Watershed - Lower Middle Sugar River (SP12)
Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Details

The Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed includes a portion of the Sugar River and tributaries from the dam at Albany downstream to the Decatur Lake dam. Agriculture is the predominant land use and the subsequent agricultural non-point source pollution is the major source of impairment to streams in the watershed. The population of the watershed will likely remain steady over the next two decades owing to the relatively small size of the watershed and lack of major municipalities. The watershed has not been ranked for nonpoint source priority. The Village of Albany waste water treatment facility discharges to surface water. A large wetland complex still exists adjacent to the Sugar River although other large areas of wetlands have been drained and put into cultivation.

Date  2002

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Southeast Glacial Plains Ecological Landscape makes up the bulk of the non-coastal land area in southeast Wisconsin. This Ecological Landscape is made up of glacial till plains and moraines. Most of this Ecological Landscape is composed of glacial materials deposited during the Wisconsin Ice Age, but the southwest portion consists of older, pre-Wisconsin till with a more dissected topography. Soils are lime-rich tills overlain in most areas by a silt-loam loess cap. Agricultural and residential interests throughout the landscape have significantly altered the historical vegetation. Most of the rare natural communities that remain are associated with large moraines or in areas where the Niagara Escarpment occurs close to the surface. Historically, vegetation in the Southeast Glacial Plains consisted of a mix of prairie, oak forests and savanna, and maple-basswood forests. Wet-mesic prairies, southern sedge meadows, emergent marshes, and calcareous fens were found in lower portions of the Landscape. End moraines and drumlins supported savannas and forests. Agricultural and urban land use practices have drastically changed the land cover of the Southeast Glacial Plains since Euro-American settlement. The current vegetation is primarily agricultural cropland. Remaining forests occupy only about 10% of the land area and consist of maple-basswood, lowland hardwoods, and oak. No large mesic forests exist today except on the Kettle Interlobate Moraine which has topography too rugged for agriculture. Some existing forest patches that were formerly savannas have succeeded to hardwood forest due to fire suppression.

Date  2010

Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed At-a-Glance

Impaired Water in Lower Middle Sugar River Watershed

Lakes and Impoundments

Decatur Lake is an impoundment of the Sugar River formed by a dam just upstream of the Village of Brodhead. It covers 151 acres but is shallow and silted in. The lake contains warm water forage species, some panfish and carp, and an occasional bass or walleye. A better game fishery can be found in the adjoining river segments. The mini-fyke data confirms that a good forage base exists for the predator fish. It is also apparent that largemouth bass, black crappie and bluegill are reproducing in Deacatur Lake. This survey documents the existence of fathead minnows, but Fago also documents their existence in his 1974 work. Overall, Decatur can be classified as a fair, warm-water fishery. There are enough gamefish and panfish to attract light fishing pressures. Anglers with low expectations will not be disappointed. This may be a good area to introduce youngsters to panfishing (Byla, 2001). Brodhead has voted to restore and repair the existing dam. The department has recommended a fish passage be installed but funding for such a structure has not yet been obtained.

Date  2002

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

Impaired Waters

List of Impaired Waters
Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Aquatic Invasives Early Detection and Response
Date
9/1/2012
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

