Fish and Aquatic Life
Wilson Creek supports excellent brook trout populations, primarily due to the number of
tributaries that supply cold water for spawning and nursery habitat. Ditching, streambank
pasturing, and a lack of in-stream habitat are, however, contributing to the degradation of Wilson
Creek. The sections of Wilson Creek classified as trout water could be upgraded to higher
classifications (see stream table) if practices to control polluted runoff were implemented (Holzer
The Wilson wastewater treatment plant discharges treated process wastewater to a dry run
headwater of Wilson Creek. The effluent seeps to groundwater and does not reach the continuously
flowing portion of Wilson Creek. Thls discharge condition has been termed a linear seepage cell. To
meet federal regulations, a water quality standards review is required on the portion of the
headwater classified as a variance water for limited aquatic life. To ensure compliance with
groundwater quality standards, a private well survey and a sinkhole inspection should be included
in the next issue of the WPDES permit (LaLiberte 1994). See the Groundwater Report in ths plan
for more information about linear seepage cells.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Wilson Creek (miles 14.37-21.28) 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
The 2018 assessments of Wilson Creek (miles 3.36-14.73) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Wilson Creek (2066000), from I-94 to Cth O was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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|
|2066000||Wilson Creek||10011559||Wilson Creek 1b-U.S. Of Heller Rd.||6/19/2008||10/17/2017||Map||Data|
Wilson Creek is located in the Wilson Creek watershed which is 244.75 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (37.50%), forest (31.40%) and a mix of grassland (19.40%) and other uses (11.70%). This watershed has 425.11 stream miles, 1,332.74 lake acres and 5,388.38 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.