Skinner Creek, Jordan and Skinner Creeks Watershed (SP02)
Skinner Creek, Jordan and Skinner Creeks Watershed (SP02)
Skinner Creek (894500)
14 Miles
0 - 14
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 Mainstem, Cool-Warm Mainstem, Coldwater
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.
This river is impaired
Impairment Unknown
Total Phosphorus
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.
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.
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.


Originating at the confluence of Bushnell and Buckskin School Creeks, this large stream flows southwesterly and joins the Pecatonica near Browntown. The creek has an abundance of forage fish, but also contains sport fish. Fish such as smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish are more prevalent in periods of high water. The stream once ran through an extensive area of wetlands, but now only 120 acres of wetland remains. check with wetland map Monitoring has not been conducted on this stream within the last 10 years.

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.

Originating at the confluence of Bushnell and Buckskin School Creeks, this large stream flows southwesterly and joins the Pecatonica River near Browntown. The stream once ran through an extensive area of wetlands, but
most of the stream was ditched. It now drains pasture and cropland, with only 120 acres of wetlands remaining. The s'tream is very sluggish and turbid and its bottom cons'ists primarily of silt and muck.
The fishery of Skinner Creek is managed for warmwater species"especially smallmouth bass. Other game fish present include northern pike, channel catfish, green sunfish, and a few brown trout in the upper end. Several species of forage fish inhabit the stream and are usually more abundant than the game species. Muskrats are present throughout, and several small patches of wetlands provide a marginal habitat for duc~s and other wildlife. Public frontage and access is restricted to 11 road crossings.
Fish Species: Brown trout, central mudminnow, northern pike, central stoneroller, carp, hornyhead chub, golden shiner. common shiner, bigmouth shiner, rosyface shiner, spotfin shiner, sand shiner, suckermouth
minnow, bluntnose minnow, creek chub, white sucker, northern hog sucker, silver redhorse, shorthead redhorse, channel catfish. stonecat, green sunfish, smallmouth bass, fantail darter, Johnny darter, banded darter.
Surface Acres = 33.6, Length = 14.0 Miles, Gradient = 3.b ft./mi., Base Discharge = 37.3 cu. ft./sec.

Date  1980

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Flows generally southwest to the village of Browntown and the Sugar River. The headwaters of this stream are known as Bushnell Creek and Buckskin School Branch. Managed for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and forage fish. Occasionally trout are caught as they move out of the trout waters above. Open, unprotected banks, and deep holes on the meanders; typical features of a large stream in hilly agricultural land. One hundred and eighty acres of predominantly open marshland lie adjacent to the stream. 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.

Surface Acres= 23.8, Miles= 14.0, Gradient= 3.9' per mile

Date  1961

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Skinner Creek, Jordan and Skinner Creeks Watershed (SP02) Fish and Aquatic LifeSkinner Creek, Jordan and Skinner Creeks Watershed (SP02) RecreationSkinner Creek, Jordan and Skinner Creeks Watershed (SP02) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Skinner Creek (894500) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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.



Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands
Restore Wetlands

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

Skinner Creek is located in the Jordan and Skinner Creeks watershed which is 94.06 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (41.80%), grassland (41.30%) and a mix of forest (11.80%) and other uses (5.20%). This watershed has 234.78 stream miles, 48.73 lake acres and 1,559.08 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 Medium Stream for individual Rivers based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Skinner Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Mainstem, Cool-Warm Mainstem, Coldwater 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 (Cold-Transition) Mainstem streams are moderate-to-large but still wadeable perennial streams with cold to cool summer temperatures. Coldwater fishes are common to uncommon, transitional fishes are abundant to common, and warm water fishes are uncommon to absent. Headwater species are common to absent, mainstem species are abundant to common, and river species are common to absent.

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