Pigeon Creek, Milwaukee River South Watershed (MI02)
Pigeon Creek, Milwaukee River South Watershed (MI02)
DUPLICATE (20500)
2.87 Miles
0 - 0
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-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.
2020
Fair
 
Ozaukee
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.
No

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 Pigeon Creek subwateshed, located in southwest Ozaukee County, is drained by Pigeon Creek, the principal perennial stream, one other unnamed perennial stream, as well as eight small intermittent streams.

The 6.8 mile-length of Pigeon Creek, located in southwest Ozaukee County (T9N R21E, Sec.23, SW of NW quarter), drains 11.5 square miles prior to its confluence with the Milwaukee River in the village of Thiensville. The stream originates as a series of small intermittent tributaries, small wetland parcels, and groundwater seeps. Cobble and gravel-size materials are the dominant and preferred substrate along most of Pigeon Creek. Embeddedness as a measure of deposition averaged between 5 percent to 50 percent over the four reaches surveyed. Pool deposits often exceed 1.0 foot in depth and embeddedness is more extensive along the upper reaches of the stream where agricultural land uses dominate.

Habitat quality and water quality in Pigeon Creek are considered "fair" to "poor". As a result, the stream is not meeting its full potential uses. Observed or potential problems limiting these uses include loss of fish and invertebrate habitat, a fish migration barrier, and potential low dissolved oxygen levels. Sources of these problems include channelization, sedimentation, livestock pasturing, low flow, urban runoff, excessive algae growth, and a dam. Potential exists for bacterial contamination of Pigeon Creek by animal waste runoff from livestock pasturing and urban land use. Unnamed perennial stream A conveys runoff from urban land use. This stream probably contains excessive amounts of nutrients as indicated by extensive filamentous algae growth. Habitat and water quality are impacted by low flow, sedimentation, channelization, and/or draining of wetlands. Low-flow characteristics are assumed to be derived from natural and human processes.

Date  1992

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Pigeon Creek, and all other streams in this subwatershed, are classified as supporting "partialbody
contact" forms of recreational use. Factors primarily limiting this use include low flow and
shallow depth.
Fisheries - Pigeon Creek is a small perennial stream that supports a very diverse fish
community, a condition which reflects the considerable habitat modification which has occurred.
Suckers, stonerollers, darters and dace are the typical inhabitants of the less-disturbed stream
reaches while largemouth bass, bullhead and various sunfsh are more common in the lake-like
environments of the interconnected ponds. Lower portions of this stream are also used by rock
bass, smallmouth bass and northern pike. However, the small populations of these species do
not sustain a significant sport fishery. Impacts from increasing residential development, existing
ditching and draining for agriculture, and eutrophication of tributary ponds are the most
immediate factors limiting the fisheries potential of this drainage. The small size of Pigeon
Creek may indicate that this stream's greatest potential is providing important spawning and
nurseq areas for both game and forage fish s p i e s .
Wildlife - Riparian wildlife habitat consists of forested (35 percent) cover types. The remaining
areas consist of 20 percent open, 3 percent urban space. Cropped areas include 42 percent of
the riparian areas, 86 acres of which may be eligible fa entry into the Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) as vegetative filter strip. Restorable wetland basins ur throughout the
subwatershed. Channelization of Pigeon Creek reduces diversity and quantity of shallow
wetlands.
Parks - The 239-acre Me-Kwon Park, located in the city of Mequon along a tributary of

Pigeon Creek, is the only counq-owned site in this subwatershed. Fishing, designated picnic areas, an 18-hole golf course, and nature trails in the ed portion of the site are available in this park. There are also three community-owned si l located in the city of Cedarburg, encompassing a total of seven acres. The remaining recreational sites are commercially-owned riding stables. They encompass a total of 28 acres. In addition, there are almost two and onehalf miles of environmental corridor lands, identified by SE PC, located along Pigeon Creek. - The majority of this subwatershed is located in the city of Mequon. The woodlots are scattered and small. In addition, few areas have manageable timber.

