Fish and Aquatic Life
East Branch Richland Creek, located in southeast Crawford County, flows for 2.5 miles in a
southwesterly direction before reaching Richland Creek just south of Plugtown. This stream
has a gradient of 61 feet per mile and drains steep forested hillsides with some agriculture
found in the valleys. East Branch Richland Creek is not a classified trout stream.
The most recent biological survey, conducted in July 1989, documented brown trout and
numerous minnow species. East Branch Richland Creek was last stocked in the fall of 1989
with brook trout. A fish and habitat survey of East Branch Richland Creek should be
conducted to determine the success of the brook trout stocking and a possible change in
stream classification. Access to this stream is from three road crossings.
Richland Creek, located in southeast Crawford County, flows for 9 miles in a southerly
direction before reaching the Wisconsin River near Boscobel. This stream has a gradient of 55
feet per mile and drains steep forested hills with agriculture found mainly in the valleys.
Richland Creek is a Class II trout stream for its entire length upstream of HWY 60.
The most recent biological survey, conducted in 1965, documented stocked brook, rainbow,
and brown trout as well as northern pike, grass pickerel and rock bass. Some natural
reproduction of brown trout was noted. Many springs were observed along the entire length of
Richland Creek during this survey. A fish and habitat survey of Richland Creek should be
conducted to update the nearly 40 year old data. The WDNR owns a portion of Richland
Creek and a fishing easement. Anglers have reported excellent brown trout fishing since instream
habitat structures were installed in 1996. Richland Creek has been stocked yearly with
brown trout since the early 1960s. Access to this stream is from five road crossings, the
WDNR owned land and WDNR easement property.
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
Richland Creek, located in southeast Crawford County, flows for 9 miles in a southerly direction before reaching the Wisconsin River near Boscobel. This stream has a gradient of 55 feet per mile and drains steep forested hills with agriculture found mainly in the valleys. Richland Creek is a Class II trout stream for its entire length upstream of HWY 60.
The most recent biological survey, conducted in 1965, documented stocked brook, rainbow, and brown trout as well as northern pike, grass pickerel and rock bass. Some natural reproduction of brown trout was noted. Many springs were observed along the entire length of Richland Creek during this survey. A fish and habitat survey of Richland Creek should be conducted to update the nearly 40 year old data. The DNR owns a portion of Richland Creek and a fishing easement. Anglers have reported excellent brown trout fishing since in-stream habitat structures were installed in 1996. Richland Creek has been stocked yearly with brown trout since the early 1960s. Access to this stream is from five road crossings, the DNR owned land and DNR easement property.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Richland Creek (WBIC 1206000) 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
Richland Creek was recently evaluated during the ten-year period of 2009 through 2018 for results that were reported to the USEPA for the 2020 Clean Water Act condition report. The waterbody is considered impaired, or in poor condition for designated uses which include the quality of fish and aquatic life, recreational use, and public health and welfare (fish consumption and related). Pollutants or problems encountered during sampling (impairments) are determined based on water quality standards outlined in Wisconsin 2020 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Assessment results show water conditions that are potentially harmful for Aquatic Life use due to values for total phosphorus that fall into the range expected for an aquatic community in poor health, therefore this water is listed as impaired.
Assessment results during the 2020 listing cycle show total phosphorus levels too high for healthy aquatic communities like plants, fish and bugs, according to 2020 WisCALM standards. New temperature and available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list in 2020.
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|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10011315||Richland Creek - Richland Creek Station #3 180m Down From Dnr Gate||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10013707||Richland Creek Station 3-1965-Sw 1/4 Ne 1/4 Sec. 9||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10013709||Richland Creek Stations 1 And 2-1970-Sta. 1-Marietta Valley Bridge-Sta. 2-Spencer Hill Bridge.||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10017270||Richland Creek-1st Riffle Upstream On Dnr Land||10/28/2004||10/28/2004||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10022328||Richland Creek St. 3 - 140m Downstream Of Machinery Crossing||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10022329||Richland Creek St. 4 - 100m Downstream Of Childs Hollow Rd. Bridge||8/8/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10044917||Richland Creek at Byers Road||5/26/2016||6/1/2021||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10011314||Richland Creek - Richland Creek Station #2 Road Crossing On Public Easement||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10013705||Richland Creek Station 1-1965-Se 1/4 Nw 1/4 Sec. 14-Starts 50 Yds. Upstream Of Mouth.||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10013706||Richland Creek Station 2-1965-Sw 1/4 Sw 1/4 Sec. 10||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10044131||Richland Creek - Childs Hollow Rd. bridge||7/9/2015||7/9/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10050934||Richland Creek - NRSA Site||9/19/2018||9/19/2018||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10041779||Richland Creek 100 M Below Beyer Rd Bridge Crossing||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10011313||Richland Creek - Richland Creek Station #1 30m Downstream From Bridge||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1206000||Richland Creek||10013708||Richland Creek Station 4-1965-Sw 1/4 Sw 1/4 Sec. 4||Map||Data|
Richland Creek is located in the Knapp Creek watershed which is 158.64 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (53.60%), grassland (23%) and a mix of agricultural (13.60%) and other uses (9.90%). This watershed has 395.31 stream miles, 126.86 lake acres and 6,498.05 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.