Clear Creek, Trout Run and Robinson Creeks Watershed (BR04)
Clear Creek, Trout Run and Robinson Creeks Watershed (BR04)
Clear Creek (1697800)
5.81 Miles
0 - 5.81
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Cool-Warm Mainstem
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
This river is impaired
Degraded Biological Community
Elevated Water Temperature
Jackson, Monroe
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.


Clear Creek is a tributary to the Wisconsin River. The creek is considered a Class III trout stream for about two and a half miles although the lower reaches have been known to support some smaller sport fish from the Wisconsin River. There is limited information available for this stream.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Clear Creek, also known as South Branch Robinson Creek, is impounded by cranberry operations. Above the impoundments, the stream lies within the boundaries of Ft. McCoy and is a Class I trout stream. This trout fishery has high potential for improvement following elimination of the warm water discharge from cranberry operations (Talley).

From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1999

Author  Cynthia Koperski

Clear Creek, Trout Run and Robinson Creeks Watershed (BR04) Fish and Aquatic LifeClear Creek, Trout Run and Robinson Creeks Watershed (BR04) RecreationClear Creek, Trout Run and Robinson Creeks Watershed (BR04) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

The impaired waters listing is for entire stream (3.7 miles) with the existing use is WWFF, codified use is Cold III. Potential use is Cold III. Cause of impairment are temperature, sediment from NPS (streambank erosion), hydrologic modification (upstream cranberry impoundment). Description of monitoring conducted (including dates, results, quality of data and reports): Fish surveys conducted in 2002 found only warmwater forage species and no trout. Calculated coldwater and warmwater IBI scores were very poor. Continuous water level monitoring below a cranberry marsh impoundment in 2003 found extreme stream flow fluctuations caused by the marsh discharge. Clear Creek has little potential as a trout stream as long as the cranberry marsh impoundment is located upstream. This stream was added to 303d list in 2003. Location of supporting data (electronic and hard copy files): WDNR offices at Black River Falls and Eau Claire. Fish survey available on FH database. Date Reviewed: 12/29/03

Date  2003

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 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.


Management Goals

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Clear Creek is located in the Trout Run and Robinson Creeks watershed which is 216.93 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (72.30%), agricultural (11%) and a mix of wetland (6.70%) and other uses (10.00%). This watershed has 326.05 stream miles, 791.85 lake acres and 17,562.31 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.

Natural Community

Clear Creek is considered a Cool-Warm Mainstem under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Fisheries & Habitat

From the mouth to the junction with Ranch Creek (class 3); from the west line of S7 T19N R2W up to the headwaters (class 1)

Date  1980

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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