Fish and Aquatic Life
The West Branch of Mill Creek is a Class I trout stream and exceptional resource water (ERW). Fish surveys on the stream have found naturally reproducing brook trout and a 1996 survey found a healthy population of brook trout. Water quality is considered to be excellent in the upstream portion of the creek. Past stream channelization has caused some habitat problems. There are also beaver dams on the stream that may cause migration problems for the fish.
Author Cynthia Koperski
The West Branch of Mill Creek is also a Class II trout stream which has been nominated for ERW status. Water quality is considered to be excellent in the upstream portion (Eagan, 1985). Past stream channelization has caused some habitat problems (Eagan, 1985).
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
West Branch Mill Creek (WBIC 1217700) 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
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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
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|
|1217700||West Branch Mill Creek||533068||Mill Creek W Branch - Cortland Dr||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1217700||West Branch Mill Creek||10037969||West Branch Mill Creek at upper HWY 14 Bridge Crossing||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1217700||West Branch Mill Creek||10040753||West Br Mill Creek off private dr||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1217700||West Branch Mill Creek||10022822||W. Br. Mill Cr. T11nR2eSec 34Sese||Map||Data|
|1217700||West Branch Mill Creek||10044145||W Branch Mill Creek - Hwy 14 bridge||6/16/2015||6/16/2015||Map||Data|
West Branch Mill Creek is located in the Mill and Indian Creeks watershed which is 130.32 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (53.20%), grassland (22.40%) and a mix of agricultural (19.20%) and other uses (5.10%). This watershed has 313.19 stream miles, 179.45 lake acres and 1,834.87 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.