0 - 6.15
Cool-Cold Headwater, Cool-Warm Headwater
Degraded Habitat, Low flow alterations
Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Fish and Aquatic Life
Alto Creek, a tributary to Fox Lake, passes through large tracts of wetlands which buffer the creek from direct surface runoff. Recent monitoring indicates this stream could support a coldwater fishery if polluted runoff were controlled. Pesticide toxicity may contribute to this stream's limited fish population and low diversity (WDNR, 1994). Lower stream segments have potential for fringe wetland restoration (Sesing, 1995).
In 2000, base line monitoring was conducted on the creek. The data has not been completely evaluated (as of December 2001). Preliminary evaluations showed the creek to bee in poor condition.
In 2001, the Fox Lake Inland Management District obtained a DNR Lake Protection Grant to install several agriculture sediment control features in the watershed. The District is also working with the County LCD, state, and federal agencies to control upland erosion of sediment into the creek.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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.
TMDL (USEPA) Approved
Alto Creek TMDL Approved
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 4A. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10029583. AU: 11414.
TMDL (USEPA) Approved
Rock River Watershed
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|
|835900||Alto Creek||10008408||Alto Cr. : Cth F Bridge||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||143031||Alto Creek at Cth F Near Fox Lake WI||6/27/1991||10/24/2022||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||10029583||Alto Creek East Branch||12/8/2009||10/12/2015||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||10029555||Alto Cr confluence N of Lake Emily Rd||12/8/2009||8/22/2010||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||143320||Alto Creek - Alto Creek (At Cth F)||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||10035547||Alto Creek - Area of Open Water||7/1/2010||7/31/2012||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||10043920||ALTO CREEK AT LAKELAND RD||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|835900||Alto Creek||10029554||Alto Cr at Lake Emily Rd||12/8/2009||8/22/2010||Map||Data|
Alto Creek is located in the Beaver Dam River watershed which is 290.25 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (62.90%), wetland (13.80%) and a mix of grassland (9.50%) and other uses (13.90%). This watershed has 421.30 stream miles, 3,607.03 lake acres and 29,349.96 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.
Alto 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 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.
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.