Fish and Aquatic Life
This high quality trout stream drops an average of 102 feet-per-mile in its four-mile run north to Balsam Creek. The stream supports a brook trout fishery and has been classified as an exceptional resource water. The stream's upper reaches have a stable gravel and boulder bottom, but as it nears Balsam Creek it gives way to unstable sand and gravel. The stream experiences damaging flow extremes. Land use in the area may be contributing to in-stream sedimentation.
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'.
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|
|2841600||Empire Creek||10029314||Empire start at 43 feet upstream of Gandy Dancer Trail||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2841600||Empire Creek||10029315||Empire Creek 93 ft US of CTH B||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Empire Creek is located in the Black and Upper Nemadji River watershed which is 125.62 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (61%), wetland (18%) and a mix of grassland (11%) and other uses (10%). This watershed has 254.49 stream miles, 219.11 lake acres and 19,504.82 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.