Milwaukee River, East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed (MI06)
Milwaukee River, East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed (MI06)
Milwaukee River (15000)
34.84 Miles
68.50 - 103.34
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-Cold Headwater, Warm Headwater, Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm Headwater
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.
2019
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Elevated Water Temperature, Impairment Unknown, PCB Contaminated Sediments
PCBs, Unknown Pollutant, Total Phosphorus
 
Fond Du Lac, Washington
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.
Yes

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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Overview

The Milwaukee River is the major waterway of the county. All of the larger towns, with the exception of Port Washington and Cedarburg are on the river, indicating its importance in the past for transportation and power. There are five dams on the river, two of which still supply power for private use. Flow of the river, as measured at Milwaukee, has ranged from a low of 2.6 cfs to 14,300 cfs. The average has been 387 cfs.

Northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleyes, channel catfish and panfish are the main species of fish. Two areas, Fredonia to Saukville and Grafton to Thiensville, have fishable numbers of smallmouth bass. Pollution and fluctuating water levels are the main management problems.

Also associated with P. filiformis was P. gramineus and P. robbinsii. It was observed that for some distance below towns, vegetation is limited to scattered areas of P. filiformis and massive growth of filamentous algae (Cladophora). Then rooted vegetation increases to include all of the above species in dense stands. Water color could be correlated also with increasing transparency where the vegetation increased. This was assumed to be within the recovery zone.

Milwaukee River T9N, R21E, Section 36, Surface Acres = 590.5, Length = 34.8 miles, Gradient = 4.4 feet per mile.

From: Poff, Ronald J., Gernay, Ronald, and Threinen, C.W., 1964. Surface Water Resources of Ozaukee County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1964

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

On June 12 and 16, 1964, 34.8 miles of the Milwaukee River were traversed
by canoe from County Trunk "A" in Washington County through Ozaukee County to the Ozaukee and Milwaukee County border to evaluate navigability, vegetation, bottom types, water color, and basic fertility of the Milwaukee River in Ozaukee County. Water stage was low at the time.

Navigability ranged from excellent to difficult due to the presence of boulders, gravel bars, and dolomitic rock outcrops. All stretches that are navigable by outboard craft are included on the map. Navigation is excellent by canoe from Grafton to the second dam downstream. Larger craft are limited to the segment one and one-half miles above County Trunk "M" to Thiensville. Large craft are otherwise confined to the five impoundments. The segment from Grafton to the second dam downstream flows through an area of high, partially wooded dolomite bluffs giving it a significant scenic value. Vegetation patterns are not diverse. Potamageton filiformis seemed to be the dominant aquatic plant and was observed the entire length of the river except in impoundments and immediately downstream from cities which contribute treated sanitary effluent.

Bottom materials ranged from solid dolomite rock to sand. Gravel and sand
in equal proportions constitute the bottom except on bedrock exposures and in impoundments. Silting is not a problem and significant amounts were noted only in t w regions, in Saukville and from County Trunk "M" to Thiensville, Of special note is the Waubakee formation which is exposed north of Waubeka. This thin shelved dolomitic rock forms about three-fourths of a mile of ledges with shallow water which necessitated portaging. The region from Grafton to the second dam also is exposed bedrock.

The region from Waubedonia Park downstream, approximately two miles, constitutes the most rubble strewn segment with boulders of all sizes present. This area also gave navigational difficulty with the low water levels encountered at the time. Water color remained clear until one mile above Waubeka where it turned from clear to light brown. Fertility as measured by specific conductance and methyl orange alkalinity showed that in general, conductance increased while alkalinity decreased.

This can be interpreted to mean that calcium and magnesium ions decreased or stayed the same while other ions such as sodium, sulphates and chlorides increased raising the conductance. This is to be expected since these ions are common in effluent from villages along the river. Numerous dead fish were observed especially downstream from the dams. These were almost entirely white suckers. This may have indicated poor water conditions. An evaluation of the fishery was not attempted but carp were observed to be present the entire length with the largest numbers upstream from Saukville.

Fishermen at the Waubeka Dam stated that northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, green sunfish, bullheads (spp.), smallmouth bass and an occasional walleye are caught. No attempt was made to differentiate the minnow species but minnows were abundant through the entire area covered. Below Grafton and Thiensville several fish were observed to have "sewage sickness". The typical specimen was lethargic, drifted along near the surface, and was commonly afflicted with fungus growths several places on its body. The number of these fishes was not significant.

