Fish and Aquatic Life
The Class I portion of Duncan Creek, the headwater area, is classified as an outstanding resource
water (ORW), which requires any new point source discharge to have effluent limits as stringent as
the water quality found in the creek. This area has few limiting factors or pollutant sources except a
few small barnyards near the streambank. The extreme upper reach of Duncan Creek near New
Auburn is a State Fishery Area. Below Lake Como, which is the first Duncan Creek impoundment
at Bloomer, the creek is a warm water fishery, although brown trout are often found in this section
(Kurz). Limiting factors and pollutants in this reach include streambank erosion due to cattle access,
sedimentation, and organic and nutrient loading from runoff and point sources of pollution. With
pollutant sources controlled and fish stocking, this stream reach could become a Class 11 trout
fishery. The lower five miles of Duncan Creek are limited by elevated stream temperatures,
streambank erosion, sedimentation, and organic and nutrient loading. This portion of Duncan
Creek has the potential to become a Class I1 trout stream if temperatures can be lowered (Schreiber
The Bloomer wastewater treatment plant discharges to Duncan Creek about one mile below
Como Dam. To allow more accurate use of existing stream data when evaluating limits for the
Bloomer plant, district staff need additional data (LaLiberte 1994).
Bloomer's effluent increases phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations in Duncan Creek by 131
percent and 64 percent, respectively. This discharge likely aggravates water quality problems in the
downstream impoundments. The Bloomer facility currently discharges total phosphorus at a
concentration of 12 mg/l. Administrative Rule NR.217 will require phosphorus treatment to 1 mg/l
Author Aquatic Biologist
Duncan Creek (miles 22.12-30.7) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish 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
Duncan Creek (2150600) from the mouth to the inlet of Lake Como (miles 0 - 22.12) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2014 for total phosphorus. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|2150600||Duncan Creek||10012900||Duncan Creek Cth Q||Map||Data|
|2150600||Duncan Creek||093040||Duncan Creek - Cth B R Mi 6.9||Map||Data|
|2150600||Duncan Creek||10012899||Duncan Creek 130th Ave||Map||Data|
|2150600||Duncan Creek||10012901||Duncan Creek North Of Cth B||Map||Data|
Duncan Creek is located in the Duncan Creek watershed which is 191.44 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57%), forest (19%) and a mix of suburban (13%) and other uses (11%). This watershed has 270.37 stream miles, 185.45 lake acres and 6,971.50 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.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.