Fish and Aquatic Life
Sedimentation from past and present surrounding landuse and possible extirpation of native cold water species. The dam that forms Rock Falls Pond acts as a barrier that would prevent salmonid species from migrating upstream. Fish management recommended declassifying this segment as trout water due to warm temperatures. Temperature data from 2000 suggests cold water is found upstream from this reach.
Author Mark Hazuga
Rock Creek (miles 0-2.54) 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
Sedimentation from past and present surrounding landuse and possible extirpation of native cold water species. The dam that forms Rock Falls Pond acts as a barrier that would prevent salmonid species from migrating upstream. Fish management recommended declassifying this segment as trout water due to warm temperatures. Temperature data from 2000 suggests cold water is found upstream from this reach. Fish and habitat surveys were completed at six stations and continuous temperature monitoring was completed at four stations in 2000 throughout Rock Creek Cold water IBI scores were poor to very poor and habitat ratings were fair to good. Continuous monitoring indicated that temperatures were adequate for cold water species, especially in the mid to upper reaches. Fish surveys were completed in 2006 at three sites above the Rock Falls Pond. One brown trout was found at the station just above the pond and no other cold water species were collected at the remaining sites.
Author Mark Hazuga
Rock 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.
Rock Creek [Mouth to Rock Falls Pond (mile 0-2.54)]: This segment is attaining its designated use and is not considered impaired.
Rock Creek [Rock Falls Pond to CTH H (mile 2.8-4.64)]: This segment has been listed as impaired since 2002 for Total Suspended Solids and no change is needed.
Rock Creek [CTH H to Pepin/Eau Claire county line (mile 4.64-9.59)]: 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. Fish sample data did not indicate impairment (i.e., no fish Index of Biotic Integrity scored in the poor condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list in 2020.
Rock Creek [Pepin/Eau Claire county line to headwaters (mile 9.58-16.16)]: This segment is attaining its designated use and is not considered impaired.
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.
This water, from the mouth to STH 85 (2.4 miles) is a Class II Troutwatwer; and the portion in Eau Claire County is a Class III. (4.0 miles).
Author Aquatic Biologist
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|2119000||Rock Creek||173231||Rock Creek at 150th Ave.||9/20/2000||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2119000||Rock Creek||10009848||Rock Creek - Rock Creek Station 1 (150th Ave.)||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2119000||Rock Creek||10030756||Rock Creek - 50 M below dam on STH 85||8/7/2008||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Rock Creek is located in the Lowes and Rock Creeks watershed which is 219.17 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (38.80%), forest (34.30%) and a mix of grassland (13.50%) and other uses (13.40%). This watershed has 372.30 stream miles, 317.07 lake acres and 12,231.21 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.