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Surface-water hydrology and quality, and macroinvertebrate and smallmouth bass populations in four stream basins in southwestern Wisconsin, 1987-90

Water-Resources Investigations Report 93-4024

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Abstract

Data on streamflow, water quality, and macroinvertebrate and smallmouth bass (microptercus dolomieni) populations were collected from July 1987 through September 1990, in four streams in southwestern Wisconsin to determine the effect of surface-water hydrology and quality on populations of macroinvertebrate and smallmouth bass. The study was a joint project of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Drought conditions greatly affected streamflows in southwestern Wisconsin throughout much of the period of study. Precipitation in all four basins in 1988 and 1989 was 9.91 to12.41 inches less than 1951-80 normal precipitation of 32.88 inches. The lowest annual mean discharge was recorded in water year 1988 at all of the stream-flow-gaging stations except at Rattlesnake Creek, where annual mean discharge was lowest in water year 1990. Overland-flow runoff during the reproductive period of smallmouth bass (mid-May to mid-July) was 0.02 inch in 1988 at the Sinsinawa River and Rattlesnake Creek. Overland-flow runoff in the Little Platte River and the Livingston Branch of the Pecatonica River also was low in 1988 (0.03 inch and 0.04 inch, respectively) during the reproductive period of smallmouth bass. The trend of low overland-flow runoff continued in 1989; in water year 1990, however, overland-flow runoff during the reproductive period of smallmouth bass was 1.38 inches at Livingston Branch of the Pecatonica River and 0.22 inch at Rattlesnake Creek. Turbidity ranged from 1.5 nephelometric turbidity units at Rattlesnake Creek to 3,700 nepheIometric turbidity units at the Sinsinawa River. Suspended-solid concentrations ranged from 2 milligrams per liter at Rattlesnake Creek to a maximum 24,300 milligrams per liter at the Livingston Branch of the Pecatonica River. The high turbidities and suspended-solid concentrations, which occurred during storms, did not last for long periods of time and are not thought to have been harmful to the biota of the rivers. Un-ionized ammonia concentrations exceeded the State of Wisconsin, Department of Natural Resources' standard of 0.04 milligram per liter for warmwater streams at all four of the streams. The maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia measured was 0.10 milligram per liter at Rattlesnake Creek and there was no discernible effects on smallmouth bass or macroinvertebrates. Dissolved-oxygen concentrations at all four study streams occasionally decreased to below or near the concentration of 1 milligram per liter considered necessary to sustain life of smallmouth bass. Two fish kills were documented as the result of low dissolved-oxygen concentrations. All of these episodes of low dissolved-oxygen concentrations occurred during or just after rainstorms and subsequent increasing streamflows. Samples of water-sediment mixture and bottom material were analyzed for pesticides commonly used in the basins. Samples from all of the stations had concentrations of herbicides that exceeded the analytical reporting limit. Water-sediment samples at the Sinsinawa River had the highest herbicide concentration. The concentration of metolachlor was the highest of the herbicides--110 micrograms per liter; concentrations of atrazine and cyanazine were next highest at 97 and 84 micrograms per liter, respectively. All of the water-sediment mixture samples had insecticide concentrations below the analytical reporting limit, with the exception of carbofuran. One water-sediment mixture sample collected at the Little Platte River had a carbofuran concentra- tion of 0.44 microgram per liter. No pesticides were detected in the bottom-material samples collected at the four study streams. Richness of macroinvertebrate taxa did not differ substantially among the four streams during the study, but the abundances of several taxa differed significantly among streams. Livingston Branch of the Pecatonica River had comparatively few midges but many caddisflies, whereas Rattlesnake

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Surface-water hydrology and quality, and macroinvertebrate and smallmouth bass populations in four stream basins in southwestern Wisconsin, 1987-90
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
93-4024
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1993
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Science Information Center [distributor],
Description:
viii, 70 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.