Watershed - Black River (SH02)
Black River Watershed

Details

The entire Black River Watershed is located within Sheboygan County. The southern portion of the City of Sheboygan, most of the village of Cedar Grove and the entire Village of Oostburg are located in the watershed. The watershed encompasses 36 square miles and contains three named streams, the Black River, Barr Creek and Fisherman's Creek and 32 unnamed streams. There are no lakes or impoundments in the watershed. Land uses in the watershed are mainly rural, characterized as natural lowlands with adjacent agricultural areas. Fisherman┬┐s Creek, which flows through the southern portion of the City of Sheboygan is characterized as urban. Water quality in the watershed is considered poor. Rural and urban runoff, industrial and municipal point sources, channel modifications and construction site erosion all contribute to flashy flows, increased nutrients, bacteria, sedimentation and contaminated sediment.

Date  2001

Ecological Landscapes for Black River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape stretches from southern Door County west across Green Bay to the Wolf River drainage, then southward in a narrowing strip along the Lake Michigan shore to central Milwaukee County. Owing to the influence of Lake Michigan in the eastern part of this landscape, summers there are cooler, winters warmer, and precipitation levels greater than at locations farther inland. Dolomites and shales underlie the glacial deposits that blanket virtually all of the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape. The dolomite Niagara Escarpment is the major bedrock feature, running across the entire landscape from northeast to southwest. Series of dolomite cliffs provide critical habitat for rare terrestrial snails, bats, and specialized plants. The primary glacial landforms are ground moraine, outwash, and lakeplain. The topography is generally rolling where the surface is underlain by ground moraine, variable over areas of outwash, and nearly level where lacustrine deposits are present. Important soils include clays, loams, sands, and gravels. Certain landforms, such as sand spits, clay bluffs, beach and dune complexes, and ridge and swale systems, are associated only with the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Historically, most of this landscape was vegetated with mesic hardwood forest composed primarily of sugar maple, basswood, and beech. Hemlock and white pine were locally important, but hemlock was generally restricted to cool moist sites near Lake Michigan. Areas of poorly drained glacial lakeplain supported wet forests of tamarack, white cedar, black ash, red maple, and elm, while the Wolf and Embarrass Rivers flowed through extensive floodplain forests of silver maple, green ash, and swamp white oak. Emergent marshes and wet meadows were common in and adjacent to lower Green Bay, while Lake Michigan shoreline areas featured beaches, dunes, interdunal wetlands, marshes, and highly diverse ridge and swale vegetation. Small patches of prairie and oak savanna were present in the southwestern portion of this landscape.

Date  2010

Fisheries

Fish surveys conducted in 1994, 1999 and 2000 showed that a diverse fish community exists in the Black River with 10 forage fish and eight sport fish species in the lower reaches and fewer species in the upper reaches. The Black River also supports a limited seasonal run of trout and salmon from Lake Michigan, providing some additional fishing opportunities for anglers.

Date  2001

Black River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Black River Watershed

Aquatic Invasive Species

Purple loosestrife infestations in the wetland areas are severely affecting the natural environment. This plant competes with the native vegetation in the wetland areas. The Jerving Conservancy, located near the mouth of the Black River was once a highly valued migratory bird site but is now degraded by purple loosestrife overgrowth.

Date  2001

Rivers and Streams
All Waters in Watershed
Watershed Trout Streams
Watershed Outstanding & Exceptional Resources

Lakes and Impoundments

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
3/5/1996
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Sheboygan County: Acq-Gerber Lakes Land Acquisition - Hayes Property: Sheboygan County will acquire 108.9 acres of land located in Section 35, Town of Rhine at the eastern edge of Wisconsin's Kettle Morraine for lake protection and public outdoor recreation purposes. The property includes three lakes - Big Gerber, Little Gerber, and a 1+ acre spring pond that are part of the Sheboygan River Watershed. The primary goals of the property's management plan are (1) to permanently preserve and protect the diversity and uniqueness of the existing land cover including coniferous and deciduous forest, meadow, open water, and adjoining wetland. The approximately 25 acres of upland cropland area will be established in a permanent cover of native prairie and fruit bearing shrubs and trees to eliminate future erosion into the lakes and the adjoining Otter Creek, (2) to utilize the property for natural study and appreciation, outdoor skills training, and passive recreation and enjoyment. It is anticipated that the Sheboygan County Outdoor Skills Center will relocate to the existing farm residence and buildings on the property. Eligible costs are outlined on the attached Cost Estimate Worksheet.


