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Warm Headwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, COOL-Warm Headwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
Spring Creek, a very hard water stream, originates north of Brillion and flows more than five miles
generally southwesterly before draining into the North Branch of the Manitowoc River. This stream flows
through most of the Brillion Marsh, which provides an excellent breeding habitat for many wildlife
species. The fishery consists of forage species only, due to the small size of this creek.
Common fish species in Spring Creek include fathead minnows, white suckers, sticklebacks, sunfish,
bullheads and carp. The sport fishery is limited due to the sluggish flow of water through the Brillion
Marsh, as well as the periodic low oxygen content.
Runoff from surrounding croplands and treated wastewater from two Brillion industries currently
contribute a large amount of sediment and nutrient load to Spring Creek and the Brillion Marsh
ecosystem. The Brillion WWTP has been in use since 1985. Before that time it was a primary treatment
facility. Hilbert has also recently upgraded their system.
The eutrophic situation contributes to excessive cattail establishment and encroachment, limiting adequate
water flow through the marsh and reducing the potential for flowage development and water level
management. The lack of open water areas has reduced the value of the marsh for waterfowl and other
wetland wildlife. Chemical control and cattail removal have been used since 1984 in an effort to increase
Wildlife Management staff have been managing the cattails on Spring Creek from 1984 to 1993. Spraying
was used to open up the channel to allow for better water flow. Some ponds were also created to allow
sediments to settle and improve water quality. Obstructions (fallen trees) were also removed to increase
the water flow. The area that has been managed is located east of Sunset Drive to Bastian Road. Various
sites were chosen each year (in September) to spray and sites from the previous years were revisited to
control missed vegetation (Nikolai 1996).
The current stream classification for Spring Creek is Warm Water Forage Fishery (WWFF). WT staff
review determined that the classification for Spring Creek at Brillion be removed from the variance
waters list in the next revision of NR 104 and reclassified as a warm water forage fishery. This proposed
change might require more strict effluent limits for the Brillion Iron Works Inc. WPDES Permit.
From: Willman, Guy and Mike Toneys. 2001. The State of the Lakeshore Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Michael Toneys
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|
|76900||Spring Creek||083191||Spring Creek at Madison St||10/14/2005||10/14/2005||Map||Data|
|5022848||Unnamed||10044213||Spring Creek, Glenview Tesch, Brillion||8/29/2015||8/17/2019||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||10035038||SPRING CREEK AT WATER STREET ||6/13/2006||6/13/2006||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||083188||Spring Creek at Hacker Dr||6/13/2006||6/13/2006||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||083067||Spring Creek at Cth Pp||3/14/1996||10/14/2005||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||10032483||Spring Creek at Brillion POTW||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||083192||Spring Creek - Downstream Of Park St Box Culvert||10/14/2005||6/13/2006||Map||Data|
|5022831||Unnamed||10032760||Unnamed Tributary to Spring Creek at S Parkway Dr. Brillion||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||083190||Spring Creek - Tesch St (Start Of Dredged Reach)||4/16/1996||9/28/2018||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||10044215||Spring Creek at Main St (CTH PP) and Horn||8/29/2015||10/8/2019||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||10035037||Spring Creek midpoint - Walters Pole Building||6/13/2006||6/13/2006||Map||Data|
|76900||Spring Creek||10013305||Spring Creek||Map||Data|
Spring Creek is located in the North Branch Manitowoc River watershed which is 76.97 mi². 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.
Spring Creek is considered a Warm Headwater, Cool-Cold Headwater, 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.
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.
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.
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.