Fish and Aquatic Life
Plum Creek, located in southern Crawford County, flows in an easterly direction for 5.2 miles
before reaching the Kickapoo River near Wauzeka. This stream has a gradient of 35 feet per
mile and drains forested hillsides and agricultural valleys. Plum Creek is a Class I trout stream
for its entire length and an Exceptional Resource Water, (ERW).
A series of fish and habitat surveys have been conducted on Plum Creek since 1997. Both
brook and brown trout are naturally reproducing and a healthy and diverse forage fish
community inhabits Plum Creek. With the assistance of the Prairie Rod and Gun Club,
restoration of in-stream habitat began in 1999 with the addition of LUNKER structures,
boulder retards, and streambank stabilization. Yearly fish and habitat surveys are tracking
changes to the fish community over time in response to the restoration of in-stream habitat.
Problems noted during recent surveys include beaver activity, streambank grazing of
livestock, streambank erosion, and lack of permanent in-stream cover for adult trout.
Additional in-stream habitat development in Plum Creek would benefit the trout fishery. This
stream would also benefit from the purchase of additional streambank easements from willing
sellers. Continued fish and habitat surveys should be conducted to track fishery population
changes in response to additional in-stream habitat restoration. WDNR records indicate that
Plum Creek was last stocked with brook trout in 1996. The naturally reproducing populations of
brown and brook trout have eliminated the need for further stocking. Access to Plum Creek is from
two road crossings, WDNR owned land and WDNR easements.
From: Ripp, Coreen, Koperski, Cindy and Folstad, Jason. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin. PUBL WT-559-2002. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Plum Creek has high potential to improve from a Class III to a Class II trout stream if
nonpoint source water pollution is controlled. Fisheries Management stocked the stream
with native brook trout in 1989. The stream is included in a state fishery area which is
being developed as land becomes available.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Plum Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
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.
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|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10008995||Plum Creek #1 - Plum Creek Rd Bridge||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10009632||Plum Creek #3a||7/27/1999||10/10/2006||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10008972||Plum Creek #5 - Mill Hill Rd Bridge||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10008983||Plum Creek #3 - Weirich Property||10/21/1999||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10022052||Plum Creek St. 2z - 192m Downstream Of Weirich Lower Fenceline||6/10/2011||10/13/2011||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10022143||Plum Creek - 300m Downstream Weirich Lower Fenceline||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10015739||Plum Creek - 20 Yds Upstream Mill Rd. Bridgeoff Plum Creek Rd.||5/14/1997||10/20/2016||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10008976||Plum Creek #4 - 1395' Upstream Of Weirich Upstream Fenceline||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10008991||Plum Creek #2 - Dnr Land Dwnstrm Fenceline||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10022206||Plum Creek 2y - Approx. 506m Downstream Of Weirich Lower Fenceline (New Parking Area)||3/21/2014||3/21/2014||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10043035||Plum Creek 300 yd S of Plum Creek Rd||6/11/2013||10/27/2019||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||123028||Plum Creek at Plum Creek Rd.||9/20/1999||5/31/2016||Map||Data|
|1182700||Plum Creek||10032026||Plum Creek 0.5 miles N. of 1st jog in Hazen Rd. and 1.0 miles E. of Hwy 27||10/7/2009||8/14/2018||Map||Data|
Plum Creek is located in the Lower Kickapoo River watershed which is 150.21 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (52.80%), grassland (21.20%) and a mix of agricultural (19.60%) and other uses (6.30%). This watershed has 383.20 stream miles, 387.48 lake acres and 3,662.70 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High 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.This water is ranked Medium Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.