Fish and Aquatic Life
The Little Baraboo River begins from springs in Vernon County. The river then flows east
through Sauk County to the Baraboo River at LaValle. In the upper 7 miles, 4.5 are
considered to be a Class II trout stream. These upper 4.5 miles support native brook trout,
though habitat and water quality are thought to be fair. The rest of the river is considered to be
a warm water forage fishery. The stream is affected by nonpoint sources of pollution,
particularly those associated with agriculture. Surveys conducted in 1999 found water quality
in the trout area of the river to be of fair quality for cold water species. Other surveys found
the river to be of fair quality for warm water species as well. Instream habitat work on the
Little Baraboo had little positive effect on the overall health of the stream. In addition,
despite the priority watershed efforts, the overall health of the aquatic resource is at a low
Ripp, Coreen, Koperski, Cindy and Folstad, Jason. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin.
PUBL WT-559-2002. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Little Baraboo River, T13N, R1E, Section 25. Surface Acres = 0.3, Miles = 0.7, Gradient = 66.7 feet per mile.
This clear. hard water stream flows in a southeasterly direction and joins the Baraboo River in Rich1and County. White suckers. creek chubs and central stonero11ers makeup the fishery. Gravel is
the dominant bottom type. but there are small amounts of sand, boulder, clay, detritus, and silt. One road crossing in Vernon County provides access. There is no significant wildlife value.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W., 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The Little Baraboo River 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. This water was meeting this designated use and not considered impaired. It was proposed that this water be identified as a new Category 2 water.
Author Amanda Smith
The Little Baraboo River (Mouth to Rott Rd.) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data clearly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data indicated impairment (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category. However, temperature data did not exceed thresholds. This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired. No listing change was needed to this already impaired water.
Author Amanda Smith
Little Baraboo River (1282500), from its mouth to Rott Rd, was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the poor condition category). This water was also assessed for temperature and sample data did not exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||573074||Little Baraboo River - Rott Rd||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10029046||Little Baraboo River 215m US from CTH EE||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10014491||Little Baraboo R. - Ds Fenceline Of Wilbert Shore Property||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10011055||Little Baraboo River - Little Baraboo River at Rott Rd. Up To End Of Robert Rott Property||10/31/1985||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10011056||Little Baraboo River at Brier Rd. Up To Woolever Rd.||4/23/1997||11/20/2017||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10008586||Little Baraboo River-606 Meters Upstream Rott Road||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10008591||Little Baraboo River-506 Meters Upstream Woolever Road||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||573068||Little Baraboo River at Henderson Rd||4/11/1985||4/23/1997||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10011057||Little Baraboo River at Cty Ee To Farmland Bridge||Map||Data|
|1282500||Little Baraboo River||10008596||Little Baraboo River-400 Meters Downstream Henderson Road||Map||Data|
Little Baraboo River is located in the Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River watershed which is 213.80 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (60%), forest (31%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (4%). This watershed has 466.61 stream miles, 244.11 lake acres and 6,321.59 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.