Waumandee Creek, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06)
Waumandee Creek, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06)
Waumandee Creek (1808300)
6.92 Miles
26.72 - 33.64
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.
Coldwater, Cool-Cold 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.
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.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
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.


The upper seven miles of Waumandee Creek are classified Class III brook and brown trout stream with the remaining 27 miles of stream a warm water fishery. Stream habitat and water quality are severely degraded by livestock pasturing the streambanks, animal waste runoff from barnyards, sediment from cropland erosion and stream channelization.

Date  1991

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Waumandee Creek, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06) Fish and Aquatic LifeWaumandee Creek, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06) RecreationWaumandee Creek, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Biologists place the condition of this segment as "fair" for a warmwater sport fishery, although the stream's natural community is modeled as Cool (Cold Transition) Mainstem, Cool (Warm Transition) Mainstem.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

Waumandee Creek was recently evaluated during the ten-year period of 2009 through 2018 for results that were reported to the USEPA for the 2020 Clean Water Act condition report. The waterbody is considered impaired, or in poor condition for designated uses which include the quality of fish and aquatic life, recreational use, and public health and welfare (fish consumption and related). Pollutants or problems encountered during sampling (impairments) are determined based on water quality standards outlined in Wisconsin 2020 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Assessment results show water conditions that are potentially harmful for Aquatic Life use due to values for total phosphorus that fall into the range expected for an aquatic community in poor health, therefore this water is listed as impaired.

Waumandee Creek (mile 0-12.38): Assessment results during the 2020 listing cycle show total phosphorus levels too high for healthy aquatic communities like plants, fish, and bugs according to 2020 WisCALM standards. Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list in 2020.

Waumandee Creek (mile 26.72-33.64): The most recent assessments show this portion is meetings its designated uses.

Date  2019

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.



Water Quality Planning
Waumandee Creek Watershed Planning
Nine Key Element Plan
Waumandee Creek PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Waumandee Creek Watershed drains 204 square miles of land in Buffalo County in western Wisconsin. The Waumandee Creek Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Waumandee Creek Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for Waumandee Creek and its tributaries. Nonpoint sources of pollutants most commonly found in this watershed include: polluted runoff from barnyards and feedlots, sediment from cropland erosion, and sediment from streambank erosion. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Waumandee Creek Priority Watershed Project area.
TMDL Implementation
This TMDL in the Waumandee Watershed includes: Buell Valley Creek, Cochrane Ditch, Irish Valley Creek, Jahns Valley Creek and Weiland Valley Creek implementation.

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

Monitoring Studies

Monitoring in 2005, 2007 indicates poor or very poor(2007) Warm IBI but good to excellent macroinvertebrates (M-IBI) 80027. Waumandee Creek - Station 2 Cth X Road Crossing (10/13/1999) 19991013-06-07R 8.64 (excellent) and Waumandee Creek 09/24/2007 7.29 (good). Biologists place the condition of this segment as "fair" for a warmwater sport fishery.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Watershed Characteristics

Waumandee Creek is located in the Waumandee Creek watershed which is 221.97 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (49%), agricultural (24.60%) and a mix of grassland (13.70%) and other uses (12.60%). This watershed has 508.29 stream miles, 3,011.30 lake acres and 8,253.68 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.

Natural Community

Waumandee Creek is considered a Coldwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem 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) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.