County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Treampealeau County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

Project deliverables include: 1. Copies of any fact sheets or handouts created for public hearings. 2. A summary of the comments received at public hearings. 3. A certified copy of the County Board-approved updated shoreland ordinance or ordinance language (if integrated into other codes). 4. Any GIS maps of the shoreland zone or shoreland condition surveys related to the project.

Specific conditions for this Project: 1. The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports or surveys generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Halfmoon Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Lmi-Alum Treatment Half Moon Lake: The City of Eau Claire is sponsoring a Lake Management Planning Implementation project aimed to control internal sediment phosphorus loading in Halfmoon Lake by applying alum. The lake received an initial AL treatment in 2011 and was effective at maintaining TP WQ goals for three years, however after five years the effects have diminished. The initial alum treatment dosage was adequate however the floc did not sink into the upper sediment due to higher bulk density characteristics allowing upward P diffusion and decreasing binding efficiency of phosphorus. The second treatment is needed to bind available TP limiting the amount available to algae uptake. The City continues to address other sources of TP including stormwater management, rain gardens etc.

Project activities include: Apply a buffered AL dose to the western arm of Half Moon Lake that is encompassed by the 10 foot contour in late May or early June 2017. Dosage is based on sequestering the annual sediment P flux rate of 0.4g/m2 for 2 to 3 years and factors in an Al binding efficiency of 60% (James 2016 and 2017).

Project deliverables: The outcome of AL treatment to the western arm will be control of internal P loading and reduction of cyanobaceterial biomanss and chlorophyll to target levels. Limnological monitoring will be conducted to verify outcomes.

Special conditions:
1. The Half moon lake Team consisting of DNR, UW Stout, City of EC and Friends of Halfmoon Lake meet quarterly to assess current lake management actions. There continues to be open and ongoing communication with the group to inform residents on current lake conditions and management decisions.
2. All necessary permits must be issued prior to the project being implemented.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2009
Waters Involved
Martha Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Osseo: Res-Martha Restoration: The City of Osseo proposes to restore shoreline on six properties along Lake Martha in Trempealeau County. Major project elements to include: 1) Revegetation of shoreline with native plants, 2) removal of sea walls and restabalization of the shoreline.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2009
Waters Involved
South Fork Buffalo River
Status
Complete

City Of Osseo: Res-Martha Restoration: The City of Osseo proposes to restore shoreline on six properties along Lake Martha in Trempealeau County. Major project elements to include: 1) Revegetation of shoreline with native plants, 2) removal of sea walls and restabalization of the shoreline.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Eau Claire County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Eau Claire County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

Project deliverables include: 1. Copies of any fact sheets or handouts created for public hearings. 2. A summary of the comments received at public hearings. 3. A certified copy of the County Board-approved updated shoreland ordinance or ordinance language (if integrated into other codes). 4. Any GIS maps of the shoreland zone or shoreland condition surveys related to the project.

Specific conditions for this Project: 1. The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports or surveys generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
5/15/1995
Waters Involved
Wazee Lake
Status
Complete

Jackson County: Res-Wazee Lake Stormwater Drainage & Fish Habitat Improvement: Jackson County will initiate the first phase of improvements to the Wazee Lake shoreland that will improve water access, expand recreation opportunities, enhance fish habitat, and restore wetland complexes for lake protection.

Further detail is provided on the attached project cost estimate worksheet, Form 8700-244.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1997
Waters Involved
Martha Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Osseo: Martha Lake Water, Sediment And Habitat Study: The City of Osseo proposes to conduct the following lake management plans on Martha Lake in cooperation with Steve Velie of the Osseo Fairchild High School District: 1) Map the current bottom of Martha Lake and compare it to previous topographic lake maps and establish a sedimentation rate. 2) Collect water quality data including temperature, dissolved oxygen, ph and other water quality data over time, and compare this data to historical data and determine the effect of the lake on the trout and on sedimentation history of the lake. 3) Do an annual fisheries assement and design future lake habitat and structure. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. The project results will be disseminated to the public by newsletter, fact sheet distribution, public meeting, local newspaper article, poster display and a video production.


Grant Details
Targeted Runoff - Rural Construction
Date
1/1/2003
Waters Involved
Buffalo River
Status
Complete

Buffalo County: Upper Buffalo River Ppp: to c-s @70% landowner installation of BMPs


Monitoring & Projects

Projects including grants, restoration work and studies shown below have occurred in this watershed. Click the links below to read through the text. While these are not an exhaustive list of activities, they provide insight into the management activities happening in this watershed.

