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Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm Mainstem
High Phosphorus Levels
Fish and Aquatic Life
The Rubicon River rises in Washington County northeast of Hartford and flows west to the Rock River. Upper reaches have been channelized and adjacent wetlands drained. Rural and urban polluted runoff has affected water quality and instream habitat. Rough fish, particularly carp, dominate the fishery in the river's lower portion (Eagan, 1989). The least darter, a fish on the state's watch or special concern list, has been found (Fago, 1982). No recent monitoring information exists for the river.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Rubicon River (856500) from mouth to Pike Lake was listed for total phosphorus in 2012. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the poor condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
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 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
just DS fish score is excellent. Bugs are good condition. May need repeat fish survey to be completed. Also completed as a fisheries survey as part of the smallmouth bass survey may not have gathered all fish. Would like it to be based on Water Resources survey. Follow-up survey needed
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|
|856500||Rubicon River||10012603||Rubicon River - Cth Ee||10/19/2006||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|856500||Rubicon River||10030368||Rubicon River below Neosho Dam||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|856500||Rubicon River||10048651||Rubicon River 850ft DS Hale Road||6/25/2017||6/18/2019||Map||Data|
|856500||Rubicon River||10038117||Rubicon River at Hale Rd||Map||Data|
Rubicon River is located in the Sinissippi Lake watershed which is 234.93 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (52.50%), grassland (18.70%) and a mix of wetland (14.70%) and other uses (14.20%). This watershed has 458.18 stream miles, 1,917.70 lake acres and 22,222.24 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.
Rubicon River is considered a Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm 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.
Warm Mainstem waters are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with relatively warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.