Impaired Water - Parsons Creek (Parsons Creek)
Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin
UF03
136000
0.00 - 2.58
2.58
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
On 303d list, 2002 listed, updated in 2006. TMDL was completed and approved by EPA (Sept. 28,2007), however the state found the TMDL incomplete and needs to be updated by the state and re-submitted to EPA due to the need to solicit more public comments. Problems include sediment, nutrients, degraded habitat.
This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceed 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category).
Listing Details
Pollutant
Total Phosphorus
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Degraded Habitat
Current Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
303(d) ID
33692-611
Listing Date
4/1/2002
Impaired Water Notes
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) developed TMDLs for total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia, and phosphorus for the Parsons Creek watershed in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. By implementing measures to reduce the sediment and nutrient loadings, the TMDLs will address sedimentation, aquatic toxicity, degraded habitat and hydrologic problems in the watershed.

Parsons Creek is approximately 4.7 miles long, and flows north into the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River (Page 3 of the TMDL). The East Tributary is 3 miles in length, and flows into Parsons Creek. WDNR initially listed the lower 2.58 miles as impaired on the 2004 303(d) list, but during TMDL development, determined that additional upstream sections of the creek were impaired as well. WDNR designated the Hobb’s Wood subwatershed of Parsons Creek as impaired due to sediment and nutrients. This includes two segments, the originally listed Parsons Creek (from 0-2.58 miles) as well as the Parsons Creek segment (from 2.58-3.49 miles) downstream from the junction with the East Tributary (Figure 1 of the TMDL). The upstream portion of Parsons Creek (the Church Road subwatershed, from 3.49-5.68 miles) was listed as impaired due to sediment, as was the East Tributary (from 0.01-1.89 miles). The Parsons Creek watershed has a drainage area of approximately 22 square km.

Land use in the Parsons Creek watershed is mainly agricultural, dominated by row cropping (36%), and alfalfa/pasturing (36%). There are also some forested areas (8%) and quarry (8%). In many locations, heavy pasturing and cropping practices adjacent to stream banks are causing sediment runoff to the stream. The upper portion of the creek (Church Road subwatershed) has been tiled and drained for farming. Relatively steep slopes are present, contributing to erosion to the creek (Page 5 of the TMDL). The lower portion of Parsons Creek has been altered as well, although there are portions that contain good habitat. However, upstream water quality has impacted even these reaches (Page 4 of the TMDL). The East Tributary flows near two quarries, which may be impacting the hydrology. Run-off is also an issue in this segment (Page 5 of the TMDL). The pollutants of concern are TSS, ammonia, and phosphorus.

There are two point sources located on or discharging to the watershed. Five quarries are located in the watershed, two of which are permitted under general NPDES permits for process wastewater discharge. These two facilities have TSS limits in the permits, and have been in compliance with the permits. WDNR does not consider these facilities to be significant contributors to the TSS loads (Page 10 of the TMDL). Nonpoint sources identified in the TMDL submittal as contributing to the impairment operations. Livestock operations in the watershed are also likely contributors of nutrients to the waterbodies, as well as run-off from rowcrops.

Sediment (specifically TSS) is the pollutant that must be addressed to attain the designated use. Fine sediment covers the stream substrate and fills in pools, reducing the suitable habitat for fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Filling-in of pools reduces the amount of available cover for juvenile and adult fish. Sedimentation of riffle areas reduces the reproductive success of fish by reducing the exposed gravel substrate necessary for appropriate spawning conditions. Streambank erosion also widens the streams, resulting in reduced cover for fish. Sedimentation also increases turbidity, reducing light penetration necessary for photosynthesis in aquatic plants. Increased turbidity also reduces the feeding efficiency of visual predators and filter feeders, and lowers the respiratory capacity of aquatic invertebrates by clogging their gill surfaces.
Date
3/20/2011

Impaired Water Notes
To address the aquatic toxicity impairments, WDNR determined that phosphorus and ammonia are the pollutants that must be addressed to attain the designated use (Page 11 of the TMDL). Phosphorus enters the stream mainly bound to soil particles that transport it during runoff from overgrazed pastures adjacent to the stream channel. Phosphorus and ammonia can enter the system through nutrient rich manure spread within close proximity (e.g. 30 feet) of the stream, as well as from livestock in the stream.

Phosphorus loading can cause eutrophication of streams and reservoirs, and is characterized by excessive plant growth, dense algal growth, and higher fluctuations of DO levels due to algal oxygen production during photosynthesis, consumption of oxygen during respiration at night, and bacterial consumption of oxygen in the decaying process of dead algae and plant material. Severe dissolved oxygen fluctuations stress fish and aquatic insects. Depleted dissolved oxygen levels that fall below 6 mg/l are not suitable for the survival of salmonids and other cold water fish species (Page 13 of the TMDL). Ammonia can be toxic to fish and other biota, depending on the pH and temperature.
Date
3/21/2011

Impaired Water Notes
TMDL was approved by EPA on September 28, 2007. However, revisions to the TMDL are necessary and the TMDL will be revised and open for more public comment by the State of WI. A memo will be submitted to EPA informing them of the changes to the TMDL.
Date
6/10/2009