From: Poff, Ronald J., Gernay, Ronald, and Threinen, C.W., 1964. Surface Water Resources of Ozaukee County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1964

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Milwaukee River, East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed (MI06) Fish and Aquatic LifeMilwaukee River, East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed (MI06) RecreationMilwaukee River, East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed (MI06) Fish Consumption

General Condition

The 2018 assessments of the Milwaukee River (miles 2.9-19.35) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). The 2018 assessments also showed continued impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of the Milwaukee River (miles 29.33-68.5) showed continued impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Condition

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.

Reports

Recommendations

Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
TMDL Development
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District proposes to develop third-party pathogen, phosphorus, and sediment TMDLs for the Milwaukee River Watershed in Southeastern Wisconsin. The TMDLs will result in pollutant load and wasteload allocations that must be met to meet water quality standards and targets and in implementation plans that will identify the steps needed to achieve the load and wasteload allocations.
Restore Riparian Habitat
The previously funded NOAA ARRA stimulus-funded Re-Establishing Fish Passage project will enable fish to regain access to isolated pockets of high quality habitat in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC.
Habitat Restoration - Upland
The Urban Ecology Center (UEC) in partnership with Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, Rotary Club of Milwaukee, River Revitalization Foundation, private businesses and local landowners will protect and restore 40 contiguous acres of land along the Milwaukee River as an arboretum of native plant communities and improved wildlife habitat (including habitat of the state-threatened Butler's gartersnake). The site of the Rotary Centennial Arboretum is within the Milwaukee River Estuary Area of Concern and its creation will address the EPA-identified beneficial use impairments 1) loss of fish and wildlife habitat, 2) degradation of fish and wildlife populations, and 3) degradation of aesthetics.
Fish Management, Access
There are approximately 15 miles, or 18 acres, of hardened shoreline in the Milwaukee AOC. Banks armored with vertical steel sheet pile walls, retaining walls, concrete, and steel bulkheads provide structural bank stability to adjoining properties and eliminate erosion from passing barges and other navigational traffic – but eliminate natural sloping stream banks, natural vegetative patterns, and the habitat therein. Channels have also been widened and dredged to depths of 10 to 28 feet to suit commercial navigation. This massive growth in channel size from natural and upstream conditions causes average current velocities to decrease and young fish may become trapped in the shipping channel without adequate current speeds to allow their return to the lake. The Habitat Improvement Project in the Estuary Environment (HIPEE) seeks to introduce quality habitat along this degraded riverine corridor. The project location within Wisconsin’s most populated river basin significantly enhances the potential to attract large numbers of recreational anglers. Other game and sport fish targeted by the project included perch, bluegill, and Lake Michigan trout and salmon.
Monitor Targeted Area
A comprehensive monitoring program will be implemented for portions of the Milwaukee River in Ozaukee Co. to partially address delisting targets or required actions for 9 of 11 Milwaukee Estuary AOC BUIs.
TMDL Development
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District proposes to develop third-party pathogen, phosphorus, and sediment TMDLs for the Milwaukee Estuary in Southeastern Wisconsin. The TMDLS will result in pollutant load and wasteload allocations that must be met to meet water quality standards and targets and in implementation plans that will identify the steps needed to achieve the load and wasteload allocations.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Suggest obtaining additional temperature data. AU: 1854856; ID: 10012501
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 5A. Biology is not being impacted based on data just upstream of this site. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10037390 AU: 481605.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Follow-up monitoring to determine if portion of the Milwaukee River should be listed for temperature (segment 5, miles 19.35 - 29.33; Thiensville Dam to Lime Kiln Dam).
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department is undertaking activities to enhance the operation and function of the fishway located at the Mequon-Thiensville Dam on the Milwaukee River. Project activities: Utilize prepared plans and specifications and operating under all required permits, construct a stable, non-deforming fishway channel that accommodates target species (including lake sturgeon and northern pike) swimming performance for all life stages and reduction in fishway operation and maintenance costs. Project deliverables: Provide to the Department a paper and digital summary report on the completed project, which shall result in a revised fishway entrance with optimal attractant flows, weir water velocities less than or equal to 3 feet per second, water depths through weirs greater than or equal to 1.5 feet, static water depths in pools greater than 3 feet, adequate cover as velocity breaks, head drop through weirs less than 0.5 feet, calculated using Milwaukee River median flows mid-March through mid-June
