Fish and Aquatic Life
This stream flows through a deep ravine to Lake Superior. Its upper three miles support a self-sustaining trout population, from the headwaters downstream to T49N R9W S32 the creek is Class I trout water and the reach is an exceptional resource water. The remaining 12 miles of stream deteriorates to the point it supports only a forage fishery. The upper part of the watershed has in the past been dominated by dairy farming, which has caused serious erosion problems when cattle are allowed on the streambanks. Water in the lower reach is usually turbid as a result. Where the stream empties into Lake Superior it forms an estuary. Severe erosion has occurred at the stream mouth, Tuura's Landing. The Lake Superior Binational Program has identified this stream as important to the integrity of the Lake Superior ecosystem for coastal wetlands and fish and wildlife spawning and nursery grounds.
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|
|2871700||Reefer Creek||10015361||Lower Reefer Creek - S. Of Hautala Rd||Map||Data|
|2871700||Reefer Creek||10022438||Reefer Creek Upstream Of Oulu Pioneer Road||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2871700||Reefer Creek||10015360||Upper Reefer Creek||Map||Data|
|2871700||Reefer Creek||10022439||Reefer Creek Upstream Of County Highway B||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Reefer Creek is located in the Iron River watershed which is 213.39 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (66%), grassland (10%) and a mix of wetland (8%) and other uses (16%). This watershed has 300.83 stream miles, 5,975.89 lake acres and 7,470.27 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.