Watershed - Rush River (LC22)
Rush River Watershed

Details

The Rush River watershed comprises 245 square miles in Pierce and St. Croix counties. Agriculture is the major land use affecting surface waters in this watershed. The comparison of current land use to original vegetation shows a significant conversion of prairie and forests to cropland and pasture. This land use conversion has led to a larger volume of runoff and less infiltration of precipitation. There are no lakes of sufficient size in the watershed.

Date  1996

Ecological Landscapes for Rush River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Rush River Watershed is located in two Ecological Landscapes: the Western Coolee and Ridges and the Western Prairie. The Western Coulee and Ridges Ecological Landscape in southwestern and west central Wisconsin 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. The Western Prairie Ecological Landscape is located on the far western edge of the state just south of the Tension Zone; it contains the only true representative prairie potholes in the state. It is characterized by its glaciated, rolling topography and a primarily open landscape with rich prairie soils and pothole lakes, ponds, and wet depressions, except for forested areas along the St. Croix River. The climate and growing season are favorable for agricultural crops. Sandstone underlies a mosaic of soils. Silty loams that can be shallow and stony cover most of the area. Alluvial sands and peats are found in stream valleys. Historic vegetation was comprised of dry to mesic prairie grasses in the rolling areas and wet prairies in the broad depressions. Open oak savannas and barrens were found on the hilly topography, with small inclusions of sugar maple-basswood forest in small steep sites. Prairie pothole type wetlands were mainly found in St. Croix and Polk counties. Barrens were found along the river terraces of the St. Croix River. Almost half of the current vegetation is agricultural crops and almost a third of the area is grasslands, with smaller areas of open water, open wetlands, and urban areas. The major forest types are maple-basswood and oak-hickory, with smaller amounts of lowland hardwoods and lowland conifer.

Date  2010

Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/1995
Waters Involved
Bass Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Lco-Bass Lake Ordinance Enhansement - County Zoning Position: St. Croix County proposes to hire a half time staff person for five years who will be located in the County Zoning office and will perform the following zoning ordinance enhancement activities for the Bass Lake area:

1. Review and revise permits and other data gathering forms.
2. Review and revise permit issuance procedures.
3. Develop septic certification procedures for home additiond and improvements.
4. Assist the County/townships with developing and implementing tasks 1 - 3.
5. Assist the developing and implementing inspection and enforcement procedures; assist county and townships with implementation.
6. Assist the townships in improving record keeping methods in relation to land ownership changes and property development.
7. Identify and implement training needed for town and county regulators.
8. Assist with bringing sites with zoning violations into compliance with shoreland zoning regulations.
9. Assist in implementing recommendations that follow from the septic plume groundwater study.


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

Bass Lake Rehabilitation District: Lmi-Bass Lake Management Plan Implementation: : Bass Lake Management District is sponsoring a Lake Management Planning Implementation project aimed at reducing phosphorus loads and protecting and improving diverse aquatic life through shoreland restoration projects and BMP installations.

Project activities include: Conduct site analysis and design for storm water runoff management, fisheries, and shoreland restoration practices. Provide technical assistance to develop designs and how-to information (DIY and/or landscapers). Establish and install BMP at demonstration sites. Promote installation of shoreland best management practices using demonstration sites as examples. Install 40 fish cribs.

Project deliverables: All data collected, a list and map of demonstration sites and fish cribs, before and after photos of restoration sites, individual site analysis reports, all outreach and event materials, agendas and minutes from advisory committee meetings.

Special conditions: WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) copy of all data and maps from the project. This scope summarizes the project detail provided in the application and does not negate tasks/deliverables described therein. Data, records, and reports, including GIS-based maps, and digital images, must be submitted to the Department in a format specified by the regional Lakes Coordinator.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2007
Waters Involved
Cedar Lake
Status
Complete

Cedar Lake Protection & Rehabilitation Dist: Lmi-Cedar Df Study: Cedar Lake PRD proposes to contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study of Phosphorus (P) loading within Cedar Lake in St. Croix County. Major project elements to include 1) sediment sampling and analysis, 2) water quality sampling and analysis, 3) algae collection and analysis, 4) Lake modeling, 5) study of phosphorus loading, 6) studies of aeration and alum treatment as means of controlling internal loading, 7) comprehensive watershed ag land use assessment, 8) Final report.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
4/15/2015
Waters Involved
Cedar Lake
Status
Complete

Cedar Lake Protection & Rehabilitation Dist: Lmi-Cedar Alum: The Cedar Lake P&RD proposes to apply an initial Alum treatment to Cedar Lake in St. Croix County to reduce phosphorus loading from in-lake sediments, thereby reducing algal blooms and allowing for restoration of the lake's native plant community. Major project elements to include a) Initial alum treatment, b) monitoring, and c) final report.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
4/8/2005
Waters Involved
Hatfield Lake
Status
Complete

City Of New Richmond: Acq-Hatfield Lake Acquisition: The City of New Richmond proposes to purchase the 75.67 acre Carpenter Family parcel on Hatfield Lake in St. Croix County for Lake Protection purposes. Major project elements to include 1) acquisition costs and, 2) associated acquisition costs.


