Fish and Aquatic Life
The spring fed waters of this creek allow it to be managed for trout. The lower 3 miles of the Conley-Lewis are considered a warm water sport fishery, but the middle 3 miles can support trout. Brown trout have been stocked through 2001. A 2001 sportfish survey of the trout water showed the presence of brown trout and sculpin . Woodlot pasturing and cropland erosion are preventing the middle section from achieving its potential as a Class I trout stream. In 1999, the DNR Division of Lands authorized acquisition of easements under the Streambank Protection Program (Miller, S. memo). To date, over a mile of easements covering 3 landowners has been obtained.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Conley-Lewis Creek - Mouth location T5N R4E Section 32 -2, Surface area = 6.6 acres, Length = 6.5 miles, Gradient = 32.3 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 272.8 mg/l, Volume of flow = 4.0 cfs.
Flowing southeasterly, this stream enters the Dodge Branch about four miles above its mouth. On the basis of volume of flow this stream can be considered one of the major tributaries of the Dodge Branch. Its principal water source is seepage springs coming from its immediate basin and two tributaries. About 85 percent of its watershed is farmed with the remainder in woodlands. Heavy erosion of its banks due to the rapid runoff of precipitation is quite evident, especially near its mouth. The lower-than- average gradient creates localized sections of wet meadow pasture. Their presence encourages waterfowl to utilize the stream and marshland furbearers are common in the lower sections.
The spring fed water allows it to be managed for brown trout which are stocked annually. It is probable that rainbow trout are also present. Seining surveys produced forage species, creek and hornyhead chubs, brook sticklebacks, fantail and johnny darters, sculpins, bluntnose and stoneroller minnows, redbelly dace, redhorse and white and hognose suckers. A shocking survey made five years ago showed that sections support a sizeable population of smallmouth bass. Another fishery is present in the watershed in the form of a dug, spring fed farm pond which supports a rainbow trout-crappie population. Easement acquisition is being considered for this stream but there are no public lands to date. At present time it is accessible from one state and one county road.
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
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|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10015184||Conley Lewis Creek-General Fish Survey 4--Fenceline Into Prairie||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||253174||Conley Lewis Creek - (Bridge)||6/28/2003||7/8/2015||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10010730||Conley Lewis Station 2 - 26 M Upstream Of Confluence Of Ley Creek||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||253097||Conley Lewis Creek - Sunny Ridge Rd.||10/20/1980||10/20/1980||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10015180||Conley Lewis Creek-General Fish Survey 2--End Of Woods/Fenceline||7/20/2010||11/3/2010||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10010731||Conley Lewis Creek - Conley Lewis Station 1 - 65 M Upstream From Sunny Ridge Road||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10015183||Conley Lewis Creek-General Fish Survey 3--Fenceline On Woodline Edge||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10015185||Conley Lewis Creek-General Fish Survey 5--Brdige On Sunny Ridge Rd.||5/2/1980||7/25/2011||Map||Data|
|911300||Conley Lewis Creek||10010333||Conley Lewis Creek - Conley Lewis Creek Remap 163-B||Map||Data|
Conley Lewis Creek is located in the Upper East Branch Pecatonica River watershed which is 140.18 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (72%), forest (18%) and a mix of suburban (7%) and other uses (4%). This watershed has 395.65 stream miles, 61.72 lake acres and 834.33 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.