Fish and Aquatic Life
This 4 mile long stream that is a tributary to the Conley-Lewis Branch is with improving water quality and lots of potential as a fishery resource. It is currently classified as a cold water stream for the first 2.9 miles up from the mouth. A 1998 trout evaluation survey found clean gravel/rubble riffle areas interspersed with deep runs with hard bottoms (Van Dyke, 1998). An experimental stocking of brown trout and brook trout subsequently continued through 2001. The stream currently sustains a good population of large brown trout and is popular with local anglers.
In 1999 the DNR Division of Lands authorized the acquisition of easements along the stream as a part of the Statewide Streambank Protection Program (Miller, S. memo). To date, two miles of easement have been obtained A general sportfish survey conducted on the stream in 2001 found brown trout, brook trout, and more importantly, evidence of brook trout reproduction. The stocking of brown trout will likely be discontinued if reproduction of brook trout continues.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Approximately three miles of Ley Creek are classified as Class II trout stream (WDNR, 1980), but we know nothing about the stream's water quality. We suspect the reconstruction of State Trunk Highway 191 may have resulted in significant amounts of sediment reaching the stream.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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
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Ley Creek is located in the Upper East Branch Pecatonica River watershed which is 140.18 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily grassland (52.10%), agricultural (22.10%) and a mix of forest (20.70%) and other uses (5.10%). This watershed has 395.65 stream miles, 61.72 lake acres and 834.33 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.