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

Pierce County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Pierce 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
1/27/1997
Waters Involved
Perch Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Acq-St. Croix County Perch Lake Acquisition: St. Croix County shall participate in the Lake Protection Grant Program by purchasing approximately 67.05 acres of land in the Perch Lake watershed for lake protection purposes.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/1997
Waters Involved
Perch Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Acq-St. Croix County Perch Lake Acquisitioin Ii: St. Croix County will acquire 19.8 acres with all rights to land onPerch Lake that will expsnd it's day-use park called Homestead PArklands. The county purchase of the Onstott property will include 100 feet of shoreline at the north end of the property on Perch Lake.

268 feet of shoreline on Perch Lake at the south end of the Onstott property will be protected with the purchase of a conservation easement on 9.2 acres of the property. This prroperty will be referred to as the conservation easement.

These two acquisitions will protect an additional 368 feet of lake front giving more protection to Perch Lake and better management of the ecosystem.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/1999
Waters Involved
Perch Lake
Status
Complete

St. Croix County: Res-St. Croix Co Homestead Parklands On Perch Lake: St. Croix Co. proposes to construct a main park entrance road, one-way park access roads to and from Perch Lake, six parking areas and two infiltration basins. Grading and erosion control measures are designed to protect the water quality of Perch Lake.


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

Pierce County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Pierce 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
9/1/2005
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Star Prairie Land Preservation Trust: Acq-Cedar Lake (Menke) Acquis. Costs: The Trust seeks $11,567 in reimbursement for costs associated with the acquisition (via donation) of 63 acres on Cedar Lake In St. Croix County.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2000
Waters Involved
Whitefish Lake
Status
Complete

Whitefish Lake Conservation Organization, In: Res-Renewal & Retention Of Native Vegetation: The Whitefish Lake Property Owners Association, Inc. will implement a lakewide project to renew and protect vegetation that extends landward and lakeward from the ordinary high water mark of Whitefish Lake. This program will provide for an initial site evaluation/assissment of shoreline properities with the potential for shoreline renewal and /or protection of native vegetation. Cost sharing will be provided for site assessment and evaluation, site design for restoration, and preparation/planting of vegetation. Shallow water areas contiguous with renewal sites will be protected as a "no disturbance zone". The project goal is to renew native vegetation on 45 sites (1/2 of current development) and retain and protect native vegetation on the remaining sites. A$3,000 cost share cap will be implemented per individual renewal site. All properties participating in this program will receive a departmnet approved deed restriction that permanently establishes the vegetative buffer on the parcel. Shoreland restoration projects will be designed and installed in accordance with the NRCS Best Management Practices Definition and Conditions.

Participants in this program will post their property with signs and will allow other lakeshore owners to visit their property for educational purposes. Additional activities will include an information and education program involving Whitefish Lake residents, local and county governments, other lake associations, school children, and conservation groups.

Project deliverables include a final report listing project accomplishments including the number of parcels or lots participating in the program. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with a paper copy and an electonic copy of all project products. Project results will be disseminated to the public by newsletter(s), public meeting(s), and/or local newspaper article(s).


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
7/1/2001
Waters Involved
Pine Creek
Status
Complete

West Wisconsin Land Trust: Acq Pine Creek Acquisition: The Wisconsin Farmland Conservancy will purchase the 84 acre Bjurquist property on Pine Creek in the Town of Maiden Rock (Pierce Co.) This is part of a continuing project to purchase properties and secure conservation easements to assure the protection of ecological values within this watershed. Project goals include:

1. Preclude development at the mouth of the Pine Creek watershed
2. Restore the stream bank and habitat on both sides of this 3/4 mile long stretch of stream
3. Provide an excellent brook trout fishery for public enjoyment

The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public as described in the grant application.


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
Rush River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Best Management Practices, Implement
City of New Richmond Stormwater Pond Retro #265
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 municipality will construct/install a wet detention pond to remedy discharges of total suspended solids in urban runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
St Croix Co Rush River Non-TMDL TRM
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: a manure storage system closure, access roads and cattle crossings, animal trails and walkways, critical area stabilization, grade stabilization, heavy use area protection, livestock fencing, livestock watering facilities, riparian buffers, sediment basins, water and sediment control basins, waterway systems, well decommissioning, wetland development or restoration, stream crossing, rip-rapping, shaping and seeding, and livestock fencing to remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
 