River Alliance Of Wisconsin: Gambusia Infestation- Sugar River: The River Alliance of Wisconsin intends to test a technique to mechanically remove as many exotic Gambusia (mosquitofish) as possible from the slough where their population expanded this past summer. The goals of the project are to test this method of sequentially blocking sections of the slough from the mouth to the top, shocking, collecting, and netting, in a repeated fashion), and actually removing as many of these destructive fishes as possible in order to create a more favorable habitat for the return of the native topminnows. Without this action, the return of the native species would highly improbable after this drought year, which dried up most of their habitat in this and other river systems. Final results will be presented to DNR in a report, and via poster at the UW-Platteville poster day by another partner in the project from the UW.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Decatur Lake
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Decatur Lake Feasibility Study: Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association plans to conduct an objective assessment to identify lake planning options for improving water quality, habitat and recreational uses of Decatur Lake, located on the Sugar River. The project will include public information and education, gathering of public input, and scientific and engineering analysis of management alternatives. They will examine water quality, watershed and hydrology data. Volunteers will collect lake bathymetric data and supplement existing water quality data to help with sediment transport and nutrient cycling analyses. The project will also evaluate carp control options. This information will be compiled and analyzed to determine how the lake and it\2019s habitat can be improved. The final report will be shared with partners via local newspaper, websites and social media.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Searles Creek
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Decatur Lake Feasibility Study: Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association plans to conduct an objective assessment to identify lake planning options for improving water quality, habitat and recreational uses of Decatur Lake, located on the Sugar River. The project will include public information and education, gathering of public input, and scientific and engineering analysis of management alternatives. They will examine water quality, watershed and hydrology data. Volunteers will collect lake bathymetric data and supplement existing water quality data to help with sediment transport and nutrient cycling analyses. The project will also evaluate carp control options. This information will be compiled and analyzed to determine how the lake and it\2019s habitat can be improved. The final report will be shared with partners via local newspaper, websites and social media.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Decatur Lake Feasibility Study: Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association plans to conduct an objective assessment to identify lake planning options for improving water quality, habitat and recreational uses of Decatur Lake, located on the Sugar River. The project will include public information and education, gathering of public input, and scientific and engineering analysis of management alternatives. They will examine water quality, watershed and hydrology data. Volunteers will collect lake bathymetric data and supplement existing water quality data to help with sediment transport and nutrient cycling analyses. The project will also evaluate carp control options. This information will be compiled and analyzed to determine how the lake and it\2019s habitat can be improved. The final report will be shared with partners via local newspaper, websites and social media.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Sugar River -East Channel
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Decatur Lake Feasibility Study: Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association plans to conduct an objective assessment to identify lake planning options for improving water quality, habitat and recreational uses of Decatur Lake, located on the Sugar River. The project will include public information and education, gathering of public input, and scientific and engineering analysis of management alternatives. They will examine water quality, watershed and hydrology data. Volunteers will collect lake bathymetric data and supplement existing water quality data to help with sediment transport and nutrient cycling analyses. The project will also evaluate carp control options. This information will be compiled and analyzed to determine how the lake and it\2019s habitat can be improved. The final report will be shared with partners via local newspaper, websites and social media.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/15/2017
Waters Involved
Unnamed
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Decatur Lake Feasibility Study: Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association plans to conduct an objective assessment to identify lake planning options for improving water quality, habitat and recreational uses of Decatur Lake, located on the Sugar River. The project will include public information and education, gathering of public input, and scientific and engineering analysis of management alternatives. They will examine water quality, watershed and hydrology data. Volunteers will collect lake bathymetric data and supplement existing water quality data to help with sediment transport and nutrient cycling analyses. The project will also evaluate carp control options. This information will be compiled and analyzed to determine how the lake and it\2019s habitat can be improved. The final report will be shared with partners via local newspaper, websites and social media.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2013
Waters Involved
Decatur Lake
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Dlmra Website Dev: The Decatur Lake Millrace Association plans to improve communication and outreach for their young organization by developing a website. This should help increase public awareness and broaden the conversation about things they can do to strengthen the organization and generate ideas and energy to improve the lake. The deliverables include creation and launching of a new website, a membership list, and training for website and list maintenance. A press release and presentation of website availability will be made to City of Brodhead, and posted at the local library to get the word out. A brief final report will be submitted electronically at the end of the grant.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2013
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Decatur Lake Millrace Assoc: Dlmra Website Dev: The Decatur Lake Millrace Association plans to improve communication and outreach for their young organization by developing a website. This should help increase public awareness and broaden the conversation about things they can do to strengthen the organization and generate ideas and energy to improve the lake. The deliverables include creation and launching of a new website, a membership list, and training for website and list maintenance. A press release and presentation of website availability will be made to City of Brodhead, and posted at the local library to get the word out. A brief final report will be submitted electronically at the end of the grant.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
5/1/2000
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Dane County: Sugar River Capacity Building: Dane County will provide funding, administrative assistance, and planning assistance to help the establishment of three non-profit community organizations. This will extend existing efforts to protect land and water in the Upper Sugar River watershed. It will generate local support for conservation practices in the Sugar River watershed by including landowners and affected citizens in the planning and implementation of river protection strategies.

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


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2001
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Upper Sugar River Watershed Association: Upper Sugar River Wetlands Resource Area Plan: The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association will hire a part-time coordinator to develop their organization's ability to preserve and enhance the watershed.

A full description of 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
7/1/2002
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Upper Sugar River Watershed Association: Capacity Building For Upper Sugar Rvr Watershed: The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association will employ a part-time coordinator to build the capacity and the sustainability of the Association, and to direct implimentation of the Association's strategic plan.

