Fish and Aquatic Life
Cook Creek, located in central Vernon County, flows for 1.5 miles in an easterly direction before joining with Maple Dale Creek to form Bishop Branch. This stream has a gradient of 73 feet per mile and drains forested hillsides, the eastern portion of Viroqua, a quarry, and an agricultural headwater plateau. Cook Creek is a Class I trout stream for its entire length.
The most recent survey, conducted in 2000, documented brook trout, brown trout, mottled sculpin and brook stickleback. Cobble and gravel dominated the stream bottom. Cook Creek would benefit from the purchase of streambank easements from willing sellers and the restoration of in-stream habitat. WDNR records indicate that Cook Creek has been stocked with brook trout since 1974 and with wild brook trout since 1998. Access to Cook Creek is from WDNR owned land and one road crossing.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Cook Creek, T12N, R4W, Section 2. Surface Acres = 0.9, Miles = 1.5, Gradient = 72.7 feet per mile.
This headwater tributary of Bishop Branch flows in a general easterly direction. It has clear. hard water. Forage species dominate the fishery. including white sucker, redbe11y dace. creek chub. slimy sculpin. blacknose dace, longnose dace. fantail darter and brook stickleback. Gravel, sand, and rubble dominate the bottom types and are present in nearly equal amounts. Small amounts of boulder and silt are also present. There is access from one road crossing. There is no significant
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
Crook Creek was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new biological (fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
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.
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10053741||COOK CREEK @ HWY 56 STATE LAND||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||633152||Cook Creek - Cook Creek||6/29/2003||6/29/2003||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10044583||Cook Creek 400 M downdstream of Cook Hill Rd.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10009000||Cook Creek Station #3 Brg. On Cook Hill Rd||5/7/1997||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10022549||Cook Creek - Confluence Of Cr. 4-14||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|5030241||Unnamed||10021932||Cr. 4- 14 St. 1 - Confluence With Cook Cr.||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10033429||Cook Creek 150ft downstream of HWY 56 Bridge - spring at cliff side||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10009017||Cook Creek Station #1 Confl. Of Bishop Br.||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1189000||Cook Creek||10009019||Cook Creek Station #2 200' Above Thompson Farm Rd. Brg.||Map||Data|
Cook Creek is located in the West Fork Kickapoo River watershed which is 118.04 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.10%), grassland (29%) and a mix of agricultural (25.50%) and other uses (4.40%). This watershed has 283.75 stream miles, 49.18 lake acres and 672.36 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High 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.