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Oz. Cty. P&P's Depart. is undertaking a Sturgeon hab. assessment on the Milw. Rvr. from approx. river miles 16 to 32. Activities 1) Conduct a review on efforts, research and findings related to the status of Sturgeon hab. in the MR (MR) 2) Conduct remote analysis of accessible Oz. Cty portions of the MR to ID important spawning hab. or deep run or pool characteristics for juvenile refuge and winter adult habitat 3) Conduct a semi-quantitative Sturgeon hab. assessment at HWY T in the Tn. of Grafton 4) Conduct a semi-quantitative Sturgeon hab. assessment at the former Lime Kiln Dam impoundment in the Vil. of Grafton 5) Prepare a project summary report Deliverables to the DNR: 1) A GIS data layer and maps of suspected areas of hq Sturgeon spawning and wintering hab. in project boundary. 2) A paper and digital summary report on the status of efforts, research, and findings related to Sturgeon hab. and fish passage removal or remediation efforts in the MR; as well as analysis of recent wq data collected in the MR near the Lime Kiln Dam removal site. 3) A list of high priority hab. sites recommended for future field assessments. 4) A printed and digital Sturgeon hab. assessment report for the HWY T reach based on DNR monitoring protocols, including discussion on verification of assessment methods and noting any significant hab. changes that may have occurred since the DNR 2006 Sturgeon Rehab. In the MR study. 5) A printed and digital Sturgeon hab. assessment report for the former Lime Kiln Dam impound. reach, based on DNR monitoring protocols. 6) A printed and digital copy of a project summary report with all above components as well as maps of the same recommendations for future assessments and analysis. 7) A narrative summary of project outreach, any web-based sharing of information and efforts pertaining to the project that occur as part of Sturgeon Fest.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Milwaukee Riverkeeper is undertaking a project to conduct and guide water quality monitoring throughout the Milwaukee River Basin, utilizing citizen volunteers. The collected data will support implementation efforts associated with the Milwaukee River Basin TMDL. Milwaukee Riverkeeper will undertake the following activities: 1) Collect water samples to perform genetic sequencing, Total Phosphorus, E. coli, and Fecal Coliform tests on each. 2) Collect growing season Total Phosphorus water samples (according to WisCALM standards) throughout the watershed. 3) Where indicated by conductivity sensors, collect water samples for Chloride analysis. 4) Publish results in Milwaukee Riverkeeper\2019s Annual River Report Card. 5) Create a 3-5 year Strategic Monitoring Plan to inform future monitoring by Riverkeeper within the Milwaukee River Basin. Project deliverables include: 1) Provide to the department a final report summarizing results of bacterial community and water sample analyses. 2) Data entry into SWIMS 3) Provide to the department a copy of the final Strategic Water Quality Monitoring Plan. Special Conditions: 1) Donated professional services and volunteer lists and signatures shall be maintained for reporting in kind donations. This scope summarizes the project detail provided in the application and does not negate tasks/deliverables described therein. Data, records, and reports, including GIS-based maps, and digital images, must be submitted to the Department in a format specified by the regional Rivers Biologist.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Aquatic Connectivity Educational Video Development \2013 Milwaukee River Watershed Ozaukee Co. and Milwaukee Audubon Society will contract with a professional development company to develop an n aquatic connectivity education video. Video will include: - 5 minute segment which will help landowners and the general public recognize the values and importance of small tributary streams, how they can identify potential impediments, and provide guidance to help them remove small scale impediments. - 8 minute segment will provide detailed technical guidance on designing and installing road and stream crossings suitable for aquatic life passage Video distribution will be in accordance with the grant narrative. The project deliverables include a chart that tracks the number of video copies distributed, number of video screenings hosted, number of screening attendees, website statistics, number and characterization of questionnaires, number of press releases and newsletters published and number of presentations conducted and conferences/community events attended.
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
The planning process and final report will include: 1) Baseline assessments- assess existing condition, native flora and fauna, current public utilization and riverbank structure, 2) Public information sessions- listening sessions to gather ideas feedback and comments on the restoration, 3) Site planning- Trail connections, recreational facility and public access points, vegetation restoration and invasive species control, shoreland stabilization and runoff reduction, site grading create opportunities to create diverse high quality native vegetation and habitat.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Assemble a plan in cooperation with the City of Milwaukee that will address. 1) a prioritized map for restoration of invasive removal 2)Mapping an 11.5 mile of shared multi use trails 3)Location of critical area of Butlers garter snake for biotic integrity 4) location and design of public access points 5) integration of other plans into Central park plan including trail connection 6) Evaluation of recreational use (off leash dog walking- fishing piers, access improvements and portage improvements. Public outreach is also a major component.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
