Rock River, Sinissippi Lake Watershed (UR08)
Rock River, Sinissippi Lake Watershed (UR08)
Rock River (788800)
20.53 Miles
242.84 - 263.37
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.
Macroinvertebrate, No Classification, Warm Headwater, Large River, Warm Mainstem, 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.
2016
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Degraded Habitat
Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
 
Jefferson
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.
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.
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

Watertown (population 21,420) is the largest city in the Upper Rock River Basin. The Rock River, which winds through Watertown, is the community's major water resource, providing numerous recreational opportunities. There are two small Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed hydropower dams at Watertown. A 1994 water quality study conducted as part of the FERC relicensing process indicated that the upper dam had little impact on water quality (Hansis, 1995). However, flow reductions in the river resulting from hydropower operations at the Upper Watertown Dam may seriously threaten aquatic habitat. The slender madtom, a state endangered catfish species, is susceptible to flow reductions; its prime habitat is fast moving riffle areas.

An old coal gasification plant site exists in Watertown; little is known regarding potential threats to groundwater or surface water in the immediate area (WDNR, 1994)

Watertown has land use and facilities plans for the city's wastewater treatment plant service area. In 2001, the city began the process to develop a sewer service area plan pursuant to Chapter NR 121, Wisconsin Administrative Code. Such a plan would guide growth within Watertown's anticipated 20-year service area. The plan would identify areas for development and guide how that development will be staged over time to allow the most cost-effective expansion of sewer services. The plan would also identify environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, floodplains, stormwater conveyance and treatment areas, and other areas unsuitable for development or otherwise not to be developed (e.g., parks).

Watertown is experiencing development pressure largely due to its location approximately halfway between Madison and Milwaukee. No evaluation of construction site erosion problems or stormwater management has been conducted. Watertown should develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan in conjunction with current land use or long range development plans.

The City of Jefferson is at the juncture of the Crawfish and Rock rivers, which are regionally important recreational and aesthetic natural resources. The Jefferson wastewater treatment plant is addressing phosphorus reduction in its permit compliance schedule. A dam on the Rock River at Jefferson is obstructing fish migration. Studies have been conducted through the DNR and the US Corps of Engineers to assess installation of a fish passage at the dam.

The City of Fort Atkinson needs a sewer service plan to guide growth within its anticipated 20-year service area. Such a plan would identify areas for development and guide how that development will be staged over time. The plan would also identify environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, floodplains, stormwater conveyance and treatment areas, and other areas unsuitable for development or otherwise not to be developed (e.g., parks).

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

A large seepage and drainage fed stream originating in Fond du Lac, Dodge and Washington Counties. The Rock River enters Rock County at the foot of Lake Koshkonong, flows south through the center of the county, and into Illinois at Beloit. Four dams are located on the river in Rock County; Indianford Dam (6 foot head) located 6 miles below Lake Koshkonong, Janesville Central Dam (9 foot head) and Monterey Dam (9 foot head) located in Janesville, and Beloit Dam (10 foot head) located in Beloit. The 4 dams were originally constructed for hydroelectric power, but only the Janesville Central and Beloit Dams are still used for this purpose. The Indianford and Monterey Dams are maintained for recreation and flood control.

Flooding is a potential hazard along the Rock River. The river commonly rises 3-5 feet each spring, but has risen much higher and caused a great deal of damage. The greatest flood on record occurred in 1929 when a flood stage of 11.81 feet was reached at the U.S. Geological Survey stream gaging station at Afton. It is possible for floods of even greater magnitude to occur in any given year.

Pollution of the Rock River is not a new problem, but only in recent years have people become alarmed about the condition of this important water resource. At the present time an intensive pollution survey of the entire Rock River watershed is being jointly undertaken by State and Federal agencies. As sources of pollution are located, corrective steps will be taken.

The Rock River fishery is composed of a wide variety of species and is best described as multiple. The major sport fishery is made up of white basst crappiest catfisht northern pike, walleye and largemouth bass. Northern pike and walleye fishing is usually good below the dams in early spring. A large carp and sucker population is also present. Other species which appear in varying numbers include yellow percht smallmouth basst bluegillt buffalot redhorset longnose gart sheepsheadt bowfin and forage species. Most of the wetland along the river is associated with tributary streams and the description of these areas is included with the tributary description. There are about 100 additional acres of shallow marsh wet- land bordering the river. Waterfowl, predominantly woodduckst bluewing teal and American coott are commonly observed along the river during migratory periods.

