Sheboygan River, Sheboygan River Watershed (SH03)
Sheboygan River, Sheboygan River Watershed (SH03)
Sheboygan River (50700)
20.33 Miles
13.58 - 33.91
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.
Warm Mainstem
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.


T15N R23E Sec. 23 SESE Stream Length = 81 miles WBIC = 50700

This reach extends from the mouth of the river at Lake Michigan in the City of Sheboygan to the Waelderhaus Dam in Kohler. The reach is the focus of several recent and ongoing water resource planning and implementation efforts including the:
Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Abatement Program's priority watershed project (WDNR 1991)
Sheboygan River Remedial Action Plan (WDNR 1995);
Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund Project; the Sheboygan River Basin Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (WDNR 1988, 1995); and
Kohler Landfill Superfund Project.

Cropland erosion and construction site runoff, in-place pollutants and upstream sources of polluted runoff limit water quality. The limiting factors for this reach are toxic contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), excessive sedimentation, and bacterial pollutants. In 1992, PAH contamination of the floodplain soils near Camp Marina was discovered during construction of floating piers. This site formerly contained a coal gasification facility, operational until the 1930s, a suspected source of the contamination. The next occupant of the site used one area to store fuels in tanks, providing another possible source of the floodplain contamination. The extent of PAH contamination in the river sediment is undetermined.

This reach is classified as a warm water sport fish community. The fishery consists of smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, crappie, channel catfish, rock bass, and assorted panfish. Smallmouth bass dominate the sport fishery in this segment. Tolerant forage species include common carp, common shiner, sand shiner and bluntnose minnow. This segment also exhibits seasonal runs of salmon and trout. In response to concerns about PCB contamination of the fish, salmon stocking in the Sheboygan River was suspended in 1987.

Four recent studies to investigate the impact of PCBs to biota in this segment of the Sheboygan River have recently been completed or are ongoing. Kathy Patnode et al. (1998) conducted studies on (1) snapping turtles, (2) mudpuppies (aquatic salamanders), and (3) tree swallows. Burzynski et al. (1999) conducted a food chain study to examine contaminant transport from contaminated sediments and water column to larval and emergent macroinvertebrates, and fish.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist



This segment extends from the confluence of the Mullet River upstream to the Rockville Dam. Polluted runoff from agricultural activities is a major problem and particularly evident in downstream reaches. Water quality is limited by cropland runoff, streambank pasturing, turbidity, bioturbation, low flows, and the Franklin and the Millhome impoundments. Further discussion of the water quality problems associated with the dams is reported in the impoundment section of this report (page Error! Bookmark not defined.). The dams prohibit upstream movement of smallmouth bass, northern pike and other species from their winter habitat to spawning or summer habitat. The obstructions limit fish populations, especially into the upstream areas. There are no industries or municipalities having a serious point source impact on water quality in this stretch of the river, but it has been degraded in the past by effluent from the Kiel wastewater treatment plant and Johnsonville Sausage, Inc. discharges. Carp activity between May and October contributes greatly to chronic turbidity problems.

This segment of the Sheboygan River is classified as supporting a warm water sport fish community, with a fishery consisting of smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappie, and panfish. Other common species found in this segment include rock bass, walleye, and channel catfish. Tolerant species such as common carp, fathead minnows, creek chub, and johnny darter were also present. Intolerant species were present in reaches of this segment, and included hornyhead chub, longnose dace, stonecat and logperch (Fago 1985).

Macroinvertebrate collections taken during the Tecumseh pilot studies (Aartila 1992) were dominated by Certopsyche morosa bifida. The Hilsenhoff biotic index value for this segment is 5.43 indicating "fair" water quality with substantial organic pollution likely.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist



This reach of the Sheboygan River originates at the headwaters and terminates 12.7 miles downstream at County Highway W. The Dotyville Sportsman's Club operates a trap range immediately north of Walnut Road and west of the river, located such that lead shot has the potential to drop into the river and along the banks. In addition, five small holding ponds comprising about five acres are adjacent to the river in the NW1/4, NE1/4, Sec.18, T15N, R19E. These ponds were constructed by the Tolibia Cheese Company and used to dispose of brine process wastewater. These ponds were constructed and used without DNR approval, and were therefore abandoned in 1986. A visual inspection conducted in the summer of 1987 confirmed that no surface water contamination was taking place from these ponds. There may, however, be a potential for groundwater contamination.

