Scuppernong River, Scuppernong River Watershed (LR15)
Scuppernong River, Scuppernong River Watershed (LR15)
Scuppernong River (817600)
9.37 Miles
0 - 9.37
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.
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Mainstem, Coldwater
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.
This river is impaired
Impairment Unknown
Total Phosphorus
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.
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.
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.



Much of the original length info from this waterbody likely came from an old fish distribution analysis. All pre-GIS.

Tracing the stream with the eLT from CTH N up to the spring pond, CTH N is at 13.25 and the spring pond outlet is at 17.3. That's only 4.05 miles, which means both the trout books and watershed table are incorrect. Some straightening of the stream appears to have occurred near N, so that might account for the shorter-than-expected length.

The trout books refer to the class II portion only as "upper", so it wasn't clear if "upper" referred only to the half mile of stream below the spring pond, or the spring pond itself (which is about a half mile long). The trout GIS layer shows the class III segment running up to the spring pond outlet, and the class II segment is the spring pond itself.

There's a long, narrow pond approaching the stream about 0.3 mile southwest of the spring pond. I'm guessing this was part of the old hatchery pond system you mentioned... So, assuming both the 303d and trout GIS layers are in error, I would argue that what was intended both as the class II and 303d length was the first half mile or so of stream downstream from the spring pond to a little ways past the old hatchery pond. This would be mile 16.8-17.3.

The mileage and codification comes from the Lower Rock Appendices to the State of the Basin Report for the Rock River. The text talks about habitat being impaired by discharges from old hatchery ponds.

The class II segment in the 1980 and 2002 trout stream book is the upper 0.5 miles from Scuppernong Springs Pond. You may wish to double check since it is clearly the River and not the springs that is listed.

The trout stream book also implies that there are 5.5 miles in Waukesha Co. Or are there 6.0 miles? 6 miles corresponds to the watershed table information. Does this match your measurements?

Mile 19.5-20 of the Scuppernong River in Waukesha Co. is on the 303d list. However, the stream is only 17.3 miles long... following the purple line in the 303d GIS layer (from the top of the channelized portion to the pond), I come up with 16.55-17.3 miles. To complicate things, the 303d list lists the codified use as Cold II. The 1980 and 2002 trout books list only the Scuppernong Springs pond as class 2, and the next 5 miles of the stream (down to CTH N) as class 3. Is mile 19.5-20 referring to spring pond or the unchannelized upper portion of the stream?

Date  2009

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Scuppernong River, Scuppernong River Watershed (LR15) Fish and Aquatic LifeScuppernong River, Scuppernong River Watershed (LR15) RecreationScuppernong River, Scuppernong River Watershed (LR15) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Scuppernong River (From the headwaters spring pond down 1/2 mile) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new 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 meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Scuppernong River (817600) from the mouth to unnamed trib (5037997), was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data do not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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.



Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands

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

Scuppernong River is located in the Scuppernong River watershed which is 87.43 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (43.40%), forest (21%) and a mix of wetland (17.40%) and other uses (18.10%). This watershed has 159.20 stream miles, 309.65 lake acres and 9,009.01 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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

Scuppernong River is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Mainstem, Coldwater 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 (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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