Hemlock Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks Watershed (LF02)
Hemlock Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks Watershed (LF02)
Hemlock Creek (122600)
7 Miles
0 - 7
Natural Community
Natural Communities represent analyzed products from a USGS/ WDNR hydrologic model which uses predicted flow and temperatures to generate a specific “natural community” category. Ranges of flow and temperature are associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals.
Cool (Warm Transition) Headwater
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring for this stream. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
Brown, Outagamie
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.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.


Hemlock Creek, a 7-mile stream, is impacted by low flow during the summer months. Streambanks are generally in poor condition and buffering is limited or absent. Crops and livestock dominate the riparian zones (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

Hemlock Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks Watershed (LF02) Fish and Aquatic LifeHemlock Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks Watershed (LF02) RecreationHemlock Creek, Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks Watershed (LF02) Fish Consumption


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 quality monitoring program uses a tiered approach to analyze compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards. The Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2014 is available. See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.


Management Goals

Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards (State Administrative Code NR 102) 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 is in the process of a major update in 2014.

Grants and Management Projects

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Hemlock Creek is located in the Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks watershed which is 113.34 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (64.19%), suburban (12.58%) and a mix of urban (9.06%) and other uses (14.18%). This watershed has 249.05 stream miles, 91.92 lake acres and 884.97 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked high for streams, not available for lakes and high for groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of high. This water is not ranked for pollution runoff.

Hemlock Creek is considered a Cool (Warm Transition) Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

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

Cool (Warm-Transition) Headwaters are small, sometimes intermittent streams with cool to warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are uncommon to absent, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are common to uncommon. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

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