Fish and Aquatic Life
Silver School Branch is located in northern Green County and is part of the Little Sugar River watershed. This fourmile
long stream flows to the south through predominantly agricultural land and drains into the Little Sugar River
southeast of Monticello. The lower three miles of Silver School Branch are currently listed on the 303 (d) list for
degraded habitat from sedimentation due to non-point source pollution. A fish survey from 1974 found one northern
pike and 10 other forage and minnow species, with creek chub and southern redbelly dace being the most common
seen, however, the stream has not been monitored in recent years. Silver School Branch is currently listed as a warm
water forage fishery, but is believed to have the potential to become a cold water fishery. However, current data is not
sufficient to determine overall potential of this stream. While mitigation of erosion and improvement in habitat of this
stream is desirable, further monitoring is required to determine the realistic potential for this stream.
Author Aquatic Biologist
This small stream currently supports a warm water forage fishery, but could potentially be a cold water fishery. Most of its watershed is developed for agriculture (Surface Waters of Green Co.). Due to habitat degradation from nonpoint source pollution, the stream is listed as an impaired water on the state’s 303(d) list. The stream has not been monitored in recent years.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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 rather small stream flows south and meets the Little Sugar River east of Monticello. Its watershed is a long. shallow valley entirely developed for agriculture. The stream meanders through pasture for most of its length with a short section near its mouth being ditched for cropland drainage. Bank cover is poorly developed and erosion is usually heavy. Although the water is turbid. the flow maintains a sand and gravel bottom. Macrophytic vegetation and aquatic invertebrates are scarce.
The fishery is limited to forage species dominated by the southern redbelly dace. An occasional brown trout or northern pike may be found. A small patch of sedge meadow receives occasional visits from mallards and other waterfow] , but the stream's small size and heavily pastured watershed precludes its habitation by most wildlife. Public access consists of four road crossings.
Fish Species: Northern pike, stoneroller unspecified, common shiner, bigmouth shiner, southern redbelly dace, bluntnose minnow, fathead minnow, creek chub, white sucker, brook stickleback, fantail darter, Johnny darter, brown trout.
Surface Acres = 1.5. Length = 3.2 Miles. Gradient = 22 ft./mi.. Base Discharge = 2.3cu. ft./sec.
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.
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|
|880400||Silver School Br||10029420||Silver School Branch at CTH EE||10/20/2008||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|880400||Silver School Br||10034085||Silver School Branch at CTH C||10/12/2011||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
Silver School Br is located in the Little Sugar River watershed which is 133.02 mi². 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.