Fish and Aquatic Life
Pompey Pillar Creek is a tributary to Otter Creek. The stream is classified as a Class II trout
fishery for 3 miles of its length and Class I (above CTH I) for another mile. The stream has
some natural reproduction of brook trout. Surveys conducted in 1995 and 1997 found that
water quality, temperature and the macroinvertebrate community in the headwaters area of the
creek is of good quality. The creek, however, is heavily pastured in some spots and although
water quality is good, in-stream trout habitat is limited. In addition, Pompey Pillar is
threatened by nonpoint source pollution from cropland erosion and from a detention dam that
affects in-stream habitat. The stream has been ranked as a high priority for nonpoint source
pollution abatement. In addition, it is recommended that in-stream habitat work be conducted
on the stream to increase trout habitat and to help reduce the threat to the creek from nonpoint
sources of pollution. The state manages a small easement along Pompey Pillar Creek. In
addition, the state owns a small parcel of land in the headwaters of the creek.
From: Ripp, Coreen, Koperski, Cindy and Folstad, Jason. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin. PUBL WT-559-2002. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Pompey Pillar Creek - Mouth location T7N R~E Section 16 -2, Surface area = 6.7 acres, Length = 5.2 miles, Gradient = 46.2 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 229.0 mg/l, Volume of flow = 5.6 cfs.
Pompey Pillar Creek properly begins at a large spring which is dammed to form the Highland Sportsmen's Club Coop trout rearing pond. It then flows northeasterly into Otter Creek. Its principal tributary is spring fed Smokey Hollow Creek which contributes about 30 percent of its base flow. About 78 percent of its watershed is cleared for farming which is reflected by the rapid runoff of precipitation and subsequent heavy bank erosion; especially in the lower sections. Because of this, the original Public Law 566 watershed plan for flood control in the Otter Creek watershed recommended detention dams on both Pompey Pillar and Smokey Hollow Creeks. These were to be designed strictly for erosion control with no permanent pool. A possible source of pollution in the watershed exists in a cheese factory whose effluent is closely monitored by the Division of Enrironmental Protection. The sport fishery consists of a brown trout population which reproduces naturally and is also supplemented by stocking by both the Department of Natural Resources and local sportsmen. Forage fishes which inhabit this stream include white and hogsuckers; hornyhead and creek chubs; redbelly and blacknose dace; bigmouth and common shiners; bluntnose minnows, johnny darters and redhorse. Aquatic game assets include muskrats, which are common for most of its length and the great blue heron.
There are no public lands and acquisition of fishing easements for the lands on the best trout water is desirable. Presently it is accessible from five road crossings.
From: Piening, Ronald and Threinen, C.W., 1968. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Iowa County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Pompey Pillar Creek (miles 4.48-7.85) 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 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.
Restore Riparian Habitat
The Harry and Laura Nohr Chapter of TU will undertake a River Management Grant that protect and enhance water quality and fish habitat for brook and brown trout and forage fishes in mainly critical habitat segments of approximately 7,600 linear feet of Pompey Pillar Creek, and Six Mile Branch. 1. Reduce soil erosion, stream siltation and thermal loading through stream bank sloping and stabilization practices using riprap and vegetation. 2. Increase stream flow rates in the riffles to help increase oxygen for fish spawning using a variety of habitat BMP's such as weirs and log deflectors. 3. Create protective instream habitat areas for trout and other aquatic organism using a variety of habitat BMP's such as cross logs, and deflection rocks and bank hiding areas.
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|
Pompey Pillar Creek is located in the Otter and Morrey Creeks watershed which is 198.69 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (53.60%), grassland (24.60%) and a mix of agricultural (14.10%) and other uses (7.70%). This watershed has 437.57 stream miles, 351.55 lake acres and 5,785.74 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.