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Macroinvertebrate, Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater
Degraded Biological Community, Chronic Aquatic Toxicity
Chloride, Total Phosphorus
Fish and Aquatic Life
Fish Creek, in the Milwaukee River South Watershed, is a 3.38 mile river that falls in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties. This river is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Fish Creek was evaluated in the 2014, 2018, and 2022 cycles. Elevated phosphorus causing degraded biological communities was identified in the 2014 cycle and elevated chloride in the 2018 cycle. Evaluations in the 2022 cycle confirmed the phosphorus impairment.
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.
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|
|44700||Fish Creek||10047919||Fish Creek DS N Katherine Drive||1/1/2015||8/20/2020||Map||Data|
|44700||Fish Creek||10013551||Unnamed Creek (Fish Creek)||10/31/2005||8/7/2018||Map||Data|
|44700||Fish Creek||10047920||Fish Creek DS N Broadmoor Road||1/1/2015||11/17/2021||Map||Data|
Fish Creek is located in the Milwaukee River South watershed which is 167.90 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily suburban (27.40%), urban (24.80%) and a mix of agricultural (18%) and other uses (29.80%). This watershed has 203.63 stream miles, 13,038.94 lake acres and 5,996.03 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.
Fish Creek is considered a Macroinvertebrate, Cool-Cold Headwater, 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.
Cool (Cold-Transition) Headwaters are small, usually perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon (<10 per 100 m), transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.