Conley Lewis Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06)
Conley Lewis Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06)
Conley-Lewis Creek (911300)
3.02 Miles
3.05 - 6.07
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
Good
 
Iowa
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

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.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

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.

Date  1968

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Conley Lewis Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06) Fish and Aquatic LifeConley Lewis Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06) RecreationConley Lewis Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06) 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

Conley Lewis Creek is located in the Upper East Branch Pecatonica River watershed which is 140.18 miĀ². 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.

Natural Community

Conley-Lewis 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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