Little Grant River, Upper Grant River Watershed (GP06)
Little Grant River, Upper Grant River Watershed (GP06)
Little Grant River (963100)
9.18 Miles
2.35 - 11.53
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, Cool-Cold Mainstem
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.
2016
Excellent
 
Grant
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 Little Grant River rises near the community of Mount Hope and flows southerly to the Grant River. About six miles of the middle reach of the stream is considered as class II trout waters and a series of springs contribute to water quality of this reach. (WDNR, 1980). While general water quality of the Little Grant is good, there are reaches that have a history of habitat and water quality problems due non-point sources of pollution. Excessive streambank grazing resulting in bank slumping and erosion is a problem. Other problems are barnyard runoff and erosion from cropland. The DNR, in cooperation with some local landowners, has installed some instream habitat and bank stabilization measures. The DNR has also acquired some land easements for public access along some stream reaches.

The Village of Mount Hope operates a small wastewater treatment plant that discharges to a tributary to the Little Grant River near the headwaters. Department records show this facility is in generally good condition. The village is not growing rapidly, if at all, and construction site erosion and stormwater runoff are not considered problems at this time.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 26.91 acres, Length = 14.8 mi~es, Gradient =
23 ft./mile, Flow = 15.1 c.f.s.

A seepage- and spring-fed stream beginning just south of Mount Hope and flowing southeast to enter the Grant River five miles west of Lancaster. This stream has a fairly large watershed; therefore rapid runoff and bank erosion are major problems. The stream is characterized by large pools and long riffles. Algae growth is abundant in the wide, slow-flowing portions of the stream. The central three miles of this stream, which is more commonly known as "Milner Branch", is considered good trout water. Brown and rainbow trout are common in this section while forage fish are abundant throughout the stream. Smallmouth bass also provide a limited fishery in the lower one-half of the stream. A spring entering from the northwest six miles above the mouth is the nucleus of the "Milner Branch" trout resource. Some natural reproduction occurs here. This spring was impounded and used as a trout rearing pond by the Bloomington Sportsman's Club prior to 1955. The Department of Natural Resources acquired an easement on this portion of stream in 1957.

Aquatic game assets include muskrat, mink, and a few puddle ducks. Approximately 20 percent of the watershed is forested and deer, raccoon, squirrels, and ruffed grouse are common. The Village of Mt. Hope is considered to be a potential source of pollution to this stream. The stream easement on the trout stream portion provides 0.5 mile of public frontage. Additional access is also available from ten bridge crossings and the Grant River. About 25 dwellings are located along the stream.

Date  1972

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Little Grant River, Upper Grant River Watershed (GP06) Fish and Aquatic LifeLittle Grant River, Upper Grant River Watershed (GP06) RecreationLittle Grant River, Upper Grant River Watershed (GP06) Fish Consumption

General Condition

The Little Grant River (CTH A to first crossing of CTH J) 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. Based on updated fish IBI data, it was proposed that this water be identified as a new Category 2 water.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

General Condition

The Little Grant River (Mouth to CTH A) 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.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

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 Baseline Survey
Conduct basin assessment monitoring in the Upper Grant River Watershed- Little Grant River, Grant River, Borah Creek, Gregory Branch, Rogers Branch, Martin Branch and Day Branch.

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

Little Grant River is located in the Upper Grant River watershed which is 106.09 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (76%), forest (17%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (1%). This watershed has 260.94 stream miles, 7.24 lake acres and 6.79 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High 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.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

Little Grant River is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem 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) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

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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