Tributary to Williams Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06)
Tributary to Williams Creek, Upper East Branch Pecatonica River Watershed (SP06)
Tributary to Williams Creek (915100)
1.07 Miles
8.10 - 9.17
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, 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.
Dane, Iowa
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.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.
Streams capable of supporting small populations of forage fish or tolerant macro-invertebrates that are tolerant of organic pollution. Typically limited due to naturally poor water quality or habitat deficiencies. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 3 mg/L.


This small spring fed tributary to the East Branch Pecatonica River is a Class II trout stream (WDNR, 1980). We assume water quality is good, but sediment is a problem in the stream. Cattle grazing occurs on the streambanks in some locations (WDNR, 19921).


Author   Aquatic Biologist


This is a spring fed stream which begins on the Military Ridge and flows southerly into the upper section of the East Branch of the Pecatonica River. The creek is classified as a Class II trout fishery for the lower 4.9 miles of its 7 mile length. Brown trout have been stocked through 2000. The stream was last surveyed in 1980.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Williams Creek (Barneveld) - Mouth location T6N R5E Section 34 -6, Surface area = 5.3 acres, Length =-4.9 miles, Gradient = 32.6 feet per mile, Total alkalinity = 270.0 mg/l, Volume of flow = 1.4 cfs.
Williams Creek is a spring fed stream which begins on the Military Ridge and flows southerly into the upper section of the East Branch of the Pecatonica River. Although its gradient is not extreme, about 95 percent of its watershed is cleared for farming. Land use contributes to floods and subsequent bank erosion. The sport fishery is principally smallmouth bass and brown trout are stocked annually. Some pumpkinseed panfish are also present. Forage fishes consist of bluntnose and stoneroller minnows, common shiners, redbelly dace, creek chubs, hornyhead chubs, northern redhorse, stonecats, white suckers, and hogsuckers. Aquatic game assets are limited to some muskrats in areas where bank cover and deeper water exist. There are no public lands but the stream is accessible from two road crossings.

From: Piening, Ronald and Threinen, C.W., 1968. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of
Iowa County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1968

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin


Restore Hydrology, Morphology
The Prairie Enthusiasts will sponsor a project to restore the Williams-Barneveld stream channel and floodplain located within the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area to pre-European settlement condition. Project deliverables include: 1) continuing stream baseline geomorphology study, completion of soil borings to determine depth of alluvial depositions and ground water hydrology, completion of cross sections of stream channel and floodplain for engineering plans, continuation of herptile surveys for baseline information, completion of a vegetation survey of excavation area not in agriculture for saving to re-vegetate with local genotypes, excavation of floodplains deposition exposing the historic floodplain soil, establishment of native wet prairie/wetland vegetation on floodplain and streambank and continuation of monitoring to measure project success.
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

Williams-Barneveld Creek is located in the Upper East Branch Pecatonica River watershed which is 140.18 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily grassland (52.10%), agricultural (22.10%) and a mix of forest (20.70%) and other uses (5.10%). This watershed has 395.65 stream miles, 61.72 lake acres and 834.33 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

Tributary to Williams Creek is considered a Cool-Cold Headwater, 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) 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.

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