Fish and Aquatic Life
The West Fork of the Little Rib River is a ten-mile stream that empties into the Little Rib River southeast of Little Chicago. The existing stream classification for the upper reaches is a Warm Water Forage Fishery, while the lower reaches are classified as a Warm Water Sport Fishery.
In-stream habitat conditions throughout the West Fork are impacted by bank erosion, lack of fish cover and pools, shallow stream depth, and fine sediment deposition. Woody debris and over hanging vegetation are the predominant types of fish cover in the entire stream.
Low IBI scores were a result of high numbers of omnivore species and low numbers of top carnivore species. Also, the total number of fish in the cold water portion was less than 25, which is less than the minimum necessary to calculate an IBI. The lower reaches will stay at Warm Water Sport Fishery classification due to possible migration of sport fish from the Little Rib River. Trout were present at the upper site, therefore the proposed biological use classification is Class II upstream STH 107 with an unknown potential use classification. Additional fishery surveys should be conducted in the upper reaches to better define the fisheries classification in the upper reaches.
Two fishery survey sites were sampled in 2001 that were previously sampled in 1981. No trout were found during either 1981 or 2001 surveys.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
|1452900||West Fork Little Rib River||10012809||West Fork Little Rib River Mitchell Lane Station 3||Map||Data|
|1452900||West Fork Little Rib River||373348||Little Rib River West Fork - 128 Street||5/12/1980||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1452900||West Fork Little Rib River||10008312||West Fork Little Rib Site 18 - 128th Ave/Sunny Hill Rd||Map||Data|
West Fork Little Rib River is located in the Little Rib River watershed which is 92.44 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (37.40%), agricultural (31.40%) and a mix of grassland (15.40%) and other uses (15.90%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 2,768.75 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.