Fish and Aquatic Life
The West Branch of Blue Mounds is the primary tributary to Blue Mounds Creek. The creek is managed as a Class II trout stream. The stream experiences problems with nonpoint source pollution and hydrologic modification. These modifications affect stream flow, increase water temperatures and decrease the quality of in-stream habitat.
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
West Branch Blue Mounds Creek - Mouth location T8N R5E Section 25 -15, Surface area = 8.9 acres, Length = 9.3 miles, Gradient = 45.4 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 249.0 mg/l, Volume of flow = 5.1 cfs.
The West Branch of Blue Mounds Creek is a principal tributary of Blue Mounds Creek. The waters of this stream and those of the East Branch (Bohn Creek) combine to form the Blue Mounds Creek and contribute about two-thirds of the total base flow. The West Branch contributes about 14 percent of the total. Although 44 percent of the watershed is wooded, flooding is frequent and heavy bank erosion is evident throughout its length. Although water quality is considered fair for trout, stocked fish do not seem to thrive and no natural reproduction has been observed. The resident fishes include green sunfish, white suckers, bluntnose minnows, creek chubs, brassy minnows, sculpins, and spot fin shiners. Muskrats are present throughout most of its length. There are no public lands but it is accessible from five road crossings.
From: Piening, Ronald and Threinen, C.W., 1968. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of
Iowa County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The 2018 assessments of the West Branch Blue Mounds Creek
(mouth to Walnut Hollow Creek) showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment. New macroinvertebrate sample data and existing fish sample data were assessed, but no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category. Based on the most updated information, this water is proposed for the impaired waters list.
Author Ashley Beranek
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|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10042542||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek at Lewis Rd||Map||Data|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10039165||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek at Turnell Rd||Map||Data|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10017363||West Branch Blue Muonds Creek at Cth Kk||Map||Data|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10042543||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek at Private Dr off Mounds Park Rd||7/31/2015||7/31/2015||Map||Data|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10038186||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek at Zwettler Rd||Map||Data|
|1250400||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek||10028738||West Branch Blue Mounds Creek At Frame Road||5/19/2008||10/11/2016||Map||Data|
West Branch Blue Mounds Creek is located in the Mill and Blue Mounds Creek watershed which is 186.74 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (48%), agricultural (40%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (7%). This watershed has 382.87 stream miles, 106.91 lake acres and 6,596.99 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.