Access to the Rock River is available from 14 bridge crossings and several roads which parallel and end at the river. In addition, there are eight boat launching ramps available for public use (indicated on Figure 9). There are also three marinas which rent boats and have launching facilities. There are 6 county parks which have a total river frontage of 2 miles.

Surface Acres -1,302, Miles = 35-.8, Gradient -1.2 feet per mile.

From: Ball, Joseph R., and Ronald J. Poff, Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Rock County, Department of Natural Resources, 1970.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Rock River, Sinissippi Lake Watershed (UR08) Fish and Aquatic LifeRock River, Sinissippi Lake Watershed (UR08) RecreationRock River, Sinissippi Lake Watershed (UR08) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Rock River Traxler Park Skier's Platform Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

The Rock River is a warmwater sport fishery with expectations for fish communities and ambient water quality consistent with large warm rivers. The current condition reflects excess ambient total phosphorus and total suspended solids in the river's water column.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

The 2018 assessments of the Rock River (miles 171.08-183.45) showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. However, no biological data (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) were available to assess biological impairment. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

There are many lakes, rivers or streams in the Rock River Basin that are included on the 303(d) List. This effort is focused on those waters that are impaired by either excessive sediment, high phosphorus concentrations, or both sediment and phosphorus (see Table 1). These pollutants cause impacts to waterways which include low dissolved oxygen concentrations, degraded habitat, and excessive turbidity. All of these problems result in harm to fish and aquatic life, water quality, recreation and even navigation. Everyone who lives or recreates in the Rock River basin will benefit from the improved water quality that will result from reduced sediment and phosphorus.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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

ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
The Lake Sinissippi Improvement District proposes to restore undeveloped shoreline habitat along the south end of Anthony Island, on Lake Sinissippi to enhance wildlife habitat restoration and protect the island from erosion. They will remove weedy shrubs in the forest, replant native shrubs and herbaceous vegetation, and install riprap to protect the island from the active erosion that is currently toppling trees into the lake
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
This grant will provide for the sampling and analysis of water samples taken from stage discharge stations on the West Branch of the Rock River near Waupun, the East Branch of the Rock River near Mayville, the Rock River at Horicon, and the Rock River at Hustisford. The data collected, when combined with previously collected data, will be used to provide a better understanding of sediment and Phosphorus loads entering Horicon Marsh, leaving Horicon Marsh, entering Lake Sinissippi, and leaving Lake Sinissippi.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Project Scope and Description of Deliverables: This project will clearly try and engage the public in getting involved in trying to make a difference in the Rock River. In the application pages 6, 7, and 8, clearly outline the goals/objectives and the activities (1a-1d) necessary to reach those goals. The success of this project will closely follow how many of these goals the sponsor can accomplish. Project Final deliverables include: 1) Reach 400 people will participate in all or portions of event. 2) Prepare a written guide on entire process for future groups. 3) Complete web map with monitoring results and data analysis. 4) Ensure 10 schools participate in online programming and following on social media. 5) Ensure 8 schools have in-class programming. 6) Development of Student evaluations. 7) Document participation via pledge cards. 8) Compile a summary of the event and actions and post on social media Facebook, Twitter, and web page. 8) Compile a video and photo collection of the event and the sections paddled. 9) Work with biologist to capture data in proper data bases. Specific final activities include: 1) Finalize locations, logistics, lodging, and securing permission to paddle Federal portion of Horicon Marsh. 2) Hire coordinator to manage event. 3) RRC will encourage public elected official(s) to paddle portions of Rock River in their jurisdiction. 4) Update and promote event on social media. 5) Prepare written program guidance document. 6) Hire UW Whitewater students to paddle kayaks with probes and displaying digital information. 7) UW-W Professor Dr. Eric Compas will provide trouble shooting guidance.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition plans to use 2 different groups to collect water quality data using probes and canoes along the entire length of the Rock River. The data will be presented to various civic groups and organizations to increase public awareness of water quality issues in the Rock River Basin. By connecting the public with the River, the goal is to increase public participation in the actions necessary to improve water quality throughout the Basin. Project deliverables are as follows: 1. Develop presentation on the Rock River water quality issues, the upcoming paddle event, the DNR Rock River Recovery effort and the efforts of the sponsoring organizations. 2. Give presentations at 15 community organizations in a variety of locations along the proposed route. 3. Develop sponsor placard 4. Purchase items for probe assembly 5. Test probe by paddling in various situations 6. Develop visual methods of displaying water quality probe data with a GIS application, in conjunction with UW-Whitewater staff. 7. Develop at least two different media releases/newsletter articles about the project. 8. Finalize plans for the paddle event to be held in spring 2016.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will undertake a River Planning grant to compile and analyze water quality data collected over the last 12 years. The RRC will then produce a basin wide summary of the information. This summary of water quality data will be made available to the public through the RRC website. The information will be used to build an advisory team which will create goals for the monitoring teams. The report card will help to focus monitoring efforts where they are needed most and provide information on the status of water quality throughout the basin. Project deliverables are: 1. Determine the new \201Cstrategic membership\201D of the Stream Monitoring Advisory Committee (SMAC), from a wide range of partners and interests. 2. Hold two meetings of the newly rejuvenated stream monitoring advisory steering committee will have been held in first year of project. 3. Have SMAC establish focus areas for monitoring and determine the goals and objectives of the use of the monitoring data. 4. SMAC will create proposal to submit to the consultant to determine best methods for data analysis and ranking criteria for \201CReport Card\201D. 5. 20 copies will be printed and distributed to key locations. A pdf of the Report Card will also appear on the Rock River Coalition web site.
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
Jefferson County Parks Department will undertake a shoreline restoration project at Rock River Park to protect it from further erosion and to provide an improved shoreline fishing and outdoor experience for park users. Work is to include removing current fabric, regrading to allow for correct slope, installing filter fabric, field stone rip rap and native plant vegetation with the rock and or/behind the rip rap. Maintenance of the native vegetation within the rip rap above the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) is a condition of the grant. Jefferson County Parks Department's maintenance plan for Rock River Park will include no mowing/trimming/removal of the native vegetation. Potential future additions of shore fishing piers/platforms at the site that may require adjustment of the native vegetation will be coordinated with Fisheries Management. Project deliverables are as follows: 1.) Shoreline restoration completed on 208 feet of river shoreline on the Rock River and the Rock River Park, 2.) Erosion control including planting and maintaining native vegetation within the rip rap above the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM). 3.) Rock River Park's maintenance plan will include a provision for maintenance of native vegetation within the project area.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition, Inc. will sponsor a River Planning project to collect data and to provide information that demonstrate that the installation of conservation practices in the watershed results in improved water quality. Project deliverables include: 1.) summary of water quality findings, 2.) compare concentration and loads of suspended sediments and nutrients between sites and data collected in 1998-2000. The data that is being collected will be used to compare with previous data. The water quality data, along with future biological data, will be used to determine if the impaired waters have improved and if so to an extent where the water bodies can be removed from the 303d list. 3.) Summary of implemented point and nonpoint practices. The project includes a tracking component using GIS mapping that tracks all practices implemented in the watershed. These maps, along with the data comparison information will show where practices have been installed and whether or not the project has been successful. 4.) The project includes an education effort to inform landowners and other stakeholders that the installation of ag nonpoint practices to reduce nutrient and sediment inputs to the Horicon marsh watershed does improve water quality and the quality of the River. The improved water quality data that is collected will be presented through various meetings and media to show that practices installed were successful.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition, Inc. will conduct a monitoring project on the Rock River to collect data and provide information to prove that the installation of conservation practices in the watershed resulted in improved water quality. Project deliverables include collecting and analyzing nutrient and suspended sediment samples from the two inlets and one outlet of the Horicon Marsh and sites in the East and West Rock River watersheds, compiling a list of point and nonpoint source practices installed since 2000, load computations for water year 2010, comparison on 2010 load computations with data previously collected data in 1998 and 1999 to see if improvements resulted from the practices installed, training additional citizen monitor volunteers (if necessary) to assist in the sample collection, and gathering information that will be useful in the implementation of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of the Rock River.
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