A full description of 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
7/1/2013
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Lower Sugar River Watershed Association: Organizational Building/Citizen Scientists: The LSRWA will undertake a River Planning Project that will address organizational and land and water conservation/management goals. Project deliverables are as follows: 1.) Acquire a laptop and software to facilitate communications and enable centralized recordkeeping, accounting, and database development, 2.) Continue to develop and implement a fundraising plan and membership program, 3.) Hold citizen science training and workshops (Watershed Rapid Assessment Survey annually and four restoration workshops), 4.) Promote and disseminate the restoration template to demonstrate and implement best management practices (BMPs) with willing landowners, 5.) Develop watershed education programming to increase watershed literacy in schools and the community, 6.) Continue funding part-time staff position to carry out daily operations, 7.) Create \201CWatershed Issues Orientation Folders\201D and add organization documents to the LSRWA website, 8.) Ongoing website maintenance and development.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2013
Waters Involved
Sugar River
Status
Complete

Upper Sugar River Watershed Association: Planning For Next 5 Years: The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association (USRWA) will undertake a River Planning Grant Project to update the strategic plan for the Upper Sugar River Watershed (USRW). Project deliverables are as follows: 1.) Form a strategic planning committee that will engage stakeholders from various backgrounds in the strategic planning process, 2.) Create more comprehensive maps of the USRW by working with a GIS contractor to survey the watershed and use GIS software functionality to determine areas of greatest conservation or monitoring needs. USRWA will also utilize map products in its strategic planning efforts and make the information available to the public on their website. 3.) Work with the River Alliance of Wisconsin to facilitate a half day Board of Directors retreat to compile and consider information gathered at various public meetings and draft a five year strategic plan to be considered by the Board at the next meeting, 4.) Produce a comprehensive strategic plan for the USRWA.


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

Lower Sugar River Watershed Association: Lsrwa: Org Capacity Bldg, Ed/Outreach, Website And Fundraising: The LSRWA will:

Program Director will: communicate regularly w/ team/project leads and volunteers; organize volunteers gathered by team/project leads for grant funded projects/events; streamline record keeping, reporting, and project deliverables utilizing/maintaining laptop/software, cloud storage, data forms; attend/report at regular board meetings/work sessions.

Refine fundraising/membership plan in a minimum of two workshops in the 1st 1/4 quarter of 2015, assess outcomes of 2014 programming and alignment with strategic and fundraising/membership plan; review programming for 2015/2016 using lessons learned in first workshop; conduct critical analysis at the end of 2015.

Conduct 3 website training sessions for the maintenance team; contract for 2 or more web page upgrades/repairs; cover quarterly web hosting fees; conduct critical review of website function.

Deliverables:

Project Director will average 16-20 hours per week for approx. 26 weeks.

Update membership; prepare/execute Fundraising & Membership Workshop; refine/ update fundraising and membership plan; apply fundraising plan goals, objectives, & strategies to all 2015/16 events; complete a critical analysis of 2015 events -provide a summary to WDNR.

A watershed lesson segment with the Brodhead School will be completed. LSRWA will collaborate with Harvard University students to create a tabletop 3-D model of the entire Sugar River Watershed. Harvard students will create a video detailing the design and construction process, which will be used along with the completed model to continue to engage Brodhead and other watershed school students and the community in watershed education opportunities.

Conduct three website training sessions with the LSRWA Web Maintenance Team; minimum of two web page upgrades/repairs; quarterly web-hosting fees; critical review of website functionality. Provide summary to WDNR of upgrades, functionality and usage.


Lower Middle Sugar River 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
 
TMDL Implementation
Sugar Pecatonica TMDL Implementation
Date
Status
Sugar Pecatonica TMDL Implementation for 23 TMDLs for 23 waterbody segments with a total of 52 impairments from the 2004 Wisconsin 303(d) list. An Implementation Plan is needed.
1/1/2011
In Progress
Projects
Documents
 
Lower Middle Sugar River WatershedWatershed History Note

The Village of Albany is situated along the banks of the Sugar River in Green County. The first people to live in the Albany area were Native Americans of the Winnebago tribe. They came in the spring with their children and their ponies, setting up camp, tending their gardens, and fishing in the Sugar River. Legend has it that they called the river "Tonasookarah" meaning sugar and also referring to the maple trees along the riverbank. "Campbell's Ford," the name by which Albany was first known, was an ideal river crossing settled by James Campbell and Thomas Stewart in 1839. Seven years later Captain Erastus Pond, master of a Great Lakes ship, and Dr. Samuel Nichols, from Vermont, attracted by prospects of excellent water power and the scenic area, came to Campbell's Ford with their families. Dr. Nichols built a double log home, which was shared by the Pond family for a few months until they built their own. Both homes were on the east side of the river. These families were followed by others from New York state and New England. Very soon, settlers came from Norway, Germany, Ireland, Wales and Switzerland, and Albany was on its way to becoming a prosperous community, surrounded by thriving farms. Albany gained some fame at the end of the 19th century as a city located on the "RIVER OF PEARLS," because there was an abundance of oysters and clams in the Sugar River.

Date  2011