Silver Spring Creek, Lower Pecatonica River Watershed (SP07)
Silver Spring Creek, Lower Pecatonica River Watershed (SP07)
Silver Spring Creek (917700)
5.90 Miles
0 - 5.90
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.
Cool-Cold Headwater, Macroinvertebrate
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
 
This river is impaired
Degraded Biological Community, Degraded Habitat
Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
 
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.
Yes

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

Silver Spring Creek is located in southeastern Lafayette County and is part of the Lower Pecatonica River watershed. Originating south of the town of Lamont, the stream flows five miles south and empties into the Pecatonica River north of Gratiot. All five miles of Silver Spring Creek are currently listed on the 303(d) list due to degraded habitat resulting from sedimentation from non-point source pollution. A 2001 fish survey from the Silver Spring Creek Rd. crossing found seven brown trout (3.0 - 14.5 inches) and eight other minnow and forage species, including the presence of brook stickleback, a cool-water indicator. Silver Spring Creek’s current use is as a warm water forage fishery, but the lower 3.9 miles are classified as a Class II trout fishery.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Silver Spring Creek (Johnny Cake) is a spring-fed and warm water stream which near its beginning has a good spring. However, most of its water supply is from drainage. It flows southerly into the West Branch of the Pecatonica River. The land use throughout the basin is primarily agricultural. The higher ground is in crop production while the floodplain and adjacent slopes are in firm, wooded pasture. Stream bank erosion varies from light to moderate. In general, the soils appear to be quite stable throughout the immediate stream bank area. Silt and gravel are the principal bottom types in the upper portions, while rubble and gravel are found in the lower portions. Presently, the stream supports forage fishes. Smallmouth bass and catfish may also be found near the mouth. Upland game assets include deer, ruffed grouse, quail, Hungarian partridge, deer, squirrels, and rabbits. Muskrats are common. Although there are no public lands on the stream, it is accessible from two town roads.

Silver Spring Creek (Johnny Cake) T2N, R4E, Sections 34-14, Surface acres = 4.6, Miles = 3.9, Gradient = 12.8 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 301 mg/l, Volume of flow = 2.4 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   Aquatic Biologist

Silver Spring Creek, Lower Pecatonica River Watershed (SP07) Fish and Aquatic LifeSilver Spring Creek, Lower Pecatonica River Watershed (SP07) RecreationSilver Spring Creek, Lower Pecatonica River Watershed (SP07) Fish Consumption

General Condition

This creek is currently on the state's list of impaired waters. Sedimentation from nonpoint sources is listed as the reason for the impairment. It was formerly a warm water forage fishery that has now been upgraded to a Class II trout stream (Wisconsin Trout Waters, 2002). A 2001 fishery survey noted that brown trout are holding over from the previous year's stocking. White suckers were abundant and other forage fish were present. The fish manager noted continuing problems with siltation, eroded banks and box elder growth (Sims, pers. comm.).

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

Silver Spring Creek (917700) was placed on the impaired waters list in 1998 for sediment/total suspended solids. The TMDL for sediment/total suspended solids was approved by the U.S. EPA in 2005. In 2012 this water was listed for total phosphorus. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

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

Monitor Watershed (Status,Sources,Impairments)
Watershed Planning

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

Silver Spring Creek is located in the Lower Pecatonica River watershed which is 134.23 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (86%), forest (8%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (2%). This watershed has 333.90 stream miles, 40.87 lake acres and 274.90 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Silver Spring Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Macroinvertebrate 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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