Watershed - Lower Pecatonica River (SP07)
Lower Pecatonica River Watershed

Details

The Lower Pecatonica River Watershed lies in the southeast portion of Lafayette County. The landscape is dominated by agriculture with scattered woodlots and grasslands making up most of the remaining portion. The municipalities of Gratiot and South Wayne discharge to Wolf Creek and the Pecatonica River, respectively. Population growth in the watershed over the next several decades is expected to be negligible. The major water quality problems in the watershed are from nonpoint source pollution. Erosion from cropland, runoff from barnyards, and streambank pasturing result in degradation of habitat, increased sedimentation, turbidity, and nutrient load. The Lower Pecatonica River Watershed is not ranked for nonpoint source protection.

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Pecatonica River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Southwest Savanna Ecological Landscape is located in the far southwestern part of the state. It is characterized by deeply dissected topography, unglaciated for the last 2.4 million years, with broad open hilltops and river valleys, and steep wooded slopes. The climate is favorable for agriculture but the steep slopes limit it to the hilltops and valley bottoms. Soils are underlain with calcareous bedrock. Soils on hilltops are silty loams, sometimes of shallow depth over exposed bedrock and stony red clay subsoil. Some valley soils are alluvial sands, loams, and peats. Some hilltops are almost treeless due to the thin soil while others have a deep silt loam cap. Historic vegetation consisted of tall prairie grasses and forbs with oak savannas and some wooded slopes of oak. Almost three-quarters of the current vegetation is agricultural crops with lesser amounts of grasslands, barrens, and urban areas. The major forest types are oak-hickory and maple-basswood. High-quality prairie remnants occur on rocky hilltops and slopes that are not farmed. Some prairie pastures and oak savannas still exist. The grassland areas harbor many rare grassland birds, invertebrates, and other grassland species. Relict stands of pine occur on bedrock outcroppings along some stream systems.

Date  2010

Hydrologic Features

Some high quality wetlands exist along the Pecatonica River including oxbow lakes, shallow water marsh, lowland forest, and sedge meadow wetland complexes. The oxbow lakes are small, but unique. They were formed when the river channel was cut off the forces of streambank cutting and sediment deposition. The lakes occasionally contain fish which are carried into them by floodwaters. However, due to their shallow depth, the fishery usually "freezes out" every winter. Nevertheless, these lakes provide good habitat for waterfowl and aquatic furbearers. Horseshoe Lake is an oxbow lake on the Pecatonica River that lies just northeast of South Wayne. Bloody Lake is formed from an oxbow of the East Branch of the Pecatonica River just north of Woodford. It receives its name from the fact that a battle was fought at this site during the Black Hawk War in 1832. The lake is surrounded by a county park where a monument now commemorates this event.

Date  2002

Lower Pecatonica River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Lower Pecatonica River Watershed

Wetland Health

Wetland Status The Lower Pecatonica River Watershed lies in the southeast portion of Lafayette County. Wetlands compromise 0% of the current land uses in the watershed. Roughly, 11% of the original wetlands in the watershed are estimated to exist. Of these wetlands, emergent wetlands (62%), which include marshes and wet meadows, and shrub wetlands (27%) dominate the landscape. Wetland Condition Little is known about the condition of the remaining wetlands but estimates of reed canary grass infestations, an opportunistic aquatic invasive wetland plant, into different wetland types has been estimated based on satellite imagery. This information shows that reed canary grass dominates 83% of the existing emergent wetlands, which includes wet meadows and marshes, and 11% of the remaining shrub wetlands. Reed Canary Grass domination inhibits successful establishment of native wetland species. Wetland Restorability Of the 1,388 acres of estimated lost wetlands in the watershed, approximately 97% are considered potentially restorable based on modeled data, including soil types, land use and land cover (Chris Smith, DNR, 2009).

Date  2010

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

Lakes and Impoundments

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
10/18/2000
Waters Involved
Pecatonica River
Status
Complete

Gratiot Conservation Club: Pecatonica River Enhancement Council: The Gratiot Sportsman's Club will: 1) establish the Pecatonica River Enhancement Council as a nonprofit, Chapter 181 corporation with the state of Wisconsin and achieve 501(c ) (3) status with the IRS, 2) recruit a diverse membership for active participation within the Pecatonica River Enhancement Council, 3) promote river awareness and education through newsletters, brochures, open houses, and field days, and 4) develop a long term strategic plan addressing wetland preservation, watershed land use, riparian zone conditions, water quality, recreational use, and public access.

