0 - 7.06
Deep Seepage, Cool-Warm Mainstem
Fish and Aquatic Life
Otter Creek, in the Lower Yellow (Chippewa Co.) River Watershed, is a 18.45 mile river that falls in Chippewa and Taylor Counties. This river is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Otter Creek, from its mouth to Otter Lake (miles 0 to 7.06), was identified as having high phosphorus levels in the 2018 cycle. Evaluation during the 2022 cycle showed excellent fish and bug communities, but phosphorus levels were still too high. This stream segment is on the Impaired Waters List.
Otter Creek, from Otter Lake to its headwaters (miles 7.06 to 18.45) was evaluated for phosphorus and/or biology every two-year cycle from 2016 to 2022. Phosphorus levels were found to be too high. This stream segment was put on the Impaired Waters List in the 2016 cycle.
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 Aquatic Biology
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Otter Creek, WBIC: 2156800, AU:16196
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Impairment unknown still, 2012 was drought year and site is immediately downstream of dam. More recent macroinvertebrate data downstream indicates biology is good.
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|
|2156800||Otter Creek||10008713||Otter Creek - Cths G And S||8/14/2013||10/26/2021||Map||Data|
|2156800||Otter Creek||093126||Otter Creek - Off Bridge On Hwy 5||6/30/1993||8/31/1993||Map||Data|
|2156800||Otter Creek||10037549||Otter Creek downstream of dam and 170th Ave||6/27/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Otter Creek is located in the Lower Yellow (Chippewa Co.) River watershed which is 276.84 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38.80%), agricultural (26.30%) and a mix of wetland (16.20%) and other uses (18.70%). This watershed has 501.83 stream miles, 1,225.60 lake acres and 21,492.02 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.
Otter Creek is considered a Deep Seepage, Cool-Warm 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.
Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.