Pompey Pillar Creek, Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed (LW11)
Pompey Pillar Creek, Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed (LW11)
Pompey Pillar Creek (1237900)
2.37 Miles
5.48 - 7.85
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
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.


Pompey Pillar Creek is a tributary to Otter Creek. The stream is classified as a Class II trout
fishery for 3 miles of its length and Class I (above CTH I) for another mile. The stream has
some natural reproduction of brook trout. Surveys conducted in 1995 and 1997 found that
water quality, temperature and the macroinvertebrate community in the headwaters area of the
creek is of good quality. The creek, however, is heavily pastured in some spots and although
water quality is good, in-stream trout habitat is limited. In addition, Pompey Pillar is
threatened by nonpoint source pollution from cropland erosion and from a detention dam that
affects in-stream habitat. The stream has been ranked as a high priority for nonpoint source
pollution abatement. In addition, it is recommended that in-stream habitat work be conducted
on the stream to increase trout habitat and to help reduce the threat to the creek from nonpoint
sources of pollution. The state manages a small easement along Pompey Pillar Creek. In
addition, the state owns a small parcel of land in the headwaters of the creek.

From: Ripp, Coreen, Koperski, Cindy and Folstad, Jason. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin. PUBL WT-559-2002. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2002

Author  Cynthia Koperski

Historical Description

Pompey Pillar Creek - Mouth location T7N R~E Section 16 -2, Surface area = 6.7 acres, Length = 5.2 miles, Gradient = 46.2 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 229.0 mg/l, Volume of flow = 5.6 cfs.
Pompey Pillar Creek properly begins at a large spring which is dammed to form the Highland Sportsmen's Club Coop trout rearing pond. It then flows northeasterly into Otter Creek. Its principal tributary is spring fed Smokey Hollow Creek which contributes about 30 percent of its base flow. About 78 percent of its watershed is cleared for farming which is reflected by the rapid runoff of precipitation and subsequent heavy bank erosion; especially in the lower sections. Because of this, the original Public Law 566 watershed plan for flood control in the Otter Creek watershed recommended detention dams on both Pompey Pillar and Smokey Hollow Creeks. These were to be designed strictly for erosion control with no permanent pool. A possible source of pollution in the watershed exists in a cheese factory whose effluent is closely monitored by the Division of Enrironmental Protection. The sport fishery consists of a brown trout population which reproduces naturally and is also supplemented by stocking by both the Department of Natural Resources and local sportsmen. Forage fishes which inhabit this stream include white and hogsuckers; hornyhead and creek chubs; redbelly and blacknose dace; bigmouth and common shiners; bluntnose minnows, johnny darters and redhorse. Aquatic game assets include muskrats, which are common for most of its length and the great blue heron.
There are no public lands and acquisition of fishing easements for the lands on the best trout water is desirable. Presently it is accessible from five road crossings.

From: Piening, Ronald and Threinen, C.W., 1968. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Iowa County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1968

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Pompey Pillar Creek, Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed (LW11) Fish and Aquatic LifePompey Pillar Creek, Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed (LW11) RecreationPompey Pillar Creek, Otter and Morrey Creeks Watershed (LW11) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Pompey Pillar Creek (miles 4.48-7.85) 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.

Date  2017

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.



Restore Riparian Habitat
The Harry and Laura Nohr Chapter of TU will undertake a River Management Grant that protect and enhance water quality and fish habitat for brook and brown trout and forage fishes in mainly critical habitat segments of approximately 7,600 linear feet of Pompey Pillar Creek, and Six Mile Branch. 1. Reduce soil erosion, stream siltation and thermal loading through stream bank sloping and stabilization practices using riprap and vegetation. 2. Increase stream flow rates in the riffles to help increase oxygen for fish spawning using a variety of habitat BMP's such as weirs and log deflectors. 3. Create protective instream habitat areas for trout and other aquatic organism using a variety of habitat BMP's such as cross logs, and deflection rocks and bank hiding areas.

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 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

Pompey Pillar Creek is located in the Otter and Morrey Creeks watershed which is 198.69 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (53.60%), grassland (24.60%) and a mix of agricultural (14.10%) and other uses (7.70%). This watershed has 437.57 stream miles, 351.55 lake acres and 5,785.74 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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

Pompey Pillar Creek is considered a Cool-Cold 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.

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.

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