Whiteside Creek, Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers Watershed (SP03)
Whiteside Creek, Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers Watershed (SP03)
Whiteside Creek (899700)
1.55 Miles
0 - 1.55
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 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.
2015
Poor
 
Lafayette
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.
No
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.
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

This tributary to the East Branch of the Pecatonica is joined by the Apple Branch about 2 miles above its mouth. This lower section is managed as a warm water forage fishery although some sportfish species have been found in 1979 (Marshall, 1991). The middle 6 miles of stream is managed as a Class II trout fishery. The stream is impacted by bank erosion and organic loading which inhibit trout survival. The goals of the priority watershed plan were to improve trout habitat, and reduce erosion and organic loading (ibid).

Historically the stream contained both smallmouth bass and brown trout as the predominant game species, and a variety of eurythermal species. The 2007 and 2008 surveys showed brown trout at North Road, but almost no gamefish at the two downstream sites. Interestingly, mottled sculpin - a coolwater indicator - was not historically reported in Whiteside Creek, but were found at all 3 sites monitored in this contemporary study. Whiteside Creek, along with Apple Branch, showed the most promise as a cool/coldwater stream in the watershed even though the coldwater IBIs were still in the “poor” range.

Like other sites near the East Branch Pecatonica River, Whiteside Creek at State Highway 78 was impacted by high water levels and flooding in 2007 and 2008. As such, the fishery assemblage may have been affected. The U-shaped channel and silt bottom, possibly the result of repeated flooding, offer little in the way of habitat.

Date  2010

Author  James Amrhein

Historical Description

Whiteside Creek is a warm water-drainage stream flowing easterly into the East Branch of the Pecatonica River. About two miles above its mouth it is joined by Apple Branch which contributes 42 percent of its base flow. Not far from its headwaters it forks into two branches which are nearly equal in size. The land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural with meadow and firm pasture in the floodplain with woodlands and crops on the slopes and ridge tops. Gravel ls the bottom type commonly found throughout with rubble and silt present in some sections. Moderate bank erosion is common throughout
and severe flooding occurs after periods of heavy precipitation and during the spring thaw. Throughout its length, except in the" upper extremities", the stream is characterized by deep pools and stretches of fairly deep water. Presently, it is managed for smallmouth bass, which are common. Largemouth bass, channel catfish, and brown trout are also present. Upland game assets include deer, squirrels, ruffed grouse, pheasants and quail. There are muskrats and some waterfowl near the mouth during the spring and fall.

Whiteside Creek, T2N, R5E, Sections 10-3, Surface acres = 10.6, Miles = 6.0, Gradient = 30 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 285 mg/l, Volume of flow = 1.0 cfs.

From: Piening, Ronald; Poff, Ronald; Threinen, C.W., 1967. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Lafayette County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1967

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Whiteside Creek, Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers Watershed (SP03) Fish and Aquatic LifeWhiteside Creek, Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers Watershed (SP03) RecreationWhiteside Creek, Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers Watershed (SP03) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Whiteside Creek (miles 1.55-7.12) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate and fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of Whiteside Creek (Mouth to Apple Branch) showed biological impairment; new macroinvertebrate sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) average scored in the poor condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

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

Recommendations

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.
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.

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

Whiteside Creek is located in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers watershed which is 144.80 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (76%), forest (16%) and a mix of suburban (4%) and other uses (3%). This watershed has 370.96 stream miles, 107.68 lake acres and 2,029.49 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.

Natural Community

Whiteside Creek is considered a Coldwater, 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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