Fish and Aquatic Life
The Popple River is formed by the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Popple River southeast of the Village of Owen. Water quality in the river was historically degraded by the Owen WWTP discharge. A water quality study found dissolved oxygen levels of 6.6 mg/l upstream and as low as 0.2 mg/l downstream of the Owen WWTP discharge. This facility moved its discharge to the Black River when the treatment plant was upgraded in 1986 (Eslien).
In September 1992, study of the Popple River after removal of the point source discharge was conducted. Continuous dissolved oxygen and temperature instruments recorded fluctuations over ranges of 6-12 mg/l and 15-20 aC, respectively. In-stream habitat was rated good but evidence of extreme fluctuations of flow was noted along the shoreline (WDNR, 1992(b)).
Owen has continually experienced flooding within the city. A dam on Brick Creek was built to hold floodwaters and consequently created Sportsman Lake. However, flooding from the Popple River still created problems for some residents of Owen. The recent widening of HWY 29 through Owen offered an opportunity to revisit potential solutions. The Popple River flows northwesterly toward Owen and then turns sharply south. To reduce the high flows through Owen, a vegetated diversion channel was placed upstream of Owen (south of HWY 29) to divert flood flows away from this extreme bend in the river (Strand).
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Poplar River T27N, R2W, S10, Surface Acres = 67.3, Miles = 7.4.
Poplar River is a clear, medium hard water stream that is formed by the junction of the north and south forks and flows south into the Black River. There is a small impoundment at Owen. Fish species present are walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, rock bass, pumpkinseed, crappie, bullhead, carp and forage fishes. About 75 percent of the watershed area is cleared land. In 1962, a fish kill occurred as a result of improper sewage treatment at Owen. Light boat traffic is possible, but portaging is necessary along some areas. Waterfowl and furbearers are present. There is one picnic site, a wayside, and an unimproved boat landing is also located there. Access is possible from four road crossings.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and C.W. Threinen, 1965. Surface Water Resources of Clark County: Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Popple River (1752900) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do 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.
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|
|1752900||Popple River||103128||Popple River - Hwy 29 Bridge||10/7/1992||12/8/1993||Map||Data|
|1752900||Popple River||10032315||Popple River at Popple River Rd.||Map||Data|
|1752900||Popple River||103129||Popple River - Hwy 73 Wayside||Map||Data|
|1752900||Popple River||10010281||Popple River At Cnty Hwy N (Fh Sta 2)||10/6/2005||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1752900||Popple River||10010287||Popple River At State Hwy 73 (Fh Sta 1)||7/9/1992||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Popple River is located in the Popple River watershed which is 216.76 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (54.90%), forest (17.50%) and a mix of wetland (14.70%) and other uses (12.80%). This watershed has 386.23 stream miles, 250.90 lake acres and 20,350.85 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.