Swan Creek, Lower Sugar River Watershed (SP11)
Swan Creek, Lower Sugar River Watershed (SP11)
Swan Creek (876700)
1.96 Miles
5.13 - 7.09
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.
Coldwater, 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.
2015
Fair
 
Rock
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.
No

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.
FAL
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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
LFF
Streams capable of supporting small populations of forage fish or tolerant macro-invertebrates that are tolerant of organic pollution. Typically limited due to naturally poor water quality or habitat deficiencies. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 3 mg/L.

Overview

This warm water stream originates near Orfordville and flows west, then south to empty into Taylor Creek. The lower 5 miles of stream currently supports a warm water sport fishery. However, the fish manager feels the lower 5 miles could potentially be a Class II trout stream because of a 1997 survey which showed populations of naturally occurring fingerlings in this section (Bush, pers. comm.). The upper two miles of stream are classified as limited forage fishery. The department has proposed changing this upper portion to a limited aquatic life classification due to intermittent flow in this area (Marshall, 1988). However, several environmental groups have challenged the department’s proposal. Monitoring will be conducted to assess contemporary conditions in the upper section of the stream. The stream receives effluent from the Ofordville sewerage treatment plant. The plant was upgraded in 1981which improved the water quality of the stream (Marshall, 1988). Agricultural nonpoint source pollution and channelization have impacted the habitat in the stream.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

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

Surface Acres = 7.01, Miles = 6.5, Gradient = 14.9 feet per mile.

A seepage fed warm water stream originating near Orfordville,
flowing east and then south to empty into Taylor Creek. The stream receives runoff from about 12 square miles of crop land and the lower one-half has been ditched. The fishery is composed of forage species only. Adjoining fresh meadow wetland totals 696 acres, 10 percent of which is wooded. The wetland area supports a fair pheasant population. Access is available from three town roads and two state highway crossings.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Swan Creek, Lower Sugar River Watershed (SP11) Fish and Aquatic LifeSwan Creek, Lower Sugar River Watershed (SP11) RecreationSwan Creek, Lower Sugar River Watershed (SP11) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Swan Creek (876700), from miles 0 - 5, was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; 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). Temperature data met 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

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

Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Swan Creek should be added to the 303(d) list of impaired waters for phosphorus that exceeds the criteria.

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

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

Swan Creek is located in the Lower Sugar River watershed which is 217.85 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (65.80%), grassland (16.90%) and a mix of forest (7.60%) and other uses (9.70%). This watershed has 467.98 stream miles, 202.10 lake acres and 6,999.03 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Low 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.

Natural Community

Swan Creek is considered a Coldwater, 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.