Fish and Aquatic Life
Spring (Dorn) Creek Six-mile-long Dorn Creek originates in the town of Springfield (T8N, R8E, S13) and flows southeast through agricultural lands and Governor Nelson State Park before meeting Six Mile Creek. The stream drains 12.7 square miles that are 78 percent agricultural and 16 percent wetland. Wetlands adjacent to the creek provide wildlife habitat and spawning for northern pike. The creek supports a mainly tolerant warm water forage fishery. Two intolerant species are also known to inhabit the creek--the Northern Redbelly Dace and Pearl Dace (WDNR 1996b).
Rock River Water Quality Management Plan, Lower Rock River Appendix. WT-668-2002. South Central Region, WDNR.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Spring Creek is a tributary to Six Mile Creek that drains 12.7 square miles in the southwestern portion of Westport Township. This area includes approximately 325 acres of shallow marsh and sedge meadow located near the mouth of the creek and extending upstream (Dane Cty. Reg. Plann. Comm. 1979a). The areas have remained relatively undisturbed and the state has acquired some of these lands for protection as spawning areas for northern pike and panflsh. The fresh meadow and wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl, pheasants, rabbits, deer, and furbearers. Hunters use the area frequently. The waters of Spring Creek are moderately high in chloride, indicating a pollution source, most likely livestock- related. The creek has a high sediment load, causing heavy silting problems in many areas. The fishery is limited to forage species, panflsh, and spawning northern pike. Diversity could be increased by improving soil conservation practices within the watershed. Access is available at four road crossings and at a small boat launch on state property at North Shore Bay Drive. Fish species: central mudminnow, common carp, golden shiner, northern redbelly dace, bluntnose and fathead minnow, creek chub, pearl dace, white sucker, black and yellow bullhead, banded killifish, brook stickleback, and Johnny darter.
Spring Creek (Dorn Creek) (Westport Township) -T8N, R9E, Sec. 28, Surface acres = 7.3, Length = 6 miles, Stream order = II, Gradient = 21.6 ft/mile, Base discharge = 3.5 cfs.
From: Day, Elizabeth A.; Grzebieniak, Gayle P.; Osterby, Kurt M.; and Brynildson, Clifford L., 1985. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Dane County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
The Dorn Creek watershed is located northwest of Madison, Wisconsin, in a primarily agricultural region. Based on USGS mapping (USGS1983), five major sub-watersheds (A through E) have been identified (Fig. 1). The watershed drains approximately 32.9 square kilometers, of which 16 percent are wetlands and 78 percent are agricultural land (WDNR, 1996). Dorn creek contributes ~ 7% of the annual surface flow into Lake Mendota. The main stream channel is approximately 13 kilometers long, of which roughly 7 kilometers are perennially wet. Over its length the stream drops approximately 57 meters (excluding a very steep portion at the very top of the watershed) giving an average slope of 0.44 %.
The lower portion of the watershed is significantly less steep: 14 meters of drop over the 7 km of perennially flowing stream gives an average slope of 0.19 %. Base flow is provided by a number of small springs, and is on the order of 0.03 cubic meters per second at the lower end of the study area. The creek flows through two wetlands having areas of approximately 0.5 and 1.0 square kilometers. The larger is the Dorn Creek Marsh, located at the bottom of the watershed (downstream of the research sites). There is perennial flow in the channel beginning just upstream of the smaller (upstream) wetland. The area receives an average annual precipitation of 840 mm (30 year average 1971 2000, from Midwest Regional Climate Center).
USGS In-stream sediment transport & deposition. Chin H. Wu, Kenneth W. Potter, John A. Hoopes, Justin S. Roger, and Evan A. Murdock
Author Aquatic Biologist
The 2018 assessments of Dorn Creek (miles 0-1) showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one 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
The 2018 assessments of Dorn Creek (miles 1-6.46) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded the 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). Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Dorn Creek (805600), mile 1 to headwaters, was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Temperature data met 2016 WisCALM listing criteria 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 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.
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|805600||Dorn Creek||133533||Spring (Dorn) Creek - Meffert Road||5/16/1995||10/24/2016||Map||Data|
|805600||Dorn Creek||133065||Dorn Creek at Cth Q Bridge||5/16/1995||9/30/2019||Map||Data|
|805600||Dorn Creek||133534||Spring (Dorn) Creek - Cth K||4/26/1994||10/13/2015||Map||Data|
Dorn Creek is located in the Six Mile and Pheasant Branch Creeks watershed which is 119.45 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (45%), suburban (15.70%) and a mix of open (13.20%) and other uses (26.00%). This watershed has 145.61 stream miles, 9,959.08 lake acres and 2,759.80 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.