Watershed - Upper Big Eau Pleine River (CW18)
Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed

Details

The Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed is located in Marathon, Clark and Taylor Counties. The streams in this watershed are all classified as warm water game fish, warm water forage and marginal variance streams. Because the watershed is "flashy," nutrients, sedimentation, bacteria and turbidity affect the majority of the streams, resulting in fish habitat destruction, algae blooms and diurnal shifts in dissolved oxygen levels. The major concern with this watershed and the surrounding watersheds is the nonpoint pollution that is occurring from poor agriculture and development practices. The Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed was ranked per the Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed Selection Criteria. Based on surface and ground water data, the overall ranking was high. In 1987, a nonpoint source control plan was approved for the Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed. It was completed in December 1997 (Lewis and Jaeger, 1987).

Date  2002

Nonpoint and Point Sources

The major concern with this watershed and the surrounding watersheds is the nonpoint pollution that is occurring from poor agriculture and development practices. The Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed was ranked per the Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed Selection Criteria. Based on surface and ground water data, the overall ranking was high. In 1987, a nonpoint source control plan was approved for the Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed. It was completed in December 1997 (Lewis and Jaeger, 1987).

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed is located in the Forest Transition Ecological Landscape which lies along the northern border of Wisconsin's Tension Zone, through the central and western part of the state, and supports both northern forests and agricultural areas. The central portion of the Forest Transition lies primarily on a glacial till plain deposited by glaciation between 25,000 and 790,000 years ago. The eastern and western portions are on moraines of the Wisconsin glaciation. The growing season in this part of the state is long enough that agriculture is viable, although climatic conditions are not as favorable as in southern Wisconsin. Soils are diverse, ranging from sandy loam to loam or shallow silt loam, and from poorly drained to well drained. The historic vegetation of the Forest Transition was primarily northern hardwood forest. These northern hardwoods were dominated by sugar maple and hemlock, and contained some yellow birch, red pine and white pine. Currently, over 60% of this Ecological Landscape is non-forested. Forested areas consist primarily of northern hardwoods and aspen, with smaller amounts of oak and lowland hardwoods. The eastern portion of the Ecological Landscape differs from the rest of the area in that it remains primarily forested, and includes some ecologically significant areas. Throughout the Ecological Landscape, small areas of conifer swamp are found near the headwaters of streams, and associated with lakes in kettle depressions on moraines. Ground flora show characteristics of both northern and southern Wisconsin, as this Ecological Landscape lies along the Tension Zone.

Date  2010

Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Upper Big Eau Pleine River Watershed
River and Stream QualityAll Waters in Watershed

Land use is primarily dairy agriculture. Tight soils, shallow bedrock and steep surface gradients create the "flashy" stream flow pattern with destructively high flows during wet periods and stagnation when the weather is dry. During wet periods, large amounts of sediment, and phosphorus from animal waste run-off enter the streams. This phosphorus ultimately ends up in the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir that has a history of massive algae blooms and fish kills. Reduction of phosphorus to the streams in the Upper Eau Pleine Reservoir is the main goal of the priority watershed project.

Date  2002

Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2013
Waters Involved
Big Bass Lake
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Lco-Marathon Class 7: Marathon County proposes to continue toward completion of its Phase II efforts to classify 11 lakes in eastern Marathon County. Major project elements to include: 1) Develop lake management plans, 2) Establish planning committees, 3) Review and revise shoreland zoning ordinance, 4) Hold one-day water forum, and 5) Develop guide for Zoning Board of Adjustment members.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Big Eau Pleine Reservoir
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Marathon 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
Big Eau Pleine River
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Marathon 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
9/1/2005
Waters Involved
Coon Fork Flowage
Status
Complete

Clark County Land Conservation Committee: Lmi-Coon Fork Watershed Bmps: Clark County proposes to contact riparian property owners within its portion of the Coon Fork Lake watershed and offer to design and cost-share on management practices that will reduce non-point source run-off into the impoundment. Major project elements include: 1) Land owner contacts, 2) BMP design and establishment of cost-share agreements, 3) BMP installation, 4) Information/Education.


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

Clark County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Clark 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
7/12/2010
Waters Involved
Mission Lake
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Lco-Marathon Class 2: Marathon County proposes to conduct detailed studies of 11 lakes in the Eastern part of Marathon County for the purpose of classifying them and developing plans for their future management. major project elements in this phased project include: 1) data collection, 2) outreach, 3) management planning and 4) plan implementation.


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

North Central Conservancy Trust, Inc.: Acq-Mission Lake - Waypost Camp: North Central Conservancy Trust plans to purchase a conservation easement on the Waypost Camp property on Mission Lake to protect the water quality of Mission Lake. The easement will prohibit future disturbance within a Shore Buffer Zone, require restrictions on future building and preserve archeological resources. The easement will cover approximately 88 acres and will protect the shoreline in perpetuity.

Deliverables include: conservation easement, baseline document and land management plan.


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

Marathon County: Lco-Marathon Class 5: Marathon County proposes to continue toward completion of its Phase _ efforts to classify 11 lakes in eastern Marathon County. Major project elements to include: 1) Water quality sampling and analysis, 2) Fisheries and aquatic species analysis, 3) Habitat, shoreland and paleolimnological surveys, 4) cultural surveys and outreach, 5) build-out assessment and monitoring.


