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Cool-Cold Headwater, Coldwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
Middle Branch O'Neill Creek is an eight mile tributary to the North Branch O'Neill Creek. A recent habitat survey of the stream documented eroded streambanks, heavy deposits of fine sediment and low flow conditions. Fairly significant organic pollution was indicated by the assemblage of aquatic insects sampled (Hazuga).
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Middle Branch O'Neill Creek (1749700) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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|
|1749700||Middle Br O'Neill Creek||10041162||Middle Branch O'Neil Creek at Fremont Rd||10/10/2013||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1749700||Middle Br O'Neill Creek||10010211||Middle Br O'Neill Creek - Middle Branch O'Neill Creek||4/16/1996||4/16/1996||Map||Data|
|1749700||Middle Br O'Neill Creek||10041258||Middle Branch Oneil Creek at Tree Road||10/8/2013||10/8/2013||Map||Data|
|1749700||Middle Br O'Neill Creek||10041163||Middle Branch O'Neil Creek at Timber Lane||10/8/2013||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1749700||Middle Br O'Neill Creek||10039706||Middle Branch O Neil Creek at Pray Ave||5/15/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Middle Br O'Neill Creek is located in the O'Neill and Cunningham Creeks watershed which is 161.85 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (39.90%), forest (31.20%) and a mix of grassland (16%) and other uses (12.90%). This watershed has 329.34 stream miles, 86.59 lake acres and 9,581.29 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.
Middle Branch Of O'Neill Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Coldwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand 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.
Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.