Fish and Aquatic Life
This river flows some 36 miles before emptying into the Bad River in Ashland County at Copper Falls State Park. The entire river is considered trout water, with a one-mile section near the confluence with Gehrman Creek designated exceptional resource waters for supporting a Class I trout fishery. Brook and brown trout are considered common, with an occasional rainbow trout. Brownstone Falls near the river's mouth presents a barrier to migratory fish from Lake Superior. A variety of bottom types occur in the river, from unstable sand to bedrock and rubble near the falls. Deep pool areas and long shallow riffles provide good habitat as the river passes through upland hardwood. The stream supports beaver, muskrat and migratory waterfowl.
This river experiences variable flow rates, with low flows a problem, particularly downstream from Highway 77 where some temperatures were measured in the past in ranges close to the lethal point for trout. The river forms at the confluence of Shine Creek, which flows from Shine Lake, and the O'Brien Lake outlet.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation two rare species of macroinvertebrate were found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). Iron bacteria and aquatic plants were noted at an Iron County site. Livestock, barnyards and cropland were considered pollutant threats in the Ashland County portion of the river.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Tyler Forks was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting this designated use and is not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
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'.
Water Quality Planning
We propose to collect biological information (fish/bugs) and quantitative habitat and temperature on 14 TBD sites in the Tyler Forks River Watershed and part of the Upper Bad River Watershed. Up to 6 more TBD (for a total of approximately 20) sites may be added to the project depending on field conditions and site access .
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10042510||Tyler Forks DS Gehrman Creek confluence||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10030684||Tyler Forks at footbridge above Brownstone Falls in Copper Falls S.P.||10/14/2009||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10012945||Tyler Forks at Scott-Taylor Forks Confluence||Map||Data|
Tyler Fks is located in the Tyler Forks watershed which is 78.76 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (75%), wetland (17%) and a mix of grassland (3%) and other uses (6%). This watershed has 143.50 stream miles, 190.30 lake acres and 12,279.72 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.