PINE & CALVIN CREEK FRONTAL LAKE MICHIGAN TWA WQM 2017
Sevenmile and Silver Creeks (MA01) HUC: 040301010702, Monitored 2016
Mary Gansberg, Water Resources Biologist & Investigator, Eastern District, Wisconsin DNR
PINE & CALVIN CREEK FRONTAL LAKE MICHIGAN TWA WQM 2017
The Pine and Calvin Creeks Frontal Lake Michigan is a Targeted Watershed Assessment selected for general planning purposes. The project was designed to assess the overall chemical, physical and biological condition of both Pine Creek and Calvin Creek which discharge to Lake Michigan.
The overall goal of this plan is to improve and protect water quality in the basin. This Targeted Watershed Assessment monitoring project provided substantial data to analyze current conditions and to make recommendations for future management actions in the area. This plan is designed to present monitoring study results, identify issues or concerns in the area found during the project and to make recommendations to improve or protect water quality consistent with Clean Water Act guidelines and state water quality standards.
Water quality goals for the Pine and Calvin Creek subwatershed are
- Minimize agricultural runoff from rural areas.
- Restoring key wetlands and forest lands for water quality improvements and protections.
- Establishing riparian buffers to protect water quality.
- Monitoring and controlling non-native invasive species.
- Minimizing fish passage barriers.
- Increase citizens? watershed awareness, understanding and stewardship.
- Restore the water quality of Pine Creek and Calvin Creek through listing for total phosphorus and restoration through best management practices and watershed management activities.
This study of the Pine Creek and Calvin Creek subwatersheds was initiated as a planning project to assess the overall chemical, physical and biological condition of waters that discharge directly to Lake Michigan. While the report focuses on the monitoring results for this smaller subwatershed, this document will cover assessment data for the larger Sevenmile and Silver Creek Watershed. Three sites in Pine Creek were assessed for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates (Pine at Carstens Road , Pine at Gass Lake Road , and Pine at CTH U ). In addition, a diatom sample, six monthly water chemistry samples, and long-term temperature data were collected at the most downstream site at CTH LS . Diatom results are not yet available and will be reported on the website when they are analyzed (Figure 5). Two sites in Calvin Creek were assessed for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates, at Clover Road  and at South 26th Street . A diatom sample, six monthly water chemistry samples, and long-term temperature data were collected downstream at CTH LS .
A priority issue for this watershed is to work with landowners to decrease the amount of agricultural runoff reaching surface and groundwater.
Sevenmile and Silver Creeks (MA01)
The Sevenmile and Silver Creeks Watershed covers 112.90 mi? (292 square kilometers) extending a few miles inland from Lake Michigan between the cities of Manitowoc and Sheboygan (Figure 2). Approximately 75 percent of the watershed is in Manitowoc County. The watershed contains seven small streams draining directly to Lake Michigan and 13 small inland lakes. These small inland lakes are used by diving ducks, especially during fall migrations when Lake Michigan conditions are not conducive to resting and feeding. The watershed was named for two of the stream systems: Sevenmile Creek in Sheboygan County and Silver Creek in Manitowoc County.
The Pine Creek Watershed is primarily agricultural, flowing into Lake Michigan near the Town of Newton, just south of Manitowoc. Three sites in Pine Creek were monitored for a targeted watershed assessment for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates. The Calvin Creek Watershed is also primarily agricultural. Two sites in Calvin Creek were assessed for a targeted watershed assessment for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates. These sites are described in much greater detail in the study summary below.
Population, Land Use, Site Characteristics
As described above, the Sevenmile and Silver Creeks watershed is 112.90 mi?, with land use primarily agricultural (73%), wetland (8%), forest (5%) and other uses (7%). This watershed has 184 stream miles, 10,578 lake acres and 4,732.70 wetland acres.
Pine and Calvin Creeks are part of the Seven Mile and Silver Creeks Watershed located in the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape which stretches from southern Door County west across Green Bay to the Wolf River drainage, then southward in a narrowing strip along the Lake Michigan shore to central Milwaukee County (Figure 4). Owing to the influence of Lake Michigan in the eastern part of this landscape, summers in this area are cooler, winters are warmer, and precipitation levels are greater than at locations farther inland. A series of dolomite cliffs (part of the Niagara Escarpment) provides critical habitat for rare terrestrial snails, bats, and specialized plants. The primary glacial landforms are ground moraine, outwash, and lake plain.
