Sucker Creek, Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed (SH01)
Sucker Creek, Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed (SH01)
Sucker Creek (50100)
10.19 Miles
0 - 10.19
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 Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater
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.
2019
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Degraded Biological Community
Total Phosphorus
 
Ozaukee, Sheboygan
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.
Yes

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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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

Sucker Creek is the second largest stream in this watershed and originates just in Sheboygan County just north of the Ozaukee County line. Sucker Creek flows south (into Ozaukee County) along the I43 corridor past Lake Church, entering Lake Michigan north of the City of Port Washington. Fourteen species of fish, primarily consisting of forage fish species have been historically collected in Sauk Creek (Fago 1986). Trout and salmon from Lake Michigan are also found in the stream during their seasonal spawning runs. Recent fish and habitat surveys were conducted in Sucker Creek during the summers of 1994 and 1999.

Habitat quality, HBI and IBI data were also collected for Sucker Creek. Water quality and habitat rankings ranged from fair to poor.

From: Galarneau, Steve and Masterson, John. 1999. Water Resources of the Sheboygan River Basin. Supplement to The State of the Sheboygan River Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Sucker Creek is a small, shallow drainage stream originating above Lake Church and entering Lake Michigan above Port Washington, Several intermittent streams enter the creek throughout its length. Fishery value is low with only forage minnows and suckers present. Pollution from barnyards and other sources detracts from its value. The bottom is predominantly gravel which is covered with silt in the lower regions.

Sucker Creek T11N, R22E, Section 14, Surface Acres = 6.25, Length = 8.6 miles, Gradient = 10.44 feet per mile.
From: Poff, Ronald J., Gernay, Ronald, and Threinen, C.W., 1964. Surface Water Resources of Ozaukee County: Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.

Date  1964

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Sucker Creek, Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed (SH01) Fish and Aquatic LifeSucker Creek, Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed (SH01) RecreationSucker Creek, Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed (SH01) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Sucker Creek (50100) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the poor condition category). This water was also assessed for temperature and sample data did not exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

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.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The planning process and final report will include: 1) Baseline assessments- assess existing condition, native flora and fauna, current public utilization and riverbank structure 2) Public information sessions- listening sessions to gather ideas feedback and comments on the restoration 3) Site planning- Trail connections, recreational facility and public access points, vegetation restoration and invasive species control, shoreland stabilization and runoff reduction, site grading create opportunities to create diverse high quality native vegetation and habitat.
Water Quality Planning
Sauk and Sucker Creeks (SH01) Watershed Planning
Best Management Practices, Implement
DNR should continue to work with partners to gather ambient data on sediment, biology and phosphorus to monitor the effectiveness of best management practices as they are implemented throughout the watershed for the restoration of Sucker Creek (50100).
Runoff Grant
Sauk and Sucker Creeks Watershed should continue to be considered as a high priority for runoff and urban NPS grants and river grants based on the total phosphorus impairments and related urbanization issues.
Restore Riparian Habitat
Fisheries and water quality staff should continue to work with external partners on habitat improvement projects on Sucker Creek.

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

Sucker Creek is located in the Sauk and Sucker Creeks watershed which is 58.43 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (60.90%), grassland (17.50%) and a mix of suburban (6.80%) and other uses (14.80%). This watershed has 83.35 stream miles, 8,362.44 lake acres and 1,578.16 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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

Sucker Creek is considered a 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.

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