Sedimentation, nutrients, and loss of habitat degrade water quality in this segment. Responsible factors include cattle pasturing, cropland runoff, streambank erosion, and channelization. This segment is classified as supporting a warm water sport fish community. Habitat and water quality currently support an assemblage of tolerant forage and warm water game fish. Representative sport fish consist primarily of northern pike, sunfish, yellow perch, and bullheads. Common forage species include shiners, white suckers, and creek chub.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist



This reach of the river extends from the Rockville Dam upstream to County Highway W. Marshlands adjacent to the channel throughout most of this reach have served as a natural filter for polluted runoff, lessening the impact from nonpoint source pollutants. Sediment collects behind all impoundments and limits in-stream habitat in this river reach. Municipal wastewater treatment plants at Kiel, Mount Calvary and St. Cloud discharge to this segment of the river.

Water quality is limited by sediment loads, nutrient excess, naturally occurring low dissolved oxygen, and high turbidity. Responsible factors include cropland runoff, feedlot runoff, streambank runoff, streambank pasturing, bioturbation, and human-made impoundments. Although these pollutants and sources limit water quality, the river segment displays a wide range of water quality. Water downstream of the marshes is filtered, while water upstream of the barriers displays the characteristics of impoundments. Although the Sheboygan Marsh Dam area is an impoundment, it was installed to restore a naturally occurring wetland. See the Sheboygan Lake/Marsh section (page Error! Bookmark not defined.) for additional information on the Sheboygan Marsh segment of the river.

This river reach is classified as supporting a warm water sport fish community, with the fishery consisting of northern pike, bullheads, crappie, largemouth bass, panfish, and yellow perch. Very tolerant species include common carp, and central mudminnow. Intolerant species such as Iowa darter, stoneroller, hornyhead chub, northern redbelly dace, and tadpole madtom were also found here (Fago, 1985; WDNR 1994). Macroinvertebrate populations varied with the quality of the water. "Fairly poor" to "poor" water quality is dominated by the chironomid Cladotanytarsus sp., the Amphipod Hyallela azteca and caddisflies. Hydropsychid caddisfly, chironomid larvae, and blackfly larvae dominated ?fair? water quality conditions. The excellent water quality reaches exhibited poor macroinvertebrate diversity with tolerant organisms dominating the community. Slow moving, deep water plus poor substrate is the limiting factor to a more diverse community.

The concentrations of PAHs, heavy metals, and PCBs were higher in the Sheboygan River in Kiel than downstream in the Rockville Impoundment (WDNR 1999). All concentrations are consistent with values observed in urban environments. The Sheboygan River near Kiel does not require specific sediment management activities at this time.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist


This segment includes the Sheboygan River main stem from the lower Kohler Dam to its confluence with the Mullet River. This segment runs through east central Sheboygan County and is contained almost entirely within the city limits of Sheboygan Falls and the town of Kohler. Two major rivers flow into the Sheboygan River within this river reach, the Mullet and Onion Rivers. The water quality conditions of these two rivers are discussed in separate sections in the WQMP. Three industries, Bemis Manufacturing, Tecumseh Products, and the Kohler Corporation, discharge directly or indirectly via storm sewers, to the Sheboygan River (DNR 1980). Tecumseh Products Company, working in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, removed 5,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment in three locations that contained concentrations of PCB between 890 and 4,500 ppm. Tecumseh and the U.S. EPA are deciding upon additional river cleanup activities for this Superfund site, with concurrence by the Natural Resources trustees, WDNR, NOAA, and USFWS. A public informational meeting will be held in 1999 to discuss the proposed cleanup activities.