The topography in this area is generally rolling where the surface is underlain by ground moraine, variable over areas of outwash, and nearly level where lacustrine deposits are present. Important soils include clays, loams, sands, and gravels. Certain landforms, such as sand spits, clay bluffs, beach and dune complexes, and ridge and swale systems are associated only with the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
Historically, most of this landscape was vegetated with mesic hardwood forest composed primarily of sugar maple, basswood, and beech. Hemlock and white pine were locally important, but hemlock was generally restricted to cool moist sites near Lake Michigan. Areas of poorly drained glacial lake plain supported wet forests of tamarack, white cedar, black ash, red maple, and elm, while the Wolf and Embarrass Rivers flowed through extensive floodplain forests of silver maple, green ash, and swamp white oak. Emergent marshes and wet meadows were common in and adjacent to lower Green Bay, while Lake Michigan shoreline areas featured beaches, dunes, interdunal wetlands, marshes, and highly diverse ridge and swale vegetation. Small patches of prairie and oak savanna were present in the southwestern portion of this landscape.
Dolomites and shales underlie the glacial deposits that blanket virtually all of the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape. The dolomite Niagara Escarpment is the major bedrock feature, running across the entire landscape from northeast to southwest. The Niagara Escarpment is a geologic formation that runs hundreds of miles through our state and beyond, forming a great circle all the way to Niagara Falls at the New York-Canada border. The ledge is a hard limestone layer called Niagara dolomite and it contains fossils of the simple life forms existing 400 million years ago.
Much of the ledge is wooded due to fallen rock at its base and too little soil on top for farming. There is often water at the base in the forms of springs, marshes, and lakes. Springs pop up at the base because dolomite, though hard, is fractured; the dolomite filters groundwater down until it stops at the underlying layer of shale, which is nearly impermeable and the water therefore rises again in the form of springs. Dolomite is notoriously fractured and susceptible to land surface pollution, resulting in ï¿½ for example ï¿½ bacteria or nutrients seeping through karstic seams and fractures to reach the shale layer of the aquifer. The surface features in this area are not amenable to livestock grazing or heavily agriculture uses due to the inherent conflict with potential contamination of drinking water supplies (2002, McLean).
Methods & Procedures
The fisheries assemblage was collected with the following methods:
-Wadeable Stream Fish Community Evaluation Form 3600-230 (R 7/00)
-Guidelines for Assessing Fish Communities of Wadeable Streams in Wisconsin
The method for fish collected was conducted by electroshocking a section of stream with a minimum station length of 35 times the mean stream width (Lyons, 1992). A stream tow barge with a generator and two probes was used at the lower most Pine Creek site. A backpack shocker with a single probe was used at the other four sites. All fish were collected, identified, and counted.
At each site, qualitative notes on average stream width and depth, riparian buffers and land use, evidence of sedimentation, fish cover and potential management options were also recorded. A qualitative habitat survey (Simonson, et. al., 1994) was performed at the upper stream reaches while a quantitative habitat survey was collected at the lower station both on Pine and Calvin Creeks.
Guidelines for Qualitative Physical Habitat Evaluation of Wadeable Streams
Qualitative Habitat Rating less that 10m Form (3600-532A) (R 6/07)
Guidelines for Evaluating Habitat of Wadeable Streams Revised June 2002 (Quantitative Habitat)?Wadeable Stream
Quantitative Habitat Evaluation Form 3600-228 (R 6/07)
Macroinvertebrate samples were obtained by kick sampling and collecting using a D-frame net at three sites in Pine Creek and three sites in Calvin Creek. Samples were preserved and sent to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for analyses.
Guidelines for Collecting Macroinvertebrate Samples in Wadeable Streams
Wadeable Macroinvertebrate Field Data Report Form 3200-081 (R 08/14)
Water samples were collected once per month throughout the growing season (May through October), one site in Pine Creek and one site in Calvin Creek. Samples were analyzed for total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and total suspended solids at the State Laboratory of Hygiene.
Guidelines and Procedures for Surface Water Grab Sampling (Dec. 2005 Version 3)
Water temperature data loggers (HOBO brand) were placed in Pine Creek at CTH LS and Calvin Creek at S. 26th Street from May to October 2016. The loggers recorded hourly water temperature.
