Fish and Aquatic Life
Sixmile Branch is a spring-fed tributary to the Blue River. The stream is considered a Class II trout stream. Bank erosion and scouring can be a problem due to narrow and steep grade. The state has a small number of easements in the middle of the creek. Data on the creek was last collected in 1993.
Author Cynthia Koperski
From: Smith, Tom D., and Ball, Joseph R., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Grant County, Department of Natural Resources, 1972. Surface Area = 6.00 acres, Length = 4.5 miles, Gradient = 16 ft./mile, Flow = 8.6 C.F.S.
A spring-fed stream beginning in northwestern Iowa County and flowing in a ,~esterly direction to empty into the Blue River six miles sOuthwest of Muscoda. Big Spring. Branch, its main tributary and a good trout stream, enters from the southeast in the lower reaches. The drainage basin is narrow and steep, consequently bank erosion and channel scouring is common. A small population of brown and brook trout provide a limited fishery. Forage species are common and have been taken commercially in the past. Fishing pressure is light. Game assets include muskrats, mink, and most of the upland varieties. Two water control structures are scheduled for the upper reaches in Iowa County as part of the Blue River P.l. 566 Watershed Project. These t~ structures should greatly increase the trout-carrying capacity of this stream. The Blue River provides navigable water access. Two bridge crossings and a town road paralleling the stream also provide points of public access. Five dwellings adjoin the stream.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Six Mile Creek - Mouth location T7N RlE Section 6 -10, Surface area = 1.6 acres, Length = 1.6 miles, Gradient = 62.5 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 258.0 mg/l, Volume of flow = 2.0 cfs.
Six Mile Creek is classified as a warmwater seepage stream which begins in Iowa County and flows westerly into Grant County where it enters the Big Spring Creek. It is very small in Iowa County and although much of the watershed is cleared for farming bank erosion is moderate. Two single purpose dams are scheduled for construction in the headwaters which will provide protection to the downstream reaches. Only forage fish namely redbelly dace, creek chubs, stoneroller minnows, fathead minnows and fantail darters are present. There are no public lands and no road crossings in Iowa County.
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.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Sixmile Branch (1212800), from the mouth to the Grant-Iowa county line, 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.
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.
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
This project will stabilize the stream banks to improve water and substrate quality for brown and brook trout and other cold-water species. Project deliverables include: 1.) Tapering eroding banks with a goal of 8:1 where possible and armoring the toe- 2.) Installing habitat devices to enhance trout population size and structure- 3.) Using root wads to create structure where possible- 4.) building and installing bank hides/cribs/lunker structures in critical points- 5.) Increasing and improving gravel riffle areas where conditions allow- 6.) Seeding and mulching disturbed soil with grass mixes.
Control Streambank Erosion
The Harry and Laura Nohr Chapter of Trout Unlimited will undertake a River Management project on the Six Mile Creek Branch. This project will stabilize the stream banks to improve water and substrate quality for brown and brook trout and other cold-water species. Project deliverables include: 1.) Tapering eroding banks with a goal of 8:1 where possible and armoring the toe, 2.) Installing habitat devices to enhance trout population size and structure, 3.) Using root wads to create structure where possible, 4.) building and installing bank hides/cribs/lunker structures in critical points, 5.) Increasing and improving gravel riffle areas where conditions allow, 6.) Seeding and mulching disturbed soil with grass mixes.
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1212800||Sixmile Br||10042423||Six Mile Branch 3600 feet DS of Farmers Ridge Rd||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Sixmile Br is located in the Blue River watershed which is 216.19 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.60%), grassland (29.40%) and a mix of agricultural (20.80%) and other uses (8.20%). This watershed has 513.46 stream miles, 416.83 lake acres and 5,825.06 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.