Fish and Aquatic Life
Bear Creek, located in northeast Crawford County, flows in a westerly direction for 3.6 miles before reaching the Kickapoo River between Gays Mills and Soldiers Grove. This stream has a gradient of 45 feet per mile and drains forested hillsides and agricultural valleys. Bear Creek is a Class II trout stream for its entire length.
The most recent survey, completed in 1978, documented brown trout and numerous forage fish species. The stream bottom primarily consisted of sand with lesser amounts of gravel,cobble and silt. In-stream cover for adult fish was scarce. A fish and habitat survey of Bear Creek should be conducted to document current conditions. WDNR records indicate that Bear Creek has not been stocked. Access to Bear Creek is from two road crossings.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Bear Creek (WBIC 1186600) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new 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 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|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10016640||Bear Creek - 50 Yds Upstream Of Private Roadbridge Off Cth X.||10/10/1997||8/8/2012||Map||Data|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10013608||Bear Creek Station 4-From Town Road Crossing Located In The Ne 1/4 Ne 1/4 Sec. 18 Downstream 300 Ft(Orchard View Rd)||Map||Data|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10013606||Bear Creek Station 2-From Driveway Located In The Ne 1/4 Nw 1/4 Sec. 13 Downstream.||Map||Data|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10013605||Bear Creek Station 1-Sth 131 Crossing Upstream||5/14/1997||10/20/2016||Map||Data|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10013607||Bear Creek Station 3-From Driveway Located In The Nw1/4 Ne1/4 Sec.18 Downstream 300 Ft.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1186600||Bear Creek||10030073||Bear Creek at Orchardview Road||5/24/2012||10/17/2017||Map||Data|
Bear Creek is located in the Reads and Tainter Creeks watershed which is 135.69 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (47.20%), agricultural (24%) and a mix of grassland (23.30%) and other uses (5.50%). This watershed has 339.00 stream miles, 221.66 lake acres and 1,867.13 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.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.