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

Marathon County: Lco-Marathon Class 6: Marathon County proposes to continue toward completion of its Phase 1 efforts to classify 11 lakes in eastern Marathon County. Major project elements to include: 1) Water quality sampling and analysis, 2) Fisheries and aquatic species analysis, 3) Habitat, shoreland and paleolimnological surveys, 4) Cultural surveys and outreach, 5) Build-out assessment and monitoring.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
7/1/1998
Waters Involved
Rib Lake
Status
Complete

Rib Lake Inland Lakes P & R District: Lmi-Fd-Rib Lake Rehabilitation/Sediment Analysis, 1998-99: Rib Lake Inland Lake Protection District proposes to conduct a diagnostic/feasibility study of lake bottom sediments as a preliminary step to a possible sunken log retrieval and/or dredging project in Rib Lake.


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

Clark County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Clark 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
7/12/2010
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Lco-Marathon Class 2: Marathon County proposes to conduct detailed studies of 11 lakes in the Eastern part of Marathon County for the purpose of classifying them and developing plans for their future management. major project elements in this phased project include: 1) data collection, 2) outreach, 3) management planning and 4) plan implementation.


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

North Central Conservancy Trust, Inc.: Acq-Mission Lake - Waypost Camp: North Central Conservancy Trust plans to purchase a conservation easement on the Waypost Camp property on Mission Lake to protect the water quality of Mission Lake. The easement will prohibit future disturbance within a Shore Buffer Zone, require restrictions on future building and preserve archeological resources. The easement will cover approximately 88 acres and will protect the shoreline in perpetuity.

Deliverables include: conservation easement, baseline document and land management plan.


Grant Details
Targeted Runoff - Rural Construction
Date
9/1/2002
Waters Involved
Hamann Creek
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Bunkelman Dairy Nod: to c-s @70% manure storage at Bunkelman Dairy


Grant Details
Targeted Runoff - Rural Construction
Date
1/1/2005
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Marathon County: Boschma Farm Nod: Construction and installation of best management practices (BMPs) on the John Boschma farm to abate manure runoff and livestock management issues that directly discharge manure and associated pollutants into waters of the State.


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 Big Eau Pleine River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Best Management Practices, Implement
Rothschild - Stormwater Management Plan Update
Date
Status
This project is an installation of nonpoint source best management practices to contribute to the restoration of Wisconsin's waters and was funded by the 319 grant. Storm water planning activities will be undertaken by the municipality and will result in the following products: updated construction erosion control ordinance; updated storm water ordinance for new development and re-development; other updated ordinances that affect runoff from the developed urban area; updated storm water management plan for the entire developed urban area; and an updated storm water management plan for new development.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Fenwood Creek Watershed Project
Date
Status
This project is an 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: agricultural nonpoint sources of pollution through the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) addressing sediment and nutrient loading and to address violations of the NR 151 Agricultural Performance Standards and Prohibitions relating to: sheet, rill, and wind erosion; tillage setback; manure storage facilities-new/significant alterations; manure storage facilities-closure; manure storage facilities-existing failing/leaking; process wastewater handling; clean water diversions; nutrient management; prevention of overflow from manure storage facilities; prevention of direct runoff from a feedlot or stored manure into waters of the state; prevention of unlimited livestock access to waters of the state; and remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2016
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Marathon County Barnyard Runoff Control Project
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, diversions, heavy use area protection, roofing, roof runoff systems, and underground outlets.
1/1/2016
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 1431500
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Elm Brook, WBIC: 1431500, AU:12405
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Eau Pleine Flowage Priority Restoration Followup Monitoring
Date
Status
Monitoring - the Department started a multi-year water quality study in 2009 to develop a TMDL for the river and flowage. Big Eau Pleine Reservoir is a 6348 acre lake located in Marathon County.
1/1/2013
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Big Eau Pleine TMDL
Date
Status
The Big Eau Pleine Flowage is listed on the Federal 303 (d) list for violations of the state dissolved oxygen and pH water quality standards. The Big Eau Pleine River is also on the list for dissolved oxygen levels below the water quality standard. Both listings are a result of excessive nutrient loading, primarily phosphorus, to the river and flowage.
1/1/2013
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Development
Mead Lake TMDL
Date
Status
TMDL Development for Mead Lake in Clark County, WI. Mead Lake is highly eutrophic and exhibits excessive concentrations of phosphorus and chlorophyll (a measure of algal densities) in its surface waters during the summer months (USACE 2005). Sediment and phosphorus enters the lake via the South Fork Eau Claire River, from nonpoint sources of pollution.
7/1/2007
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Water Quality Modeling
City-Wide Water Quality Model Update and BMP Feasibility
Date
Status
This project is an 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: water quality model, BMP feasibility analysis.
1/1/2015
In Progress
Projects
 
Upper Big Eau Pleine River WatershedWatershed History Note

The City of Colby, located in Clark County, in the Upper Big Eau Pleine River watershed, was named after Gardner Colby, whose company built the Wisconsin Central Railroad through the area. In 1882, Ambrose Steinwand opened a cheese factory in the vicinity of present day Colby. In 1885, his son, Joseph Steinwand, modified the traditional cheese making process by incorporating the whey back into the cheese making to create a new, moister cheese, which he called Colby. This new concept put Colby on the map in the cheese making world and the surrounding area became a great cheese producing center in the United States.

Date  2010