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Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Warm Mainstem
Fish and Aquatic Life
Scotch Creek is eighteen miles long and is the largest tributary to the Big Rib River. The first 3.8 miles upstream from its mouth support a warm water sport fishery with small mouth bass and northern pike present. The creek supports a warm water forage fishery from 3.8-10 miles upstream. Biotic index results indicate some organic loading to the stream. Very high levels of total phosphorous were recorded on three occasions averaging 0.2 mg/L.
The Village of Edgar discharges to Scotch Creek where the stream is list in Administrative Code as a limited forage fishery.
Water resource problems include flashy stream conditions, severe flooding, sedimentation, low dissolved oxygen conditions, bacterial problems, organic pollution, and excess nutrient loading from agricultural practices.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Scotch Creek is classified as a warm water sport and limited forage fishery (noncontinuous, not supporting a balanced community). Nutrient rich, it supports dense aquatic plant growth, causing wi ! e diurnal dissolved oxygen fluctuation in the summer. Biotic index scores revealed poor to very poor water quality. The upper portion of the creek is affected by NPS runoff from pasture lands.
Two facilities discharge wastewater effluent to Scotch Creek. The Edgar WWTP dischar es at an outfall just below County H. Mid-Whey Powder discharges its effluent 1.5 miles below Edgar's discharge.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The 2018 assessments of Scotch Creek (miles 0-3.8) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data 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
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|
|1455600||Scotch Creek||10032703||Scotch Creek below Soda Creek mouth||Map||Data|
|1455600||Scotch Creek||373166||Scotch Creek at 4th Street||6/23/1989||10/27/2015||Map||Data|
|1455600||Scotch Creek||10032704||Scotch Creek at mouth Marathon City||Map||Data|
Scotch Creek is located in the Lower Rib River watershed which is 129.82 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (41.30%), forest (25.50%) and a mix of grassland (15.60%) and other uses (17.60%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 4,627.66 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.
Scotch Creek is considered a Cool-Cold 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.
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.