Guidelines and Standard Procedures for Continuous Temperature Monitoring Wisconsin DNR May 2004 (Version 1)
Diatom samples were collected at one site in both Pine Creek and Calvin Creek following the Diatom sampling in wadeable streams protocol.
Diatom Collections for Calculation of the Diatom Nutrient Index (DNI), WQ Monitoring 2016 SOP v2.3 01
Site Selection & Study Design
This 2016 study involved collection fish assemblage data, qualitative or quantitate habitat, and macroinvertebrate data at several sites in the targeted Hydrologic Unit (HUC12). Sites were selected based on upstream biological and habitat indicators and ?pour point? analysis of surface water chemistry, temperature, and diatoms. Continuous temperature was collected at the first upstream road crossing from where the streams meet Lake Michigan (See Figure 5). Phosphorus data was collected 6 times during the growing season from the pour point of the subwatershed. These sites were selected to represent the overall stream health in the watershed.
-Six monthly water chemistry samples during the growing season for TP, N, and TSS.
-Continuous temperature meters at two locations during the growing season.
-Quantitative and qualitative habitat assessments.
-Macroinvertebrate samples at six locations.
-Diatom samples at two locations.
-Fish surveys at five locations.
This study of the Pine Creek and Calvin Creek subwatersheds was initiated as a planning project to assess the overall chemical, physical and biological condition of waters that discharge directly to Lake Michigan. While the report focuses on the monitoring results for this smaller subwatershed, this document will cover assessment data for the larger Sevenmile and Silver Creek Watershed.
Three sites in Pine Creek were assessed for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates (Pine at Carstens Road , Pine at Gass Lake Road , and Pine at CTH U ). In addition, a diatom sample, six monthly water chemistry samples, and long-term temperature data were collected at the most downstream site at CTH LS . Diatom results are not yet available and will be reported on the website when they are analyzed.
Two sites in Calvin Creek were assessed for fish, physical habitat and macroinvertebrates, at Clover Road  and at South 26th Street . A diatom sample, six monthly water chemistry samples, and long-term temperature data were collected downstream at CTH LS .
Discussion of Results
A watersheds fishery is a long-term gauge of conditions and is a good bioassessment tool for the overall conditions. The DNR uses a system of identifying the natural community or temperature / flow conditions of a stream using a stream model. Staff verify the natural community through evaluating fish community assemblages found during sampling events.
Fish Index of Biological Integrity
Fish surveys were completed on 5 sites between June and August 2016. Some fish species are tolerant of environmental degradation, some species are moderately tolerant, and some others are intolerant. Based upon the representative fish collected during the survey and their associated tolerance to environmental degradation, a Fish Index of Biotic Integrity (FIBI) was calculated to indicate the water quality of the streams in the watershed. The FIBI scores ranged from 0 to 100. Of the five fish surveys completed two had a condition of good, two had a condition of fair and one site (Pine Creek at Carstens Road) had no fish.
Habitat scores ranged widely from excellent in Calvin Creek at Clover Road, good in Calvin Creek at S, 26th street and Pine Creek at Grass Lake Road, to fair in the Pine Creek at Carstens Road and on CTH U.
The macroinvertebrate IBI has shown the combination of watershed land cover and local riparian and instream conditions strongly influence one another (Weigel, 2003). The macroinvertebrate locations sampled for this project indicated watershed disturbance, with three stations sampled on each of Calvin and Pine Creek. Results indicated that mIBI values were fair for all sites sampled with the exception of Calvin Creek downstream of South 26th Street with a Poor value (Figure 8, Table 4).
For phosphorus, the department?s listing methodology for impaired waters (WDNR, 2017) lists waters where the median concentration exceeds 0.075 mg/l on wadable streams and 0.1 mg/l on rivers. The impairment listing protocol uses a 95% confidence interval about the median for listing streams and rivers. The samples from Calvin Creek exceeded the phosphorus standard showing a mean value of 232 mg/l, far exceeding the listing standard of 75 mg/L, while fewer results exceed the standard on Pine Creek which is already listed as impaired for phosphorus. Pine Creek is listed from mile 2 to 6 for phosphorus (Category 5P) with the pollutant ?unknown?; biological data from the study for both creeks supports impairments for excess nutrients and the recent values for phosphorus support the listing (Figure 10).
