Unnamed, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06)
Unnamed, Waumandee Creek Watershed (BT06)
Irish Valley Creek (1811400)
7.89 Miles
0 - 7.89
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.
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem
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.
2015
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Degraded Habitat
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
 
Buffalo
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.
WWFF
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.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
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.
Cold
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.

Overview

Irish Valley Creek is an eight-mile creek that flows west and converges with Waters Valley Creek before flowing into Waumandee Creek. Irish Valley Creek transports the majority of the sediment in the subwatershed. The headwaters area of this stream is wooded with protected streambanks. Based on information from the Waumandee Creek Priority Watershed Project, cattle in the majority of the downstream area are permitted access to the creek, causing trampled banks, slumping and increased erosion of the banks. Sedimentation is the reason the creek was placed on the 1998 303(d) list. Irish Valley Creek currently supports a warm water forage fish community with potential to support a Class III trout fishery. The stream substrate is primarily silt and sand. Water quality surveys based on macroinvertebrates were completed in 1999 and 2001.

According to the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), the diversity of macroinvertebrates resulted in a score of 2.798 and 3.286, respectively, reflecting excellent water quality. This is a significant improvement from the macroinvertebrate study on Irish Valley Creek in 1990, which resulted in an 8, which signifies poor water quality. A fish survey was conducted on Irish Valley Creek in 2001. Table 2 shows the results of the survey (Site No. 5 is upstream, Site No.1 furthest downstream).

Site No. 5 has seen considerable improvement in the Brook Trout population since 1989. Where streams have improved, little or no cattle have access to the stream. The banks are fairly stable and well vegetated. The downstream areas that have seen very little improvement are still impacted by sedimentation due to agricultural activities.

Gravel substrate is extensively covered by sand, silt, and soft organic matter preventing a suitable habitat for fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Filling-in of pools reduces the amount of available cover for juvenile and adult fish. Sedimentation of riffle areas reduces the reproductive success of fish by reducing the exposed gravel substrate necessary for appropriate spawning conditions. Sedimentation also affects macroinvertebrate biomass (fish food source) which tends to be lower in areas with predominantly sand substrate than a stream substrate with a mix of gravel, rubble, and sand. Sedimentation also causes elevated turbidity which reduces the penetration of light necessary for photosynthesis in aquatic plants, reduces the feeding efficiency of visual predators and filter feeders, and lowers the respiratory capacity of aquatic invertebrates by clogging their gill surfaces. In addition, other contaminants such as nutrients (phosphorus) attached to sediment particles can be transported to streams during runoff events.
Coverage of the substrates with sediment constitutes an objectionable deposit under the water
quality standards criterion noted in S.NR 102.04(1) (a) cited below. The creeks are limited by
excessive sediment loading and habitat unsuitable to support a coldwater fishery.

Date  2004

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Recommendations

TMDL (USEPA) Approved
TMDL for Sediment Impaired Streams in the Waumandee Creek Watershed - Irish Valley Creek. This TMDL project is designed to restore water resource substrate, which In most cases, the gravel substrate is extensively covered by sand, silt, and soft organic matter preventing a suitable habitat for fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Filling-in of pools reduces the amount of available cover for juvenile and adult fish. Sedimentation of riffle areas reduces the reproductive success of fish by reducing the exposed gravel substrate necessary for appropriate spawning conditions. Sedimentation also affects macroinvertebrate biomass (fish food source) which tends to be lower in areas with predominantly sand substrate than a stream substrate with a mix of gravel, rubble, and sand.

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

Unnamed is located in the Waumandee Creek watershed which is 221.97 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (49%), agricultural (24.60%) and a mix of grassland (13.70%) and other uses (12.60%). This watershed has 508.29 stream miles, 3,011.30 lake acres and 8,253.68 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Irish Valley Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Cold Mainstem 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 (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.