Rosendale Tributary, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
Rosendale Tributary, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
Rosendale Tributary (134900)
6.10 Miles
0 - 6.10
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.
Macroinvertebrate, Warm Headwater, COOL-Warm Headwater
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.
Fond Du Lac
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


A stream reclassification study of the Tributary to the West Branch of the Fond du Lac River, called the Rosendale Tributary (WBIC 134900) to the West Branch of the Fond du Lac River (or Rosendale Tributary for short), was conducted from the summer of 2001 through the fall of 2004. Other general observations were made in 2005. The Rosendale Wastewater Treatment Facility was considering going into Facility’s Planning and it was apparent that current stream classification data with modern protocols were not available and were needed. Past stream classifications were reported by Weisensel and Mazanet (1975) and Sesing and Dreher (1993). Weisensel classified the Tributary as noncontinuous, intermediate aquatic life which is the coded classification in Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 104. Sesing and Dreher classified the Tributary as a continuous flowing Warm Water Forage Fishery (WWFF). This study confirms the continuous WWFF classification under the current coded classification scheme for the lower reaches near the WWTF. It also expands the classifications for the entire watershed and establishes the classification under the newly adopted (but not yet codified) 2004 classifications (WDNR 2004) which will change the lower part of the Rosendale Tributary from Hill Rd. below HWY 23 downstream to Diverse Fish and Aquatic Life-Cool Water (DFAL-CW). Also, data collected determined the potential for increased water quality and needed protection in the section below HWY 23. General upstream above Rosendale non-point source concerns as well as urban runoff concerns were addressed. (Mike Reif, 2006)

Date  2006

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Rosendale Tributary, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish and Aquatic LifeRosendale Tributary, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) RecreationRosendale Tributary, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish Consumption


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.



Navigability Determination
T15N R15E S4; West branch Fond du Lac River, trib;
Wastewater Monitoring or Management
The WWTF discharge remain below the high quality area of Site R6 (preferably that it stays in the area it is in between Sites R7 and R8 (see Reif, 2006).
Monitor or Propose ORW or ERW
Rosendale Trib. Section III Stretch of Trib. is requested for inclusion as an ERW.
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
Ensure that the wooded area adjacent to, and above, Site R6 be maintained as a green corridor so the high quality conditions that were found there can be continued.
Restore Hydrology, Morphology
Section III has significant problems. The ditched area below E. Rose Bd. Rd. resulted in very poor habitat with little conditions for quality macroinvertebrates or quality fishery. There was a small dam in Site R6 that could have been a boundary for fish migration. Also, the impoundment above Site R5 was a clear boundary to fish migration. A restoration of the habitat in the ditched area at and below Site R8 and elimination of the impoundment would result in a seasonal potential classification of WWGF in Sections II and III and could provide migration in the spring to the wetland area above the Village of Rosendale.
Protect Headwaters and Springs
Ensure groundwater pressure that works the springs to Section III be maintained -- ensure that confining layer above the ledge is not punctured during any construction.
Monitor or Propose ORW or ERW
The high quality portion of Rosendale Creek near the Mascoutin Valley State Trail has the potential to be classi­fied as an Exceptional Resource Water. Monitoring and evaluation should continue to determine if the segment should be nominated for this designation.
Protect Headwaters and Springs
The groundwater pressure that supplies the springs in the high quality area near the Mascoutin Valley State trail should be maintained and the confining layer that creates this pressure should not be punctured by things like construction.
Dam Safety or Removal
The poor habitat downstream from Rose Eld Road should be restored. It was heavily ditched in the past, which has had a negative impact on the biota. Also, there was a small dam upstream from the Mascoutin Valley State Trail that could be a boundary for fish migration. There is also an impoundment downstream from State Highway 23 in Rosendale that is a clear boundary to fish migration. The removal of this dam could allow seasonal migration of game fish like northern pike to move all the way to the wetland upstream from the Village Park for spawning.
Habitat Restoration - Upland
The wooded area near the Mascoutin Valley State Trail should be maintained as a green corridor to protect the high water quality conditions of this part of Rosendale Creek.
Monitor Targeted Area
Proposed targeted monitoring is recommended to address elevated temperatures and degraded habitat. Water quality conditions should be compared to state standards to determine whether the creek should be included on Wisconsin’s impaired waters list.
Wastewater Monitoring or Management
The Village of Rosendale Wastewater Treatment Facility discharge should remain downstream from the high qual­ity area that is near the Mascoutin Valley State Trail.

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

Watershed Characteristics

Unnamed is located in the Fond du Lac River watershed which is 244.74 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.30%), grassland (15.90%) and a mix of wetland (10.90%) and other uses (16.00%). This watershed has 461.86 stream miles, 991.41 lake acres and 16,649.99 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.

Natural Community

Rosendale Tributary is considered a Macroinvertebrate, Warm Headwater, COOL-Warm Headwater 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 (Warm-Transition) Headwaters are small, sometimes intermittent streams with cool to warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are uncommon to absent, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are common to uncommon. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Warm Headwaters are small, usually intermittent streams with warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

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