Garners Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03)
Garners Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03)
Garners Creek (127700)
5 Miles
0 - 5
Natural Community
Not Determined
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.
This river is impaired
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
Attainable Use
Designated Use
Default FAL


Garners Creek, is a 5-mile stream with poor water quality. During rain events the creek flow increases and recedes very fast. Stream flows were practically non-existent in July and August (flows approximately 0.2 cfs). A very brief fish survey was conducted in August 1992, in a stretch of creek near Hartjes Road. One large pollution tolerant rough fish (carp) was found in a deep pool area and one tolerant sport fish (green sunfish) was present. The most abundant fish present were tolerant forage species, such as emerald shiners, white suckers, bluntnose minnows and creek chubs. Garners Creek receives a considerable amount of suspended solids and bacteria during runoff events. Dissolved phosphorus and chlorides were slightly elevated on several occasions. Stream habitat was rated fair to poor. Streambank erosion and failure is common with frequent slumping and raw areas form bank flooding. Gravel, rubble and other stable habitat lie under a layer of clay sediment and many of the pools are filled in. Filamentous algae covers the rocks and bottom substrate in shallow exposed areas. In the rural portion of the watershed, row crops border streambanks. Garners Creek travels a short distance through an urban area before entering the Fox River (Gansberg 1995). Additional water quality data (D.O. and temperature data) should be collected from Garners Creek to determine if there are any water quality standards violations and if it should be placed on the 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies. The next update of 303(d) impaired waterbodies is scheduled for the year 2000.

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

Garners Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) Fish and Aquatic LifeGarners Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) RecreationGarners Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) 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'.



Navigability Determination
NE SW S32 T21N R18E; Garners Creek, trib;
Navigability Determination
20N 18E S4; Lake Winnebago, unnamed;

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

Garners Creek is located in the Plum and Kankapot Creeks watershed which is 84.04 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (61.90%), suburban (14.72%) and a mix of forest (6.63%) and other uses (16.75%). This watershed has 193.77 stream miles, 39.36 lake acres and 1,129.50 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.

Garners Creek's natural community is not yet identified under the state’s Natural Community Determinations.

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

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