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
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.

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
 
Lowes and Rock Creeks WatershedWatershed History Note