Fish and Aquatic Life
Cranberry Creek is a short, dark-stained drainage stream flowing north through the Cranberry Creek Flowage into the Amnicon River. The stream drains extensive spruce, tamarack and tag alder swamps, resulting in acidic and poor water quality conditions. Stream surveys from the 1970s found only minnows in this creek. A six-foot head dam built in 1959 creates the Cranberry Creek Flowage, managed for recreation and waterfowl production.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation, the stream demonstrated moderate taxa richness for macroinvertebrates (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). The survey noted significant turbidity, scour and aquatic plants, with the impoundment having a significant impact on habitat.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
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
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Cranberry Creek is located in the Amnicon and Middle Rivers watershed which is 288.92 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (60%), wetland (16%) and a mix of agricultural (13%) and other uses (11%). This watershed has 641.39 stream miles, 7,914.74 lake acres and 42,306.80 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.