Neenah Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14)
Neenah Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14)
Neenah Creek (173800)
9.37 Miles
19.36 - 28.73
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Coldwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of water monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Historical Description

Neenah Creek, T15N, R7E, Section 12, Surface Acres = 6.2, Miles = 6.0, Gradient = 12 feet per mile.
A clear, hard water, principally sand bottom stream that flows in a general southerly
direction into Marquette County. The stream originates in springs and lake drainage
(McGinnis Lake). It is classed as brown trout water and there is some natural
reproduction, especially in that portion lying north of Goose Lake. Although it is primarily
a trout stream, largemouth bass, bluegills , pumpkinseed, green sunfish, rock bass, and
bullheads are present in the area immediately above the flowage at Oxford and scattered
elsewhere through the stream. Wood ducks nest along the creek. Beaver and muskrat are
present. Open water was observed from CTH "A", east of Brooks, south for most of its
length in Adams County during the February, 1963, aerial groundwater survey.
Approximately one-tenth of a mile of stream passes through public land. Several road
crossings provide additional access.

From: Klick, Thomas A. and C.W. Threinen. 1966. Surface Water Resources of Adams County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1966

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Neenah Creek T13N, R9E, Section 9, Surface Acres = 55.15, Miles = 9.1, Gradient = 1.41 feet per mile.
A wide sluggish stream which flows through marshlands in northwestern
Columbia County to the Fox River. Catfish, walleye, northern pike, carp, dogfish,
bass and several species of panfish sustain the fishery. The entire stream in this
area is traversible by light boat. Extensive wetlands (219 acres in Columbia County,.
2,874 acres in Marquette County) adjoin the stream and afford high waterfowl potential.
Access is possible at two county roads and a state highway. High rough fish
populations perhaps deter greater use by game species.

From: Poff, Ronald J. and C.W. Threinen, 1965. Surface Water Resources of Columbia County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1965

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Neenah Creek, T14N, R9E, Section 32, Surface Acres = 104.1, Miles = 27.7, Gradient = 3.1 feet per mile.
A long stream which originates in springs and lake drainage from the base of the terminal moraine and flows southerly through Oxford to the Columbia County line. The stream reenters Marquette County a short distance east but is a
tributary to the Fox River in Columbia County. The Oxford Power and Light Company has maintained a dam with IS-foot head, the only dam on the stream. The water is light brown over sand and gravel. Portions of the stream have been traversed by canoe. About seven miles of stream are considered as sustaining trout; there is some natural reproduction above the lake at Oxford. Downstream. northern pike, catfish, walleye, carp, dogfish, bass and panfish are common. Trout are also present. Access is possible from several road crossings.

From: Poff, Ronald J. and Threinen, C.W., 1963. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Marquette County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1963

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Neenah Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) Fish and Aquatic LifeNeenah Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) RecreationNeenah Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) Fish Consumption

General Condition

The Neenah Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category) based on the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use however. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired, however future temperature monitoring was recommended.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith


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'.



Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
I think there is insufficient data to make a clear decision. We need more data downstream. AU: 18127; ID: 013135

Management Goals

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 or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.


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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Neenah Creek is located in the Neenah Creek watershed which is 173.35 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (49%), forest (31%) and a mix of wetland (12%) and other uses (7%). This watershed has 198.75 stream miles, 2,104.14 lake acres and 14,499.98 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.

Natural Community

Neenah Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.