Fish and Aquatic Life
Brewery Creek is a 2.7-mile tributary to Black Earth Creek at Cross Plains. The creek
provides important habitat for forage fish and for small brown trout. This habitat, however, is
affected by modifications such as dredging and ditching. These activities also increase the
sediment loading. As a tributary to Black Earth Creek, nutrient and organic enrichment to
Brewery Creek eventually adds to Black Earth CreekÃ½s nonpoint source pollution problems.
The creek is subject to flooding and low summer flows. These problems may be exacerbated
by increasing development in Cross Plains where additional stormwater runoff will contribute
a larger volume of water and pollutants to the creek and increased pumping may affect
The stormwater situation is being addressed in the development study that is being conducted
by Dane County Land Conservation Department and the EPA, which focuses on the effects of
urbanization and stormwater on water quality. Brewery Creek is also
designated as a "priority stream" in the Dane County Open Space Plan that prioritizes it for
funding to acquire land and protect the stream bank.
In addition, monitoring has been conducted on the creek for many years as a result of the
significance of the Black Earth Creek system and the watershed's status as a Priority
Watershed Project. These results, when compared with results collected in 1999 through
2000 indicated improved water quality in Brewery Creek. It is suspected that this
improvement is the result of the installation of agricultural best management practices along
the creek as a result of the Black Earth Creek Priority Watershed project that took place from
1985 to 1996. It is important to try to minimize the potential impact that increased residential
development could have on the stream. Urban stormwater runoff could potentially reverse the
effect of the work completed as a result of the nonpoint priority watershed project.
Currently, there are two USGS gauging stations on the creek located upstream from Cross Plains and at Cross Plains. These stations provide "real time" USGS data on the Internet including flow, river stage, and water temperature. The creek should continue to be monitored. Other keys to the protection and maintenance of the creek rely on protecting recharge area, improving the riparian corridor, controlling stormwater runoff and enhancing streambank and in-stream habitat.
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.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Brewery Creek (Enchanted Valley Creek, Dry Run Creek) - T7N, R7E, Sec. 3, Surface acres = 1.7, Length = 4 miles, Stream order = I, Gradient = 11.5 ft/mile, Base discharge = 0.66 cfs.
This small tributary to Black Earth Creek has its mouth located on the east side of the Village of Cross Plains. Serious flooding problems exist and stretches of the stream have been dredged, ditched, and straightened in an attempt to alleviate this problem. Brewery Creek contributes a large sediment load to Black Earth Creek during storm events. Its substrate is mostly sand and silt with some hardpan and gravel. The fishery consists of only a few forage species near the mouth because of flooding and low summer flow. The stream is considered navigable but has little value for wildlife or recreation. Access Is available at several road crossings and from Black Earth Creek. Fish species: fathead minnow and white sucker.
From: Day Elizabeth A.; Grzebieniak, Gayle P.; Osterby, Kurt M.; and Brynildson, Clifford L., 1985. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Dane County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
New Category 2 based on mIBI. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10015883. AU: 13485.
Monitor Targeted Area
Dane County will conduct stream-monitoring activities on Brewery Creek to document physical and biological changes to the Creek as a result of residential homes being constructed on the stream as a part of the Saint Francis Development.
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|
|1250200||Brewery Creek||10014224||Brewery Creek 150 M Downstream Of Hill Point Rd||Map||Data|
|1250200||Brewery Creek||10052667||Brewery Creek at CTH K||Map||Data|
|1250200||Brewery Creek||10035036||Brewery Creek at Hillpoint Rd||1/9/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Brewery Creek is located in the Black Earth Creek watershed which is 105.20 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (37.80%), agricultural (36.90%) and a mix of grassland (16.20%) and other uses (9.20%). This watershed has 196.86 stream miles, 204.29 lake acres and 1,541.75 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.