About the Basin

The Lower Chippewa Basin consists of 24 watersheds and portions of 15 counties, draining 5,300 square miles of land from the Holcombe dam downstream to the Mississippi River at Nelson. Substantial portions of Barron, Dunn, Pierce, Pepin, Chippewa, Eau Claire and St. Croix Counties are located in the basin. In addition, Polk, Washburn,Sawyer, Rusk, Taylor, Clark, Jackson and Buffalo Counties are partially within the basin.

The basin’s diverse ecosystems range from the forests, lakes, swamps and bogs of the northern reaches, through agricultural lands nestled among meandering streams of the central portions to the rolling hills and prairies of the southern and western coulee region.

Issues of Concern

Issues of concern in the basin to both agencies and the public include: loss and fragmentation of native habitats from growth and development; sediment and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) delivery to water bodies from both point and non-point sources; and threats to the high quality and abundant groundwater sources. Many stream segments and lakes in the basin are on the state’s 303d list for impaired waters, meaning these water bodies do not meet water quality standards for their designated uses.

Detailed Map of the Basin