Fish and Aquatic Life
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.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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.).
Author Aquatic Biologist
The Silver Spring Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data clearly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired. No listing change was required to this already impaired water.
Author Amanda Smith
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.
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 Watershed (Status,Sources,Impairments)
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 or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.
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|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10034755||Silver Spring Creek near Cherry Rd DS of fence line at wood||6/2/2010||6/2/2010||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10014238||Silver Spring Creek-Baseline Lower (at Silver Spring Rd)||2/17/2010||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10031545||Silver Spring Creek in Rolli Pasture (~400 ft E of Tish Rd)||6/2/2010||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|5041045||Unnamed||10037953||Unnamed trib to Silver Spring Creek US of confluence||5/26/2010||5/26/2010||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||333049||Silver Spring Creek - Bl Ronnerud Co||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10037954||Silver Spring Creek 100ft US confluence||5/26/2010||5/26/2010||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10037949||Silver Spring Creek north of Hwy M||6/9/2010||6/9/2010||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10014194||Silver Spring Creek Baseline (at Walnut Rd)||10/8/2010||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|917700||Silver Spring Creek||10031660||Silver Spring 525m upstream of Pec. R.||5/25/2010||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Silver Spring Creek is located in the Lower Pecatonica River watershed which is 134.23 mi². 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.