Ward Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14)
Ward Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14)
Ward Creek (882700)
2.77 Miles
0 - 2.77
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.
Coldwater, 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.
2015
Unknown
 
Green
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.
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.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Overview

This small, clear stream begins near the Dane County line and flows south for 4 miles before entering the Little Sugar River east of New Glarus. Ward Creek flows through an agricultural valley, but there is some buffering along the banks with grasses and shrubs. There is an abundance of aquatic macrophytes (Water Resources of Green Co., Amrhein , pers. obs). The stream is a Class III trout stream for two miles up from its mouth. This section has the potential to be a Class II stream and is designated as an ERW. The rare redside dace has been found in the stream. Sampling of fish in 2002 showed the presence of small brown trout along with sculpin and other forage fish. The stream has the potential to respond to stream bank stabilization and habitat improvement work (Himebauch, pers. comm.).

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Bush, D.M., R. Cornelius, D. Engle, and C.L. Brynildson. 1980. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, 2nd Edition. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin.

Originating near the Dane County line. this small. clear stream flows southward and enters the Little Sugar River east of New Glarus. Sand and gravel are the primary bottom types with small amounts of silt and rubble present. The stream runs primarily through pasture and cropland where its banks. although steep in places. are stabilized by grass and sedges. Instream cover is provided by undercut banks. overhanging grasses and aquatic macrophytes (R~nunculus sp.). The lower third of the stream has been ditched.
The entire length of Ward Creek is managed as Class III brown trout water, although in years of low water, the trout habitat is marginal. Forage fish, except for white suckers, are not very abundant and the relatively rare redside dace is present in small numbers. r4uskrats are common throughout the stream, and a variety of wildlife is found in the lower end where the stream runs through the New Glarus Wildlife Area. Public access
available from three road crossings, and from 1.12 miles of stream frontage provided by the wildlife area. Fish Species: Brown trout, central mudminnow, redside dace, southern redbelly dace, fathead minnow, creek chub, white sucker, brook stickleback, Johnny darter, mottled sculpin.
Surface Acres = 2.1. Length = 4.4 r4iles. Gradient = 23 ft./mi.. Base Discharge = 2.9 cu. ft./sec.

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

From: Poff, Ronald J., and C.W. Threinen, Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison I, 1961.

Flows south into the Little Sugar River. Accessible through public hunting grounds. One-third of the stream has been ditched for drainage. Managed for brown trout; however, not stocked in 1959. Clear water over sand and gravel bottom. Sparse bank cover at present. Adjoining wetland has significant muskrat population.

Surface Acres= 1.2, Miles= 2.5, Gradient= 10' per mile

Date  1961

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Ward Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) Fish and Aquatic LifeWard Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) RecreationWard Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) 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

Ward Creek is located in the Little Sugar River watershed which is 133.02 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (74%), forest (15%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 351.74 stream miles, 50.40 lake acres and 3,252.10 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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

Ward Creek is considered a Coldwater, 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.

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