Fish and Aquatic Life
The South Fork of the Lemonweir River, located in eastern Monroe County, flows in a
northeasterly direction for 22 miles before reaching the Lemonweir River at Wyeville. A dam
on this river in Tomah creates Lake Tomah. This river supports a marginal warm water sport
Fish and habitat surveys conducted in 1991 of the South Fork of the Lemonweir River
upstream of Lake Tomah documented panfish and northern pike as well as numerous forage
fish species. In-stream fish habitat consisted of overhanging vegetation and some undercut
banks. Streambank erosion due to livestock grazing was observed. The stream bottom
consisted of sand and silt. Stream temperatures documented in 1991 would not support a
population of trout. Fecal coliform concentrations were above the state standard of 400
colonies/ml. Dissolved oxygen levels below the 5 mg/L standard in the South Fork of the
Lemonweir River below the dam at Lake Tomah resulted in listing this section of river as an
impaired water. Since very limited information exists about the South Fork of the Lemonweir
River downstream of Lake Tomah, a fish and habitat survey should be conducted to determine
existing conditions and classification.
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
The 2018 assessments of the South Fork Lemonweir River (Kreyer Creek to Lake Tomah dam) showed continued biological impairment; new macroinvertebrate sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) average scored in the poor condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
This study proposes to re-assess baseflow and events loads by using fixed period sampling.
Monroe County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.
Habitat Restoration - Lake
The City of Tomah proposes to restore aquatic and fisheries habitat in Lake Tomah in Monroe County. Major project elements to include tree drops, placement of rip rap, establishment of rock bars and revegetation of disturbed areas and islands.
Nine Key Element Plan
Lake Tomah PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Lake Tomah Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Lake Tomah Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for Lake Tomah and its tributaries. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Lake Tomah Priority Watershed Project area.
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|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10016516||So Fork Lemonweir River - Approximately 150 Ft Above Bridgeon Sth 16 - Sampled Vegetation Along Streambank||5/9/1991||5/18/2018||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10011307||South Fork Lemonweir River - S.Fk. Lemonweir River Station #2 Fenceline Upstream Of Bridge On Heritage Rd.||5/14/1980||5/18/2018||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10011308||South Fork Lemonweir River - S.Fk. Lemonweir River Station #3 5m Up From Bridge On Cth M At Fenceline||5/9/1991||5/30/2018||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10020512||South Fork Lemonweir River St. 5 Inshore Ave. Crossing||6/27/2017||5/30/2018||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10007763||Lemonweir River South Fork at Cth Cm||2/15/2006||3/13/2007||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10020513||South Fork Lemonweir River St. 6 Indigo Ave. Crossing||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10016880||So Fork Lemonweir River - 30 Ft Above Bridge On 21st Drive||5/9/1991||5/30/2018||Map||Data|
|1338500||South Fork Lemonweir River||10011306||South Fork Lemonweir River - S.Fk. Lemonweir River Station #1 Bridge On Cth Cm||10/6/2010||10/22/2018||Map||Data|
|5025493||Unnamed||10032255||Unnamed South Trib Lemonweir River||1/5/2011||1/5/2011||Map||Data|
South Fork Lemonweir River is located in the Little Lemonweir River watershed which is 218.01 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (33.10%), agricultural (28.30%) and a mix of wetland (17.20%) and other uses (21.40%). This watershed has 488.22 stream miles, 1,656.86 lake acres and 18,277.64 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.