Fish and Aquatic Life
Cunningham Creek is a 22 mile tributary to the Black River. The lower half of the stream can support a sport fishery during wet years. Drought years may preclude sport fish due to low stream flow volumes. Low base flow, heavy sand deposits, and lack of depth in pools, runs and riffles limit the in-stream habitat of Cunningham Creek. Species identified in macroinvertebrate sampling determined better water quality at the downstream site as compared to the upstream site. These results indicate increased organic pollution in the upstream portion of Cunningham Creek (Hazuga). Lynn Dairy has a cooling water discharge to Cunningham Creek.
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Cunningham Creek T24N, R2W, S27, Surface Acres = 48.2, Miles = 18.5, Gradient = 10.8 feet per mile.
Cunningham Creek is a clear, medium hard water stream that flows west into the Black River. About 90 percent of its watershed consists of cleared agricultural land. Muskellunge, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and panfish comprise the sport fishery. Waterfowl and furbearers are present. There are no public lands adjoining the stream. Access is possible from 15 road crossings.
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
Cunningham Creek (1747900) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2014 for total phosphorus. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, available biological data did not indicate impairment (i.e. no macroinvertebrate or fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). 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|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10041169||Cunningham Creek at Miller Ave||10/1/2013||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10007731||Cunningham Creek - Downstream Of Lynn Dairy Outfall||1/7/1993||1/7/1993||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10010262||Cunningham Creek - Cunningham Creek Station 3||4/24/1996||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10007734||Cunningham Creek at Sandhill Ave||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10007735||Cunningham Creek at Cth K||4/16/1996||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10010259||Cunningham Creek - Cunningham Creek Station 1||4/16/1996||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10007733||Cunningham Creek at Hwy 10 bridge||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10012668||Cunningham Creek At Sth 95/73 Bridge||10/10/2006||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1747900||Cunningham Creek||10007732||Cunningham Creek at Lynn Dairy Outfall||1/7/1993||1/7/1993||Map||Data|
Cunningham 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.