Impaired Water - Searles Creek (Searles Creek)
Green County, Wisconsin
SP12
879500
0.00 - 10.33
10.33
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
On 2006 303d list, TMDL approved 2005.
This nine-mile, low gradient stream flows eastward and joins the Sugar River at the north end of Decatur Lake. The
creek's watershed is a broad, flat-bottomed basin, which is heavily tilled for crops. A great deal of the stream has been
straightened because of ditching. Trees and vegetation along the shore buffer some areas, while other areas are grazed
right down to the shoreline. A wetland area just upstream from the confluence with Decatur Lake provides habitat for
wildlife. The existing use as a warm water sport fishery is mainly due to fish species migrating upstream from Decatur
Lake seeking better habitat than which can be found in the lake itself. As part of a structured habitat survey in 2002,
WDNR aquatic biologists observed that the stream bottom had extensive (greater than 60% silt and clay) fines in
riffles and runs. According to the WDNR habitat ratings, this is considered poor habitat. A 2002 fish assessment at
CTH F showed a variety of warm water forage species dominated by bluntnose minnow. The results from a 2002
macroinvertebrate assessment describes this stream as "good" water quality with some organic pollution (HBI =
5.089). Searles Creek is listed on the state's list of impaired (303d) waters because of habitat degradation caused by
primarily sedimentation.


This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data may meet 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use; however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category).
Listing Details
Pollutant
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Listed For
Fish and Aquatic Life
Impairments
Degraded Habitat
Current Use
WWFF - Warmwater Forage Fishery
Listing Status
TMDL Approved
Attainable Use
WWSF - Warmwater Sport Fishery
Priority
Not Applicable
Designated Use
WWSF - Warmwater Sport Fishery
303(d) ID
421
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
This nine-mile, low gradient stream flows eastward and joins the Sugar River at the north end of Decatur Lake. The creek's watershed is a broad, flat-bottomed basin, which is heavily tilled for crops. A great deal of the stream has been straightened because of ditching. Trees and vegetation along the shore buffer some areas, while other areas are grazed right down to the shoreline. A wetland area just upstream from the confluence with Decatur Lake provides habitat for wildlife. The existing use as a warm water sport fishery is mainly due to fish species migrating upstream from Decatur Lake seeking better habitat than which can be found in the lake itself. As part of a structured habitat survey in 2002, WDNR aquatic biologists observed that the stream bottom had extensive (greater than 60% silt and clay) fines in riffles and runs. According to the WDNR habitat ratings, this is considered poor habitat. A 2002 fish assessment at CTH F showed a variety of warm water forage species dominated by bluntnose minnow. The results from a 2002 macroinvertebrate assessment describes this stream as "good" water quality with some organic pollution (HBI = 5.089). Searles Creek is listed on the state's list of impaired (303d) waters because of habitat degradation caused by primarily sedimentation.
Date
6/28/2005

Impaired Water Notes
Searles Creek (879500, miles 0-10.33) is part of the Sugar-Pecatonica River Basin and the sediment TMDLs were approved by the USEPA August 24, 2005.
Date
4/25/2005