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Fish and Aquatic Life
Dutchmen Creek is an approximately nine-mile long tributary to Lake Superior located on the eastern border of the City of Superior. On its way to Lake Superior, Dutchmen Creek flows near the city’s municipal landfill and can be affected by trash or litter at times that get into the water - by either recreationists who leave litter on its banks at the mouth or trash left by people when the landfill is closed.
Dutchmen Creek is very turbid, and although its riparian area is relatively undeveloped, it does receive some stormwater input from private landowner residences. Its principle water source is spring runoff and rain events. A 1964 fisheries survey of Dutchmen Creek describes it as a typical runoff-minnow stream that is limited by poor water quality, warm water temperatures, erosion and turbidity, and low or intermittent flow. During low flows, the river mouth can be disconnected to Lake Superior, where it cuts through sand beaches before reaching the lake. The Lake Superior Binational Program has identified small estuaries like that of the river mouth area of Dutchmen Creek as providing important habitat for coastal wetlands.
It is possible that the stream has improved somewhat since 1964. The 1964 survey at Hwy 13 resulted in collecting low numbers of only five fish species, whereas a 2006 baseline survey also at Hwy 13 resulted in sampling eight fish species at somewhat higher densities. Furthermore, a 2004 survey close to the mouth Dutchmen Creek found 20 species total.
Presently, Dutchmen Creek’s current and attainable uses are listed as “unknown”; however, based on the above surveys conducted in 2004 and 2006, it appears the most appropriate designation for Dutchmen Creek would be as a warmwater forage fish community. Work is planned on Dutchmen Creek in 2010 for comprehensive stream survey(s) similar to baseline-reference stream monitoring that could confirm appropriate current use designation.
Author Nancy Larson
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 Targeted Area
Complete future condition monitoring and determine appropriate use designations for Dutchman Creek.
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|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||10015472||Dutchman Creek- Upstream Hwy 13- Station #1||Map||Data|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||163447||Dutchman Creek - Dutchman Creek 0087-X||10/12/2005||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||10011628||Dutchman Creek - Dutchman Creek Remap 0087||Map||Data|
|2751220||Lake Superior||10043306||Lake Superior at Shafer Beach||6/24/2014||10/28/2014||Map||Data|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||10015466||Morrison Creek- Upstream Of Mouth- Station #1||Map||Data|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||163440||Dutchman Creek - 0087-B Off Lake Dr E about 500 ft from Lake Superior outlet||10/12/2005||8/28/2014||Map||Data|
|2847100||Dutchman Creek||10043306||Lake Superior at Shafer Beach||6/24/2014||10/28/2014||Map||Data|
Dutchman Creek is located in the St. Louis and Lower Nemadji River watershed which is 159.67 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily wetland (44.10%), forest (32.50%) and a mix of grassland (11.10%) and other uses (12.40%). This watershed has 432.66 stream miles, 8,490.75 lake acres and 26,945.85 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.
Dutchman Creek is considered a Coldwater, Macroinvertebrate 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.