The Rock River Coalition, Inc., partnering with USGS, USFWS, the City of Horicon and WDNR will conduct a water quality monitoring project to determine if conservation practices installed since 2000 in the Upper Rock River Basin watershed has resulted in measureable improved water quality, provide a current baseline of water quality to assess changes occurring after 2009, foster citizen involvement and train citizen monitors in sample collection. The project will: 1) collect and analyze nutrient and sediment samples from two tributary streams and the outlet of Horicon Marsh; 2) compile an analysis of point and non-point source practices installed since 2000; 3) compare the new data to data collected in a similar study done in 1998 and 1999 to determine if water quality improvements have occurred. Along with a final report, project deliverables include: 1) an assessment of nutrient and sediment loading to the Horicon Marsh; 2) an assessment of effectiveness of point and non-point pollution reduction practices to reduce pollutant load to the marsh; and 3) provide data to help determine the accuracy of the TMDL modeling that will be done as part of the Rock River Basin TMDL project.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition, Inc. will begin statewide implementation of the Water Star Community Program. The goal of this project is to recognize communities that meet performance standards and conduct activities to enhance stormwater management, groundwater protection, habitat protection and human health. Along with a final report, project deliverables include: 1) Conduct Water Star Community presentations to at least 10 groups; 2) improve the web-based application process; and 3) design and produce Water Star Community signs.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition, Inc will conduct a project to finalize the design and to implement statewide the Water Star Community Program. This incentive-based program will work with municipalities to perserve and improve their local water quality. Project deliverables include 1) use of feedback from pilot communities to develop the final program plan for the Water Star Community program; 2) finalize all incentives as suggested by the pilot communities/steering committee; 3) develop a long-range plan for program implementation; 4) develop and publish a final program manual; 5) promote the Water Star program across the State.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The primary goal of this Rock River Basin project is to improve/protect water quality by promoting urban stormwater management through a program to recognize communities that conduct a stormwater managment program that meets performance standards as well as enhance groundwater protection, habitat protection, and human health. Objectives include: 1) Organizing a statewide partnership of stakeholders concerned about urban stormwater/urban environment; 2) developing "star water program" elements, activities, point structure, incentives, etc., and 3) establishing at least three pilot Water Star Communities within the Rock River Basin.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The primary goal of this project is the initial planning and development of a comprehensive phosphorus sampling plan for the Rock River Basin using volunteers. Objectives include: 1) developing a ranked list of sampling sites; and 2) developing a complete monitoring plan to include sites, final protocols, partners, responsibilities, etc.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The project goal is to improve/protect water quality by promoting urban stormwater management through a program to recognize communities that conduct a stormwater management program that meets performance standards. The objectives are to: organize a partnership of stakeholders; explore what has been and is being done currently to promote urban stormwater management; assess interest and value for developing such a project; and, develop a project proposal and seek funding through grants to implement the program.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
We anticipate working primarily in areas where rain garden and storm water education has not yet occurred. Rain gardens will be installed at schools or other community locations in eight basin communities and will be highly visible. Students and community groups will develop the rain gardens. The rain gardens are expected to increase public involvement in local community decision- making by raising awareness of environmental issues facing the Rock River Basin.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will increase citizen participation in the Coalition's river protection activities, reduce point and nonpoint pollution in the Rock River basin, increase riverfront revitalization efforts, and increase Coalition membership. The Coalition will do this by implementing environmental action projects, adding to the riverfront revitalization casebook, making presentations, and hosting the Coalition's exhibit at local events.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Lake Koshkonong Wetland Association will conduct a study that will describe correlations between historic and present lake water levels with the growth rates of Floodplain trees in wetlands adjacent to lake Koshkonong and the Rock River. This study will also illustrate the current and proposed hydologic conditions in relation to rooting structures and surface elevations within these forest communities.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Rock River Coalition will continue the expansion and institutionalization of the Rock River Basin Citizen Monitoring Program so that the program can increase and train the number of individual monitors, schools and youth groups. Project deliverables include the annual 'Confluence 'conference, interenet database with the collect river data, and quality assurance and quality control techniques.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will build its organization and increase its educational outreach. Project deliverables include employing an outreach coordinator, developing an action plan for citizen involvement in river revitalization and a riverfront revitalization casebook, and hosting a river conference or workshop.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will provide assistance and direction to local municipalities in order to stabilize and restore 12 critical shoreline areas within the Rock River Basin.. Project deliverables include: restoring a native shoreline to provide a natural habitat for wildlife, controling errosion due to fluctuating water levels, creating a buffer strip along the parkland, education outreach, including local residents with hands on involvement for river protection, creating additional green space, minimizing soil loss, and controling surface water runoff.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Rock River Coalition will increase citizen participation in the Rock River Coalition river protection activities, reduce point and nonpoint pollution in the Rock River Basin, and increase riverfront revitalization efforts.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Rock River Coalition will attempt to develop and implement a citizen monitoring program in order to collect data on streams, lakes and rivers and educate the community about the waterbodies.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will hire five local monitoring coordinators as a part of their citizen volunteer monitoring plan.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Rock River Headwaters will increase organizational development along with creating effective community-based regional watershed planning and management. Project deliverables: include a fund raising strategy, a public information and education plan, and a public engagement plan.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Rock River Headwaters Inc. (RRHI) will hire a transition and outreach coordinator position. That position will: 1) assist agencies, groups and individual in the transition from Horicon Marsh area Coalition's informal collaborative approaches to RRHI's new organizational structure, 2) help incorporate HMAC's traditions and collaborative process into RRHI, 3) Work at retaining and revitalizing existing members of HMAC for RRHI, 4) organize scientific materials and information already prepared by HMAC and make it available to others, 5) use collected data to identify problems and present these to entities that can address them, 6) prepare and present programs to reawaken community interest and reach new groups of people, 7) assist in developing a citizen's participation process for the DNR's State of the Basin Report.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition will implement the business outreach strategic plan that was developed in phase one of this project. Specifically: 1) hire a project coordinator, 2) activate the business outreach plan, 3) develop a Power Point and/or other presentations for businesses and industries, 4) develop a menu of activities for business involvement and protocols for implementing them, 5) contact 20 businesses per month, 6) establish 5, on the ground environmental protection projects with at least one on an ERW or ORW, 7) host roundtables or training workshops for basin businesses and business associations with potential broadcast over local cable channels, 8) increase corporate sponsorship of the Rock River Coalition by 70%.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
The Rock River Coalition, Inc. will generate a strategy for developing business and corporate involvement with the Coalition to protect river quality and increase cooperation with businesses and industries. It will include: develop promotional materials for this strategy, develop a business needs assessment survey and a business contact strategy, work with UWEX CNRED staff begin implementing this strategy on a pilot basis.
TMDL Implementation
Rock River Recovery is the official name of the Rock River Watershed TMDL Implementation process. There are over 40 waterbodies in the basin that are on the 303(d) list of impaired waters. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) focuses on the waters that are impaired by excessive sediment and phosphorus.
Sewer Service Area Planning
The City of Watertown completed a Smart Growth Comprehensive Master Plan (hereafter referred to as the Comprehensive Plan) in August 2000 and a Wastewater Facilities Plan in September 2000. This Sanitary Sewer Service Area Plan is intended to complement these previous planning efforts and provide a framework for guiding future development in the area. The Plan takes into account the technical, environmental and growth projections of the City in establishing the sewer service area.
Sewer Service Area Planning
The City of Janesville water quality plan, or sewer service area plan, is the official citywide water quality management plan for the City of Janesville and its four surrounding townships Harmony, Janesville, Rock, and La Prairie
Sewer Service Area Planning
The 2030 Beloit Area Water Quality Management Plan will provide a policy framework and set of guidelines to enforce the federal, state and local water quality programs in the City of Beloit, Town of Beloit and surrounding the area.

