Fish and Aquatic Life
Reads Creek, also known as Black Bottom Creek, is located in southeast Vernon County. This
stream flows parallel to HWY 14/61 in a southeasterly direction for 6.6 miles before reaching
the Kickapoo River at Readstown. Reads Creek has a gradient of 56 feet per mile and drains
forested hillsides with agricultural activities largely found on the upper headwater plateau.
Reads Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length and an Exceptional Resource Water,
The most recent survey was conducted in July 2000 to determine the effects of a flood that
occurred the previous month when more than four inches of rain fell on already saturated
ground. The erosive action of this large volume of water moved the stream channel in some
locations, destroyed culverts and bridges and scoured clean the rocky substrate.
Coincidentally during the July survey another catastrophic flood hit Reads Creek, this time
approximately six inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period. Once again the stream channel
moved in spots, culverts were blown out and the rocky substrate was scoured clean of algae
and aquatic insects. The July survey surprisingly documented healthy brook trout and brown
trout populations with several year classes represented. Additionally, a diverse forage fishery
was also documented. The fishery successfully survived two major floods within 30 days. The
stream bottom was dominated by cobble and gravel followed by sand. In-stream cover
consisted of undercut banks, deep pools, woody debris and overhanging vegetation. Reads
Creek would benefit from the purchase of streambank easements from willing sellers and the
restoration of in-stream habitat. WDNR records indicate that Reads Creek was stocked with
brown trout from 1975 to 1997 and wild brook trout from 1998 to present. Access to Reads
Creek is from five road crossings and one WDNR easement.
From: 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
Reads (Black Bottom) Creek, T11N, R3W, Section 8. Surface Acres = 9.6, Miles = 6.6, Gradient = 56.5 feet per mile.
Often called Black Bottom Creek, this light brown. hard water stream flows in a southeasterly direction and joins the Kickapoo River at Readstown. Forage species dominate the fishery. While sand dominates the bottom types, there is considerable gravel and rubble and a little boulder and silt. Several road crossings provide access. Beaver are present.
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 Reads Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; temperature and 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 was not considered impaired.
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.
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|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10009020||Reads Cr. #6 50 Ft. Above Green Acres Rd. Bridge||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10008979||Reads Creek 50 Ft. above Hwy M Bridge||6/12/2012||8/21/2012||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10008981||Reads Creek #2 100 Ft. Above Co. M||3/24/2014||7/13/2015||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10009014||Reads Cr. #4 Bridge At Riley Rd.||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10009023||Reads Cr. #7 1200 Feet Downstream Of Terry'S Shop Driveway Bridge||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10012460||Reads Creek At Campground 0.3 Miles Upstream From Hwy 131 Bridge||10/24/2000||8/7/2014||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10009037||Reads Creek #5 Cth Jj Bridge||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10015557||Reads Cr. St. 2 - Fiber Optic Signs Near Offerdahl Rd.||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||633039||Reads Creek - STH-61 Bridge||5/14/1979||10/18/2017||Map||Data|
|1187400||Reads Creek||10008990||Reads Creek #3 Field Road Xing At Anderson Property||Map||Data|
Reads Creek is located in the Reads and Tainter Creeks watershed which is 135.69 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (48%), forest (44%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (2%). This watershed has 339.00 stream miles, 221.66 lake acres and 1,867.13 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High 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.