Plum Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03)
Plum Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03)
Plum Creek (125100)
2.55 Miles
13.87 - 16.42
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.
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.
This river is impaired
Elevated Water Temperature, Degraded Habitat
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Brown, 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.
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.
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.


Plum Creek, is a 19-mile stream with poor water quality. Aquatic life habitat of Plum Creek is generally poor. Clay is the predominant substrate type with little gravel, rubble and sand present. Many of the pools that are necessary to support fish and other aquatic life have been filled in from bank erosion and upland sediment runoff. The streambanks are eroding because of the lack of stable bank protection and from frequent flooding. Stream flow appears to be a major limiting factor for aquatic life during the summer months. Macroinvertebrate sample results indicate poor to good water quality with very significant to some organic pollution present. Macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity appears to be limited by the lack of suitable habitat. The water is generally very turbid, which limits light penetration for desirable rooted aquatic plants. Filamentous algae, however, appears to be common on the rocks and along the banks. Suspended solids, total and dissolved phosphorus and bacteria levels were excessively high during runoff event sampling. The Fox River receives a high pollutant loading from Plum Creek. Plumes of sediment are evident where Plum Creek discharges to the Fox River in the spring of the year.

Bougie, Cheryl A. 1999. Lower Fox River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Public Review Draft. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1999

Author  Cheryl Bougie

Plum Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) Fish and Aquatic LifePlum Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) RecreationPlum Creek, Plum and Kankapot Creeks Watershed (LF03) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Plum Creek (125100) from its mouth to tributary (wbic 125600) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2008. The entire stream was added to the impaired waters list for sediment/total suspended solids in 1998. The TMDL for both total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids was approved by the U.S. EPA in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one 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


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.



Navigability Determination
S33 T21N R19E; ; Determination started in Outagamie Cty
Navigability Determination
S33 T21N R19E; ; Determination started in Outagamie Cty
Nine Key Element Plan
Plum and Kankapot Creek Watersheds PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Plum and Kankapot Watershed is a subwatershed of the Lower Fox River Watershed and is located in east central Wisconsin in Brown, Outagamie, and Calumet Counties. The Plum and Kankapot Creeks empty into the Lower Fox River draining approximately 38,712 acres. Excessive sediment loads and increased algal blooms in the Lower Fox River and Bay of Green Bay prompted the need for action to be taken in the Lower Fox River Basin.

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

Plum Creek is located in the Plum and Kankapot Creeks watershed which is 84.04 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (52.70%), suburban (16.90%) and a mix of grassland (12.20%) and other uses (18.30%). This watershed has 193.77 stream miles, 39.36 lake acres and 1,129.50 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High 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.

Natural Community

Plum Creek is considered a Macroinvertebrate 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.

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