For Total Nitrogen, no surface water quality standard exists in Wisconsin. However, concentrations at which biological effects are expressed, published in literature, were found to be higher than results in this project (median total nitrogen in USGS report 0.560 mg/L based on 23 streams (USGS, 1999)) and values for nitrogen are listed in Figure 9 below. Total suspended solids are similarly not promulgated in NR102 or listed in WisCALM 2018. However, TSS concentrations in August of 2016 at Pine Creek at 18 mg/L are higher than other sites in this study (Figure 12).
1. A priority issue for this watershed is to work with landowners to decrease the amount of agricultural runoff reaching surface and groundwater.
2. Water quality goals for the Pine and Calvin Creek subwatershed should be to minimize agricultural runoff from rural area, restore key wetlands and forest lands for water quality improvements and protections, establish riparian buffers to protect water quality, monitor and control non-native invasive species, minimize fish passage barriers, and increase citizens watershed awareness, understanding and stewardship.
3. Restoration of water quality standards for Pine Creek and Calvin Creek through listing for total phosphorus and restoration through best management practices and watershed management activities is a high priority.
4. Pine Creek is currently listed for phosphorus. This study provides additional biological data showing impacts from the phosphorus listing.
5. Calvin Creek should be listed as impaired for phosphorus as it is found to be clearly exceeding listing values for the 2018 WisCALM guidance.
1. Calvin Creek should be added to the stateï¿½s 303d List of impaired waters due to the total phosphorus concentrations exceeding the WisCALM guidance.
2. Assess the condition of all the lakes within the Pine and Calvin Creeks Subwatershed since this study only focused on streams.
3. Natural Community validation or recommended changes or updates based on analysis of fish species found in recent surveys:
a. Station 10045061, Calvin Creek 200 meters DS South 26th Street was modeled as a WARM HEADWATER but is recommended as a Cool Warm Headwater based on the 2017 Natural Community temperature evaluation analysis tool.
b. Station 10044972, Calvin Creek 15 meters US Clover Road was modeled as WARM HEADWATER but is recommended as a Cool Warm Headwater based on the 2017 Natural Community temperature evaluation analysis tool.
c. Station 10045063, Pine Creek 25 Meters US Gass Lake Road was modeled as a WARM HEADWATER but is recommended as a Cool Warm Headwater based on the 2017 Natural Community temperature evaluation analysis tool.
d. Station 10016013, Pine Creek above Cth U was modeled as a WARM HEADWATER but is recommended as a Cool Cold Headwater based on the 2017 Natural Community temperature evaluation analysis tool.
DNR should work with partners to reduce phosphorus runoff and engage local units of government and watershed residents in stream restoration.
Water Quality Monitoring and Planning
This Water Quality Management Plan was created under the stateï¿½s Water Quality Management Planning and Water Resources Monitoring Programs. The plan reflects Water Quality Bureau and Water Resources Monitoring Strategy 2015-2020 goals and priorities and fulfills Areawide Water Quality Management Planning milestones under the Clean Water Act, Section 208. Condition information and resource management recommendations support and guide program priorities for the plan area. This plan is hereby approved by the Wisconsin DNR Water Quality Program and is a formal update to the Manitowoc Areawide Water Quality Management Plan and Wisconsinï¿½s Statewide Areawide Water Quality Management Plan. This plan will be forwarded to USEPA for certification as a formal plan update.
-Mary Gansberg, Water Resources Biologist & Investigator, Eastern District, Wisconsin DNR
-Victoria Ziegler, Program Support, Water Quality Bureau, Wisconsin DNR
-Lisa Helmuth, Program Coordinator, Water Quality Bureau, Wisconsin DNR
-Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation Department
-Lakeshore Natural Resources Partnership
-Manitowoc County Lakes Association
-Carstens Lake Association
-Hartlaub Lake Association
Hilsenhoff, William L. 1987. An Improved Biotic Index of Organic Stream Pollution. The Great Lakes Entomologist. 20: 31-39.
Lyons, John. 1992. Using the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) to Measure Environmental Quality in Warmwater Streams of Wisconsin. United States Department of Agriculture. General Technical Report NC-149.
Lyons, John. 2006. A Fish-based Index of Biotic Integrity to Assess Intermittent Headwater Streams in Wisconsin, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 122: 239-258.
