Fish and Aquatic Life
Gregory Branch has its headwaters within the City of Fennimore. It is a spring-fed stream. Approximately two miles of the stream are considered Limited Forage Fishery (LFF) water and the primary problems in this reach are lack of flow, poor habitat, and non-point sources of pollution (Schlesser, 1989b). Only a lower one mile reach of its 6.8 mile length is considered as class II trout waters (WDNR, 1980). An additional length could be considered trout waters if agricultural and urban point and non-point sources were better controlled and instream habitat were improved (Schlesser, 1989b).
The City of Fennimore wastewater treatment facility discharges to Gregory Branch. Two fish kills (1998 and 1999) have been attributed to this facility. The city has recently gone through a major facilities upgrade to reduce phosphorus loading and add sludge storage. Currently, the facility has tertiary treatment of wastewater and is required to meet restrictive limits for biological oxygen demand (BOD), and total suspended solids (TSS) and also has to meet limits on ammonia and phosphorus. With the unfortunate exception of the two fish kills, effluent from the waste water treatment plant is consistently a high quality effluent and well below limits.
In addition to agricultural non-point pollution and point source discharge from the wastewater treatment plant, Gregory Branch is also threatened by urban non-point source pollution. Fennimore is a rapidly growing community. The population grew about 11% between 1990 and 2000 and is projected to grow another 7-8% between 2000 and 2010. Increased runoff from growing urban areas has been shown to have adverse effects on surface waters if not properly managed. Since the city is not required to have a permit for its stormwater runoff, it is up to the local government to address and enact effective stormwater management with the assistance of local, county and state agencies.
The improved health of the stream requires all stakeholders to work together to control all sources of pollution. One group has already taken the initiative to conduct citizen stream monitoring on Gregory Branch. The group monitors water clarity and temperature, dissolved oxygen, habitat and flow as well as the biotic health of the stream. Monitors found that last year, during the spring through the fall, the water was somewhat turbid and the biotic index ranged from fair to poor (Trout Unlimited, 2001).
Author Aquatic Biologist
From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 6.59 acres, Length = 6.8 miles, Gradient = 35 ft./mile, Flow = 5.5 c.f.s.
A spring-fed stream beginning within the city limits of Fennimore and flowing southwest to enter the mid- section of Rogers Branch. This stream flows entirely through firm pasture land along Highway 61. Gravel and rubble are the primarY bottom types. A modest amount of bank erosion is evident. The lower one mile of stream is considered to be marginal trout water. An annual stocking of brown trout is needed to maintain a substantial fishery, although fishing pressure is light. Forage fish, including white suckers, creek chubs, common shiners, and blacknose dace are common. Several fish kills have occurred on this stream in the past as a result of sewage pollution from the Fennimore"Sewage Treatment Plant. This treatmeRt plant is considered a potential future source of pollution. Muskrats are present in the lower portions of the stream. Points of access can be found along Highway 61 and at two bridge crossings. Sixteen dwellings adjoin the stream.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Gregory Branch (WBIC 964400) from mouth to farthest upstream crossing of the edge of S12 T5N R3W (1.89 miles upstream of mouth) 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.
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|
|964400||Gregory Br||223332||Unnamed- Gregory St - Ush 61||11/2/1984||11/2/1984||Map||Data|
|964400||Gregory Br||10015171||Gregory Creek General Survey (Dwnstrm of STH 61 at Rogers Rd)||Map||Data|
|964400||Gregory Br||10029997||Gregory Br. Station 2 (Along STH 61 adjacent to Rogers Rd)||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|964400||Gregory Br||10015181||Gregory Branch Baseline (Along STH 61 adjacent to Rogers Rd)||Map||Data|
Gregory Br is located in the Upper Grant River watershed which is 106.09 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily grassland (42.70%), agricultural (40.80%) and a mix of forest (13.60%) and other uses (2.90%). This watershed has 260.94 stream miles, 7.24 lake acres and 6.79 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.