Grants and Management Projects
Upper Buffalo River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Best Management Practices, Implement
Buffalo County Feed Storage
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin?s waters and was funded by the 319 grant. The grantee will implement practices to address agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution through the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) addressing sediment and nutrient loading and violations of the NR 151 Agricultural Performance Standards and Prohibitions. Specifically, the grantee will implement: access roads and cattle crossings; and a feed storage runoff control system.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Trempealeau Co Livestock Barnyard Runoff Control Facility
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a barnyard runoff control system; heavy use area protection; roofing; and streambank and shoreline protection.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Trempealeau County Waste Storage
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a manure storage system; a waste transfer system; heavy use area protection; livestock fencing; a feed storage runoff control system; streambank and shoreline protection; and streambank and shoreline protection.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Buffalo County Manure Storage
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. The grantee will implement practices to address agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution through the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) addressing sediment and nutrient loading and violations of the NR 151 Agricultural Performance Standards and Prohibitions. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a waste transfer system; a barnyard runoff control system; animal trails and walkways; and animal trails and walkways critical area stabilization.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Buffalo County Barnyard Feedlot
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a barnyard runoff control system, critical area stabilization, and diversions to address the NR 151 Agricultural Performance Standards and Prohibitions.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Trempealeau Co Livestock Barnyard Runoff Control Facility
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a barnyard runoff control system, heavy use area protection, roofing, and livestock fencing to remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Trempealeau County Animal Waste Storage Facility
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a manure storage system and heavy use area protection to remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Trempealeau County Animal Waste Storage
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a manure storage system, heavy use area protection, livestock fencing, and a waste transfer system to remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Buffalo County Manure Management
Date
Status
This project is a landowner installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: a manure storage system to address the following NR 151 Agricultural Performance Standards and Prohibitions:manure storage facilities-new/significant alterations, process wastewater handling, prevention of unconfined manure piles in water quality management, and prevention of direct runoff from a feedlot or stored manure into waters of the state.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 1829300
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 1829300, AU:1440398
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
 
Date
Status
WDNR staff should continue to encourage communities to develop wellhead protection plans in the Watershed and the whole basin.
7/1/2010
Proposed
Projects
 
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
Eau Claire County Rain to Rivers of Western Wisconsin (R2R)
Date
Status
This project promotes nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin?s waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Specifically, the grantee will implement: Rain to Rivers program which brings together local and county governments to promote urban stormwater BMPs.
1/1/2015
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Development
Waumandee TMDL
Date
Status
The Waumandee Creek Watershed is located in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. The Waumandee Creek Watershed drains 204 square miles and is characterized by steep topography, narrow valleys and numerous streams.Surface water drains to the Mississippi River by direct runoff or via Waumandee Creek and its tributaries. Temperature and sediment impairments are found in Buell Valley Creek, Cochrane Ditch (Rose Valley), Irish Valley Creek, Jahns Valley Creek, Weiland Valley Creek. Coverage of the substrates with sediment constitutes ?an objectionable deposit? under the water quality standards criterion noted in S.NR 102.04(1) (a) cited below. The creeks are limited by excessive sediment loading and habitat unsuitable to support a coldwater fishery.
3/1/2006
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Wastewater Monitoring or Management
 
Date
Status
The City of Osseo should complete the upgrade to their WWTP.
7/1/2010
Proposed
 
Upper Buffalo River WatershedWatershed History Note

The Upper Buffalo River Watershed includes the Norwegian Village of Strum in the Town of Unity in Trempealeau County. The story of the 1914 fires in Strum comes from "A History of Strum & the Town of Unity", by Roy Matson, and published and put on-line by his sons Eric and Fred Matson. It is often admitted that any major change in appearance of a small town business district occurs only after a major fire. Strum underwent two such happenings in December, 1914. The first instance removed the Pederson store and the old central lean-to located on the corner of the present Immanuel Church lot. The fire department crew used the opportunity to become acquainted with their newly acquired hand pumper. Both buildings, however, burned to the ground. The second fire took place on the evening of December 25, a night long remembered by village residents. Six frame buildings on the east side of Main Street went up in smoke leaving scars that remained for a decade. The blaze started in J. C. Call's living quarters on the second floor of his business building north of the depot. With a south wind aiding the fire, it consumed everything in its path, finally being stopped by T. M. Olson's two story brick building. Besides Call's large place of business, gone were the hotel and Olson's two story heavy hardware shop and three smaller buildings. According to Clarence Knutson, then 15 years old and manning a position on the new pumper, a fire was under control at Call's second floor when the cistern went dry. The fire got a good headway while a second source of water was obtained and when some ambitious fireman cut the nozzle off the hose, hope of control was gone. Willing hands removed furniture from the hotel and stock from a couple of the buildings. Flames were high above the tallest building and visible for several miles.

Date  2010