Watershed - Willow Creek (LW12)
Willow Creek Watershed

Details

The Willow Creek Watershed covers 160.5 square miles in Richland County. The watershed is within the driftless, or unglaciated, part of Wisconsin and major water resources in the watershed are Willow Creek and the section of the Pine River from Brush Creek at Richland Center downstream to the Wisconsin River. Land cover in the watershed is primarily broad-leaf deciduous forest and agriculture. There are few wetland complexes in the watershed away from the Wisconsin River floodplain. These are usually adjacent streams and suffer from the effects of grazing or cultivation. The are some locally important, relatively undisturbed wetlands at the junctures of some of the larger streams.

Date  2001

Population, Land Use

Overall population in the watershed was projected to be 7,142 in 2000. Richland Center is the main municipality in the watershed and has a population of 5,114 according to Census 2000 data.

Date  2001

Nonpoint and Point Sources

Nonpoint source pollution in the watershed is a problem. As a result of the threat of pollution from nonpoint sources, the watershed is considered a high priority for nonpoint source pollution reduction. Much of this nonpoint pollution is the result of intensive agriculture that results in soil loss and increased sedimentation in nearby streams. Another concern in the watershed is the use of the herbicide atrazine. Atrazine can leach through the soil and show up in the groundwater and in private water wells. As a result, there are several areas in the watershed designated as atrazine prohibition areas. In addition, the portion of the watershed on the Wisconsin River floodplain is also in an atrazine management area. There are two permitted municipal discharges in the watershed. The City of Richland Center discharges to the Pine River. In addition, the Sextonville Sanitary District discharges to Willow Creek.

Date  2001

Ecological Landscapes for Willow Creek 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. The Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed has a variety of good quality habitats and rare plant communities that are listed on the state's Natural Heritage Inventory, (NHI), kept by the Bureau of Endangered Resources. These communities include: dry cliff, dry prairie, hemlock relict, moist cliff, northern wet forest, pine barrrens, pine relict, sand barrens meadow, sand prairie, southern dry forest, southern dry-mesic forest, southern mesic forest, alder thicket, emergent aquatic, ephemeral pond, floodplain forest, oxbow lake, shrub-carr, southern sedge meadow, wet-mesic prairie, and wet prairie.

Date  2001

Recreational Opportunities

The 300-acre Willow Creek Fishery Area located in the watershed is good for recreational trout fishing. Also, the Pine River Hunting Grounds is in the watershed. This area offers biking, hiking and snowmobiling.

Date  2001

Wildlife and Habitat

The watershed is also home for a variety of rare plant and animal species including; 1 species of beetle, 1 species of bird, 1 species of butterfly, 3 species of dragonflies, 9 species of fish, 1 species of mayfly, 12 species of mussels, 22 plant species, 1 species of snake, and 1 mammal species. These plants and animals are also listed on the state's Natural Heritage Inventory, (NHI).

Date  2001

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2001
Waters Involved
Devils Lake
Status
Complete

Friends Of Devil'S Lake State Park: Res-Of Devil'S Lake By Bottom Water Withdrawl: Friends of Devil's Lake State Park, Inc. will construct and begin operating a siphon pipe system for the purpose of withdrawing P-rich bottom water from Devil's Lake over approximately a 15-year period.

A full description of the project scope and project deliverables is available in the grant application, which is a part of this aggreement.

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 appllication.


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

Friends Of Devil'S Lake State Park: Lmi-Devil'S Lake Bottom Withdrawal Pipe Alterations: The Friends of Devil's Lake State Park propose this project to reconstruct the siphon pipe system at Devil's Lake State Park, Sauk County, by lowering the portion of the siphon that is above the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) lake level so that the pipe will flow as a gravity feed flow system whenever the lake level is above the OHWM. This entails digging up about 900' of the pipe, and lowering the highest point. An additional butterfly flow valve will be installed to provide control of the pipe for safety and operational purposes. Deliverables of this project will be a brief final report documenting that the project was completed, including photos of the project during construction.

Special condition: The Sponsor agrees to abide by the "Conditions of Approval" contained in the Chapter 30 Regulated Activities manual code approval issued by the Department of Natural Resources on 6/6/06.


Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2003
Waters Involved
Lake Wisconsin
Status
Complete

Town Of Merrimac: Acq-Clingman Property Land Acquisition: The Town of Merrimac will purchase the Clingman Property on Lake Wisconsin in the County of Sauk (approx. 15.1 acres). The Town of Merrimac will comply with the approved Regional Management Plan.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Castle Rock Ditch
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Cruson Slough
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Lake Du Bay
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Little Pine Creek
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2010
Waters Involved
Wisconsin River
Status
Complete

Lake Alice Association, Inc: Lake Alice Stewardship Program Phase Ii - Understanding The Biota Of Lake Alice: Lake Alice Association is sponsoring phased large scale lake planning grants to study Lake Alice, in Lincoln County. The project will focus on developing and updating an Adaptive Lake Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Alice. Phase 2 was funded in this grant cycle and Phases 3-5 will be submitted for funding starting in 2011.

