Fish and Aquatic Life
Bear Creek is an eight-mile, hardwater, spring-fed trout stream flowing east out of Adams Lakes into the Tomorrow River. The first 6.6 miles are Class I brook and brown trout waters and designated as an Exceptional Resource Water. The remainder of the stream is managed as a Clean II brook and brown trout stream.
From: Bougie, Cheryl A., Kosmond, Lisa D, and Watermolen, Dreux J. 1996. Wolf River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cheryl Bougie
Bear Creek (From County Road Q to mouth) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new temperature sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Bear Creek (267400), from it's mouth to 1.94 miles upstream, was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and biological (macroinvertebrate and fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting this designated use and is not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
The 2018 assessments of Bear Creek (From headwaters to County Road Q) showed impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
Author Ashley Beranek
Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available.
Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable
Management goals can include creation and implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis, habitat restoration work, partnership education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below.
Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.
Grants and Management Projects
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|267400||Bear Creek||10032031||Bear Creek at HWY Q||7/8/2005||9/25/2017||Map||Data|
|267400||Bear Creek||10047243||Bear Creek - Near conluence with Tomorrow River||1/1/2015||5/2/2015||Map||Data|
|267400||Bear Creek||10039152||Bear Creek at Hwy Q Bridge||7/24/2015||4/30/2016||Map||Data|
Macroinvertebrate index of biological integrity values from the last 10 years indicate "good" condition.
Author Lisa Helmuth
Bear Creek is located in the Waupaca River watershed which is 290.77 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (50%), forest (33%) and a mix of wetland (7%) and other uses (11%). This watershed has 231.34 stream miles, 2,456.10 lake acres and 14,124.68 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.