To build capacity to better meet the needs of the rural (upstream) portions of the Milwaukee River Watershed. This is a result of a need for a unique water advocacy to help implement SEWRPC Water Quality Management Plan update. The proposal focus on the rural portions primarily in Ozaukee and Washington Counties along with Dodge and Fond du Lac. These areas remain largely agricultural. This proposal would include: 1) Review SEWRPC plan. 2) Form a team of water related scientist and business leaders and create outline of ways to solve current watershed concerns. 3) Hiring and train water quality assistant to work with advisory team, volunteer water quality program, erosion control checks, manage storm drain marking program and work wit partners on buffer establishment and maintenance and web site context. 4) Evaluate website with attention given to rural constituents and e-news letters to promote items and tacks. 5) Expand citizen engagement opportunities and modify existing opportunities as needed. 6) Recruit new board members and evaluate staff organization structure to ensure financial resources are aligned with programmatic priorities to insure growth. 7) Provide report covering all project deliverables. Two hard copies and one electronic version will be provided.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Protect the threatened reached of the Milwaukee River using civic engagement and planning tools. The focus of this grant is portions of Milwaukee River within the City of Milwaukee, north of the former North Ave. Dam, as well as buffers on either side of the river. The project deliverables are 1) Summary of results from charettes and public input sessions on river shoreline planning 2) Draft overlay district language and maps; ideally this language will be passed by the end of the grant period. 3) Reports of involvement and input on development proposals. 4) Final report
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The planning grant is to increase organizational capacity and improve their products and services. The mission is to protect, restore, and sustain the ecosystem in the watershed through funding and facilitation of a regional network of locally initiated projects. The river grant money will be used to market and develop long-term financial independence. Future funds will be used to supply grant money to other organizations for watershed improvements projects.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Develop outreach materials and increase volunteer capacity by working with four or five communities within the Milwaukee River Basin to improve stormwater education and outreach. This goal will be accomplished by forming an advisory team; developing educational materials; recruiting members for teaching and presenting at least 25 public presentation; developing a web-based information center, storm drain stenciling; and evaluating and coordinating river clean-ups.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Foundation seeks to extend their Land Protection Plan from Capitol Drive in Milwaukee County to the north up to the Ozaukee County line. This will be done to assess the conservation and protection status of land adjacent to the Milwaukee River for approximately 10 miles. This will be done to implement long-term protection and revitalization of the Milwaukee River.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers is applying for a river management grant in the amount of $10,000 to hire their Riverkeeper full time so they can broaden the Riverkeeper's scope of duties, both in terms of types of activities and coverage of the watershed. The total project budget is $64,923 Project funding will increase the Riverkeeper to full-time focus on water quality issues, and then allow her to work with other staff and volunteers on project components. Tasks for the project include developing protocols, developing outreach materials, recruiting and training volunteers, purchasing equipment, and project reporting. Project deliverables will include uniform water monitoring protocols and reporting procedures, written materials and testing supplies as part of a volunteer orientation package, digital watershed map to track progress and a final project report submitted to the WDNR.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
This grant will be used for capacity building for their existing river organization. Project will assist in finalizing a Milwaukee River Watershed Corridor Plan and will provide Information and Education outreach on a watershed wide basis. The plan and educational efforts will aid in local decision making for protection of critical habitat areas identified in the 1997 SEWRPC report entitled "A Regional Natural Areas and Critical Species Habitat Protection and Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin".
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers is initiating an agency capacity building project. The purpose of the grant is to bring the goals of clean water, improved wildlife habitat and sound land use to the public. One goal is to make the organization known through outreach to the community. A second goal is to build a significant financial base. And to recruit new board members.
Navigability Determination
14N 18E S12; Milwaukee River, unnamed;
Navigability Determination
T14N R18E ; West Branch Milwaukee River;
Restore Wetlands
Milwaukee Basin
TMDL Implementation
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District proposes to develop third-party pathogen, phosphorus, and sediment TMDLs for the Milwaukee Estuary in Southeastern Wisconsin.
