0 - 6.97
Coldwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
High Phosphorus Levels
Fish and Aquatic Life
Intensive fish and habitat surveys conducted on Otter Creek in 1993 revealed severe degradation as
a result of beaver activity. While 14.9 miles of Otter Creek are classified as Class I1 trout waters,
recent surveys indicate that 8.4 miles should be reclassified to Class I11 trout water due to limited
numbers of trout. Since physical habitat did not appear to be the limiting factor, dissolved oxygen
monitoring downstream of the north/south crossing of County Highway S in T30N R12W S8 and
monitoring of minimum and maximum temperatures might help identify whether dissolved oxygen,
temperature, or trout stock condition is responsible for poor survival rates of trout (Engel).
Author Aquatic Biologist
Otter Creek (miles 6.97-12.86) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
The 2018 assessments of Otter Creek (From the mouth upstream to the crossing of the N\S portion of CTH S (miles 0-6.97), Upstream from the crossing of the N\S portion of CTH S to the headwaters, miles 6.97-12.86) showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
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.
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|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10011907||Otter Creek - A5-Otter Creek. At Powerline Crossing||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10044304||Otter Creek - southern 2/3 of NE1/4 NE1/4 S13 T30N R13W||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10016086||Otter Creek - Cth S Just South Of Misselt Schoolrock Riffle Directly Under Bridge||5/1/1989||5/1/1989||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10021342||Otter Creek- 1b- 50' U.S. Confluence With Little Otter Creek||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||173056||Otter Creek - Cth S||9/11/1979||10/15/2017||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||173055||Otter Creek - Cth N||9/11/1979||9/7/2019||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10009400||1090th Ave - A3||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10011898||Otter Creek - A1-Otter Creek. 139' U.S. Of Mouth||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10011904||Otter Creek A2 - 50' U.S. Of Cth N||5/16/1995||6/24/2021||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10011906||Otter Creek - A4-Otter Creek. Off Logging Road||Map||Data|
|2068700||Otter Creek||10044282||Otter Creek - machinery crossing in the NE1/4 SE1/4 S12 T30N R13W||Map||Data|
Otter Creek is located in the Hay River watershed which is 289.60 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38%), agricultural (30.20%) and a mix of grassland (20.60%) and other uses (11.20%). This watershed has 516.98 stream miles, 2,647.38 lake acres and 15,179.56 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.
Otter 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.