Fish and Aquatic Life
The Crystal River is the outlet to the Chain O'Lakes at Long Lake and extends for 13 miles. All of the stream above Cary Pond (near Waupaca) is classified as Class II trout stream. The river is known for both good fishing and canoeing. A five mile reach of the river has improved due to a carp control project. There is some concern that heavy use by canoe-type boats could disturb the streambed and increase turbidity in the water. In addition to waters supplied by the lakes, several named tributaries feed into the river, including Emmons, Naylor, Hartman, Allen, and Radley creeks.
From: Bougie, Cheryl A., Kosmond, Lisa D, and Watermolen, Dreux J. 1996. Wolf River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cheryl Bougie
Crystal River (miles 0-2.43) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and temperature sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
The 2018 assessments of the Crystal River (miles 2.43-12.2) showed continued impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Crystal River (258200) from headwaters to CTH E was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; temperature data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Author Aaron Larson
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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10042819||Crystal River at Rural Rd ||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10036291||Crystal River - Area of Open Water||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10042816||Crystal River at Sanders Rd||5/22/2014||10/18/2016||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10019361||Crystal River -- Access||4/9/2010||4/9/2010||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10042948||Crystal River DS Rural Road||5/22/2014||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||693118||Crystal River at Hwy 22||5/12/1994||10/18/2016||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10044684||Crystal River US Cty Hwy E and Cary Millpond||1/1/2015||10/19/2016||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10035971||Crystal River - Area of Open Water||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10042817||Crystal River at CTH K||5/22/2014||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|261000||Unnamed||10042818||Crystal River at HWY 22||8/28/2017||8/28/2017||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10042818||Crystal River at HWY 22||8/28/2017||8/28/2017||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10019362||Crystal River -- Access||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10016457||Crystal River - Shadow Lake Road||10/27/1993||10/19/2016||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10017213||Crystal River - Crystal Rd. (30 Feet Above Bridge)||6/4/1980||8/28/2017||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||693119||Crystal River at Sanders Road||1/12/1995||12/19/1995||Map||Data|
|258200||Crystal River||10035654||Crystal River - Area of Open Water||Map||Data|
Crystal River is located in the Waupaca River watershed which is 290.77 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (43.70%), agricultural (30.40%) and a mix of grassland (14%) and other uses (11.80%). This watershed has 231.34 stream miles, 2,456.10 lake acres and 14,124.68 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.