Several large apple orchards are located in the subwatershed. A few windbreaks are being established around old and new homesites. However, there is very little tree planting in this area. Woodlots are not eligible for the tax laws because they are located in the city of Mequon and there are no CRP lands in the watershed. Landowners hesitate to employ forestry management because of the value such woodlots add to the land. The Forestry program can offer little assistance to ease the impact and pressure on wmdlot owners from increasing urbanization.

Date  1992

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

om Waste - No active landfills exist in the Pigeon Creek subwatershed.
However, residents have access to privately-owned landfills in nearby subwatersheds. Four
h o w abandoned landfills are lmated thin this subwatershed. Three of these abandoned
landfilh, the Icke and Bublitz, Inc., the Elsa f i u t h , and the Me-Kwon Park, are located in the
city of Mequon. The village of Thiensville is the fourth.
- There are no municipal water systems in this subwatershed, but 11 community
systems serve at least 15 service connections or 25 year-round residents each. Private wells
supply the water needs of the residents in the remainder of the subwatershed.
- Regular program activities ur on a case-by-case basis and
are in response to actions or requests from individuals. These activities include protection of
wetlands through review and regulation of county wetlandlshoreland ordinances and
incorporation of watershed objectives into projects requiring water regulation permits.
Additional program responsibilities include the review of and response to the Federal Clean
Water Act, Section 404 applications to fill small wetlands.
Wastewater - The village of Thiensville is served by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage
District (MMSD) municipal wastewater treatment plants. The MMSD treatment plants,
regulated by the Department of Natural Resources Wastewater program, are described in detail
with recommendations in Section C, the Point Source Report. information on industrial
wastewater discharges is also found in Section C.
The Ozaukee County Sanitarian is responsible for on-site private wastewater management in this
subwatershed.
Nonmint Source - Rural upland erosion contributes 78 percent of the sediment load, which
comes almost exclusively from croplands. This upland sediment load is one of the highest in the
Milwaukee River South watershed. Urban loadings contribute 16 percent of the sediment load,
which comes primarily from industrial lands, and secondarily from commercial lands. It is
anticipated that the urban area in the subwatershed will nearly double, due to urbanization
anticipated mainly in the town of Grafton and the city of Mequon. The town of Grafton has
no ordinance or erosion control program. The city of Mequon also has no ordinance, but uses
development agreements. The city has a technical assistance agreement with the Ozaukee
County Land Conservation Department. Although information concerning toxic impacts on
Ulao has not been collected, the creek receives an estimated annual lead load of 660 pounds in
addition to other urban toxicants. There are six barnyards in the subwatershed that drain to
Ulao Creek or its tributaries.

Date  1992

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Pigeon Creek T9N, R21E, Section 23, Surface Acres = 2.3, Length = 2.4 miles, Gradient = 12.50 feet per mile.
A largely intermittent stream system which flows through Thiensville to the
Milwaukee River. Junk, rubbish, and private fills detract from aesthetic or sport
fishery values. Forage minnows inhabit the pools but are restricted in their
movements by intermittency. Pollutional materials occasionally enter the stream
by a small intermittent tributary from area mink farms.

From: Poff, Ronald J., Gernay, Ronald, and Threinen, C.W., 1964. Surface Water Resources of Ozaukee County:
Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1964

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Pigeon Creek, Milwaukee River South Watershed (MI02) Fish and Aquatic LifePigeon Creek, Milwaukee River South Watershed (MI02) RecreationPigeon Creek, Milwaukee River South Watershed (MI02) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Pigeon Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new temperature sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

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.
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.

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

Pigeon Creek is located in the Milwaukee River South watershed which is 167.90 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily suburban (27.40%), urban (24.80%) and a mix of agricultural (18%) and other uses (29.80%). This watershed has 203.63 stream miles, 13,038.94 lake acres and 5,996.03 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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

DUPLICATE is considered a Cool-Cold 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.

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.