Fish and Aquatic Life
Middle Bear Creek, located in central Vernon County, flows in a westerly direction for 2.3
miles before reaching South Bear Creek. This stream has a gradient of 70 feet per mile and
drains forested hillsides, an agricultural valley and an agricultural headwater ridgetop. An
aquaculture operation is also located adjacent to this stream. Middle Bear Creek is a Class II
trout stream upstream of CTH D for 0.5 miles and a Class III trout stream downstream of
CTH D for 1.8 miles. The most recent survey, conducted in 1990, documented brown trout and rainbow trout as
well as numerous forage fish species. The stream bottom was dominated by gravel and
cobble. In-stream cover consisted of woody debris, boulders, overhanging grasses and some
undercut banks. Middle Bear Creek should be resurveyed after conclusion of the Middle
Kickapoo River Priority Watershed Project in 2004. WDNR records indicate that Middle Bear
Creek has been regularly stocked with brown trout since 1960. Access to Middle Bear Creek
is from two road crossings.
From: Ripp, Coreen, Koperski, Cindy and Folstad, Jason. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin.
PUBL WT-559-2002. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Middle Bear Creek, T13N, R2W, Section 35. Surface Acres = 1.1.,Miles = 2.3, Gradient = 20.4 feet per mile.
This clear, hard water stream flows in a westerly direction and is a tributary of South Bear Creek. It is Class III brown trout water. Forage fish are common. Much of the stream has been ditched. Rubble is the dominant bottom type, but there is considerable sand and gravel, some silt and a little hardpan. One road crossing provides access. Maskrat are significant.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W., 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The Middle Bear Creek (Mouth to second crossing of CTH D) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; temperature and available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category) based on the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Amanda Smith
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|
|1193700||Middle Bear Creek||10015885||Middle Bear Cr - 300 Yds Downstream From Troutpalace N43 33min 43.0sec W90 32min 58.7sec||4/10/1995||4/10/1995||Map||Data|
|1193700||Middle Bear Creek||10015864||Middle Bear Cr - 30 Feet Upstream From 2nd Crossingwith Hwy D Downstream From N43 33min 47.2sec W90 33min 10.6sec||4/10/1995||4/10/1995||Map||Data|
Middle Bear Creek is located in the Middle Kickapoo River watershed which is 246.53 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (49%), agricultural (43%) and a mix of suburban (5%) and other uses (3%). This watershed has 585.18 stream miles, 145.14 lake acres and 3,360.69 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.