Watershed - Lowes and Rock Creeks (LC24)
Lowes and Rock Creeks Watershed

Details

After close scrutiny of watershed boundaries in the Lower Chlppewa River Basin, changes were made that affect ths watershed. The watershed name was changed from Otter and Rock Creeks to Lowes and Rock Creeks. The western edge of this watershed was expanded to include Fall, Pinch, Duscham, and Cranberry Creeks in Dunn and Pepin counties (formerly of LC01 - Bear and Fall Creeks). The eastern boundary was moved to exclude Otter Creek, which is now a separate watershed (LC25). The lower portion of Lowes Creek is a Small-Scale Priority Watershed due to the potential impacts from urbanization on this watershed. This project is aimed at protecting the trout stream from further degradation. Much of the watershed is in agricultural use with the exception of the urbanized area around Eau Claire and the forested hillsides. The result of these land uses is water quality impacts from streambank pasturing and storm water runoff. Putnarn Park is a 105-acre natural area along Little Niagara Creek in the city of Eau Claire. The park contains bedrock exposures, seepage springs, and varied topography that supports many plant and animal species. More than 400 species of plants, including one threatened species, 100 species of birds in summer, 23 mammal species, and six reptile species have been documented.

Date  1996

Ecological Landscapes for Lowes and Rock Creeks Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

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.

Date  2010

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
2/15/2015
Waters Involved
Chippewa River
Status
Complete

Friends Of Beaver Creek Reserve, Inc.: Lower Chip. Ais Coord.: The Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve proposes to fund positons to coordinate AIS control outreach, training, monitoring and rapid response efforts in the Lower Chippewa River. Major project elements to include: 1) Volunteer training and coordination, 2) AIS monitoring, mapping, and SWIMS data entry 3) Development of AIS control plan, 3) Outreach and events.


Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Education
Date
2/15/2015
Waters Involved
Dells Pond
Status
Complete

Friends Of Beaver Creek Reserve, Inc.: Lower Chip. Ais Coord.: The Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve proposes to fund positons to coordinate AIS control outreach, training, monitoring and rapid response efforts in the Lower Chippewa River. Major project elements to include: 1) Volunteer training and coordination, 2) AIS monitoring, mapping, and SWIMS data entry 3) Development of AIS control plan, 3) Outreach and events.


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
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
9/1/2010
Waters Involved
Hay River
Status
Complete

Dunn County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Dunn 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
Red Cedar River
Status
Complete

Dunn County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Dunn 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
Sinking Creek
Status
Complete

Dunn County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Dunn 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
Tainter Lake
Status
Complete

Dunn County: Lco-Shoreland Ordinance Rev.: Dunn 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
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
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2011
Waters Involved
Chippewa River
Status
Complete

City Of Eau Claire: Eau Claire Confluence: The City of Eau Claire proposes to develop a vision, partnership and implementation plan for restoration and redevelopment of water frontage on the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers. major project elements to include: 1) Creation of Project Advisory Committee, 2) Community listening sessions, 3) Meetings with commissions, land owners and agency staff, 4) Design and review of alternatives, 5) Plan development and distribution.


Grant Details
River Protection Grant
Date
4/1/2000
Waters Involved
Chippewa River
Status
Complete

River County Rc&D Council, Inc: Lower Chippewa R. Basin Conservation Buffer Initiative: The River Country RC&D Council will coordinate a conservation buffer project in the Lower Chippewa Basin over a two year period. Activities involved with this project include: hiring a conservation buffer specialist to coordinate volunteers, educate and provide technical assistance to farmers/landowners, and assist field office in the completion of CRP and CREP contracts.

A broad goal for this project is to install 1500 acres (124 miles) of conservation buffer strips within the basin over a two year period. Areas of concentration will include Cranberry, Coon, Rock and Elk Creeks.

Specific deliverables for this grant project will include:
**9** annual progress report regarding contact completions and buffer installations
**9** final report that summarizes the grant project activites and accomplishments

The Department of Natural Resources will be provided wil both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report.


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

River County Rc&D Council, Inc: Lower Chippewa River Basin Buffers: In 2000, the Lower Chippewa River Basin Partnership Team determined that buffer strips are the most efficient methodd to reduce sediment and filter field run-off within the Basin. Research has shown that buffers remove up to 50% of the nutrients and pesticides, 60% of certain pathogens, and 75% of sediment; and provide various wildlife benefits. The goals and deliverables of this project are: 1. To install 1500 acres of conservation buffer strips within the Lower Chippewa River Basin in the next two years 2. Plant 50 acres of buffer to prairie grasses. 3. Contact 800 landowners with information about conservation buffers. 4. Buffer strips become an accepted on-farm practice within the Basin.


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
Lowes and Rock Creeks Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Date
Status
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
1/1/2012
In Progress
Projects
 
Monitor Fish Tissue
Confirm FCA: IW pre-2000 data
Date
Status
2050000 name Chippewa River TMDL ID 80 Start Mile 20.73 End Mile 37.58
11/21/2011
Proposed
 
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitor Graham Creek for TP
Date
Status
Insufficient TP data to make assessment. Further monitoring recommended.
4/24/2019
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
 
Lowes and Rock Creeks WatershedWatershed History Note