North Branch Manitowoc River, North Branch Manitowoc River,South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04, MA05)
North Branch Manitowoc River, North Branch Manitowoc River,South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04, MA05)
North Branch Manitowoc River (75900)
7.35 Miles
0 - 7.35
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.
Warm Headwater, 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
Low DO, Degraded Habitat, High Phosphorus Levels
Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
 
Calumet
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 North Branch of the Manitowoc River flows for nearly 10 miles from its origin west of Brillion
Marsh to its confluence with the South Branch to form the main stem of the Manitowoc River. It is a
sluggish, hard water stream that drains most of northeastern Calumet County. During extensive dry
periods there is no measurable flow in the river. Wetland complexes located along upper portions of this
stream are attractive to ducks, pheasant, deer and small game mammals.
Historic reductions in the percentage of forested and wetland vegetation have resulted in a watershed that
lacks adequate opportunities for infiltration and retention of precipitation and snow melt resulting in
flashy runoff which overwhelms existing stream channels and aquatic habitat. This excessive runoff also
strips valuable sediments and nutrients from the terrestrial environment and delivers them to our streams
and lakes where they result in degraded water quality and poorer habitat which can kill sensitive and
intolerant fish and aquatic invertebrates. Flashy runoff also limits the amount of water available to
sustain adequate flows during drought. Restoration efforts should focus on increasing the overall
percentage of forested and wetland vegetation in this watershed to restore a more natural hydrologic
regime and minimize the impacts of flashy runoff and an altered hydrologic regime.

From: Willman, Guy and Mike Toneys. 2001. The State of the Lakeshore Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2001

Author  Michael Toneys

North Branch Manitowoc River, North Branch Manitowoc River,South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04, MA05) Fish and Aquatic LifeNorth Branch Manitowoc River, North Branch Manitowoc River,South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04, MA05) RecreationNorth Branch Manitowoc River, North Branch Manitowoc River,South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04, MA05) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

The North Branch of the Manitowoc River (75900) from the confluence with the South Branch of the Manitowoc River to Spring Creek was placed on the impaired waters list in 1998 for total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do 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.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

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

Navigability Determination
SW SE S24 T20N R19E; North Branch Manitowoc River, trib;

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

North Branch Manitowoc River is located in the North Branch Manitowoc River watershed which is 76.97 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (61.80%), grassland (16%) and a mix of wetland (14.60%) and other uses (7.50%). This watershed has 129.77 stream miles, 292.80 lake acres and 7,389.45 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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

North Branch Manitowoc River is considered a Warm Headwater, 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.

Fish Stocking
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