Fish and Aquatic Life
Copper Creek flows generally north off the Superior escarpment into the Nemadji River. Most of the stream is assumed to support a balanced fishery. The reach beginning from the town road crossing in section 25-26, T47N R14W and extending downstream about two miles to a warm water tributary is considered Class II trout waters reported to support brook trout. The unnamed tributary flowing north to Copper Creek in section 22, T27N, R14W is classified as supporting a Class I reproducing brook trout population and is listed as an exceptional resource water. The tributary has an extremely high gradient of 145 feet per mile, but has a relatively small base flow. The bottom is mostly unstable sand with small amounts of gravel. Precipitated iron deposits cover most of the stream substrate at the headwaters. About an eighth of a mile of the stream flows within Pattison State Park. Both creeks are considered flashy based on in-stream debris and eroded banks.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Copper Creek is an approximately 11.2 mile tributary that flows north off of the Superior escarpment. The stream passes through the northern end of Pattison State Park on its way to the Nemadji River. This stream has been assumed to support a balanced fishery and its current and attainable uses are listed as a Class II trout stream, although it is unclear whether or not it supports that listing in all reaches. The reach of Copper Creek beginning at the confluence with an unnamed warmwater tributary (WBIC-2836600) at ~river mile 7.2 and extending upstream about two miles to Leggate Road in section 25-26, T47N R14W is reported to support brook trout. A baseline fish survey conducted at Baumgartner Road (~river mile 5.5) in 2006 in the reach downstream of this section did not result in sampling any brook trout. Overall, very little biological assessment has been performed on Copper Creek.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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 Fish Community
Sampling of the fish community and habitat evaluation of Copper Creek is recommended to more appropriately identify current and potential trout stream reaches (presence/absence) in Copper Creek, and how to best designate non-trout water. Assessment for potential impacts of beaver to the Copper Creek fishery could also be considered.
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
Copper Creek is located in the St. Louis and Lower Nemadji River watershed which is 159.67 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (52%), wetland (19%) and a mix of agricultural (8%) and other uses (11%). This watershed has 432.66 stream miles, 8,490.75 lake acres and 26,945.85 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.