Fish and Aquatic Life
Cox Creek, also known as Romance Creek or Creek 36-16, is in located west central Vernon County just northeast of Romance. It flows in a westerly direction for nearly three miles before reaching the North Fork of the Bad Axe River. It has a moderate gradient of approximately 54 feet per mile and drains steep forests, lowland pasture and agricultural land. Cox Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length of 2.6 miles.
The most recent survey, completed in 1974, documented cool, clear water that carried a low suspended silt load. The streambed consisted mainly of rocks and boulders, detritus and scattered beds of aquatic vegetation. Bank cover consisted mainly of willow and various grass species. Pasture comprised most of the riparian area, with some swamp hardwood, shrub marsh, cultivated land and upland hardwoods. Light bank erosion was present in the lower portion due to over-grazing. Boulders and scattered beds of watercress provided in-stream cover. Brook trout and a variety of forage fish species were collected during the survey. The fishery of this stream would benefit from additional in-stream cover. A fish and habitat survey should be conducted to update the 1974 information. Cox Creek has been sporadically stocked by WDNR with brook and brown trout from 1975 to 1994. Access is possible from three road crossings.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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'.
Habitat Restoration - Instream
The Cox Creek and Frohock Creek fisheries would benefit from improved in-stream habitat.
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|
|1641800||Cox Creek||10013823||Creek 36-16 (Cox Or Romance Cr.) Station 2 - 300ft Downstream Of Farm Rd Crossing||Map||Data|
|1641800||Cox Creek||10013824||Creek 36-16 (Cox Or Romance Cr.) Station 3 - 300 Ft. Downstream Of Sth 56 Bridge||Map||Data|
|1641800||Cox Creek||10013825||Creek 36-16 (Cox Or Romance Cr.) Station 1 - South Creek Rd.||Map||Data|
Cox Creek is located in the Bad Axe River watershed which is 195.49 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (55%), forest (37%) and a mix of suburban (6%) and other uses (3%). This watershed has 468.27 stream miles, 489.81 lake acres and 2,552.28 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.