Fish and Aquatic Life
Brush Creek begins in south central Monroe County and then flows into north central Vernon
County. This stream flows in a southeasterly direction for 10.2 miles before reaching the
Kickapoo River at Ontario. Brush Creek has a gradient of 42 feet per mile and drains one of the
most intensely farmed areas of the Middle Kickapoo River Watershed. Brush Creek is a
Class III trout stream for 7.7 miles in Monroe County and non-trout in Vernon County.
The most recent survey, conducted in 1990, documented brown trout and numerous forage
fish species. The stream bottom is dominated by sand and silt with gravel found in the
upstream reaches. In-stream cover consisted primarily of woody debris and deep pools.
Streambank erosion is common along much of Brush Creek, some of which is naturally
occurring and some of which is exacerbated by overgrazing of livestock. Brush Creek should
be resurveyed after conclusion of the Middle Kickapoo River Priority Watershed Project in
2004. WDNR records indicate Brush Creek has been stocked yearly since 1961 with brown
trout. Access to Brush Creek is from six road crossings.
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
Brush Creek, T14N, R2W, Section 2. Surface Acres = 6.1, Miles = 2.5, Gradient = 15.4 feet per mile.
A clear, hard water tributary of the Kickapoo River that flows in an easterly direction and joins the river in Ontario. Forage fish species appear abundant, including white sucker, common shiner, creek chub, central stoneroller and suckermouth minnow. The stream has primarily sand bottom with small amounts of silt, gravel, and hardpan. Four road crossings provide access. Muskrat are significant, and a small number of migrant puddle ducks use the water.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W. 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Brush Creek (WBIC 1198300) 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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10015876||Brush Creek - 75 Yds. Above 17th Ave. Bridge -Road To Brush Creek Campground||4/25/1990||4/25/1990||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10044680||Brush Creek at Driveway off of Nevada Rd||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10013980||Brush Creek Station3-1983-Se 1/4 Sw 1/4 S31-Starts At Omnibus Road Bridge Crossing.||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10013977||Brush Creek Station 1-1962-Ne 1/4 Se 1/4 S36-Starts At Hwy 33 Bridge Crossing.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10013978||Brush Creek Station 2-1962-Nw 1/4 Ne 1/4 S36-Starts At Confluence With Heuser Valley Creek.||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10030823||Brush Creek near Nevada Rd||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10033408||Brush Creek at 17th drive 200 ft. DS of bridge L. Kampf property ||1/6/2000||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10015865||Brush Creek - 75 Yds Above Bridge On 17th Ave. -Road To Brush Creek Campground||4/21/1994||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1198300||Brush Creek||10013979||Brush Creek Station 3-1962-Sw 1/4 Se 1/4 S31-By Church||Map||Data|
Brush Creek is located in the Middle Kickapoo River watershed which is 246.53 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (55.20%), grassland (24.30%) and a mix of agricultural (15.30%) and other uses (5.20%). This watershed has 585.18 stream miles, 145.14 lake acres and 3,360.69 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.