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


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

Southwest Badger R C & D: Military Ridge Watershed Protection Project: Southwest Badger Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. will build local understanding of and support for the restoration, protection and management of grassland habitat in the headwaters of the Sugar and Pecatonica Rivers. A full description of the project goals, objectives, methods, activities, project products and deliverables is in the grant application, which is a part of this contract.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2012
Waters Involved
Pecatonica River
Status
Complete

Driftless Area Land Conservancy: Improving Wq/Aquatic Habitat On The Pecatonica River: The Driftless Area Land Conservancy will sponsor a project to build organizational capacity to improve and enhance the water quality and aquatic habitat within the Pecatonica River. Project deliverables are as follows: 1.) Complete an organizational assessment by working with a capacity building consultant to develop effective community engagement and outreach strategies, 2.) Develop strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, 3.) Identify and prioritize critical stream segments and/or sub-watersheds to accomplish targeted water quality goals and/or aquatic habitat restoration, 4.)Reach out to willing landowners in targeted areas to seek their interest in floodplain and/or stream restoration protection effort, 5.)Expand student knowledge of the Pecatonica River ecosystem and engage them in projects that can provide data for agency and nonprofit scientists by giving at least three presentations and encouraging science programs to collect and/or expand their water quality monitoring, 6.) Complete a community outreach strategy and action plan for 2013 by November, 2012, 7.)Increase membership by 25% in the final quarter of 2012, 8.) Participate in at least two community events within the basin by June 30, 2013, 9.)Participate in at least four targeted outreach events within the basin such as formal presentations or field trips prior to June 30, 2013.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
2/15/2015
Waters Involved
Pecatonica River
Status
Complete

Driftless Area Land Conservancy: Fishable, Swimmable, Drinkable: Phosphorus And The Pecatonica River: The Driftless Area Land Conservancy will:

1. Work with municipalities and their consultants in a series of meetings to discuss scale and tactics for reducing phosphorus in the Pecatonica River.

2. In consultation with the Wisconsin DNR, county conservation staff in Iowa and Lafayette Counties, natural Resources Conservation Service, TNC, etc., identify 2 to 3 priority areas within the basin that address significant water impairment problems while offering significant aquatic habitat enhancement and cost-effective opportunities for phosphorus reduction.

3. Craft a Delphi Survey instrument targeting landowners within priority sub-watersheds to better understand farmer perspectives on water quality programs and practices and identify potential champions that we can partner with in the future. DALC will submit the draft survey to Jordan Petchenik, Department of Natural Resources Science Services, for approval prior to using survey. Petchenik can be reached at 608-266-8523.

4. Complete a 3-5 year plan for next steps within targeted sub-watersheds.

Deliverables:

Hold 3-5 meetings with municipalities. Write a summary document for each individual meeting that describes: who participated, the topics discussed, issues and concerns, possible solutions, conclusions and next steps.

Identification of 2-3 targeted sub-watersheds within the Pecatonica basin to explore implementation of practices to reduce phosphorus loading and enhance habitat.

Conduct a Delphi Survey within these priority watersheds. Provide a report summarizing the results from the Delphi Survey for each watershed. Share the results of the Delphi study with all participants and partners (e.g., landowners, agency staff, nonprofit partners, and municipalities).

Provide a 3-5 year planning document focusing on future implementation efforts and share the document with our partners as a means to encourage future action and coordinate next steps.


Lower Pecatonica River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 919600
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 919600, AU:905854
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Watershed (Status,Sources,Impairments)
 
Date
Status
Watershed Planning
12/1/2009
In Progress
Projects
 
Monitor or Assess Watershed Condition
 
Date
Status
Conduct a comprehensive review of waters in watershed to update the watershed plan, stream narratives (if possible) and to gather background information on Silver Spring as a "pre-Phosphorus index"  project look-see.
3/16/2010
Proposed
 
Lower Pecatonica River WatershedWatershed History Note

The villages of Gratiot, South Wayne and the hamlet of Wiota are located in the Lower Pecatonica River Watershed in Lafayette County. Gratiot was named after Colonel Henry Gratiot, a French-American pioneer, trader and businessman. During the Winnebago and Black Hawk Wars, he acted as both an intermediary and early U.S. Indian agent to the Winnebagos throughout the early 19th century. He and his brother Jean Pierre, were one of the first pioneers to settle in Wisconsin operating a successful mining and smelting business during the 1820s and 1830s. The Village of South Wayne, located in the southeast corner of the county, was originally named Collins, in the 1880s, after the local railroad superintendent. Since there was another Collins in the state, the Village's name was changed to South Wayne, in honor of the Revolutionary War hero and minister "Mad" Anthony Wayne, with the "South" added to distinguish it from the community of Wayne in northeast Wisconsin. The Township around the Village was called "Lost Township" because the official government survey was lost on its way from the U.S. Land Office. The railroad that was vital to the creation of South Wayne has now been replaced with a recreational trail that brings thousands of visitors to the Village year round. A mile or so west of the Village is the memorial marker that commemorates the Spafford Creek Massacre, where Sauk Indians killed four men in the 1832 Black Hawk War. When lead miner, William S. Hamilton, the son of Alexander Hamilton, emigrated from Illinois to Wisconsin in the late 1820s, he established a lead ore mine that became known as Hamilton's Diggings. He later renamed the settlement Wiota. Hamilton, along with Elias Shook and William Haws, settled the area in 1828 and quickly struck quality deposits of lead ore. During the 1832 Black Hawk War, a fort was erected at Hamilton's Diggings, which was known as Fort Hamilton. Wiota was first platted in 1836 by Hamilton, and though a few buildings were built, the settlement was eventually moved from the Hamilton's Diggings site to its present site, which was platted on July 1, 1858.

Date  2011