Fish and Aquatic Life
Otter Creek, located in central Crawford County, flows in an easterly direction for five miles before reaching Pine Creek near Steuben. This stream has a gradient of 22 feet per mile and drains forested hillsides and agricultural valleys. Otter Creek is not a classified trout stream.The most recent survey, conducted in 1975, documented numerous forage fish species.
Siltation derived from streambank erosion and streambank pasturing of livestock were noted as reducing available habitat for trout. It was also suggested that Otter Creek's water temperatures may not support a trout fishery. A fish and habitat survey should be conducted of Otter Creek to determine existing conditions. Continuous water temperature monitoring of Otter Creek should also be conducted to determine if the stream is capable of supporting a trout population. WDNR records indicate that Otter Creek has never been stocked. Access to Otter Creek is from WDNR easements and one road crossing.
Author Cynthia Koperski
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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
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|
|1183100||Otter Creek||10013687||Otter Creek Station 3-1975-Sw 1/4 Se 1/4 Sec. 9-Starts 900' Downstream Of Hwy 179 Bridge.||8/9/2012||8/9/2012||Map||Data|
|1183100||Otter Creek||10013686||Otter Creek Station 2-1975-Se 1/4 Se 1/4 Sec. 10.||Map||Data|
|1183100||Otter Creek||10037565||Otter Creek off of Hwy 179||5/24/2012||6/5/2014||Map||Data|
|1183100||Otter Creek||10011175||Otter Creek Station 1||Map||Data|
Otter 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.