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Improvement of trout streams in Wisconsin by augmenting low flows with ground water

January 1, 1973

Approximately 2 cubic feet per second of ground water were introduced into the Little Plover River in 1968 when natural streamflow ranged from 3 to 4 cubic feet per second. These augmentation flows were retained undiminished through the 2-mile reach of stream monitored. Maximum stream temperatures were reduced as much as 5?F (3?C) at the augmentation site during the test period, although changes became insignificant more than 1 mile downstream. Maximum temperatures might be reduced as much as 10?F (6?C) during critical periods, based on estimates using a stream temperature model developed as part of the study. During critical periods significant temperature improvement may extend 2 miles or more downstream. Changes in minimum DO (dissolved oxygen) levels were slight, primarily because of the high natural DO levels occurring during the test period. Criteria for considering other streams for flow augmentation are developed on the basis of the observed hydrologic responses in the Little Plover River. Augmentation flows of nearly 2? cubic feet per second of ground water were introduced into the headwater reach of Black Earth Creek from the end of June through mid-October 1969. Streamflow ranged from 1 to 2 cubic feet per second at the augmentation site, and the average flow at the gaging station at Black Earth, approximately 8 miles downstream, ranged from 25 to 50 cubic feet per second. Augmentation flows were retained through the 8-mile reach of stream. Temperature of the augmentation flow as it entered the stream ranged from 60? to 70?F (about 16? to 21?C) during the test period, and minimum stream temperatures were raised 5?F (3?C) or more at the augmentation site, with changes extending from 2 to 3 miles downstream. Augmentation during critical periods could maintain stream temperatures between 40? and 70?F (4? and 21?C) through most of the study reach. DO levels were increased by as much as 2 milligrams per liter or more below the augmentation site, although the improvement diminished to approximately 1 milligram per liter downstream in the problem reach. During critical periods DO improvement in the problem reach would be somewhat greater. Flow augmentation would not be necessary during normal conditions in either of the streams studied. Critical DO and temperature levels are not known to occur in the Little Plover River. Since the construction of secondary treatment facilities at the Cross Plains sewage-treatment plant, critical DO levels are no longer expected to be a problem in Black Earth Creek. However, results from this study may be used to estimate the effectiveness of flow augmentation in other streams in similar areas in which critical DO or temperature levels may occur.

Publication Year 1973
Title Improvement of trout streams in Wisconsin by augmenting low flows with ground water
DOI 10.3133/wsp2017
Authors R.P. Novitzki
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water Supply Paper
Series Number 2017
Index ID wsp2017
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center