7.34 - 25.65
Cool-Warm Mainstem, Cool-Warm Headwater
Fish and Aquatic Life
This river flows some 36 miles before emptying into the Bad River in Ashland County at Copper Falls State Park. The entire river is considered trout water, with a one-mile section near the confluence with Gehrman Creek designated exceptional resource waters for supporting a Class I trout fishery. Brook and brown trout are considered common, with an occasional rainbow trout. Brownstone Falls near the river's mouth presents a barrier to migratory fish from Lake Superior. A variety of bottom types occur in the river, from unstable sand to bedrock and rubble near the falls. Deep pool areas and long shallow riffles provide good habitat as the river passes through upland hardwood. The stream supports beaver, muskrat and migratory waterfowl.
This river experiences variable flow rates, with low flows a problem, particularly downstream from Highway 77 where some temperatures were measured in the past in ranges close to the lethal point for trout. The river forms at the confluence of Shine Creek, which flows from Shine Lake, and the O'Brien Lake outlet.
During survey work conducted as part of the coastal wetlands evaluation two rare species of macroinvertebrate were found and overall taxa richness was moderate (5-24 species) (Epstein 1997). Iron bacteria and aquatic plants were noted at an Iron County site. Livestock, barnyards and cropland were considered pollutant threats in the Ashland County portion of the river.
From: Turville-Heitz, Meg. 1999. Lake Superior Basin Water Quality Management Plan. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Tyler Forks (From Southern boundary Bad River Indian Reservation downstream to Class 1 section "Around Gehrman Cr" as described in the trout books) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) 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.
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.
Water Quality Planning
We propose to collect biological information (fish/bugs) and quantitative habitat and temperature on 14 TBD sites in the Tyler Forks River Watershed and part of the Upper Bad River Watershed. Up to 6 more TBD (for a total of approximately 20) sites may be added to the project depending on field conditions and site access .
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|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10042745||Tyler Forks River 68m US Vogues Road||10/9/2014||8/3/2021||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10034350||Tyler Forks - Caroline Lake Road||5/24/2011||11/6/2017||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10034351||Tyler Forks - Moore Park Rd||11/29/2012||11/9/2017||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10047747||Tyler Forks - Wren Falls||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10012906||Tyler Forks at Hwy 77||10/4/2011||12/7/2016||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10042741||Tyler Forks at confluence with Bull Gus Creek||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10034352||Tyler Forks - Vogues Road||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10042593||Tyler Forks between STH 169 and Vogues Rd. ||Map||Data|
|2923100||Tyler Fks||10043628||Tyler Forks 94m DS of Mead Creek||6/1/2014||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Tyler Fks is located in the Tyler Forks watershed which is 78.76 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (73.20%), wetland (24.30%) and a mix of grassland (1.50%) and other uses (1.00%). This watershed has 143.50 stream miles, 190.30 lake acres and 12,279.72 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.
Tyler Forks is considered a Cool-Warm Mainstem, 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.
About one-quarter mile downstream from Copper Falls, Tyler Forks River drops 30 feet over Brownstone Falls into the Bad River. Another scenic attraction is the Tyler Forks Cascades, a series of five small waterfalls formed as Tyler Forks River flows over a series of rock ledges. In an effort to protect this scenic grandeur, the state established Copper Falls State Park in 1929.
Author Lisa Helmuth