Fish and Aquatic Life
Dougherty Creek is a moderate sized stream that has an existing use as a Class II trout stream for much of its length. The upper 2 miles has an existing use as a limited forage fishery and is on the state’s list of impaired waters for habitat degradation and dissolved oxygen problems. While most of this short section of stream has now been put in a set-aside program, there are several barnyards at the headwaters of the stream that were identified as sources of nutrients and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) to the stream (Marshall, 1991; WDNR, 2008). The stream flows through small patches of forest, cropland, and wetland, but also through pasture where it suffers severe bank erosion. The stream bottom above Apple Grove Road is primarily gravel. Below this area, silt and clay become more prevalent and the water is more turbid (Marshall, 1991).
While most of the stream is managed for brown trout, some rainbow trout have been stocked and show up in stream surveys. Tolerant, eurythermal forage fish species are common in the stream including white sucker and creek chub. Mottled sculpin, and intolerant species, are found in low to moderate numbers.
Goals of the priority watershed project were to improve the trout fishery, reduce organic loading and erosion, increase aquatic diversity and improve wildlife habitat. There has been some habitat improvement work done on the stream, primarily upstream from Prairie View Road. These have resulted in localized improvements in trout numbers with 2007 coldwater IBI ratings of “fair” to “good”. Small sections have been fenced and certain areas of the riparian corridor have been returned to prairie - especially in the upper ½ of the stream. The lower ½ of the stream runs through row crops and grazed wet meadows. Biologists noted that the U-shaped channel offers little in the way of habitat save for depth and overhanging grasses and banks. This bigger water could offer an opportunity to attract higher numbers of larger fish if habitat could be improved.
Author James Amrhein
This moderate sized trout stream flows from the driftless area of western Green County and joins the East Branch of the Pecatonica River in Lafayette County. Dougherty Creek is fed by three small and three large tributaries including Prairie Brook, a Class II trout stream. It flows through several patches of forest, cropland and wetland, but primarily through pasture where it suffers severe bank erosion. The bottom is primarily gravel, silt and muck and the water is occasionally turbid. Small amounts of fencing and habitat improvement on the stream have been completed over the years, but much more needs to be done.
The entire length of Dougherty Creek in Green County is managed for brown trout. although rainbow trout have occasionally been stocked in the past. The stream above Section 20 is considered to be Class II trout water, while that below is primarily Class III. Trout spawning generally takes place within two Fish Management easements in Section 19. Forage fish are plentiful throughout the stream, and catfish and carp are found in the lower portions. Wlildlife is not abundant but includes muskrats, wood ducks, mallards and teal. Public access is available at seven public road crossings and at two Fish Management easements providing 4.13 miles of frontage. Fish Species: American brook lamprey. rainbow trout. brown trout. carp. brassy minnow. common shiner. bigmouth shiner. southern' redbelly dace. bluntnose minnow. fathead minnow, creek chub. white sucker. black bullhead. channel catfish. brook stickleback. green sunfish. bluegill. largemouth bass. fantail darter. Johnny darter. blackside darter, mottled sculpin.
Surface Acres = 12.5, Length = 13.0 miles, Gradient = 10 ft./mi., Base Discharge = 23.3 cu.
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.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Dougherty Creek begins in Green County and flows in a southerly direction into the East Branch of' the Pecatonica River. Only 3.2 square miles of its more than 28 square miles of watershed area are in Lafayette County. Having a low gradient and a good volume of flow the year round, the stream lends itself to catfish management. Other fish species present are smallmouth bass and forage minnows. There are no feeder streams within the county. The chief bottom types are rubble and silt with most of the stream banks presently in firm pasture. There is a small area of marshland at its mouth which furnishes some nesting cover for waterfowl. Muskrats are common, but otherwise game assets within the watershed are limited to the upland types. Public land is lacking. Access to the stream is possible from three road bridges.
Dougherty Creek, T3N, R5E, Sections 36-11, Surface acres = 6.2, Miles = 3.3, Gradient = 6.2 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 270 mg/l, Volume of flow = 8.8 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.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Flows southwest into Lafayette County. It has three large free-flowing tributaries, one named Prairie Brook. This stream is often referred to as Puddle Dock. Managed for brown trout. Much of the "trout water" is fenced as part of a cooperative watershed plan. There may be some natural reproduction in the fenced spring areas. Cattle access is limited to established watering areas. There is a carp population resident in the lower stream and until recently several cheese factories discharged milk waste products into the stream. Approximately five acres along the stream are leased by the state for public fishing privileges.
Surface Acres= 12.7, Miles= 16.0, Gradient= 10.9' per mile
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Dougherty Creek is a sixteen-mile long stream that currently exists as a Class II trout stream for much of its length. Only the upper two miles are on the state's list of impaired waters because of degraded habitat due to sedimentation, phosphorous, and BOD from non-point source pollution.
Because of its length, the stream flows through a variety of land uses including small patches of forest, cropland, and wetland, but also through pasture where it suffers severe bank erosion. The stream bottom above Apple Grove Road is primarily gravel. Below this area, silt becomes more prevalent and the water more turbid. While most of the stream is managed for brown trout, some rainbow trout have been stocked and show up in stream surveys. Tolerant, warm water forage species are common in the stream including white sucker, common shiner, and creek chub. Mottled sculpin and other intolerant species are found in low numbers.
As part of a structured habitat survey in 2002, Department staff found that the stream has extensive (79% silt and clay) fines covering the substrate. According to the Department's habitat rating guidelines, this is considered poor habitat. Past resource objectives were to improve the trout fishery, reduce organic loading and erosion, to increase aquatic diversity, and to improve wildlife habitat. There have been some improvements to the stream habitat, and certain areas of the riparian corridor have been returned to prairie. Land use in the upper 2 miles of stream has improved. Monitoring of this section should be conducted to determine contemporary conditions.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The Dougherty Creek (Intersection of Dougherty Creek and Postville Rds. to CTH H) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; 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
Dougherty Creek (901000) from the intersection of Dougherty Creek and Postville Rds. to CTH H was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; temperature data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Author Aaron Larson
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'.
Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Monitor impaired portion of creek for D.O., nutrients, and BOD to determine level of impairment. Fisheries IBI conducted to determine contemporary status of stream. Sondes, conduct monthly nutrient analysis (12) and event sampling (10). Conduct watershed assessment to determine sources. Conduct macroinverterbrate analysis at 3 sites. July 06-June 07 Upper 4 miles of Dougherty Creek
This water, from the Green-Lafayette county line to South Wildlife Road (class 3), is a Class III Trout water and from South Wildlife Road to the headwaters (class 2).
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
|901000||Dougherty Creek||10012434||Dougherty Creek - 5 Meters Upstream Farmers Grove Rd||4/23/1990||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|5039059||Unnamed||10015954||Unnamed Trib./Dougherty Cr. - Site #9 - Dougherty Creek Rd.Bridge Downstream Riffle Underneath Bridge||10/31/1990||10/31/1990||Map||Data|
|901000||Dougherty Creek||10020488||Dougherty Creek-3 M Upstream From Cth H||11/1/2006||11/1/2006||Map||Data|
|901000||Dougherty Creek||233223||Dougherty Creek - E Daugherty Rd 26||Map||Data|
|901000||Dougherty Creek||10016315||Daugherty Cr. - Dougherty Cr. Rd.||4/24/1990||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Dougherty Creek is located in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers watershed which is 144.80 mi². 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.