This segment is classified as warm water sport fish community with smallmouth bass being the predominant sport species. The lower Kohler Dam prevents salmon and trout migration. Water quality conditions within this segment are considered to be poor to fair. Limiting factors include PCBs, heavy metals, excessive sedimentation, organic enrichment, and impoundment barriers. The pollutant sources for problems in the river segment include cropland runoff, streambank erosion or scour, urban runoff, construction site runoff, and in-place pollutants. High PCB content in tissues limit the potential for unrestricted fishery and wildlife uses.

Wisconsin DNR macroinvertebrate collections during the 1992 Tecumseh pilot studies project were dominated by Cheumatopsyche sp. This segment had an HBI value of 5.31 "fair" water quality with substantial pollution likely. During the 1978 basin study, periphyton samples were collected with the population equally dominated by both tolerant and intolerant species.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist


Other Studies

A number of other studies have been conducted on this reach of the Sheboygan River to investigate the extent of PCB contamination and the resulting environmental impacts as part of the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund Project (see Southeast Region WDNR files for complete record).

Macroinvertebrate collections made during the Tecumseh pilot studies of the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund investigation in 1992, showed Hilsenhoff biotic index (HBI) values of 5.155 for this segment of the Sheboygan River representing "fair" water quality with fairly substantial organic pollution. The segment is dominated by the Cheumatopsyche sp. This segment is only partially meeting its biological use potential, due to loss of fish and invertebrate habitat and toxic contamination. This segment has the potential to provide an excellent hunting and fishing environment, but due to toxic contamination and the subsequent fish and waterfowl consumption advisory, it is under-utilized.

Surface water chemistry data examining conventional pollutants (i.e. nutrients, solids, bacteria etc.) have been collected regularly in the Sheboygan River when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources established long-term water quality monitoring stations in 1977. Sites were selected throughout the State to establish baseline conditions for major rivers and provide the data necessary to track water quality over time. Long-term water quality trend monitoring data serves as an indicator of the overall water quality for the watershed encompassing most of the nonpoint and point source contributions to the stream. Trend analysis is a statistical procedure to determine whether values of a particular water quality variable have changed over time. A long-term water quality monitoring station was established within this stream reach at Esslingen Park in 1977. This site has been sampled on a nearly monthly basis.

Galarneau (1996) conducted a trend analysis for water quality parameters measured at Esslingen Park for the period from 1977 through 1994. Suspended solids, total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus, ammonia, nitrate plus nitrite, chlorides, and fecal coliform bacteria, had all been collected fairly consistently over the study period. Stream flow was obtained from a USGS gage station located just upstream of Esslingen Park near Interstate Highway I43. Water quality data collected from the Sheboygan River at Esslingen Park showed downward trends in total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus, nitrate plus nitrite, and fecal coliform bacteria. Chlorides displayed an upward trend over the same period.

Graphical representations of the water chemistry data collected to date are shown below (Figure 1). Box-whisker graphs show the median (50%), minimum, maximum, and percent of median for nutrients, suspended solids, chlorides and bacteria for the period 1977 - 1998. The 1998 data only include the winter and spring sampling periods.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist



The upper Sheboygan River watershed and adjacent basins support healthy populations of mudpuppies. However, in the lower Sheboygan River, mudpuppies are absent. Since chronic exposure to contaminants can impair normal physiology, we suspect that their absence is due to discharge and accumulation of municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes in the river (Patnode 1998b). To test this hypothesis, we conducted a caged mudpuppy study in the Sheboygan River. Our first objective was to determine if contaminant exposure in mudpuppies is significantly higher in downstream than upstream segments of the river. Secondly, we wanted to determine if mudpuppy health is impacted by exposure to contaminants.

