Waupaca River, Waupaca River Watershed (WR05)
Waupaca River, Waupaca River Watershed (WR05)
Waupaca River (257400)
10.04 Miles
7.21 - 17.25
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 Mainstem, No Classification, Cool-Warm 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.
2017
Good
 
Waupaca
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.
Class III Trout
Streams capable of supporting a seasonal coldwater sport fishery and which may be managed as coldwater streams.
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 Waupaca/Tomorrow River flows for about 63 miles in this watershed.Above the city of Waupaca, the river is classified as Class II trout waters with portions of the Tomorrow River classified as Class I, while below the city the river contains warm water species and forage fish. The Tomorrow River portion is one of the best trout streams in the area and is listed in NR 102 as an Outstanding Resource Water for the Class I trout portions. In addition to the fishery, this stream is important for its recreational potential. The major tributary is the Crystal River. Fisheries managers indicate that agricultural runoff from feedlots and streambank erosion from cattle pasturing in/near the river has negative impact on river water quality. The Waupaca Foundry in Waupaca discharges to the Waupaca River. This section of the river is a warm water sport fishery.

Date  2006

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

The Waupaca/Tomorrow River flows for about 63 miles in this watershed. The narrative for the remaining six miles below the Weyauwega Millpond can be found in the Lower Wolf River watershed (WR04). Above the city of Waupaca, the river is classified as Class II trout waters with portions of the Tomorrow River classified as Class I, while below the city the river contains warm water species and forage fish. The Tomorrow River portion is one of the best trout streams in the area and is listed in NR 102 as an Outstanding Resource Water for the Class I trout portions. In addition to the fishery, this stream is important for its recreational potential. The major tributary is the Crystal River. Fisheries managers indicate that agricultural runoff from feedlots and streambank erosion from cattle pasturing in/near the river has negative impact on river water quality. The impacts from erosion include impairment of fish spawning areas as well as turbidity and low dissolved oxygen levels. Fisheries Management has done extensive fish habitat work on the lower reaches of the Waupaca River. The Stewardship Program is recommended to continue to improve and compliment the fisheries streambank and habitat improvement work that has been completed.

The Nelsonville Dam was removed in 1988 to improve water quality and the Tomorrow River trout fishery. The Amherst Dam should also be considered for removal when feasible to improve waater quality and the trout fishery in the Tomorrow River.

The Waupaca Foundry in Waupaca discharges to the Waupaca River. Historically, the facility had consistently exceeded categorical, total phenolic limits since start-up of the new plant in 1986.

From: Bougie, Cheryl A., Kosmond, Lisa D, and Watermolen, Dreux J. 1996. Wolf River Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1996

Author  Cheryl Bougie

Waupaca River, Waupaca River Watershed (WR05) Fish and Aquatic LifeWaupaca River, Waupaca River Watershed (WR05) RecreationWaupaca River, Waupaca River Watershed (WR05) Fish Consumption

General Condition

The Tomorrow/Waupaca River was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and temperature (miles 46.86-48.17 for 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

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of the Tomorrow/Waupaca River (miles 17.25-45.98; 51.07-64.9) showed continued impairment by temperature; new temperature sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

The Waupaca River (257400), from State Hwy 22 to the Amherst dam and from Nelsonville Pond to the headwaters, was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; temperature data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use.

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.
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.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Waupaca County Land and Water Conservation Department is sponsoring a project to develop a Nine Key Element Watershed Plan for the Weyauwega Lake Watershed which is an impoundment of the Waupaca River in Weyauwega, Wisconsin Project final deliverables include: The Nine Key Element Watershed Plan is the primary deliverable in hard copy and electronic form. Specific project activities include: 1.Hire staff to write the Nine Key Element Plan in January through March 2018. 2. Convene stakeholder group for information, education and goal achievement recommendations before March 31st, 2018. 3. Run EVAAL, STEPL, and ACPF models to identify the high-risk non-point source areas within the watershed (late Spring/Summer 2018). 4. Establish partner network to assist with monitoring strategy with the Weyauwega-Fremont High School and WDNR to verify results (Summer 2018). 5.Create draft of Weyauwega Lake Nine Key Element Watershed Plan by October 2018. The report will summarize current conditions, provide comparisons to earlier information, projections for future conditions and potential risks, and recommendations for protection and restoration. 6. Update and distribute the Weyauwega Lake Nine Key Element Watershed Plan to WDNR and EPA by December 31st, 2018. Three hard copies will be sent to WDNR Water Resources staff along with the link to the electronic .pdf. 7. Provide list of stewardship groups, agencies, schools and municipalities receiving the report and copies of publications of the report in local newspapers to the WDNR Water Resources staff. 8. Provide dates, agendas, and minutes from meetings with municipality boards and WLR, Inc related to the Weyauwega Lake Nine Key Element Watershed Plan to WDNR Water Resources staff. 9. Provide a description of how the report will be distributed to watershed property owners to WDNR Water Resources staff (by December 31st, 2018).
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Portage County Land and Water Conservation Department is sponsoring a project to expand capacity, enhance partnerships and develop a State of the Tomorrow River Report. Project final deliverables include: The State of the Tomorrow River Report is the primary deliverable in hard copy and electronic form. All data collected for the report, agendas and minutes from meetings with municipality boards and plan commissions and interested groups, newsletters, publications in newspapers, along with educational materials provided to the public and private schools will be shared with WDNR Water Resources staff. Specific project activities include: 1. Coordinate contributions to the State of the Tomorrow River Report by stewardship groups and technical partners in March 2017. 2. Create draft of the State of the Tomorrow River Report by October 2017. A report draft review gathering will be scheduled with all contributors for October 2017 and conducted following completion of the draft. The report will summarize current conditions, provide comparisons to earlier information, projections for future conditions and potential risks, and recommendations for protection and restoration. 3. Update, print and distribute State of the Tomorrow River Final Report by December 31st, 2017. Three hard copies will be sent to WDNR Water Resources staff along with the link to the electronic .pdf. 4. Provide list of stewardship groups, agencies, schools and municipalities receiving the report and copies of publications of the report in local newspapers to the WDNR Water Resources staff. 5. Provide dates, agendas, and minutes from meetings with municipality boards and plan commissions related to the State of the Tomorrow River Report to WDNR Water Resources staff. 6. Provide a description of how the report will be distributed to watershed property owners to WDNR Water Resources staff.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Golden Sands RC&D proposes to administer a grant on behalf of Friends of the Tomorrow/Waupaca River, the funding to be used for public information, involvement and planning designed to enhance FOTWR's capacity to facilitate river protection. Major project elements to include: 1) River Clean-up Day, 2) Development of a newsletter, 3) Water quality monitoring training for volunteers, 4) Informational signs along roadways, 5) Educational materials re: conservation easements to landowners, 6) Strategic planning.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitoring of phosphorus and nitrate concentrations in the streams of the Lower Little Wolf River should continue.
Water Quality Planning
Waupaca Watershed (wr05) watershed planning
Best Management Practices, Implement
The department should work with Waupaca County LWCD and NRCS to implement BMPs to reduce non-point source sediment and nutrients reaching surface waters from stream bank and cropland erosion.

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

Waupaca River is located in the Waupaca River watershed which is 290.77 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (43.70%), agricultural (30.40%) and a mix of grassland (14%) and other uses (11.80%). This watershed has 231.34 stream miles, 2,456.10 lake acres and 14,124.68 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium 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

Waupaca River is considered a Cool-Cold Mainstem, No Classification, 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.

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.

Fish Stocking
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