Cass Valley Creek, Blue River Watershed (LW09)
Cass Valley Creek, Blue River Watershed (LW09)
Doc Smith Branch (Cass Valley) (1212000)
3.39 Miles
0 - 3.39
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 Mainstem
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.
2002
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Impairment Unknown
Total Phosphorus
 
Grant
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.
Yes
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.
Yes

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

Doc Smith Branch (Cass Valley Creek) is a spring-fed, Class II trout stream tributary to Fennimore Fork and is
considered an exceptional resource water (ERW). Baseline monitoring was conducted on the
stream in 2000. The trout population, which has significant population fluctuations, is
possibly being limited by nonpoint source water pollution specifically from cropland erosion
and poor manure storage and handling. Other potential sources of nonpoint pollution include
heavy grazing, cattle access to the stream, and barnyards near the stream. As a result, the
stream is considered a high priority for nonpoint source pollution reduction. The state has
some easements on Doc Smith Branch where the stream meets Castle Rock Creek.

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.

Date  2002

Author  Cynthia Koperski

Historical Description

Doc Smith Branch is a spring-fed, Class II trout stream (WDNR, 1980) tributary to Fennimore Fork. It has also been nominated for ERW status. The trout population, which has significant population fluctuatiions, is possibly being limited by nonpoint source water pollution (Kerr, 1991). Nonpoint sources of water pollution in the subwatershed include heavy grazing, cattle access to the stream, and barnyards near the stream (Kerr ,WDNR, 1991, Morton, 1991-1992). Manure storage and handling has been a problem with at least one Notice of Discharge (NOD) having been issued by the department for cleanup and management practices installation (WDNR 1991)

Date  1994

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972.Surface Area = 2.91 acres, Length = 4.0 miles, Gradient = 23 ft./mile Flow = 3.5 c.f.s.

One of the main spring-fed tributaries to Fennimore Fork entering from the south one mile west of Castle Rock. This stream is sometimes called "Doc. Smith Branch". Trout water extends upstream from the mouth 1.75 miles. Fingerling and yearling brown trout are stocked annually by the Department of Natural Resources. Some natural reproduction may occur. A few brook and rainbow trout are present. A total of 1.1 miles of stream easement has been acquired by the state based on the excellent water quality, good food production, and a high potential for improvement. A water control structure is scheduled to be constructed on an intermittent tribu- tary as part of the Blue River P.L. 566 Watershed Project. This project when completed should help increase the trout carrying-capacity of the stream. Some habitat protection has been done by the Department of Natural Resources by riprapping eroded stream banks near the juqction with Fennimore Fork. Muskrats and upland game species are found throughout the area. Public access is provided by the area under stream easement and one bridge crossing. Seven dwellings adjoin the stream.

Date  1972

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Cass Valley Creek, Blue River Watershed (LW09) Fish and Aquatic LifeCass Valley Creek, Blue River Watershed (LW09) RecreationCass Valley Creek, Blue River Watershed (LW09) Fish Consumption

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

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

Cass Valley Creek is located in the Blue River watershed which is 216.19 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (51%), forest (37%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 513.46 stream miles, 416.83 lake acres and 5,825.06 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.

Natural Community

Doc Smith Branch (Cass Valley) is considered a Cool-Cold Mainstem 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) 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.

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