The Ho-Chunk Nation is interested in documenting water-quality conditions in streams adjacent to their Reservation lands in Wisconsin and developing management plans to protect these water resources. The Nation uses these waterways for recreation and as a source for food, and therefore, is dedicated to maintaining and restoring their quality. Ho-Chunk lands encompass more than 10,000 acres ranging primarily over 17 counties in Wisconsin. The study areas for this report include streams adjacent to Ho-Chunk Nation residential lands: Potch-Hah-Chee, Sandpillow, Mission, Bluewing, Chakh Hah Chee, Winnebago Heights, Indian Heights, and Ho-Chunk Village. These residential areas, or housing sites, are located along or near the Middle Branch Embarrass, Black, Lemonweir, and Wisconsin Rivers or their tributaries. Water-quality data were compiled and summarized, and basin maps showing land cover and previous sampling sites are presented. Qualitative assessments of factors that could potentially affect water quality were summarized from the literature. Quantitative data were available from several studies (more than 5) for the Potch-Hah-Chee area, few studies (1?5) for the Sandpillow, Mission, Ho-Chunk Village, and Indian Heights areas, and no studies for the Bluewing, Chakh Hah Chee, and Winnebago Heights areas. Data analysis was limited to averaging basic water-quality constituents for the Middle Branch Embarrass River in the Potch-Hah-Chee area. The mainstem Wisconsin and Black Rivers have been extensively studied elsewhere and are not independently re-evaluated here. Qualitative assessments indicate that agricultural activities are the main contributing factor to water quality and fish habitat problems in the studied areas. Index of Biotic Integrity ratings, based on fish data, were available for 5 sites on 3 streams. Hilsenhoff Biotic Index ratings, based on macroinvertebrate data, were available for 21 sites on 4 streams. This information will serve as baseline data and as a guide to ongoing study and management of these waters by the Ho-Chunk Nation.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Surface-water-resources information for the Ho-Chunk Nation lands and vicinity, Wisconsin