Recommendations

All communities in the Middle Rock River Watershed could further protect the Rock River by enacting and enforcing construction site erosion control and stormwater management ordinances, improving enforcement of existing construction site erosion control provisions, and acquiring parkland and natural areas adjacent the river and along tributaries of the river.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Standards Details

The Rock River is listed as impaired due to narrative water quality criteria exceedances that result in eutophication, excess algal growth, turbid conditions, and reductions in fish and aquatic life uses. These problems are caused by excess phosphorus in surface waters and excess sediment from runoff and soil erosion, which degrade conditions for aquatic life.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Management Plans

Management plans for the Rock River are being developed through the 2011 Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis for the Basin, as well as through subsequent planning and implementation strategies stemming from this work.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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

Monitoring Studies

Extensive monitoring and subsequent water quality modeling on the Rock River has taken place over the past few years leading up to the development of the total maximum daily load analysis. Long-term monitoring stations for DNR and at the federal level for USGS are located throughout the river.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Watershed Characteristics

Rock River is located in the Sinissippi Lake watershed which is 234.93 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (52.50%), grassland (18.70%) and a mix of wetland (14.70%) and other uses (14.20%). This watershed has 458.18 stream miles, 1,917.70 lake acres and 22,222.24 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.

Natural Community

Rock River is considered a Macroinvertebrate, No Classification, Warm Headwater, Large River, 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.

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.

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.

Warm Headwaters are small, usually intermittent streams with warm summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are absent, transitional fishes are common to uncommon, and warm water fishes are abundant to common. Headwater species are abundant to common, mainstem species are common to absent, and river species are absent.

Fish Stocking