Ashwaubenon Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks,East River Watershed (LF01, LF02)
Ashwaubenon Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks,East River Watershed (LF01, LF02)
Ashwaubenon Creek (122200)
15 Miles
0 - 15
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-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm 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.
This river is impaired
Low DO, Degraded Habitat
Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
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.
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.
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.

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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


Ashwaubenon Creek, a 15-mile sluggish, hard water stream flowing through agricultural and residential Brown County. Bottom materials consist of rubble, gravel and silt. In the agricultural portion of the stream the stream banks and hills are bare and erosion heavy due to cattle pasturing. In the residential area the stream is filled with litter an debris.

Nonpoint source pollution, point source pollution and urban stormwater runoff singly or in combination cause sedimentation, low dissolved oxygen levels, all of which contribute to poor water quality. Dissolved oxygen and temperature were monitored to document swings in DO due to external factors like rain or plants. Violation of the 5 mg/l state DO standard occurred often. Low or no stream flow during critical summer months also plays a major role in limiting aquatic life in the watershed (Johnson 1996).

Bougie, Cheryl A. 1999. Lower Fox River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Public Review Draft. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1999

Author  Cheryl Bougie

Ashwaubenon Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks,East River Watershed (LF01, LF02) Fish and Aquatic LifeAshwaubenon Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks,East River Watershed (LF01, LF02) RecreationAshwaubenon Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks,East River Watershed (LF01, LF02) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Ashwaubenon Creek (122200) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2008 for Total Phosphorus and Sediment/Total Suspended Solids. The TMDL for these pollutants was approved by the U.S. EPA in 2012. The 2016 listing cycle assessments confirmed a continued impairment due to phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the poor condition category).

Date  2015

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'.



Navigability Determination
Private Claim 35,36 T22N R19E; Ashwaubenon Creek, trib;
Navigability Determination
S6 T22N R20E; Ashwaubenon Creek;
Ashwaubenon Creek TMDL Approved

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 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

Ashwaubenon Creek is located in the East River watershed which is 206.32 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (56%), suburban (21%) and a mix of urban (8%) and other uses (16%). This watershed has 432.18 stream miles, 7,625.39 lake acres and 6,193.00 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked high 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.

Natural Community

Ashwaubenon Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural Communities are identified based on modeled flow and temperature characteristics. Learn More

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