Thirty mudpuppies were placed in enclosures with mesh that permitted rapid water exchange. Funnel openings were created on the downstream side to allow prey to enter. Enclosures were placed at three sites in the Sheboygan River: one upstream reference site and two sites located within the downstream portion of the river. Necropsies were performed on 10 mudpuppies at the onset of the study to obtain baseline data. Approximately half of the specimens at each site were necropsied at day thirty and the remainder at day forty-five. Nine animals were found dead: 2 at the upper site and 7 at the lower sites. No significant differences were observed between sites for body weight or length, liver weight, or hepatosomatic index. Routine bacteriology did not identify any pathogenic conditions, but fungal infections were suspected to have occluded the gills of the dead animals. PCBs accumulated in mudpuppies over time in the contaminated portion of the river compared to the reference site. The highest concentrations were observed in pool habitat compared to fast-water riffles. Liver enzyme activity was elevated at 45 days in both contaminated sites relative to the reference site. This pilot study demonstrates that these aquatic carnivores rapidly take up PCBs. The potential role of PCBs in the absence of mudpuppies from the lower river requires controlled laboratory studies.

Tree Swallows

Tree swallows are insectivorous birds feeding primarily on emergent invertebrates from surface waters. Exposure to and bioaccumulation of PCBs is well documented in the aquatic food chain in this system, but movement of contaminants to avian and mammal species had yet to be established. Our objectives were to compare PCB accumulation above and below deposits, examine the screening capability of liver enzyme induction, and document impacts on reproduction (Patnode et al. 1998c). Study sites occurred along the lower river, while control sites were located upstream. Productivity was monitored and eggs, day 1 and day 12-15 nestlings were collected. Tissues were analyzed for PCBs. Liver enzyme activity from day 12-15 nestlings was determined. Hatching success rates differed between control and study sites in 1995. Severe flooding in 1996 resulted in loss of nests and reduced nesting activity in all sites. Rate of growth in 1996 did not differ significantly, but was lower at contaminated sites. A few highly contaminated clutches in the control sites may be the result of relocation of unsuccessful, PCB-contaminated females that have relocated upstream. All nestlings at control nests had negative PCB accumulation rates. Day 1 nestlings at study sites had negative rates due to growth dilution of egg burden, but accumulated PCBs between days 1 and 12. PCB accumulation in study sites was congener and site-dependent reflecting exposure via egg deposition and prey. Liver enzyme activity was correlated with PCB concentration in study sites in 1995, but was not evident in 1996. When analysis is completed, data collected in 1997 will be compared to 1995 and 1996 to form the basis of pre-remediation biomonitoring. The study will be repeated immediately following remediation and 5 years thereafter.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist


Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles from contaminated rivers accumulate high body burdens of PCBs that are transferred to the eggs. Our objective was to incubate snapping turtle clutches from PCB-contaminated and reference site conditions to determine if reproduction is impacted (Patnode et al. 1998a). To date, clutches have been collected from 10 females within contaminated sites and 4 from reference sites. Egg composites from each clutch were analyzed for PCBs found in Great Lakes ecosystems. Half of each clutch was incubated at male-inducing and the other half at female-inducing temperatures. Hatching success was reduced in clutches with PCBs greater than 15 ppm, particularly in those incubated at male-inducing temperatures. In 1996 and 1997, gross deformities were observed in 2 turtles and bent tails were observed in 9. Growth curves diverged at 16-24 weeks resulting in significantly higher (+33%) final weights for hatchlings with 1-15ppm, while those with >15ppm did not differ from reference hatchlings. Responsiveness was inversely related to PCB exposure; turtles with the highest PCB concentration performed the poorest. Turtles were necropsied at 15 days or 33 weeks to determine the sex of gonads, analyze blood samples for circulating hormone levels, and test liver enzyme activity for the effects of PCBs. Liver enzyme activity responsible for degrading PCBs in hatchling turtles is elevated in a dose-dependent manner by >1ppm PCB, while in juveniles turtles it is suppressed. PCB exposure appears to result in greater variability in estrogen to testosterone ratios at 15 days, but no relationship is evident in the data currently available. Data from 8-month-old juveniles suggests that increasing PCBs may suppress the female hormone (progesterone) to male hormone (testosterone) ratio.

