Fish and Aquatic Life
A 1991 streambank erosion survey of Plum Creek to assess effects on water quality in Nugget Lake
found that 17 percent of the bank area along Plum Creek above Nugget Lake is eroding. A recent
fish survey showed a Class I1 trout fishery below Nugget Lake (Spangler, 1993). Sedimentation and
nutrient enrichment of Nugget Lake have the ~otential to affect water temperature and water
quality in Plum Creek (Engel). Stream improvements and changes in surrounding land use practices
could improve Plum Creek to a Class I trout stream (Holzer). The amount of ammonia+'contributed
by the Plum City wastewater treatment plant has the ~otential to harm the fishery under low flow
conditions. WDNR standards and policies for ammonia are under revision (LaLiberte).
Plum Creek in Pepin County will be included in the county's conservation credit ~ i l o t project.
Pepin County is pursuing approvals to move ahead with a unique approach to protect water
resources, termed the Conservation Credit Initiative, which would reward long-term farm practices
that ultimately protect and improve water resources. The reward comes in the form of tax credits.
See the Pepin County discussion in the Groundwater Report for more information on ths topic.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The 2018 assessments of Plum Creek (mouth with Chippewa River to HWY SS (mile 7.23)) showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, 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 most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
Author Ashley Beranek
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|
|2051300||Plum Creek||10009086||6- Plum Creek- Cth U||Map||Data|
|2051300||Plum Creek||10009096||7- Plum Creek- Cth U||4/15/1998||4/15/1998||Map||Data|
|2051300||Plum Creek||10009083||Plum Creek- Hwy SS||4/28/2013||9/20/2016||Map||Data|
Plum Creek is located in the Plum Creek watershed which is 140.59 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (52%), forest (37%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 314.86 stream miles, 793.61 lake acres and 3,140.16 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.