Plum Creek Update —Randy Arnold, chapter Volunteer Coordinator
Plum City has received a federal FEMA grant to repair flood damage to Plum Creek.
The Department of Natural Resource's trout habitat crew is working on the project to repair the damage. The area is located from the Highway 10 bridge downstream to the next bridge in Plum City. They have cleared the area of trees and shaped the banks.
On Saturday July 23rd, Trout Unlimited members from the Kiap-TU-Wish and Clearwater Chapters of western Wisconsin, along with members of the Durand Sportsmen's Club, volunteered to install LUNKER structures in a portion of the creek. The structures will be covered with rock and will provide overhead cover for trout. The creek will eventually be narrowed and additional trout habitat and plunge pools will be built.
Additional volunteer help is needed to complete the installation of LUNKER structures. Anyone interested in helping with the project over the next several weeks can stop at the site from Monday to Thursday. An additional workday to seed and mulch the area is tentatively planned for Saturday, Aug. 6th starting at 9 AM. Volunteers are welcome.
Thanks to the very steady crew of volunteers who showed up and worked at Plum Creek last winter and through the summer of 2011
Plum Creek originates in southeastern Pierce county and flows southeasterly about 27 miles where it enters the Chippewa River in south central Pepin County.
The Plum Creek watershed is 88 square miles with approximately 49 square miles (55.6%) in Pierce County, and 39 square miles (44.4%) in Pepin County (Figure 1). Plum Creek is the primary waterway with a base flow of approximately 55 cubic feet per second near its mouth. The watershed drains rolling agricultural and wooded areas with many of the tributaries originating in steep coulees. The watershed also drains one small urban area, the village of Plum City. Plum Creek has three named tributaries; Elk, Porcupine and Rock Elm Creeks and a number of small-unnamed tributaries.
Historic Watershed Conditions
Historically, Plum Creek and its tributaries had undergone a dramatic transformation from pristine, forested coldwater trout streams to degraded marginal trout streams often requiring trout stocking to provide recreational fisheries. Prior to the 1850s, the Plum Creek watershed was nearly 100% virgin deciduous forest with a mix of oak openings and prairie. The highly protected watershed supported numerous spring fed coldwater streams and healthy native brook trout populations. However, during the late 1800s through the early 1900s, the stream was severely degraded by deforestation, agricultural activities, wastewater effluent, and construction of milling dams. Conservation practices beginning around the 1930s including soil erosion control programs, reforestation and wastewater treatment has allowed numerous streams to improve to the point where stocking is no longer needed. More recently, flood control programs have had primarily positive results. These activities have reduced flooding and improved infiltration of surface runoff while only causing minor thermal impacts on permanent flowing waters. Currently, many streams in the watershed have recovered to the point of supporting a variety of native Class I and II brook trout water.
Currently, brook trout dominate the coldwater fishery in this watershed. White sucker, brook stickleback, blacknose dace, creek chub and johnny darters were the most common forage species.
* Excerpt from the report "
Plum Creek Watershed Comprehensive Surface Water Resource Report Pierce and Pepin Counties, Wisconsin"
Martin P. Engel and Scott W. Peavey Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources West Central Region Lower Chippewa River BasinDecember, 2001