Fish and Aquatic Life
Little Hay Creek is a 1.8 mile long stream located in Chippewa County and within the Duncan Creek priority watershed project area. It is not on our current Measure W list, but could be added. WCR has proposed the de-listing of Little Hay Creek on our 303(d) list due to the improvement in the water quality of the stream. Whether or not any additional monitoring is needed needs to be determined. It does have continuous DO information that now shows adequate dissolved oxygen. At this point, we don’t know whether the implementation of the Duncan Creek Priority Watershed Project is the impetuous for improvement.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Water resource problems associated with Little Hay Creek include streambank erosion, low
dissolved oxygen levels during the summer, organic loading from barnyards and scarcity of instream
cover. The water resource objective for this stream is to improve it to a Class I1 trout fishery
(Schreiber June, 1992). Little Hay Creek was a sampling site for a statewide study of pesticides in
surface waters. It was chosen due to its small watershed, extent of agriculture, and known quantities
of atrazine and breakdown products in groundwater. The 1991 storm runoff samples contaihed
atrazine levels between 0.14 parts per billion (ppb) to 0.47 ppb. These levels were low compared to
other sites around the state and not considered a threat to the aquatic insect or fish community
Author Cynthia Koperski
Little Hay Creek was identified on the 303d list in 1998 as not supporting an existing use of warm water forage fish. Impairments to the stream were identified as degraded habitat, dissolved oxygen and temperature. Fish surveys completed at three stations in 2005 found multiple year classes of trout including young of the year. Habitat conditions and dissolved oxygen and temperature concentrations must be adequate for the stream to support a Coldwater A fishery with multiple year classes of reproducing brook trout. Little Hay Creek has never been formally classified as a trout stream; however, it should codified as a Coldwater A fishery in the future. Continuous dissolved oxygen monitoring completed in the early 1990s found concentrations below the water quality standard of 5 mg/L. Follow-up monitoring in 2004 and 2005 indicate concentrations remained above 5 mg/L. This water was removed from the impaired waters list in 2008.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
Little Hay Creek is located in the Duncan Creek watershed which is 191.44 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (44.40%), forest (21%) and a mix of grassland (13.90%) and other uses (20.70%). This watershed has 270.37 stream miles, 185.45 lake acres and 6,971.50 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.