Fish and Aquatic Life
The Rat River is classified as a Class III trout stream from Blackwell Junction to the
Forest County line and classified as a warm water forage fishery in the area of the
emuent discharge from Laona. The stream contains brook, brown, and rainbow trout
populations. The majority of the watershed is wooded and wild, with 20 percent in
agriculture. This river has a severe beaver problem.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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|
|550600||Rat River||10020880||Rat River-2 Mi. North Of Cth C Off Harper Rd||Map||Data|
|550600||Rat River||213020||Rat River - Valley Lake Road||5/6/1980||10/9/1980||Map||Data|
|550600||Rat River||10021949||Rat River At Harper Rd||10/24/2007||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Rat River is located in the Upper Peshtigo River watershed which is 338.33 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (62.80%), wetland (31.20%) and a mix of grassland (3.60%) and other uses (2.40%). This watershed has 342.45 stream miles, 1,184.80 lake acres and 48,481.09 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.