Fish and Aquatic Life
Stream water quality prior to 1986 was severely degraded by industrial wastewater effluent discharged from Grassland Dairy. This discharge was routed directly to the Black River in November 1986. Macroinvertebrate samples from Cawley Creek were collected in November, 1992 and documented only a slight improvement in stream water quality. The headwaters of Cawley Creek are still significantly impaired by nonpoint sources of pollution and naturally occurring low flows (La Liberte, 1994).
From: Koperksi, Cindy. 1999. Black River Water Quality Management Plan (draft). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.
Author Cynthia Koperski
Cawley Creek T24N, R2W, S2, Surface Acres = 10.6, Miles = 6.7.
Cawley Creek is a light brown colored, medium hard water stream that flows in a general southerly direction into the Black River. It appeared to have a high gradient. During the 1964 investigation, approximately one-half of the stream was intermittent. The mileage given above is for that part of the stream having continuous flow. About 87 percent of the watershed has been cleared for agricultural purposes. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and panfish comprise the fishery. The northern pike are primarily seasonal inhabitants and are found in the lower portion of the creek. There are nesting areas for teal and wood duck, and furbearers are present. There are no adjoining public lands. Access is possible from seven 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
The 2018 assessments of Cawley Creek showed impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use and biological impairment was observed (i.e. at least one macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scored in the "poor" condition category). Based on the most updated information, this water was proposed for the impaired waters list.
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.
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Cawley Creek, WBIC: 1750100, AU:14268
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||103099||Cawley Creek - Se1/4 Of Sw1/4 Sec 24||5/5/1980||10/21/1980||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10016714||Cawley Creek - 25 Ft Downstream Of Bridge Onfairground Rd. (Old Grassland Road)||11/19/1992||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10010209||Cawley Creek - Cawley Creek||4/17/1997||4/17/1997||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10043513||Cawley at STH 73||1/1/2015||10/13/2015||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10038487||Cawley Creek at Schofield Road||11/20/2012||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10017009||Cawley Creek - 50 Yds South Of Bridge On Twenty-Sixth Avenue||11/19/1992||10/9/2015||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10038488||Cawley Creek at CHT H||11/20/2012||10/9/2015||Map||Data|
|1750100||Cawley Creek||10032318||Cawley Creek at Twenty-Six Rd bridge||Map||Data|
Cawley Creek is located in the Cawley and Rock Creeks watershed which is 168.79 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (56.50%), forest (20.80%) and a mix of grassland (12.60%) and other uses (10.00%). This watershed has 342.79 stream miles, 108.66 lake acres and 6,081.99 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.