Fish and Aquatic Life
It is interesting to note that this poor quality stream is actually an ERW. Redfin shiner have been found in Ross Crossing. This 4-mile stream has been ditched to drain cropland. It has the potential to be a cold water trout stream, but currently supports only a warm water forage fishery. The water is turbid and sluggish and local residents report that the stream has dried up during periods of extended drought (Water Resources of Green Co). The fact that it is a tributary to the Sugar River is the primary reason there are forage species and limited numbers of gamefish present (Bush pers. comm).
Author Aquatic Biologist
Bush, D.M., R. Cornelius, D. Engle, and C.L. Brynildson. 1980. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, 2nd Edition. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin.
Originating in the center of Exeter Township, Ross Crossing Creek flows north and east and enters the Sugar
River between Belleville and Dayton. Nearly all of the stream has been ditched to drain its broad, rolling watershed which is primarily tillable cropland. A sizeable area of pastured sedge meadow lies along the lower mile. Bank cover is fairly stable, herbaceous in the upper half and mixed grass and sedges in the lower. The bottom consists of gravel and rubble covered with silt. r~acrophytic vegetation is absent. The water is
turbid and sluggish and local residents report that the stream has dried up during periods of extended drought. One-unnamed tributary enters the creek in Section 10.
Ross Crossing Creek is managed for forage fish, although a few game fish come up from the Sugar River. Smallmouth bass and panfish' have been found in the stream as well as very small numbers of walleyes and brown trout., In addition, the redfin shiner, which is considered rare in Wisconsin, has been collected in the stream. Wildlife values are limited to muskrats, although the adjacent 90 acres of pastured sedge meadow and 20 acres of pastured woodland may provide a marginal habitat for other species. Two road crossings provide public access.
Fish Species: Brown trout, central mudminnow, ston.eroller unspecified, carp, hornyhead chub, common shiner, spotfin shiner, redfin shiner, bluntnose minnow, fathead minnow, creek chub, white sucker, shorthead redhorse, black bullhead, yellow bullhead, brook stickleback, green sunfish, bluegill, smallmouth bass, black crappie, Iowa darter, Johnny darter, walleye.
Surface Acres = 1.7, Length = 3.6 Miles, Gradient = 8 ft./mi., Base Discharge = 3.1 cu. ft./sec.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
From: Poff, Ronald J., and C.W. Threinen, Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison I, 1961.
Flows northeasterly into the Sugar River. Managed for forage fish. Dry in 1958. Ditched through sections 9 and 10, T-4-N, R-8-E. Fifty per cent of the bank is wild undeveloped land or unused farm land. Approximately 203 acres of wetland borders on the stream.
Surface Acres= 1.7, Miles=3.6, Gradient= 5.6' per mile
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The 2018 assessments of Ross Crossing Creek showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, no biological data (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) were available to assess biological impairment. Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
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.
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|
|885600||Ross Crossing Creek||10009347||Ross Crossing Creek Upstream Cth W||5/28/1986||10/2/1987||Map||Data|
|885600||Ross Crossing Creek||10010906||Ross Crossing Creek - Ross Crossing At Hwy 92||11/14/2002||10/9/2015||Map||Data|
|885600||Ross Crossing Creek||10050870||Ross Crossing at Sullivan Land||5/28/2018||5/28/2018||Map||Data|
Ross Crossing Creek is located in the Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River watershed which is 154.01 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (61.50%), grassland (17.30%) and a mix of forest (9.30%) and other uses (11.80%). This watershed has 263.25 stream miles, 96.10 lake acres and 5,963.23 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.