West Twin River, West Twin River Watershed (TK01)
West Twin River, West Twin River Watershed (TK01)
West Twin River (87000)
0.35 Miles
15.41 - 15.76
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.
Cool-Warm Mainstem
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.
2015
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Low DO
Total Phosphorus
 
Manitowoc
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.
Yes

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.
FAL Coldwater
Fish and Aquatic Life Coldwater - waters that do not have a specific designated (codified use) but which are have documented scientific support to ascertain indicating that the water is a cold fishable, swimmable water.

Overview

The West Twin River begins at the confluence of the Neshota River and Devils River and has a combined watershed area of 176 square miles. Land use is largely agricultural but some industries border the river in the city of Two Rivers.

The Shoto dam, 5.9 miles upstream of the mouth, divides the river into upper and lower reaches. Lake Michigan seiche effects (tidal flows) extend approximately 1.5 miles upstream of the mouth. In the reach below the dam, the river supports a good warmwater fishery of northern pike, smallmouth bass, rock bass, perch and channel catfish. Anadromous (running) salmon and trout from Lake Michigan run seasonally up to the Shoto dam. Natural reproduction of coho and chinook salmon, rainbow trout and walleye in this reach is doubtful. The presence of these fish is attributed to WDNR stocking efforts. Nonpoint source water pollution effects in this reach are generally mitigated by a buffer of cattail marsh along the banks.

Fish flesh screening for toxic chemical contamination revealed that PCB concentrations exceeded FDA health standards in seven species of rough and game fish from the river between 1978 and 1990. A fish consumption advisory is in effect from the river's mouth to the Shoto dam for carp, catfish, yellow perch, northern pike, crappie, smallmouth bass and Lake Michigan salmon and trout. Detailed information on the species, sizes, and the associated risks appears in the Health Guide for People who eat Sport Fish from Wisconsin Waters. Anglers should examine the guide regularly to be aware of possible changes in advisory status.

Sediment samples collected in 1984 contained PCB levels at or less than the 0.2 parts per million detectable level (Doelger, 1984). Volatile solids, total phosphorus, ammonia, arsenic, zinc and chromium levels in sediment samples collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1987 were indicative of moderately polluted sediments. Total Kjeldahl nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand levels were characteristic of heavily polluted sediments (IJC, 1991). The Two Rivers harbor was last dredged in 1989 and the dredged material was used to nourish beaches.

The warmwater fishery above the dam is limited by agricultural nonpoint source water pollution and low flows. This reach supports rock bass, channel catfish and northern pike. Two small sections (totalling 1.1 miles) of the West Twin River above the dam are classified as Class II trout waters, but it is doubtful this use is being supported (Fago, 1985). The greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi) has been found in the West Twin-Neshota River system. This fish is listed as a threatened species in Wisconsin.

Fisheries managers believe that the entire reach above the Shoto dam is being extensively affected by sediment deposition and nutrient enrichment from agricultural runoff and should be classified as a warmwater fishery. This potential is only partially being supported and the fishery could be improved through nonpoint source controls. The dam at Shoto is limiting the fishery potential by blocking fish migration. Wetland restoration activities could improve runoff quality.

From: Willman, Guy and Mike Toneys. 2001. The State of the Lakeshore Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2001

Author  Michael Toneys

Historical Description

Historic reductions in the percentage of forested and wetland vegetation have resulted in a watershed that lacks adequate opportunities for infiltration and retention of precipitation and snow melt resulting in flashy runoff which overwhelms existing stream channels and aquatic habitat. This excessive runoff also strips valuable sediments and nutrients from the terrestrial environment and delivers them to our streams and lakes where they result in degraded water quality and poorer habitat which can kill sensitive and intolerant fish and aquatic invertebrates. Flashy runoff also limits the amount of water available to sustain adequate flows during drought. Restoration efforts should focus on increasing the overall percentage of forested and wetland vegetation in this watershed to restore a more natural hydrologic regime and minimize the impacts of flashy runoff and an altered hydrologic regime.

From: Willman, Guy and Mike Toneys. 2001. The State of the Lakeshore Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2001

Author  Michael Toneys

West Twin River, West Twin River Watershed (TK01) Fish and Aquatic LifeWest Twin River, West Twin River Watershed (TK01) RecreationWest Twin River, West Twin River Watershed (TK01) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

The West Twin River (Confluence with the East Twin River to Shoto Dam) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data were nearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

Impaired Waters

The West Twin River (Shoto Dam to Melnik Road) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus data were nearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

Impaired Waters

The West Twin River (Melnik Road to Kriwanek Creek) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data nearly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Temperature data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds. This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

Impaired Waters

The West Twin River (Kriwanek Creek to the SE corner S13 T21N R22E) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data clearly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was not meeting this designated use and was considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Amanda Smith

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'.

Reports

Recommendations

Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
2008 - 2009 TP: "May Meet". AU: 9948. Station 10016571. Miles: 5.9 - 15.41. Potential TP delist with new samples during 2020 cycle.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
2013 TP "May Meet". AU: 18050. Station 10034797. Miles 0- 5.9. Potential TP delisting in 2020.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 5A. 2018 TP Results: May Meet. Station: 10034797. AU: 18050.
Water Quality Planning
Project: West Twin River (TK01) Watershed Planning
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Increase groundwater protection work. Groundwater concerns are what drew Manitowoc County to focus on the West Twin.
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Increase funding for proper abandonment of unused wells.
Easement/Buffer
In Manitowoc County’s portion of the watershed, establish 600 more acres of conservation buffers.
Monitoring Ecosystem
Assess culvert placement in the watershed to determine if culverts are impeding fish migration.
Monitor or Assess Watershed Condition
All lakes in the West Twin River Watershed (except Lilly Lake) collect updated water quality data to assess the current overall lake health. These data could be collected by Citizen Lake Monitors.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Accept citizen monitoring data (or data from other sources) into the WDNR system as credible data and increase citizen monitoring programs.
Engage Volunteers in Monitoring/Restoration
Establish and support more watershed groups through outreach and capacity grants.
Information and Education
Increase citizens’ watershed awareness, understanding and stewardship.
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Conduct an inventory of unused wells.
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Increase private well testing.
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
Provide guidance to the City of Two Rivers in fulfilling its MS4 permit requirements.
Wastewater Monitoring, Management
Address the spreading of industrial waste from cheese and packing plants.
Monitor Fish Tissue
WDNR staff should analyze resident fish from selected waters for PCB and mercury contamination.
Monitor Baseline Survey
Conduct assessment monitoring on streams in the West Twin River watershed (TK01) to further define nonpoint source problems. Assessment monitoring should include stream habitat surveys (Simonson et al., 1993) to help identify stream segments that are degraded because of the lack of adequate buffers and vegetative filter strips. This information will help guide CREP, the Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) Program, and other conservation funding programs to the areas of greatest need.

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

West Twin River is located in the West Twin River watershed which is 180.11 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (73%), forest (9%) and a mix of suburban (8%) and other uses (10%). This watershed has 360.91 stream miles, 1,898.59 lake acres and 10,189.53 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.

Natural Community

West Twin River is considered a Cool-Warm Mainstem 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.

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