Fish and Aquatic Life
Mud Branch is a 10 mile long stream in Lafayette County that flows southeastward into the East Branch of the Pecatonica River. The middle section is classified as trout water. The stream suffers from the typical problems in this part of the state: turbidity, bank erosion, sedimentation, habitat impairment and channelization. In 1987, the fish manager noted his disappointment at only finding 6 brown trout in a 4000 foot stretch of stream (Kerr, 1987). Macroinvertebrate sampling conducted in 1990 showed water quality to be good to very good. There has been some effort to rehabilitate the stream. In 2001 and 2002, approximately ? mile of habitat restoration work took place above CTY G. This work included the placement of lunker structures and rip-rap. The objectives of the priority watershed project were to improve trout fisheries, improve trout habitat, reduce organic loading, restore wetlands and improve wildlife habitat. The stream has not been monitored in recent years.
Author James Amrhein
Mud Branch is classified as a warm water drainage stream although there are some good springs feeding into it. It flows southeasterly into the East Branch of the Pecatonica River. Feeder streams are limited to two brooks. Recent surveys indicate that the stream may have possibilities as a marginal trout stream owing to its good water quality and bank cover. However, the lower sections of the stream exhibit heavy bank erosion. Presently, the stream is managed for forage fishes. Most of the floodplain is in meadow and firm pasture with upland hardwoods near the mouth and on the uplands. The watershed contains upland species of game such as deer, pheasants, Hungarian partridge, squirrels and rabbits. Muskrats and waterfowl are present near the mouth where the habitat is more favorable. There is no public land on the stream, but it is accessible from two county road bridges.
Mud Branch, T3N, R5E, Sections 27-5, Surface acres = 5.9, Miles = 6.5, Gradient = 29.2 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 285 mg/l, Volume of flow = 3.3 cfs.
From: Piening, Ronald; Poff, Ronald; Threinen, C.W., 1967. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Lafayette County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
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.
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
It had habitat work, but doesn't show much progress. Fish manager thinks it might be transitioning out of trout water. Will put a monitor in to see what temps are. Don't list at this time.
AU: 13702; Station ID: 10010748
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|
Mud Br is located in the Lower East Branch Pecatonica Rivers watershed which is 144.80 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily grassland (44.90%), agricultural (35.10%) and a mix of forest (16%) and other uses (3.90%). This watershed has 370.96 stream miles, 107.68 lake acres and 2,029.49 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.