0 - 12.10
Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
Elevated Water Temperature
Fish and Aquatic Life
Caves Creek is a small stream of moderate gradient tributary to Westfield Creek. The stream originates in spring ponds and marshland north of Lawrence and flows generally southeasterly. Forage fishes and brook trout constitute the fishery. The water is clear over sand and gravel in the headwaters and sand and silt downstream. Access is possible from several town, county and state roads, and along 1.87 miles of land owned publicly, or in permanent easement.
Caves Creek, T16N, R9E, Section 5, Surface Acres = 13.8, Miles = 11.4, Gradient = 9.3 feet per mile
From: Poff, Ronald J. and Threinen, C.W., 1963. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Marquette County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The 2018 assessments of Caves Creek showed impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
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.
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|
|166100||Caves Creek||10053882||Caves Creek at Fishery Area N of Dyke Avenue||6/13/2020||7/31/2021||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10009760||Caves Creek - CTH E (#1)||9/19/2002||7/14/2005||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||393132||Caves Creek at7th Avenue||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10028957||Caves Creekdownstream at 5th||6/26/2008||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10041323||Caves Creek at Dyke Ave||1/1/2015||11/16/2017||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10041817||Caves Creek at Cty CH (north of Westfield)||7/14/2005||10/18/2021||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10022524||Caves Creek-Easment||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10033833||Caves Creek downstream CTH CH||7/19/2011||6/7/2019||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10017030||Caves Creek at 5th Ave (DS of culvert)||5/13/1999||8/3/2021||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10017031||Caves Creek - 30 Feet Downstream Of 6th Avenue||11/5/1998||11/5/1998||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10041327||Caves Creek at 7th Ct||Map||Data|
|166100||Caves Creek||10022526||Caves Creek - Cth Ch||Map||Data|
Caves Creek is located in the Montello River watershed which is 134.50 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (46.40%), agricultural (27.10%) and a mix of wetland (15.30%) and other uses (11.00%). This watershed has 156.65 stream miles, 768.66 lake acres and 11,663.70 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.
Caves Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem 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 (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent,
mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to 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.