Best Management Practices, Implement
Pierce County Dairy BMPs
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, critical area stabilization, livestock fencing, and roof runoff systems to remedy discharges of manure, sediment and phosphorus in runoff.
1/1/2017
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Bogus Creek TP
Date
Status
Category 2. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 473020. AU: 16305.
1/1/2018
Proposed
Projects
 
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
Hudson Storm Water Management and Master Planning
Date
Status
Storm water planning activities will be undertaken by the municipality and will result in the following products: updated construction erosion control ordinance, new storm water ordinance for new development and re-development, new ordinances that affect runoff from the developed urban area, updated storm water financing mechanism, new storm water management plan for the developed urban area, and new storm water management plan for new development.
1/1/2016
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
St. Joseph MS4 Planning
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. Storm water planning activities will be undertaken by the municipality and will result in the following products: new construction erosion control ordinance, new storm water ordinance for new development and re-development, new ordinances that affect runoff from the developed urban area, new storm water management plan for the developed urban area, and new storm water management plan for new development.
1/1/2016
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Development
Lake Mallalieu TMDL Development
Date
Status
Lake Mallalieu is a man made riverine lake located within the channel of the Willow River. Since 2004, Lake Mallalieu and an upstream reach of the Willow River have been included on the Environmental Protection Agency?s (EPA) 303(d) impaired waters list. The lake is designated as high priority for eutrophication and ph impairments due to excess phosphorus, while the upstream reach of the river is a low priority for dissolved oxygen impairments. The river?s designation is due to excess phosphorus and biological oxygen demand (BOD).

The Willow River has become degraded by excess nutrients, specifically phosphorus.
7/1/2009
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Development
Cedar Lake TMDL
Date
Status
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) developed a TMDL for phosphorus for Cedar Lake. The TMDL addresses the nutrient impacts and impairments which were identified on the Wisconsin 2002 303(d) list. The Lake is nutrient (phosphorus (P)) impaired as a result of agriculture, internal loading and local land use. Water quality in Cedar Lake is generally poor to very poor, falling into the eutrophic to hypereutrophic category. Summer algal blooms result in foul odors and an unsightly build-up of algae biomass on the shoreline. In addition, trophic conditions in the lake limit rooting depth for emergent vegetation used by the resident fish populations. As a result, these impairments impact the recreational/aesthetic value of the lake and stress sport fish populations.
8/19/2003
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Implementation
Squaw Lake TMDL
Date
Status
This TMDL report is for Squaw Lake, located in the Star Prairie Township, St. Croix County, Wisconsin, in the St. Croix River Basin. The lake is geographically located across portions of Sections 8, 9 and 17 of T31N, R18W of the USGS Somerset North Quadrangle.
4/13/2011
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Rush River WatershedWatershed History Note

The village of Maiden Rock is located in the Rush River Watershed in Pierce County. The village began as a logging settlement that was first known as Harrisburg. In l854, John D. Trumbull, together with a partner Albert Harris, purchased a mile-long stretch of the Mississippi River shore from Rush River downstream to "Rattlesnake Hollow." In 1855, Trumbull, the Harrises and others began living here permanently, thus marking the birth of the village. In 1856, Trumbull added grist and shingle mills to his sawmill and renamed the village Maiden Rock after a bluff four miles downstream. The Indian legend of the bluff called Maiden Rock, concerns a young Dakota Indian woman, Winona, who leaped to her death from the top of the most prominent bluff in the region rather than marry the brave her father, Chief Red Wing, had chosen for her. By 1857, the village had a number of houses and commercial buildings, including a boarding house and two stores. Trumbull also boasted of a good steamboat landing. By this time had had bought out the Harris interest and had surveyed and platted the village. Soon a school was established, a church appeared, and a sailboat and a steamboat were built at Maiden Rock to keep the community in touch with other communities up and down the river. The period from 1860 to 1900 saw the village blossom into a commercial and social center for the countryside and communities some 20 miles inland. Steamboats brought freight and passengers to the village, augmented by the local steam boat. Horse-drawn wagons and stage coaches ferried freight and people to Plum City, Ellsworth and beyond. By 1886, a train track was completed from La Crosse through the village and on to St. Paul. At least four regular train stops a day, two in each direction, added to the steamboat traffic and finally supplanted it about 1915. Flooding has been a large issue for the village, not so much from the Mississippi River, as from run-off down the coulee between North and South Bluffs (along present day County Road S.) Heavy rains and sometimes snow melt brought excessive water down into the village. Buildings and streets damaged by the torrents became mammoth tasks to repair and reconstruct. Just after 1900, the village built a storm sewer canal system that allowed water to run under the village on its way to the river, but poor engineering allowed continued problems. Two canals funneled into one was not an adequate solution to let the high water escape. Water overflowed the system and still flooded the village. The last great flood down the coulee occurred in 1975. Damage was excessive and the village finally remedied the problem with the help of state funds. Its future is also brightened by a public water and sewer system that was added in the l980's.

Date  2010