Ongoing Study on The Effects of Lake Marion Dam on Black Earth Creek – Kirsten Rhude

(L&S Honors Sophomore Honors Research Apprenticeship recipients)

The Wisconsin DNR is requiring the Village of Mazomanie to remove or repair the Lake Marion Dam on Black Earth Creek in western Dane County. Generally dams have a negative effect on stream health and biodiversity, as they block stream flow, raise water height, slow stream velocity, and allow sediment to settle upstream. I performed a systematic observation of water quality surrounding the Lake Marion Dam to determine baseline conditions before dam removal. Two sites upstream and two sites downstream of the dam were monitored for four weeks. Observations included temperature, dissolved oxygen and biological oxygen demand, turbidity, and macroinvertebrate surveys. Results suggest that dam removal will not have a significant impact on overall stream health, but only localized effects.