Thus far, 162 juvenile turtles have been marked and released where the female was captured. We intend to resample released turtles through periodic trapping to monitor PCB accumulation, growth and survival. In addition, we are continuing the study for a third year. Investigating the health of these individuals over time will enable us to determine if PCBs are having a long-term impact on snapping turtle populations and evaluate the efficacy of remediation.

Food Chain Study

A study to determine how PCBs, PAHs and heavy metals accumulate through the food chain was initiated in 1994 for the Sheboygan River Remedial Action Plan Area of Concern (WDNR, 1995). Data were collected for both abiotic (sediment and water column) and biotic (invertebrates and fish species) components of the ecosystem. A final report outlining results will be completed in the spring of 1999 and distributed to interested parties.

Date  2001

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

From CTH H to Northview Rd bisecting S31-32 T15N R19E - class 2, from Northview Rd to the headwaters - class 1.

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Sheboygan River, Sheboygan River Watershed (SH03) Fish and Aquatic LifeSheboygan River, Sheboygan River Watershed (SH03) RecreationSheboygan River, Sheboygan River Watershed (SH03) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

The Sheboygan River was recently evaluated during the ten-year period of 2011 through 2020 for results that were reported to the USEPA for the 2022 Clean Water Act condition report. Portions of the waterbody are considered impaired, or in poor condition for designated uses which include the quality of fish and aquatic life, recreational use, and public health and welfare (fish consumption and related). Pollutants or problems encountered during sampling (impairments) are determined based on water quality standards outlined in Wisconsin 2022 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Assessment results show water conditions that are potentially harmful for Aquatic Life use due to values for total phosphorus and biological indicators that fall into the range expected for an aquatic community in poor health, therefore this water is listed as impaired.

Sheboygan River [Mouth to Sheboygan Falls dam (mile 0-13.58)]: This segment has been listed as impaired since 1998 for PCBs and since 2014 for Total Phosphorus. This portion of the Sheboygan River was evaluated for phosphorus, biology, and chloride in 2014, 2018, 2020, and 2022. Phosphorus levels were confirmed to be too high.

Sheboygan River [Sheboygan Falls dam to Franklin dam (mile 13.58-33.91)]: Assessment results during the 2018 listing cycle show Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) data appropriate for Aquatic Life use. This segment is in good condition for Aquatic Life and Public Health and Welfare uses and is not considered impaired.

Sheboygan River [Franklin dam to Sheboygan Lake (mile 33.91-54.1)]: This segment of the Sheboygan River was assessed in 2014 for fish community, which was in fair health. In 2020 this segment was assessed for phosphorus and fish communities. The phosphorus levels were too high for healthy aquatic communities as evidenced by poor fish community health. This water was listed in 2020 and impairment was confirmed in the 2022 cycle.

Sheboygan River [Sheboygan Lake to CTH H (mile 56.03-76.85)]: This segment of the Sheboygan River was evaluated the 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2022 cycles. Phosphorus levels were too high; this stream was put on the Impaired Waters List in 2020 for phosphorus.

Sheboygan River [CTH H to Northview Rd. (mile 76.85-77.52)]: Assessment results from the most current available data show this segment of the river is in good condition for Aquatic Life use. This segment is not considered impaired.

Sheboygan River [Northview Rd. to headwaters (mile 77.52-80.62)]: Assessment results during the 2018 listing cycle show Total Phosphorus and Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) data appropriate for Aquatic Life use and is not considered impaired.

Date  2022

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.



