Impaired Water - Apple Branch (Apple Branch)
Lafayette County, Wisconsin
SP03
899800
4.90 - 7.67
2.77
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
TMDL approved 2005. A 2007 survey showed low numbers of trout and the presence of eurythermal and tolerant fish species. These fisheries assemblages indicate that Apple Branch is likely a coolwater transitional stream. High water from August 2007 to July 2008 inundated the lower 1/3 of the stream. As a result, numbers of northern pike made their way upstream for spawning. Many yearling pike were found in these lower reaches in September, 2008 and may have impacted the trout and forage community. As in 1991, the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (Hilsenhoff, 1987) showed good water quality. The macroinvertebrate IBI (Weigel, 2003) indicated fair to poor habitat and land use. Although Apple Branch shows promise as a cool-cold water fishery, overall environmental quality in the upper 1/3 of the stream has not changed and this segment of the stream should remain on the state’s list of impaired waters.
Listing Details
Pollutant
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Elevated Water Temperature
Current Use
WWFF - Warmwater Forage Fishery
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
Coldwater - aquatic life, spawning
303(d) ID
10
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
Apple Branch is a spring fed class II trout stream which flows easterly into Whiteside Creek. The upper 3 miles is on the state’s list of impaired waters. The 1967 Surface Waters of Lafayette County noted that the stream “abounds with forage fishes of varied species” and that “rainbow and brown trout are common and brook trout are present”. In 1980, the fish manager demonstrated that Apple Branch supported low numbers of brown trout and that natural reproduction was unlikely (Marshall, 1991). A 1990 macroinvertebrate survey showed “good” water quality.

In 1991, poor trout survival, bank erosion, turbidity, and high temperatures were listed as causes of impairment. Resource objectives for the priority watershed project were to improve trout fisheries and stream habitat, and reduce erosion by greater than 50%, reduce organic loading, and improve wildlife habitat (Marshall, 1991). A 2001 comprehensive fish survey showed the presence of carp, bigmouth buffalo, and white suckers as well as tolerant warm water forage fish, resembling a degraded system (Sims, pers. comm). The 2001 survey data may indicate that the system is not meeting these objectives.

A 2007 survey showed low numbers of trout and the presence of eurythermal and tolerant fish species. These fisheries assemblages indicate that Apple Branch is likely a coolwater transitional stream. High water from August 2007 to July 2008 inundated the lower 1/3 of the stream. As a result, numbers of northern pike made their way upstream for spawning. Many yearling pike were found in these lower reaches in September, 2008 and may have impacted the trout and forage community. As in 1991, the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (Hilsenhoff, 1987) showed good water quality. The macroinvertebrate IBI (Weigel, 2003) indicated fair to poor habitat and land use. Although Apple Branch shows promise as a cool-cold water fishery, overall environmental quality in the upper 1/3 of the stream has not changed and this segment of the stream should remain on the state’s list of impaired waters.
Date
3/27/2010

Impaired Water Notes
Apple Branch (899800, miles 4.9-7.67) is a part of the Sugar-Pecatonica River Basin and the Sugar-Pecatonica River Basin TMDLs for sediment were approved by the USEPA August 24, 2005.
Date
4/25/2005