Parsons Creek, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
Parsons Creek, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
Parsons Creek (136000)
0.91 Miles
2.58 - 3.49
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.
Cool-Cold Headwater
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2017
Good
 
Fond du Lac
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.
Yes
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.
No
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.
No

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.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
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.
Cold (Class II Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L through natural reproduction and selective propagation. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
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.
Cold
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.

Overview

Parsons Creek (WBIC 136000) is a small cold to coolwater tributary to the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River. The stream, originating along the Niagara escarpment, is designated as Class I trout water for 1.9 miles of its length and is an Exceptional Resource Water. An additional 2.4 miles of the stream is classified as Class II trout waters (DNR, 1980). The segment upstream from Hickory Road flows from some main springs down through a wetland complex and a small county park (Hobbs Woods) and appears to have good water quality though heavily impacted by habitat modifications (Reif, 2009). Downstream from Hickory Road, Parsons Creek was, at one time, heavily impacted by agricultural practices, particularly barnyard runoff and excessive grazing along the streams banks. These impacts were addressed as part of a Priority Watershed project of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Date  2011

Author  Michael Reif

Parsons Creek, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish and Aquatic LifeParsons Creek, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) RecreationParsons Creek, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Parsons Creek (miles 2.58-3.49) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate and fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) and temperature sample data were clearly below 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting this designated use and is not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Condition

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'.

Reports

Recommendations

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.
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.
Information and Education
In 2008, the Department of Natural Resources focused staff time and resources on migrating its assessment datasets from stand-alone excel workbooks to the WATERS database. Due to this effort, the DNR did not write up a narrative Water Quality Report to Congress. In 2008, the department delisted a number of waters from its imipaired waters list. http://dnr.wi.gov/water/impairedSearch.aspx?priority=delisted_2008
Navigability Determination
NE NE S15 T14N R17E`; East Branch Fond du Lac River;
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Elevated Temperatures, Degraded Habitat - TMDL prepared from field work during summer months
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Groundwater Protection Areas need to be formally identified for the springs that feed Parsons Creek and the un­named tributary.
Trout Classification Mgmt
Parsons Creek is classified as a Class I to Class II trout stream. At present it does not sufficiently support a significant and/or reproducing brook trout population due to extensive habitat modifications and wetland degradation. Habitat improvements and wetland restoration projects should be undertaken to improve conditions.
TMDL Implementatoin
An implementation plan for Parsons Creek should be developed and implemented to remove the Creek from the 303(d) impaired waters list.
Habitat Restoration - Instream
Instream habitat in Parsons Creek, specifically Hobbs Woods County Park, should be restored and improved to support trout populations.
TMDL Implementatoin
The Parsons Creek watershed has a TMDL developed to address the sources of impairments. A thorough water­shed inventory should be completed to determine with more specificity the sources of pollution.

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 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

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

Parsons Creek is located in the Fond du Lac River watershed which is 244.74 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (67%), wetland (15%) and a mix of urban (4%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 461.86 stream miles, 991.41 lake acres and 16,649.99 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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

Parsons Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

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.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Fisheries & Habitat

Parsons Creek (WBIC 136000) is a cold water stream in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Although only the lower stretch of Parsons Creek, from its confluence with the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River to mile 2.58, is currently listed on the 303(d) Impaired Waters List, the upper reaches and the tributary entering Parsons Creek from the east (an unnamed branch referenced here as the East Tributary) are both impacted to the extent that they are not meeting their potential uses, and both contribute significantly to the impairments experienced downstream. In fact, the entire remaining upstream portion of Parsons Creek and the East Tributary will be submitted for inclusion on the 303(d) List during the upcoming 2008 listing cycle.

The entire 4.7 miles of Parsons Cr. and the 3 miles of the East Tributary to Parsons Creek are codified as Cold Water Communities, as either Class I or II trout waters (DNR, 1980). However, neither the segment in Hobb’s Woods that is listed as impaired nor the East Tributary are currently meeting these codified uses, and improvements can be made to the other segments that will benefit water quality and habitat in the entire watershed.

Date  2007

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Fisheries & Habitat

Class 2: From above CTH B to junction of the two feeder streams.
Class 1: Both feeder streams.

Date  1980

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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