Monitor Invasive Species
Invasive species monitoring and control.
Monitoring Ecosystem
Environmental surveys will be conducted at the Schuchardt Farms property with the following objectives: 1. Identify, describe, and assess plant communities. 2. Collect forest stand structure data. 3. Evaluate wetland functions 4. Assess fisheries and aquatic resources 5. Identify, describe and assess wildlife habitat 6. Identify stormwater Infiltration areas
Monitor AOC Beneficial Use Impairments
In coordination with WDNR, USGS, and USFWS, this project involves capturing white suckers in the Sheboygan River AOC to assess whether the tumor BUI can be delisted.
Habitat Restoration - Instream
This project will address sedimentation from large sections of unstable and eroding riverbanks that are adversely impacting aquatic communities (fish and benthos) and associated wildlife populations in the Sheboygan River AOC.
Data analysis, report production
Prior to the establishment of population level targets, information on aquatic habitat availability for species of interest is needed
Habitat Restoration - Instream
The Taylor Drive wetland rehabilitation project will improve the habitat at this existing wetland complex and connect this isolated system to adjacent wetlands and the Sheboygan River to enhance its function to fish and wildlife and improve water quality.
Restore Wetlands
Habitat restoration projects will enhance approx 1 mile of shoreline, improve 10 acres of wetland, treat 12 acres of riparian area affected by invasives, and assess benthos health and waterfowl consumption advisories
Comprehensive Planning Studies
. This project is intended to support the development of delisting strategies and a fish and wildlife population and habitat restoration plan to address the “fish and wildlife population” and “fish and wildlife habitat” beneficial use impairments for the Sheboygan River and Harbor Area of Concern. This project includes a rapid ecological assessment using historical and current data, as well as conducting new field surveys, as needed, to fill data gaps or update data needed for the assessment.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 2. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 203096. AU: 5753343.
Educate and engage residents
The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership is sponsoring a project to increase awareness of the Sheboygan River by raising citizen involvement through paddling events, cleanups, seminars, signage, invasive species control, improving fish passage, and agricultural BMP education. The following activities and deliverables will occur: 1) Sheboygan River Paddle Map and Interpretive Signage: a) Create a Sheboygan River Paddle map and provide a hard copy to the Department b) Provide summary of number of hard copies of map distributed to the public. c) Provide screenshots of the interactive online map from the SRBP website. d) Create interpretive signage. e) Provide photos and location of each sign posted along the river. 2) River Paddles: a) Conduct at least two river paddle events in 2017. b) Provide summary of event information and screenshots of advertising used to promote the events. 3) River and Beach Clean-ups: a) Conduct one river cleanup event and one beach cleanup event in 2017. b) Provide summary information on the cleanups and screenshots of advertising used to promote the events. 4) Workshops and Seminars: a) Conduct at least three citizen volunteer days for invasive species removal and restorative plantings. b) Provide summary information on the events and screenshots of advertising used to promote the events. c) Conduct at least two educational opportunities on agricultural BMPs for the reduction of sediment and phosphorus. d) Provide summary information on the events and screenshots of advertising used to promote the events. e) Provide summary of efforts undertaken to promote the development of a producer-led watershed council. f) Provide summary information on council promotion and screenshots of advertising used to promote the council formation. 5) Culvert Improvement: a) Provide summary of efforts to improve impediments to fish passage on Willow Creek. b) Provide post-project study results of native plant fish diversity and unobstructed fish passage.
Partnership Project
The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership will work with students from 13 area high schools to reestablish the Sheboygan County Testing the Waters School Program (SCTTW). Students will collect and analyze water quality data within the Sheboygan River watershed. Activities will include teacher training and student training at Camp Y-Koda, conducting of 9 water quality tests by the schools and conversion of the data into a "Q-value", and analysis of the data and presentation of the results by students to experts at an end of project symposium. The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership will disseminate the SCTTW program through press releases to area papers, newsletters, facebook, websites and flyers. Project deliverables will include a final report that documents the program results (the above outreach materials can be used to help describe the program results), identifies the water quality equipment purchased and summarizes the water quality data collected.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
