Fish and Aquatic Life
O'Neil Creek T24N, R2W, S15, Surface Acres = 10.7, Miles = 2.6, Gradient = 11.4 feet per mile.
O'Neill Creek is a clear, hard water stream that flows west into the Black River. There are two dams on the stream and both are located at Neillsville. It has primarily a forage species fishery. Bullhead are present. Approximately 1.5 miles east of Neillsville, the north and south branches of the stream join to form the main creek. During the 1964 investigation, only the south branch had continuous flow. The north branch and the middle branch, a tributary of the north branch, were intermittent. About 82 percent of the watershed area is cleared for agricultural purposes. There are no public lands adjacent to the stream. Access is possible from one road crossing.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and C.W. Threinen, 1965. Surface Water Resources of Clark County: Lake and Stream Classification Project. Wisconsin Conservation Department, Madison, WI.
Author Aquatic Biologist
O'Neill Creek (1748800) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, no biological data (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores) were available to assess biological impairment. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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|
|1676700||Black River||103084||Neillsville Stp||2/19/1980||7/8/1981||Map||Data|
|1748800||O'Neill Creek||103105||Oneill Creek at Grand Ave Bridge||5/23/1979||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
O'Neill Creek is located in the O'Neill and Cunningham Creeks watershed which is 161.85 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (39.90%), forest (31.20%) and a mix of grassland (16%) and other uses (12.90%). This watershed has 329.34 stream miles, 86.59 lake acres and 9,581.29 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.