Pikes Creek, Bayfield Peninsula Southeast Watershed (LS07)
Pikes Creek, Bayfield Peninsula Southeast Watershed (LS07)
Pikes Creek (2884500)
8.70 Miles
0 - 8.70
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Coldwater
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2017
Good
 
Bayfield
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Yes
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Yes
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Cold (Class I Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species through natural reproduction. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Cold (Class I Trout)
Streams supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species through natural reproduction. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Cold
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.

Overview

This medium-sized Class I trout stream is an outstanding resource water for its entire length. The stream drains about 30 square miles, dropping some 400 feet before entering Lake Superior. This results in massive erosion problems with historic cases of devastating flash floods. Streambank improvements performed by the Bureau of Fisheries Management have helped enhance spawning habitat for migratory trout and salmon species including rainbow trout, coho and chinook salmon. This stream supports a population of brook, brown and rainbow trout and trout and salmon species from Lake Superior migrate upstream to spawn. The stream's major tributary is North Pikes Creek, but the majority of Pikes Creek baseflow comes from bank springs. WDNR's Bayfield Fish Hatchery discharges well and lake water from the hatchery into Pikes Creek via a small tributary.

Most of the Pikes Creek watershed is upland forest that may periodically be subjected to clearcutting and logging traffic. Some reaches drain heavy red clay soils, while the rest of the stream drains sandy loam soils. Some areas of the watershed are managed as apple orchards. Where Pikes Creek enters Lake Superior, a wetland community supports both emergent and submergent aquatic plants. Offshore in Chequamegon Bay, a large open-water submergent aquatic plant community exists. The area also has sheltered vegetated sand and mud flats. The stream and its estuary provide nesting areas for waterfowl and are used by migratory birds. Lake Superior Village is a marina operating just north of the mouth of Pikes Creek in an area of sheltered flats and vegetation. Both state and private ownership exist along Pikes Creek, but the stream flows through a corridor of land that is largely state owned. This stream is part of the South Shore Fish and Wildlife Area, where there is a state acquisition goal of 1,128 acres.

The mouths of Pikes Creek and Pikes Creek Slough have been identified by the Lake Superior Binational Program as important to the integrity of the Lake Superior ecosystem for coastal wetlands, vital functions for planning objectives, fish and wildlife spawning and nursery grounds. During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation, one rare species of macroinvertebrate was found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). Significant bank erosion, point sources and silt affect habitat quality in the stream and impoundment may pose a threat (Epstein 1997).

Date  1999

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Pikes Creek, Bayfield Peninsula Southeast Watershed (LS07) Fish and Aquatic LifePikes Creek, Bayfield Peninsula Southeast Watershed (LS07) RecreationPikes Creek, Bayfield Peninsula Southeast Watershed (LS07) Fish Consumption

Condition

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'.

Reports

Management Goals

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

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Pikes Creek is located in the Bayfield Peninsula Southeast watershed which is 301.48 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (80%), grassland (7%) and a mix of wetland (4%) and other uses (9%). This watershed has 453.79 stream miles, 291,749.17 lake acres and 6,560.31 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.

Natural Community

Pikes Creek is considered a Coldwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.