TMDL Development
Cedar Creek is a 28-mile, warm water stream that runs through Washington and Ozaukee Counties of Southeastern Wisconsin and flows into the Milwaukee River at river mile 28. The land use in the Cedar Creek Watershed is primarily rural including agriculture (49%), wetlands(16%), grasslands and forest (26%), while urban areas cover about 3.5% of the watershed (WDNR 2001). The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) placed the first 5 miles of Cedar Creek upstream of the confluence with the Milwaukee River on Wisconsin's 2006 Impaired Waters List.
Runoff Grant
Identify sources of phosphorus in the watershed and pursue local runoff management and river/stream grants to reduce phosphorous inputs into local resources.
Information and Education
Identify potential partners and stakeholders to participate in an overall awareness and behavioral change program in the watersheds that result in reduced erosion and phosphorus inputs.
Water Quality Planning
The Milwaukee River South Watershed covers about 168 square miles and is located in portions of Ozaukee and Milwaukee Counties. The Milwaukee River mainstem enters the watershed west of the Village of Fredonia and flows for about 48 miles before entering the Milwaukee Harbor. There are three small named lakes, several unnamed lakes and many park ponds within the Milwaukee River South Watershed. Land cover in the watershed is a mix of rural and urban uses. Overall, the watershed is about 33 percent urban, with agriculture (25%), grasslands (21%), forests (12%) and wetlands (6%) making up the rest of the major land cover types. Fourteen cities and villages are found in this watershed.
Nine Key Element Plan
Milwaukee River South PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Milwaukee River South Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Milwaukee River South Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Milwaukee River and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Milwaukee River South Priority Watershed Project area.
Nine Key Element Plan
East and West Branches of the Milwaukee River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The East-West Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the East-West Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the North Branch, Menomonee, Cedar Creek, and the Milwaukee River South watersheds.
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
East and West Branches of the Milwaukee River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The East-West Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the East-West Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the North Branch, Menomonee, Cedar Creek, and the Milwaukee River South watersheds.
Runoff Grant
Sauk Creeks Watershed should continue to be considered as a high priority for runoff and urban NPS grants and river grants based on the total phosphorus impairments and related urbanization issues.
Map Invasive Species
A map of invasive species should be made for all sites throughout the watershed through updating information based on monitoring data.
Monitor and/or Protect Groundwater, Sourcewater
Water quality biologists should continue to assist Ozaukee County in identifying drain tile connections from septic systems and milk-house wastes to surface waters in the Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed and facilitate the corrections.
Permit Compliance Inventory
A permit compliance inventory should be conducted by reviewing wastewater and stormwater discharges in the Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed; DNR could work with SEWRPC on this project.
Natural Community Review or Change
The DNR should update its databases to reflect updated natural community confirmation data or recommendations for changes to reflect current fish assemblages in the watershed.
Partnership Project
Where possible, innovative partnerships with nonprofits, schools, and UW Extension should be pursued to expand educational programs at the local, county and regional planning agency level.
Fish Management, Access
DNR should work with local communities to expand public access and fishing opportunities within the Watershed.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Citizen-Based Stream Monitors should be recruited to assist with on-going Watershed monitoring for phosphorus and other key parameters.
Monitor Fish Tissue
15000 name Milwaukee River TMDL ID 291 Start Mile 2.9 End Mile 19.35

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

Milwaukee River is located in the East and West Branches Milwaukee River watershed which is 266.00 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (35.50%), wetland (19.20%) and a mix of forest (17.90%) and other uses (27.40%). This watershed has 312.44 stream miles, 2,023.13 lake acres and 32,107.47 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

Milwaukee River is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Warm Headwater, Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm Mainstem, COOL-Warm Headwater 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.

Warm Mainstem waters are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with relatively warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

Cool (Warm-Transition) Headwaters are small, sometimes intermittent streams with cool to warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are uncommon to absent, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are common to uncommon. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Warm Headwaters are small, usually intermittent streams with warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Fish Stocking