Grant Details
Urban Nonpoint - Stormwater Planning
Date
1/1/2005
Waters Involved
Black River
Status
Complete

Town Of Wilson: Stormwater Planning Activities: development of a storm water management plan, to include analysis of stormwater flows and pollutant loading, creation of stormwater, erosion & illicit discharge control ordinances, mapping, assessment of alternative practice installations, and evaluation of alternative funding mechanisms.


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.

Black River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Best Management Practices, Implement
Sheboygan County Farm Nonpoint Source 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.
3/13/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Monitor Watershed (Status,Sources,Impairments)
 
Date
Status
WDNR should assist the county in identifying drain tile connections from septic systems and milk-house wastes to surface waters and facilitate the corrections.
1/1/2010
Proposed
 
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
City of Sheboygan 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 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
 
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
City of Plymouth Stormwater Planning
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: new construction erosion control ordinance; new low impact development/conservation subdivision ordinance; new storm water ordinance for new development and re-development; other new ordinances that affect runoff from the developed urban area; and development and implementation of a new financing mechanism for funding the storm water program; and a new storm water management plan for the entire developed urban area.
1/1/2018
In Progress
Projects
 
Water Quality Planning
River Basin Partnership Willow Creek
Date
Status
The impact of current and future land use on water quality conditions in Willow Creek are not well understood. Therefore, planning needs to be completed to help guide the types of BMP?s and management policies that will be needed to preserve and restore water quality and habitat in the watershed. The watershed plan can identify types of restoration and stream improvement projects that could be implemented.
12/21/2009
In Progress
Projects
 
Black River WatershedWater Plans and Partnerships

Date  2011

Watershed History Note

The Villages of Cedar Grove and Oostburg in Sheboygan County are located in the Black River Watershed along the western shore of Lake Michigan. These villages have a strong link to the Netherlands. Between 1844 and 1880, religious intolerance, crop failures and rising prices led to thousands of Dutch citizens emigrating from the western part of the Netherlands to the United States. Sheboygan County was one of the four main areas in Wisconsin where they chose to settle. Having achieved statehood in 1848, land was inexpensive in Wisconsin and the landscape was similar to back home. The abundance of timber provided a source of income while trying to build a homestead. Once land was cleared, it was suitable for different types of agriculture. Once settled, letters back to the home country would have encouraged others to make the move as well, thus swelling the ranks of the Dutch in certain areas. Today the Dutch legacy can be seen in the windmills in the front yards, in the names of streets, and strong historical societies. The Village of Cedar Grove celebrates with the two-day Holland Festival every summer. Before the Saturday afternoon parade the main street is scrubbed by children and adults dressed in traditional Dutch costumes to prepare the road for the Klompen Dancers. Klompen, the traditional wooden shoes worn by the Dutch, are donned for dancing, street scrubbing and a children's race at the Holland Festival. The roomy wooden shoes were originally worn by the Dutch to work in the fields where they protected them from the cold and the moisture. Klomping down the street to accordion music is said to be reminiscent of Dutch ancestors congregating on old cobblestone streets to attend a village event or church gathering. During the Holland Festival, residents of all ages take to the street in costume to participate in the ceremonial street scrubbing. Armed with "Old Dutch" cleanser, an assortment of brooms, and water from wooden barrels or buckets, they scrub the pavement until the Burgemeister (village president) declares it clean. Only then do the Klompen Dancers kick up their heels.

Date  2011