Fish and Aquatic Life
Silver Creek, located in central Monroe County, flows for approximately 10.4 miles in a westerly direction before reaching the La Crosse River at Angelo Pond. Silver Creek not only originates on Fort McCoy, but also flows for approximately 9.5 miles before it leaves the property. It has a slight gradient of 21 feet per mile and drains a portion of Fort McCoy. This stream contains three dams: West Silver wetland, I-90 Impoundment, and East Silver Lake. Silver Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length.
The predominant substrate is sand, with small amounts of silt and gravel present. Bank stabilization and installation of LUNKER structures has been ongoing by Fort McCoy staff since 1995. Both brook and brown trout are found in Silver Creek. Brook trout dominate the fishery above the West Silver Wetland, however brown trout have found their way upstream of that dam. Since upper Silver Creek, Cole's Valley Creek and Creek 19-15 all contain healthy brook trout populations, concern exists over competition for food and space from brown trout. Access to Silver Creek is from Fort McCoy and one road crossing near Angelo Pond.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Silver Creek was placed under a special fish consumption advisory for PFOS in 2020; the entire stream, two segments, were added to the 2022 Impaired Waters List for PFOS in fish tissue.
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
|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|
|1660500||Silver Creek||10049460||Silver Creek Point in T17N R02W S17, SE, NE ||Map||Data|
|1660500||Silver Creek||10017395||Silver Creek St. 10 Inlet Of Silver Lake Upstream||Map||Data|
|1660500||Silver Creek||10017401||Silver Creek St. 6 200 Yds Upstream Of East Silver Lake||Map||Data|
|1660500||Silver Creek||10016860||Silver Creek Site 0901 - Samples Collected Above Silverlake In The State Natural Area.||11/5/1994||3/21/1995||Map||Data|
Silver Creek is located in the Upper La Crosse River watershed which is 126.12 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (62.40%), grassland (11.90%) and a mix of agricultural (9.80%) and other uses (16.10%). This watershed has 167.76 stream miles, 207.50 lake acres and 4,875.27 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.