Project activities for Phase 2 include: 1) Educational program, meetings and educational events with lake association and Tomahawk High School students, written educational materials, news releases, and website updates; 2) Point-intercept (PI) aquatic plant survey; 3) Aquatic plant community and substrate mapping; 4) Water quality assessment; 5) Volunteer amphibian monitoring and angler survey; 6) Update LMP.

Project deliverables include: 1) Educational materials and news releases; 2) Aquatic plant community and substrate maps; 3) PI, water quality, amphibian, and angler data; 4) LMP.

Specific conditions for this project: LMP needs Dept review and approval

WDNR Lakes Management Coordinator will be provided with an electronic (pdf or word) and hard copy of LMP, news releases, any other educational materials/products, all data, all maps from project, and all GIS data.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2004
Waters Involved
Willow Creek
Status
Complete

Driftless Area Land Conservancy: Willow Creek Protection Into Perpetuity: The Conservancy will develop a site conservation plan to guide them and other project partners with specific goals for the permanent protection, restoration and enhancements of important conservation projects. A full description of the project goals, objectives, and activities are in the grant application narrative, which is a part of this contract.


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
Willow Creek Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Monitor Fish Community
Brush Creek fIBI
Date
Status
AU 13367, poor fIBI, Station 10031497
1/1/2018
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Center Creek TP
Date
Status
Category 5A. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10020910. AU: 13366.
1/1/2018
Proposed
Projects
 
Nine Key Element Plan
Pine River/Willow Creek PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan
Date
Status
Pine River/Willow Creek PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Pine River/Willow Creek Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Pine River/Willow Creek Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resources objectives. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Pine River/Willow Creek Priority Watershed Project area.
10/1/1998
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
 
Date
Status
The watershed should be considered as an EQIP project or some other nonpoint source pollution reduction project to control sources of nonpoint pollution. Specific targets for practices, such as through the Targeted Runoff Management program, (TRM), include Happy Hollow, Jacquish Hollow, Little Willow, Lost Hollow, School Section Hollow and Wheat Hollow Creeks.
1/1/2010
Proposed
 
TMDL Implementation
Otter Creek (1237100) TMDL
Date
Status
Otter Creek is impaired due to degraded habitat because of excessive sediment loading from surrounding agricultural lands to the Creek. Otter Creek is currently not meeting the applicable narrative water quality standard (WQS) that prohibits objectionable deposits on the shore or in the bed of a water in amounts that interfere with public rights in the water. To address the degraded habitat impairments, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) determined that sediment, specifically TSS, is the pollutant that must be addressed to attain designated uses and meet WQS.
9/22/2012
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
TMDL Implementation
Little Willow Creek (1221300)
Date
Status
Little Willow Creek (1221300) TMDL implementation. An implementation plan is needed.
9/8/2008
In Progress
Projects
 
TMDL Monitoring
Little Willow Creek TMDL
Date
Status
A study to conduct two years of TMDL Monitoring for Little Willow Creek. 1980 trout streams list (class 2). Little Willow Creek is approximately eight miles long, located in the southeast portion of Richland County Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) placed the entire length of Little Willow Creek on the state?s 303(d) impaired waters list in 1996 as high priority due to degraded habitat caused by excessive sedimentation (Table 1). The Clean Water Act and US EPA regulations require that each state develop TMDLs for waters on the Section 303(d) list.
7/1/2010
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Willow Creek WatershedWatershed History Note

The Village of Lime Ridge is located at the headwaters of three watersheds: Willow Creek, Narrows Creek and Baraboo River and Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River. It is named after a ridge of limestone which runs west of the village. Early settlers from the East found the land in the area covered with hardwood trees, and the forests filled with deer, bear, wolves and lynx. Native Americans also camped and hunted in the surrounding woods. The pioneers also found clear springs flowing from rock outcroppings and realized the land beneath the wooded forests was rich and suitable for farming. Those first pioneers came by covered wagon pulled by oxen, from Madison and Milwaukee, the terminus of railroad lines from the East. They cleared the land of timber – initially burning the valuable logs – and began planting crops. Other settlers realized the value of the hardwood trees, built sawmills and began harvesting them for sale as stave bolts and railroad ties. In 1858, Charles Cushman was looking to establish a post office in the vicinity and located it in his log cabin atop the ridge which he owned. The mail was kept in a drawer in a small table in the cabin. Settlers picked up their own mail, and also delivered their neighbor's mail on the way home. A year later, the post office and village were moved a mile east of the original site. The Bohn family came to the village from Ohio, and built a dam and sawmill. Farmers were eager to sell the hardwood timber logged from farmland, and Bohn fashioned it into barrel staves, which he shipped to larger cities. Bohn began buying land around the village and constructed a meeting hall used by local lodges and the Ironton Township. He also built a hotel, and in 1909 Bohn founded the State Bank of Lime Ridge. The small village also sported a blacksmith shop, hardware store, millinery shop, several saloons and two cheese factories. Lime Ridge was incorporated in 1913. The wooden sidewalks were replaced with concrete in 1915, and electricity came to the village in 1922.

Date  2011