Batavia Creek, North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed (MI05)
Batavia Creek, North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed (MI05)
Batavia Creek (31400)
4.90 Miles
0 - 4.90
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
This river is impaired
High Phosphorus Levels, Elevated Water Temperature
Total Phosphorus, Unknown Pollutant
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.


Batavia Creek, in the North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed, is a 4.94 mile river that falls in Sheboygan County. This river is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2022

Author  Ashley Beranek

Historical Description

Batavia Creek Subwatershed consists of one perennial and three intermittent streams and is located in the central
portion of the watershed.

Water Resources. Batavia Creek originates as a series of intermittent tributaries. These headwaters have undergone
extensive channelization down to STH 28, where it is impounded as the Batavia millpond. Although seasonally
intermittent, the northern headwater tributary contains the major portion of stream flow as the southern portion acts as
an agricultural drainage ditch. The upper banks of the Creek are stable where the stream passes through extensive

Siltation is a problem in Batavia Creek with thick deposits of organic material overlaying the gravel and rubble
substrate. Land use upstream from CTH "SS" includes cattle pastures and a feedlot. These uses contribute to bank
degradation and siltation and likely bacterial contamination during wet weather.

Due to its small stream size and shallow depth, Batavia Creek supports partial-body recreation.

Fisheries. Batavia Creek currently supports a marginal warm-water sport fishery in its lower reaches and a numkr sf
intolerant forage species in the higher gradient sections of the upper one third. Mensive ditching of the headwaters
area, sedimentation and small stream size are the primary factors limiting fisheries potential. Improved land use
management in the upper reaches has the potential of restoring a cold-water fish community.

Wildlife. Extensive channelization, wetland drainage, stream bank erosion caused by cattle and cropping of riparian
areas has reduced the quality of wildlife habitat in this subwatershed. Row crops predominate about 46% of the
riparian zone.

Parks and Recreation. A youth oriented playground and a small community park comprise the 20.5 acres of
recreational open space in this subwatershed. An environmental corridor along a tributary, creek, stream or main river
stem would protect wildlife and fish habitat, increase recreational opportunities, allow for protection of scenic areas
and provide a link between population centers. The restoration of wetlands, or prairies in these areas would
protect and maintain water quality.

Date  1990

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Forestry. The major timber type here is oak. There are 118 acres of land managed under the Forest Tax Lam and
five acres under CRP tree planting contracts.

Solid and Hazardous Waste. While there are no landfills within this drainage system, residents have access to private]!
owned landfills in neighboring areas. However, under new federal regulations the cost of operating small Ian
precipitate closure early in the 1990's. Timely planning is important for Batavia Creek Subwatershed residents as the
design and permitting process for a new landfill requires five years. Long-range solid waste management planning will
safeguard surface and groundwater resource in the North Branch Watershed.

Water Supply. Private wells supply the water needs of residents in this drainage system. The Department regulates
only community or municipal water supply systems and does not have the authority to require well monitoring or
prohibit the use of contaminated water. To ensure safe, potable water supplies, owners of private wells should sa
well water for bacteria and nitrate levels on a yearly basis. Testing kits are available from the State Hygiene
Laboratory or commercial firms at a cost of $7 to $30. Routine inspection of well caps, pumps and casings wit1 alsc
safeguard health of humans and livestock.

Water Regulation and Zoning. Regular program activities occur on a case-by-case basis and are in response to actions
or requests from individuals. These include, protection of wetlands through oversight of county wetland/shoreland
ordinances, and incorporation of watershed objectives into projects requiring water regulation permits.

Wastewater. The Sheboygan County Sanitary District staff is responsible for on-site septic system wastewater
management in this drainage way.

Date  1990

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Batavia Creek, North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed (MI05) Fish and Aquatic LifeBatavia Creek, North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed (MI05) RecreationBatavia Creek, North Branch Milwaukee River Watershed (MI05) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Batavia Creek was evaluated in 2014 and every two-year cycle through 2022. Phosphorus levels were too high for healthy aquatic communities like plants, bugs, and fish. In 2016 this creek was evaluated for temperature the water was too warm for healthy aquatic communities. This water was listed for temperature in 2016 and phosphorus in 2014.

Date  2022

Author  Ashley Beranek


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 monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available. Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.



Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.

Management Goals

Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards 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 or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.


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 was recenty updated.

Grants and Management Projects

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Batavia Creek is located in the North Branch Milwaukee River watershed which is 149.67 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (45.40%), grassland (20.30%) and a mix of wetland (15.50%) and other uses (18.80%). This watershed has 159.81 stream miles, 886.38 lake acres and 13,793.69 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.

Natural Community

Batavia Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

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.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.