Fish and Aquatic Life
Morse Pond is a small, shallow pothole pond on the edge of the driftless region west of Madison. The pond is unique in that it has a large bed of lotus (Nelumbo lutea) not found on many other waterbodies in the Sugar-Pecatonica basin. This bed of lotus was threatened by the construction of the University of Wisconsin golf course which resulted in an excessive amount of sediment entering the pond during storm runoff (WDNR, 1993). Although the completion of the golf course reduced the sedimentation problem, the lotus beds are still threatened by the nutrients and herbicides that runoff of the golf course and into the pond. The University of Wisconsin Foundation had agreed to initiate a study of long-term impacts of gold course operations on water quality and aquatic life in Morse Pond, but nothing has yet been done. Increasing development of the surrounding area and subsequent stormwater runoff also threatens the health of the pond.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1985, Surface Water Resources of Dane County,WI: WI-DNR Morse Pond - T6N, R8E, Sec. 3 Surface acres = 11.6, SDF = 1.45, Maximum depth 4 ft This small, shallow, land-locked pothole pond is surrounded by nearly 550 acres of land owned by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association. The watershed is largely agricultural. There are a few acres of shallow marsh on the north and south ends and the remaining shoreline is wet meadow. The water level is highly variable. Morse Pond has very little recreational potential as the water is turbid and the bottom is very soft. Severe winterkill conditions prohibit the establishment of a fishery. Various species of amphibians and reptiles, as well as raccoons, deer, and waterfowl, frequent the area. The American lotus grows profusely in the pond. Fish species: fathead minnow.
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.
Dane County Lake Classification-Phase 2: The Phase 1 classification grant classified all county lakes and streams. This grant will take the next step by developing a management program based on the classification.
Dane County Department of Planning and Development will hire a project staff in order to develop a Lake Classification project, which is seen as the first step toward developing a consistent set of county-wide standards and procedures to protect Dane County Waters.
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|
|872800||Morse Pond||10001247||Morse Pond||7/27/1999||9/27/2013||Map||Data|
Morse Pond is located in the Upper Sugar River watershed which is 105.96 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (42.90%), grassland (20.80%) and a mix of forest (13.80%) and other uses (22.60%). This watershed has 183.62 stream miles, 151.49 lake acres and 2,231.15 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.