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Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Fish and Aquatic Life
Markham Creek is a five-mile stream located in west central Rock County that flows southeast before reaching the Lower Rock River near Janesville, Wisconsin. It has a moderate gradient of 15.3 feet per mile and drains an area of approximately eight square miles. Markham Creek is designated as having the potential to support a warm water sport fishery for its entire length, but is currently supporting a warm water forage fishery.
Author Michael Sorge
A small tributary of the Rock River located south of Janesville. The fishery is dominated by forage species although bass and northern pike may be found at the mouth and a short distance upstream from the Rock River. Most of the stream has been straightened with a resultant loss of habitat. There are about 5 acres of adjoining wetland. Navigable water access is available from the Rock River and four town roads which cross the stream.
Surface Acres = 4.66, Miles = 4.3, Gradient = 15.3 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.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Markham Creek (WBIC 796400) was placed on the impaired waters list for total suspended solids (TSS) and degraded habitat in 1998. The TMDL for TSS and degraded habitat was approved in 2011. This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and biological (macroinvertebrate and fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was still considered impaired.
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.
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.
Markham Creek 2-year TMDL Monitoring
Water Quality Planning
Future enforcement of non-point source performance standards and prohibitions will likely take place in Stevens Creek and Markham Creek watersheds. It is also anticipated that regulatory agricultural and non-agricultural
performance standards called for in Wisconsin Statutes will be implemented in the watersheds of impaired waters. Currently, enforcement is based on the opportunity to provide cost-share dollars. If money is offered to landowners violating performance standards, they are obligated to comply. Administrative rules passed by the Natural Resources Board identify that watersheds with impaired waters will have the highest priority for enforcement.
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|
|796400||Markham Creek||543277||Markham Creek - Hanover Road||5/16/1997||10/4/2005||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||10033601||Markham Creek at Falling Creek Dr.||5/16/2011||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||543265||Markham Creek - O'Leary Road||6/30/2004||10/4/2005||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||543272||Markham Creek - Hwy D||7/1/1992||9/11/2012||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||10012047||Markham Creek - Upstream Of Oleary Rd.||10/29/2004||10/29/2004||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||543279||Markham Creek - Rockport Road||4/4/2005||10/4/2005||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||10010455||Markham Creek - Upstream Of Cth D||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||10010926||Markham Creek - At Rockport Rd||Map||Data|
|796400||Markham Creek||10043149||Markham Creek at Tripp Rd trail||1/1/2015||10/19/2016||Map||Data|
Markham Creek is located in the Bass Creek watershed which is 113.10 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (68.90%), grassland (10.80%) and a mix of suburban (7.10%) and other uses (13.20%). This watershed has 210.28 stream miles, 79.27 lake acres and 2,685.49 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.
Markham 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.
More Interactive Maps
Maps of Watershed