Embarrass River, Middle and South Branches Embarrass Rive,North Branch and Mainstem Embarrass Rive Watershed (WR09)
Embarrass River, Middle and South Branches Embarrass Rive,North Branch and Mainstem Embarrass Rive Watershed (WR09)
Embarrass River (291900)
6.62 Miles
54.88 - 61.50
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.
Cool-Warm Mainstem
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.
2021
Good
 
Shawano
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.
No
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.
No
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.
No

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.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.

Overview

The main stem of the Embarrass River extends from Caroline in Shawano County, east and southward through Waupaca and Outagamie Counties to New London where it flows into the Wolf River. Major tributaries to the main stem include the Pigeon River, Mill, Maple, and Bear creeks. The river has a diverse fishery and is best known for its smallmouth bass. In addition to its fishery, the river also offers canoeing. The main stem of the Embarrass River is also an important sturgeon spawning stream up to the Pella Dam. Soil erosion rates in the watershed are critical, especially in the Grant Township area, with animal waste runoff also a problem.

From: Bougie, Cheryl A., Kosmond, Lisa D, and Watermolen, Dreux J. 1996. Wolf River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1996

Author  Cheryl Bougie

Historical Description

Embarrass River, T22N, RISE, Sec. 7(6), Area = 264.7 acres, Length = 27.3 miles, M.P.A. = 187 ppm.
The Embarrass River is one of Outagamie County's most important surface water resources. The river drains
the northwest corner of the county and contains hard, turbid water. The bottom consists mostly of firm sand
and silt in Outagamie County. The stream is best known for its smallmouth bass fishery. Other species
present include walleye, northern pike, various panfish, and an abundant supply of carp. Game use of the
area is very heavy by deer, waterfowl, furbearers, and an abundance of small game. The entire river is slow
and smooth flowing throughout Outagamie County. This river is a popular canoe route because it is scenic and
well suited for the amateur canoeist. Access is difficult within the county. One state, two county, and
three town road crossings or endings without parking provide the only public access.

From: Nelson, Linden M. and Ronald L. Fassbender, 1972. Surface Water Resources of Outagamie County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1972

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

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

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

Embarrass River is located in the North Branch and Mainstem Embarrass Rive watershed which is 312.62 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (39.30%), wetland (26.10%) and a mix of forest (22.90%) and other uses (11.70%). This watershed has 488.32 stream miles, 1,175.84 lake acres and 51,339.03 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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

Embarrass River is considered a Cool-Warm 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.