East Branch Fond Du Lac River, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
East Branch Fond Du Lac River, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03)
East Branch Fond Du Lac River (135900)
8.31 Miles
14.50 - 22.81
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.
Warm Headwater, COOL-Warm Headwater
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.
2018
Poor
 
This river is impaired
High Phosphorus Levels
Total Phosphorus
 
Fond Du Lac
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.
No
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.
No
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.
Yes

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.
FAL
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.
FAL
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.

Overview

The East Branch of the Fond du Lac River begins in south central Fond du Lac County and flows northeasterly to its junction with the West Branch in the City of Fond du Lac. There is intense agriculture throughout much of the watershed. Runoff from plowed fields and barnyards and erosion of heavily grazed and exposed stream banks along the East Branch and its tributaries are adding tons of sediment and nutrients to the river and to Lake Winnebago. Critical soil erosion rate from agricultural lands has been estimated as being 6 tons per acre per year. The East Branch is the largest single sediment contributor to Lake Winnebago (Bruch, 1988).

Date  2011

Author  Michael Reif

East Branch Fond Du Lac River, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish and Aquatic LifeEast Branch Fond Du Lac River, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) RecreationEast Branch Fond Du Lac River, Fond du Lac River Watershed (UF03) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of the East Branch Fond Du Lac River (west of HWY D near Hunter Lane to the headwaters; miles 14.5-22.81) showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, available biological data did not indicate impairment. New available biological data were assessed; no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category. Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of the East Branch Fond Du Lac River (miles 0-14.5) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

East Branch Fond Du Lac River (135900), from its mouth to about a half mile east of Unnamed Stream (136400), was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). This water was also assessed for temperature and sample data did not exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

Condition

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.

Reports

Recommendations

Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands
Navigability Determination
T15N R17E ; East Branch Fond du Lac River;
Navigability Determination
T15N R17E ; East Branch Fond du Lac River;
Navigability Determination
15N 16E S34; Sevenmile Creek; Extension of previous determination
Navigability Determination
T15N R17E; East Branch Fond du Lac River;
Navigability Determination
T15N R16E S25; Fond du Lac River, East Branch trib;
Monitor Targeted Area
Additional water quality monitoring data should be collected to develop a clearer picture of the overall water quality of the East and West Branch of the Fond du Lac river. In particular, total phosphorus, suspended solids, and macroinvertebrate data should be collected so that effective management strategies can be developed.

Recommendations

Additional water quality monitoring data should be collected to develop a clearer picture of the overall water quality of the river. In particular, total phosphorus, suspended solids, and macroinvertebrate data should be collected so that effective management strategies can be developed.

The East Branch of the Fond du Lac River does not have much data for total phosphorus, suspended solids, or macroinvertebrates. Having a good set of data is important so that effective management strategies can be developed.

Date  2011

Author  Michael Reif

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

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

East Branch Fond Du Lac River is located in the Fond du Lac River watershed which is 244.74 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.30%), grassland (15.90%) and a mix of wetland (10.90%) and other uses (16.00%). This watershed has 461.86 stream miles, 991.41 lake acres and 16,649.99 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

East Branch Fond Du Lac River is considered a Warm 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.

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.