Hammerly Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14)
Hammerly Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14)
Hammerly Creek (880300)
1.91 Miles
1.93 - 3.84
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.
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.
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.


The lower one-third of this 3 mile stream is considered Class III trout water. The creek was once a natural brook trout stream with well defined banks, deep pools and abundant riffles, but habitat deterioration has been so severe that it currently only supports a trout fishery through stocking of brown trout. The principal water source is a spring which has been excavated and dammed to form a pond for a private fish hatchery. During the summer, water from the pond is warmed significantly prior to entering the stream (Surface Waters of Green Co.). A fisheries survey conducted in 2002 at the Sugar River Trail Bridge found forage species including sculpin, stickleback, mudminnows, and darters. Heavy siltation was noted in this area whereas upstream areas appear to have better gradient, flow and overall habitat.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Bush, D.M., R. Cornelius, D. Engle, and C.L. Brynildson. 1980. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, 2nd Edition. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin.

This small trout stream flows northeast and enters the Little Sugar River southeast of Monticello. Severe
land misuse and excessive water fertility have led to a serious degradation of the stream's quality. Inordinate deposits of silt make the stream very wide and shallow and the excessive growth of macrophytic vegetation (Ranunculus and Elodea) impedes water flow. The principal water source is a large spring in Section 28 which
has been excavated and dammed forming a pond for a private fish hatchery. During the summer, the pond water
is warmed significantly prior to entering the stream. Hammerly Creek's bottom consists of silt with small patches of sand and gravel. The water is slightly turbid and instream cover is minimal.
The entire stream is considered Class III trout water. The creek was once a natural brook trout stream with well defined banks, deep pools and abundant riffles, but habitat deterioration has been so severe that it currently supports a trout fishery only throuqh the annual stocking of brown trout. Wildlife values consist of muskrats and there are thirty acres of sedge meadow and shrub swamp adjacent to the creek. Public access is ~gjlable from the Sugar River Trail and one public road crossing.
Fish Species: Brown trout, central mudminnow, brook stickleback, mottled sculpin
Surface Acres = 1.1. Length = 1.5 Miles, Gradient = 20 ft./mi.. Base Discharge = 4.9 cu. ft./sec.

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

From: Poff, Ronald J., and C.W. Threinen, Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Green County, Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison I, 1961.

Flows generally northeast to the Little Sugar River. Managed for brook trout and brown trout. The principal water supply is a large spring (800 gallons per minute) located just south of highway 39 in section 27. The stream once had well defined banks and pools up to 3 feet in dept with a good pool to riffle ratio. In recent years the siltation problem has increased until now the stream bed holds up to 16 inches of sediment in most places and conditions have changed to such an extent that filamentous algae are crowding in on the rooted aquatics. With proper watershed management and stream channel improvement it may be possible to reproduce some semblance of the stream as it once was. Since the fishable portion of the stream is so small it may be impractical to attempt reclamation.

Surface Acres= 1.1, Miles= 1.5, Gradient= 26.6' per mile

Date  1961

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Hammerly Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) Fish and Aquatic LifeHammerly Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) RecreationHammerly Creek, Little Sugar River Watershed (SP14) Fish Consumption


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.



Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Category 3 water with a single 'Poor' fIBI. Further monitoring recommended. AU: 18526l; Station ID: 10033952

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

Hammerly Creek is located in the Little Sugar River watershed which is 133.02 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (46.80%), grassland (32.10%) and a mix of forest (13.90%) and other uses (7.00%). This watershed has 351.74 stream miles, 50.40 lake acres and 3,252.10 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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

Hammerly Creek is considered a Coldwater 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.

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