Spring Creek, Badfish Creek Watershed (LR07)
Spring Creek, Badfish Creek Watershed (LR07)
Spring Creek (799900)
3.43 Miles
0 - 3.43
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, Cool-Cold Headwater
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
Unknown
 
Rock
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.
No
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 II Trout)
Streams 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 through natural reproduction and selective propagation. 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 II Trout)
Streams 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 through natural reproduction and selective propagation. 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

Rock River Water Quality Management Plan, Lower Rock River Appendix. WT-668-2002. South Central Region, WDNR.

Spring Creek is a small spring-fed tributary of medium grade (16 feet/mile) that connects with Badfish Creek near Cooksville. Historically, Spring Creek was managed for trout, but ditching and polluted runoff reduced it by the mid-1980s to supporting a warm water forage fishery. In 1990, Spring Creek reappeared as a trout water in the “Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide.”

As of 1996, Spring Creek is considered a Class III Trout Stream supporting brown trout; the stream's potential, however, is Class II. The effects of stream channelization and polluted runoff in the stream's six-square-mile agricultural watershed--particularly from streambank pasturing (erosion) and barnyard runoff--have taken their toll. Runoff from up-slope cultivated fields represents 95 percent of the total sediment load to streams in the watershed, which is 86 percent agricultural with row cropping the primary enterprise (83 percent of total acres). Up-slope runoff also contributes nitrate to groundwater (WDNR, 1993a).

Spring Creek was selected as a nonpoint source priority watershed project and a water resources appraisal was prepared in 1993 (WDNR, 1993b). For purposes of analysis, the stream is divided into two segments: from its headwaters to Murray Road is segment 1; east of Murray Road is considered segment 2. Segment 1 has been extensively channelized and thus exhibits habitat loss; by the mid-1950s the stream no longer supported trout. Recent land use changes have restored a buffer strip along this segment's streambanks, allowing development of riparian habitat and ecological recovery. Heavy sediment persists, however, on the stream bottom, which has accumulated during previous years' runoff and low flow conditions (WDNR, 1993b).

Segment 2 has retained its natural stream hydrology, but heavy pasturing and streambank erosion stifle the stream's functional values. Eroded streams and embeddedness reduce suitable habitat for insects and spawning fish (WDNR, 1993a). Streambanks contribute the remaining 5 percent of the overall sediment delivered to the watershed. The priority watershed plan's target goal is to reduce by 75 percent the total tons delivered from streambanks annually and restore 50 percent of the riparian habitat.

In addition, high bacteria and nutrient loads persist from poor feedlot and manure management practices. An 85 percent reduction in animal feedlot runoff from throughout the watershed is necessary to meet the priority watershed plan's stated objectives (WDNR, 1993a).

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Bush, D.M., R. Cornelius, D. Engle, and C.L. Brynildson. 1980. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, 2nd Edition. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin.

Originating near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. this warm water creek is joined by one unnamed stream and flows northwest to enter Honey Creek. Spring Creek runs through cropland and pasture and bank erosion is moderate to heavy in the pastured areas. The stream is wide and shallow and the water generally runs turbid. The bottom is approximately 60 percent gravel and 40 percent silt and muck.
The Spring Creek fishery consists of forage species dominated by the central stoneroller. Wildlife values are limited to a few muskrats and public access is available from two county road crossings.
Fish Species: .Central stoneroller, stoneroller x southern redbe)ly dace hybrid, brassy minnow, common shiner
x southern redbelly dace hybrid, bigmouth shiner, southern redbelly dace, bluntnose minnow, fathead minnow, creek chub, white sucker, brook stickleback, Johnny darter.
Surface Acres = 3.3. Length = 3.4 Miles. Gradient = 28 ft./mi.. Base Discharge = 4.3 cu ft./sec.

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

From: Ball, Joseph R., and Ronald J. Poff, Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Rock County, Department of Natural Resources, 1970.

Surface Acres = 1.3, Miles = 2.75, Gradient = 16 feet per mile.

A small spring fed stream originating northeast of Evansville and flowing in a northeasterly direction to Badfish Creek. Once managed for trout but now supports only forage species. Ditching in the upper portion of the stream was partly responsible for increased water temperatures and habitat deterioration. Adjoining fresh meadow wetland totals 430 acres but has little waterfowl or marsh furbearer value. Access is available from one town road and two state highway crossings.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Spring Creek, Badfish Creek Watershed (LR07) Fish and Aquatic LifeSpring Creek, Badfish Creek Watershed (LR07) RecreationSpring Creek, Badfish Creek Watershed (LR07) 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'.

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

Spring Creek is located in the Badfish Creek watershed which is 84.21 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (77%), suburban (8%) and a mix of forest (7%) and other uses (7%). This watershed has 78.94 stream miles, 217.98 lake acres and 3,799.54 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Spring Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater 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.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

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