Lyons, John. 2008. Using the Wisconsin Stream Model to Estimate the Potential Natural Community of Wisconsin Streams (DRAFT). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fish and Aquatic Life Research Section. November, 2008.
Lyons, John. T. Zorn, J. Stewart, P Seelbach, K Wehrly, and L. Wang. 2009. Defining and Characterizing Coolwater Streams and Their Fish Assemblages in Michigan and Wisconsin, USA. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 29:1130-1151.
Lyons, John. 2012. Development and Validation of Two Fish-based Indices of Biotic Integrity for Assessing Perennial Coolwater Streams In Wisconsin, USA. Ecological Indicators 23 (2012) 402-412.
Lyons, John. 2013. Methodology for Using Field Data to Identify and Correct Wisconsin Stream ï¿½Natural Communityï¿½ Misclassifications. Version 4. May 16, 2013. IN DRAFT.
McLean, Doug. "Exploring Wisconsin's Great Cliff -- Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine -- August 2000." Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. WDNR Magazine, 2002. Web. 02 June 2017.
Simonson, Timothy D., J. Lyons, and P.D. Kanehl. 1994. Guidelines for Evaluating Fish Habitat in Wisconsin Streams. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Forest Service. General Technical Report NC-164.
WDNR. 2017. Wisconsin 2018 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Clean Water Act Section 305(b), 314, and 303(d) Integrated Reporting. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Bureau of Water Quality Program Guidance. September, 2017.
Weigel, Brian. 2003. Development of Stream Macroinvertebrate Models That Predict Watershed and Local Stressors in Wisconsin. Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 22(1): 123-142.
USGS, 1999. The quality of our nation's waters; nutrients and pesticides. U.S. Geological Survey 1999, Circular 1225 https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1225/pdf/nutrients.pdf
USGS, 2007. Linkages between nutrients and assemblages of macroinvertebrates and fish in wadeable streams: Implication to nutrient criteria development, Environmental Management, L. Wang, Dale M. Robertson, and P.J. Garrison , USGS Environmental Management, February 2007, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 194ï¿½212. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00267-006-0135-8
BMP: Best Management Practice. A practice that is determined effective and practicable (including technological, economic, and institutional considerations) in preventing or reducing pollution generated from nonpoint sources to a level compatible with water quality goals.
DNR: Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is an agency of the State of Wisconsin created to preserve, protect, manage, and maintain natural resources.
FIBI: Fish Index of biological integrity (Fish IBI). An Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a scientific tool used to identify and classify water pollution problems. An IBI associates anthropogenic influences on a water body with biological activity in the water and is formulated using data developed from biosurveys. In Wisconsin, Fish IBIs are created for each type of natural community in the stateï¿½s stream system.
HUC: Hydrologic Unit Code. A code or sequence of numbers that identify one of a number of nested and interlocked hydrologic catchments delineated by a consortium of agencies including USGS, USFS, and Wisconsin DNR.
MIBI: Macroinvertebrate Index of biological integrity. In Wisconsin, the MIBI, or macroinvertebrate Index of biological integrity, was developed specifically to assess Wisconsinï¿½s macroinvertebrate community (see also Fish IBI).
Natural Community. A system of categorizing waterbodies based on their inherent physical, hydrologic, and biological assemblages. Both Streams and Lakes are categorized using an array of ï¿½natural communityï¿½ types.
Monitoring Seq. No. Monitoring Sequence Number refers to a unique identification code generated by the Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS), which holds much of the stateï¿½s water quality monitoring data.
SWIMS ID. Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS) Identification Code is the unique monitoring station identification number for the location where monitoring data was gathered.
TWA: Targeted Watershed Assessment. A statewide study design a rotating watershed approach to gathering of baseline monitoring data with specialized targeted assessments for unique and site specific concerns, such as effectiveness monitoring of management actions.
WATERS ID: The Waterbody Assessment, Tracking and Electronic Reporting System Identification Code (WATERS ID) is a unique numerical sequence number assigned by the WATERS system, also known as ï¿½Assessment Unit ID codeï¿½.
WBIC: Water Body Identification Code. WDNR unique identification codes assigned to water features in the state. The lines and information allow the user to execute spatial and tabular queries about the data, make maps, and perform flow analysis and network traces.