 
Pollutant
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Degraded Habitat
Current Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
303(d) ID
33692-611
Listing Date
4/1/2002
Impaired Water Notes
Sediment (specifically TSS) is the pollutant that must be addressed to attain the designated use. Fine sediment covers the stream substrate and fills in pools, reducing the suitable habitat for fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Filling-in of pools reduces the amount of available cover for juvenile and adult fish. Sedimentation of riffle areas reduces the reproductive success of fish by reducing the exposed gravel substrate necessary for appropriate spawning conditions. Streambank erosion also widens the streams, resulting in reduced cover for fish. Sedimentation also increases turbidity, reducing light penetration necessary for photosynthesis in aquatic plants. Increased turbidity also reduces the feeding efficiency of visual predators and filter feeders, and lowers the respiratory capacity of aquatic invertebrates by clogging their gill surfaces.

To address the aquatic toxicity impairments, WDNR determined that phosphorus and ammonia are the pollutants that must be addressed to attain the designated use (Page 11 of the TMDL). Phosphorus enters the stream mainly bound to soil particles that transport it during runoff from overgrazed pastures adjacent to the stream channel. Phosphorus and ammonia can enter the system through nutrient rich manure spread within close proximity (e.g. 30 feet) of the stream, as well as from livestock in the stream.

Phosphorus loading can cause eutrophication of streams and reservoirs, and is characterized by excessive plant growth, dense algal growth, and higher fluctuations of DO levels due to algal oxygen production during photosynthesis, consumption of oxygen during respiration at night, and bacterial consumption of oxygen in the decaying process of dead algae and plant material. Severe dissolved oxygen fluctuations stress fish and aquatic insects. Depleted dissolved oxygen levels that fall below 6 mg/l are not suitable for the survival of salmonids and other cold water fish species (Page 13 of the TMDL). Ammonia can be toxic to fish and other biota, depending on the pH and temperature.
Date
3/21/2011

Impaired Water Notes
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) developed TMDLs for total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia, and phosphorus for the Parsons Creek watershed in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. By implementing measures to reduce the sediment and nutrient loadings, the TMDLs will address sedimentation, aquatic toxicity, degraded habitat and hydrologic problems in the watershed. Table 1 below identifies the waterbody segment covered by the TMDL submittal as it appears on the Wisconsin 2006 303(d) list. WDNR also determined that additional segments were impaired by phosphorus, ammonia, and sediment, and developed TMDLs for those segments as well.

Parsons Creek is approximately 4.7 miles long, and flows north into the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River (Page 3 of the TMDL). The East Tributary is 3 miles in length, and flows into Parsons Creek. WDNR initially listed the lower 2.58 miles as impaired on the 2004 303(d) list, but during TMDL development, determined that additional upstream sections of the creek were impaired as well. WDNR designated the Hobb’s Wood subwatershed of Parsons Creek as impaired due to sediment and nutrients. This includes two segments, the originally listed Parsons Creek (from 0-2.58 miles) as well as the Parsons Creek segment (from 2.58-3.49 miles) downstream from the junction with the East Tributary (Figure 1 of the TMDL). The upstream portion of Parsons Creek (the Church Road subwatershed, from 3.49-5.68 miles) was listed as impaired due to sediment, as was the East Tributary (from 0.01-1.89 miles). The Parsons Creek watershed has a drainage area of approximately 22 square km.

Land use in the Parsons Creek watershed is mainly agricultural, dominated by row cropping (36%), and alfalfa/pasturing (36%). There are also some forested areas (8%) and quarry (8%). In many locations, heavy pasturing and cropping practices adjacent to stream banks are causing sediment runoff to the stream. The upper portion of the creek (Church Road subwatershed) has been tiled and drained for farming. Relatively steep slopes are present, contributing to erosion to the creek (Page 5 of the TMDL). The lower portion of Parsons Creek has been altered as well, although there are portions that contain good habitat. However, upstream water quality has impacted even these reaches (Page 4 of the TMDL). The East Tributary flows near two quarries, which may be impacting the hydrology. Run-off is also an issue in this segment (Page 5 of the TMDL). The pollutants of concern are TSS, ammonia, and phosphorus.

There are two point sources located on or discharging to the watershed (Page 10 of the TMDL). Five quarries are located in the watershed, two of which are permitted under general NPDES permits for process wastewater discharge. These two facilities have TSS limits in the permits, and have been in compliance with the permits. WDNR does not consider these facilities to be significant contributors to the TSS loads (Page 10 of the TMDL). Nonpoint sources identified in the TMDL submittal as contributing to the impairment operations. Livestock operations in the watershed are also likely contributors of nutrients to the waterbodies, as well as run-off from rowcrops.
Date
3/20/2011

Impaired Water Notes
TMDL was approved by EPA on September 28, 2007. However, revisions to the TMDL WLA are necessary and the TMDL will be revised and open for more public comment by the State of WI. A memo will be submitted to EPA informing them of the changes to the TMDL.
Date
6/10/2009

Impaired Water Notes
New data. Sediment is a pollutant added as a result of monitoring.
Date
4/1/2006