Fish and Aquatic Life
Cooley Creek, located in northwest Crawford and southwest Vernon Counties, flows for 4.1 miles in a southerly direction before reaching Rush Creek. It has a gradient of 57 feet per mile and drains steep forested hillsides with valley agricultural lands.
Cooley Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length. A 1994 stream survey documented numerous young brown trout in Cooley Creek confirming natural reproduction. However, siltation, bank erosion, beaver activity, and lack of in-stream cover are limiting the potential of the brown trout fishery in Cooley Creek. The stream bottom consists mainly of sand and gravel. WDNR has not stocked Cooley Creek with brown trout since 1993. Riparian buffers and in-stream habitat improvement would benefit this fishery. Access to Cooley Creek is from four road crossings and DNR owned land. From: Koperski, Cindy. 2002. The State of the Bad Axe - La Crosse Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI
Author Cynthia Koperski
Cooley Creek. TllN. R6W. Section 17. Surface Acres = 1.5. Miles = 1.5. Gradient = 60.0 feet per mile.
Heading in Vernon County. this stream flows in a southerly direction and joins Rush Creek in Crawford County. The water is clear and hard. During the winter aerial groundwater survey. the lower mile of stream in Vernon County had open water. Cooley Creek is Class III brown trout water. Gravel dominates the bottom types. but there is considerable and about equal amounts of sand and rubble. with lesser amounts of silt. boulder. and detritus. Access is possible from two road crossings. Wildlife value is minimal.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W. 1973. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
The Cooley Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data clearly met the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. Available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category); however, further monitoring was recommended. This water was meeting this designated use and not considered impaired.
Author Amanda Smith
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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.
Monitor Fish Community
AU 13964, poor fIBI, Station 10038717
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 and implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis, habitat restoration work, partnership education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below.
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|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10010613||Cooley Creek||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013039||Cooley Cr (Station 2) 10 M D.S. First Crossing Cooley Cr. Rd.||7/13/2015||7/13/2015||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10038717||Cooley Creek 300 M upstream of Hayden Road||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10044152||Cooley Creek - Hayden Rd. bridge||7/27/2015||7/27/2015||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10045011||Unnamed at Bohland Hollow Road Bridge||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||633163||Cooley Creek - Cooley Creek||6/29/2003||9/16/2004||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013038||Cooley Creek Station 1 - 2005 Bridge On Rush Creek Road||5/12/1994||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013635||Cooley Creek Station 2-Se 1/4 Se 1/4 Sec. 19||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013634||Cooley Creek Station 2-3700' Up From Rush Creek Rd.(Station 1 Start)||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013636||Cooley Creek Station 4-Sw 1/4 Nw 1/4 Sec. 17||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10047628||Cooley Creek At Bohland Hollow Rd. Bridge||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10010612||Cooley Creek - 1||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10011004||Cooley Creek - Cooley Creek Li-35||Map||Data|
|1638100||Cooley Creek||10013040||Cooley Creek [Station 3] Starts 400m Below 2nd Bridge On Cooley Rd.||Map||Data|
Cooley Creek is located in the Rush Creek watershed which is 240.16 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (44%), agricultural (31%) and a mix of open (13%) and other uses (13%). This watershed has 551.06 stream miles, 1,906.88 lake acres and 9,793.93 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.