To promote the program by hosting special events and promoting project, Stream Passage Survey, Stream Clean-up and WAV volunteer monitoring with data collection and sharing component. A part of the project will combine recruitment efforts, public events and volunteer management. A final report will be provided and included information on : newsletters, website updates, mailings press releases events and projects , stakeholder and club meeting minutes and public presentation. The report will also included the measured completion of: 1)WI. Ephemeral Ponds Project 2) Stream Passage Survey Training 3) Volunteer Coordination for multiple activities 4) Recruitment, news letter, mailings, Press releases, Website Updates, Meeting Attendance/ Group Presentation.
Engage Volunteers in Monitoring/Restoration
Funding for a part-time person to increase membership and engage volunteers. The membership program will focus on developing services, program & products, i.e. Adopt a Stream, Friends Groups or watershed group to adopt rivers and streams with initial focus on Sheboygan, Pigeon, Black, Mullet, Onion River and Willow, Sauk and Sucker Creeks. This person will coordinate programs and\005Cor events to involve the new members with in depth stewardship activities on the rivers in the Sheboygan Basin. Building membership will also build funding sources for the Partnership.
Educate and engage residents
Fund a project coordinator position to support the Sheboygan River AOC citizens' advisory committee and the Willow Creek protection committee. This position will 1) provide communication progress of partners to project partners.2) Coordinate and engage stakeholders. 3) Update the strategic plans for each project. 4) Develop active timelines for implementation, involve public in tasks pertaining to the strategic plan. 5) Encourage municipalities to initiate discussion of comprehensive stormwater and stream improvement projects. 6) Solicit media coverage to enhance public understanding.
Rivers Planning Grant
Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Incorporated is sponsoring the river planning grant application for the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership (SRBP) team. The grant amount requested is $9,483.00 with a total project budget of $12,644.00 The SRBP proposes to develop partnerships and conduct educational programs and events. The overall goal for this project is to hire a part-time contractor to work with the SRBP board and advisors to develop and begin implementation of a communication and education plan. This plan will be more specific than what is written pertaining to communication and education in the organization's general strategic plan. In addition, the contractor will develop a web-site for SRBP; develop a promotional brochure and Power Point presentation; and will establish a periodic form of broad communication with partnership members and community residents. Project deliverables will include a communication and education plan document; stand-alone web-site; promotional brochures; Power Point presentation; and quarterly reports and a final project report.
Partnership Project
Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Incorporated is sponsoring the river planning grant application for the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership (SRBP) team. The grant amount requested is $9,371.18 with a total project budget of $12,494.90 The SRBP proposes to develop a sustainable group that can function as an independent river organization of NCO group. The overall goal is to hire a part-time contractor to work with the SRBP board and advisors, to develop and begin implementation of a strategic plan addressing membership, funding, communication, and activities/projects. The project goals will be met by having the contracted individual coordinate day to day activities for the group; maintain communication between partners; develop and maintain the SRBP database; begin a membership drive to create fundraising opportunities so that the group can become self sustaining; evaluate the success of the project by providing quarterly reports and a final report. Project deliverables will include promotional brochures; a strategic plan; membership database; and quarterly progress reports and a final project report.
Navigability Determination
T16N R19E ; Sheboygan River;
Nine Key Element Plan
Sheboygan River PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Sheboygan River Priority Watershed Project plan assesses the nonpoint sources of pollution in the Sheboygan River Watershed and guides the implementation of nonpoint source control measures. These control measures are needed to meet specific water resource objectives for the Sheboygan River and its tributaries as well as to improve the quality of the near shore waters of Lake Michigan. The purpose of this project is to reduce the amount of pollutants originating from nonpoint sources that reach surface water and groundwater within the Sheboygan River Priority Watershed Project area.
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
Water quality biologists should continue to assist the Sheboygan County Land Conservation Department staff in obtaining stream bank buffers along all of the streams in the county.

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 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

Sheboygan River is located in the Sheboygan River watershed which is 260.12 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (47.30%), grassland (17.60%) and a mix of wetland (16.70%) and other uses (18.30%). This watershed has 340.24 stream miles, 4,345.33 lake acres and 27,968.05 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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

Sheboygan River is considered a Warm Mainstem under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and 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.

Warm Mainstem waters are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with relatively warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.