Fish and Aquatic Life
This stream has a number of warmer lakes of glacial origin in its headwaters and feeder streams, making the upper reaches more suitable for warmer water forage communities. As it passes along valleys at the feet of the Gogebic Range, the water quality and river characteristics change markedly. The principal tributaries contributing to the river's flow are Spider Creek, Hell Hole Creek, Camp Six Creek and several unnamed streams. Trout streams include McCarthy Creek, Spring Brook, Trout Brook and unnamed streams.
Below the outlet of Beaver Dam Lake, spring water raises the water quality to that of a medium quality brook, brown and rainbow trout stream down to the confluence with Spring Brook. From this point to Highway 13 the trout habitat deteriorates due to unstable bottom conditions and erosion in the red clay area. A few migratory rainbow trout are present between Highway 13 and the confluence with the Marengo River, but mostly the stretch from Highway 13 to the mouth is considered a warm water sport fishery including muskellunge, smallmouth bass, perch, bluegills, black crappies, rock bass, pumpkinseeds, and a variety of forage species. This stream changes from a warm water drainage stream to a rocky hard-bottomed high-gradient stream in its midsection and finally back to a warmer low-gradient stream at its outlet. Extreme water level fluctuations make habitat management difficult. A large portion of the river flows through the Chequamegon National Forest and other forested lands where the potential exists for logging activities. The river is considered highly scenic, but not very navigable due to the rugged river bed.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation one rare species of macroinvertebrate was found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). At survey sites, livestock, barnyards and cropland were considered pollutant threats. Water quality indicators included significant aquatic plants, and slime and iron bacteria to a lesser extent.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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.
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.
County Land and Water Management Plan
Ashland County Land & Water Conservation Department is sponsoring a 1 year River Planning Grant to help increase protection of the Brunsweiler River by reducing soil erosion and sediment loading. Deliverables include: 1) final report summarizing the project accomplishments/progress with descriptions of research and planning, conservation activities including erosion control/storm-water management and stream bank stabilization efforts, photographs & maps of construction such as vegetation buffers, deflectors, bank protection, and vortex weir, outreach activities and any resulting conservation collaborations with landowners and partners shall be described. Special conditions: applicable water regulation permits must be issued before construction activities commence.
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|
Monitoring data at Brunsweiler River- Springbrook Road from 2007 is considered Fair for this cool-warm mainstem stream. Two monitoring stations associated with upstream portions of Brunsweiler Creek, mile 4.2 to 9.53, were monitored between 2007 to 2009. Results indicated 'excellent' conditions for two stations in both years.
Author Lisa Helmuth
Brunsweiler River is located in the Marengo River watershed which is 217.53 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (67.40%), wetland (15.30%) and a mix of grassland (11.60%) and other uses (5.70%). This watershed has 450.89 stream miles, 1,497.18 lake acres and 18,112.32 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium 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.