Honey Creek, Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed (SP01)
Honey Creek, Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed (SP01)
Honey Creek (892300)
6.60 Miles
9.88 - 16.48
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.
Cool-Cold Headwater, 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
Poor
 
This river is impaired
Degraded Habitat, Impairment Unknown
Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
 
Green
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.
Yes

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.
WWFF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent forage 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.
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.
WWSF
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.
WWSF
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.

Overview

Originating just north of Monroe, Honey Creek is a 16-mile long stream that flows southwest to Illinois where it enters the Pecatonica River. The stream has a drainage area of 33 square miles. Hawthorne Creek, Spring Creek, Whitehead Creek and four unnamed tributaries contribute flow to Honey Creek before it leaves Green County.

The upper portion of the stream flows through a city park and a residential area of Monroe, with the remainder running through woods, cropland and pasture. Scarce bank cover has led to moderate bank erosion, yet the water is usually clear. Muck and silt are the primary bottom types, although gravel, sand, rubble and hardpan can be found in places. Effluent from the Monroe Sewage Disposal Plant enters the stream below Monroe and in the past has adversely affected the downstream aquatic life. Measures have been taken to improve this situation.

In 1998, it was placed on the state 303(d) list of impaired waters due to habitat degradation caused by excessive sedimentation. The listing was divided into two segments, from the headwaters downstream to the junction with Hawthorne Creek, and then from Hawthorne Creek downstream to the state line. The upstream portion of the stream is affected by inputs from agriculture as well as urban runoff from Monroe and effluent discharges. The lower portion is mostly affected by agricultural runoff.

Date  2008

Author  James Amrhein

Historical Description

Honey Creek flows southwest into Illinois and is managed for forage fish and suckers. Carp, redhorse, and common white sucker are present in significant numbers. There have been reports of trout caught in this stream. smallmouth bass are present in the lower section of the stream. Approximately 56 acres of wetland adjoin the stream.Very little bank cover is present, and raw earth banks are common.

Surface Acres= 24.4, Miles= 20.0, Gradient= 12.0' per mile. 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.

Date  1961

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Land Use

Monroe lies in the Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed in south central Green County. The named streams that will likely be impacted by growth in Monroe and the extended sewer service area lie to the south and west of the city. These include Honey Creek, Hawthorne Creek, and Little Richland Creek. The Monroe wastewater treatment plant 'discharges to Honey Creek. Little Richland Credc eventually joins Richland Creek, which is an Exceptional Resource Water.

There are several small, scattered steep slope areas (> 12%) along the perimeter of the sewer service area. There are also scattered wetland areas along each of the stream corridors. These areas should be identified as environmentally sensitive areas and protected from development.

Many of the streams in the watershed suffer from the effects of non-point source pollution, caused primarily by agricultural runoff. Approximately 80 percent of the watershed is in agriculture with a number of dairy operations. Excessive stream bank pasturing lends itself to habitat degradation by causing sedimentation, which covers hard substrate, and trampled down banks which make the stream wider and shallower. Runoff of manure adds nutrients which lead to algal and macrophyte growth.
However, growth of the city and the expansion of impervious surfaces, particularly in the headwater streams, could affect baseflow as well as peak flows of these streams. Such development could exacerbate the non-point source problems in the region.

Date  2003

Author   City Of Monroe - Dpw

Facilities Management

The wastewater treatment plant discharges to the stream. Honey Creek is classified as a warm water sport fishery and contains bass and channel catfish. Monitoring was conducted in 1996 in response to a fish kill caused by a release of ammonia from the Monroe sewerage treatment plant. Northern pike were subsequently re-stocked in the creek. Urban nonpoint sources of pollution, including increased runoff from urban impervious surfaces such as pavement add to sedimentation problems in the creek. The city of Monroe is currently working on a sewer service area plan to protect water resources from potential problems associated with growth and development.

In addition to the Monroe Sewerage Treatment Plant, several industries discharge small amounts of non-contact cooling water to the creek. The stream had fish kills in the past. Improvements to the plant in the 1980?s vastly improved the operation of the plant. However, the treatment plant does add nutrients to the system which encourages plant and algal growth.

Date  2008

Author  James Amrhein

Honey Creek, Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed (SP01) Fish and Aquatic LifeHoney Creek, Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed (SP01) RecreationHoney Creek, Honey and Richland Creeks Watershed (SP01) Fish Consumption

General Condition

In 1998, the stream was placed on the state 303(d) list of impaired waters due to habitat degradation caused by excessive sedimentation. The listing was divided into two segments, from the headwaters downstream to the junction with Hawthorne Creek, and then from Hawthorne Creek downstream to the state line. The upstream portion of the stream is affected by inputs from agriculture as well as urban runoff from Monroe and effluent discharges. The lower portion is mostly affected by agricultural runoff.

Date  2008

Author  James Amrhein

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
Monitor Honey Creek for habitat impairment caused by sedimentation. Conduct fisheries IBI and habitat assessment Honey Creek (3 sites) and one site on each of 3 major tributaries. Conduct monthly nutrient analysis (12) of Honey Creek below WWTP outfall. Conduct watershed assessment to determine sediment sources. Conduct macroinvertebrate analysis at 6 sites.
TMDL Monitoring
Monitor Honey Creek (892300) for habitat impairment caused by sedimentation. Conduct fisheries IBI and habitat assessment Honey Creek (3 sites) and one site on each of 3 major tributaries. Conduct monthly nutrient analysis (12) of Honey Creek below WWTP outfall. Conduct watershed assessment to determine sediment sources. Conduct macroinvertebrate analysis at 6 sites.
Monitor Watershed (Status,Sources,Impairments)
Watershed Planning Update
Sewer Service Area Planning
This Sanitary Sewer Service Area Plan is intended to complement previous planning efforts and provide a framework for guiding future development in the area in order to protect the water quality of the watershed. The Plan takes into account the technical, environmental and growth projections of the City in establishing the sewer service area.

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

Honey Creek is located in the Honey and Richland Creeks watershed which is 80.09 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (67.70%), grassland (22.20%) and a mix of suburban (4.40%) and other uses (5.60%). This watershed has 195.33 stream miles, 16.47 lake acres and 117.89 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium 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

Honey 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 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.

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.