3.31 - 16.50
Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Cold Headwater, Coldwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
Elk Creek is a 16.5-mile-long tributary to Buffalo River. Hadley and Pratt Creeks contribute their waters to Elk Creek. The town of Gilmanton operates a dam on Elk Creek. The stream has been classified as a Class III trout stream from 3.31 miles upstream from its outh to its headwaters.
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.
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|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038923||Elk Creek - CTH BB downstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038927||Elk Creek - Hovey Valley Rd. upstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038924||Elk Creek - County Highway H upstream Fish Station||4/20/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10053191||Rognholt Valley Road Crossing||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008593||Norby Property Cty Z To H||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008582||Elk Creek at Klevegard (Norden Ridge)||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008643||Independance Rd Xing West Of Cth Bb||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10033945||Elk Creek DS of Norden Ridge Road||8/10/2011||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038922||Elk Creek - STH 88 downstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008584||Hovey Valley Rd||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10014965||Elk Creek 3 - Bennett Valley 3||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10053189||Farm Road Crossing US of Gilmanton Town Line||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008583||Elk Creek - Cty Bb Rd. Xing||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038928||Elk Creek - Norden Ridge Rd. upstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10015321||Elk Creek - Hwy 88 Bridge Crossing By Gilmanton Pond||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038926||Elk Creek - CTH Z downstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10008622||Just South Of Cth Z 13sw/Nw||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10038925||Elk Creek - CTH H downstream Fish Station||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1817000||Elk Creek||10053188||Confluence with Turner Creek||Map||Data|
Elk Creek is located in the Lower Buffalo River watershed which is 275.43 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.70%), agricultural (30.90%) and a mix of grassland (16.60%) and other uses (10.80%). This watershed has 637.77 stream miles, 890.60 lake acres and 9,906.82 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High 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.
Elk Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Cold Headwater, Coldwater 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.
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.
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.