Peppermill Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14)
Peppermill Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14)
Peppermill Creek (178400)
1.71 Miles
0 - 1.71
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.
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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent forage fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.


The Upper Fox River Basin Plan identifies the potential use of Peppermill Creek as COLD and existing use as WWFF. A fish survey in 2007 captured salmonid species, with other salmonids observed upstream. Hydraulic modification (HM) is listed as a source of a problem and Temperature and Migration as impacts. These factors are NOT controllable in this stream segment. There are two authorized dams on this two mile reach which are operational and function properly. There is one instance of a road culvert on 1st lane that is currently plugged via boulders. This can be easily removed, which will restore flow in the reach and remove the unauthorized HM. This stream is currently meeting its potential use and should not be included on the 303d list. A fish IBI survey was completed downstream of 1st Lane and macroinvertebrates will be sampled this fall. Due to the fact that salmonids were found and that the HM is authorized, the stream is currently meeting its potential use. The watershed table also lists NPS as a problem. Currently the watershed land use is comprised chiefly of forests and grassland. Agriculture has decreased over time to only to be 20% (478.4 acres out of the 2350.4 total land area) of the total current land use. There were no obvious NPS issues observed thus it is unlikely NPS is a significant problem. Habitat and sedimentation is listed as an impact associated with NPS. There has been trout habitat restoration completed downstream of 1st lane, and other habitat is affected by the presence of dams, which as described earlier, are uncontrollable.

Date  2008

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Peppermill Creek, T15N, R7E, Section 12 Surface Acres = 2.1, Miles '=1.6, Gradient = 13.3 feet per mile.
This is a clear, spring-fed, hard water stream that has a predominantly sand bottom
and flows in an easterly direction. Beaver Pond, a drainage lake, is located at its
headwaters and before the stream joins Neenah Creek, it passes through McDougall Lake
and an unnamed flowage. The fishery consists of largemouth bass, bluegins, pumpkinseed,
rock bass, bullheads, and forage species. Brook trout are incidental. Beaver and muskrat
are present. Ducks have been observed and wood ducks nest along the stream. Open
water was observed the full length of the stream during the February, 1963, aerial
groundwater survey. Three road crossings provide access.

From: Klick, Thomas A. and C.W. Threinen. 1966. Surface Water Resources of Adams County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1966

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Peppermill Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) Fish and Aquatic LifePeppermill Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) RecreationPeppermill Creek, Neenah Creek Watershed (UF14) Fish Consumption


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.



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.
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.
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.
Cost-Share Agreement
Adams County proposes to provide up to 75% of the cost of shoreland restoration practices to lake front property owners on Peppermill Lake. Grant funds will be distributed to fund establishment of vegetative buffers and implementation of individual stormwater management plans.

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

Peppermill Creek is located in the Neenah Creek watershed which is 173.35 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38.20%), agricultural (30.80%) and a mix of wetland (14.80%) and other uses (16.20%). This watershed has 198.75 stream miles, 2,104.14 lake acres and 14,499.98 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available 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.

Natural Community

Peppermill Creek is considered a Coldwater 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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