Badfish Creek
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Badfish Creek I

By on May 18, 2009

Cooksville to Murwin County Park
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Highly regarded but not well known, our first visit to Badfish Creek was nothing short of wonderful. It’s a twisty, riffly little ride on a mostly secluded creek that eventually meets up with the much larger Yahara River.

Date:
May 17, 2009

Class Difficulty:
Riffles

Gauge:
Cooksville: ht/ft: n/a | cfs: 164

Recommended Levels:
This is a very recommendable level.

Put-In:
Highway 138, Cooksville, Wisconsin
Take-Out:
Murwin County Park, Fulton, Wisconsin

Time: Put in at 11:15a. Out at 3:00p.
Total Time: 3h 45m
Miles Paddled: 11.5

What we liked:
Our first paddle down the Badfish Creek far exceeded expectations. It’s the kind of creek we could kayak or canoe over and over. It’s narrow and riffly, with enough wildlife, sandbars and curves to keep things interesting.

We had only recently heard about Badfish Creek from this video and then this article before heading to the Edgerton area. They both made good cases for making the trip, which made it a priority on our early-season paddling destination list.

We put in under the bridge in Cooksville (Population: a couple of people) which wasn’t the most manicured of put-ins but accessible nonetheless.

The creek was riffly and the current was swift but the water was higher than normal so we’re looking forward to seeing how different water levels affect the paddling on return visits. The creek alternates from canopy-covered to open-prairie with a remote feel at times but civilization is never too far away (only the hum of a passing vehicle could be heard here and there).

Eventually, the Badfish empties into the Yahara River so the last half of this trip was spent on the much wider Yahara. We took out at Murwin County Park which is a great park to picnic and end the journey.

What we didn’t like:
The main issue with the Badfish is the cholorine-like factor. At times I thought we were kayaking in a pool as the scent was a bit intoxicating at times.

From Collecting MadVideos: Paddling the Badfish Creek: “Another great, or not so great thing about the Badfish, depending upon your perspective, is that it can almost always be paddled as long as you start by 9:30 a.m. and are off the river by 2. The reason for this weird schedule is that the creek receives most of its water from the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District, which follows this schedule of releases every day. Some people find this disquieting, but the water quality has always seemed extremely good with only the occasional whiff of chlorine to indicate its origin.”

Lastly, the Yahara, traditionally our favorite paddle (until we met the Badfish), is a very different paddle in high water. The spring rain really turned this cozy stream into a wide and rather boring paddle.

If we did this trip again:
This was hands-down, the best day-trip we’ve experienced in Southern Wisconsin yet. This creek has tons of riffles and the current was swift. This is a paddle we’ll be doing again and again but we might start a little further upstream (1.25 miles) and take out at one of the bridges on the Yahara if the water is still high.

***************
Related Information:
Badfish Creek Overview: Badfish Creek Paddle Guide
Badfish Creek II: Old Stage Road to Highway 59
Badfish Creek III: Old Stage Road to Casey Road
Badfish Creek IV: Old Stone Road to Casey Road
Badfish Creek V: Old Stage Road to Casey Road
Badfish Creek VI: Old Stage Road to County Road H
Badfish Creek VII: Old Stage Road to County Road H
Badfish Creek VIII: Old Stage Road to Casey Road
Badfish Creek IX: Sunrise Road to Old Stone Road
Badfish Creek X: County Road B to Sunrise Road
Miles Paddled Video: Badfish Creek II: Old Stage Road to Highway 59
Miles Paddled Video: Badfish Creek V: Old Stage Road to Casey Road
Article: Paddling the Badfish Creek
General: American Whitewater
Good People: Friends of Badfish Creek Watershed
Video: Tom Lindblade

Map:


Photo Gallery:

 

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RELATED POSTS
  • Anonymous

    Just so you know, the odor on the Badfish (one of my favorite paddles too) is not chlorine. The effluent from MMSD is treated with UV, not chemicals. According to MMSD, the odor is simply the non-toxic scent that all treated effluent gives off. (At Cooksville, the creek's flow is approximately 60% effluent.) I agree that it's a little disconcerting, but the beauty of the creek and the fun of paddling it far outweigh the odor's nuisance factor.

  • Couldn't agree more, it's our favorite paddle in Southern Wisconsin. Thanks for the detailed information on the water!

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Jump River
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Kickapoo River III
8.22.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Kickapoo River: West Fork
8.26.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Kinnickinnic River
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Kishwaukee River
6.17.12 | ☆ ☆
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Koshkonong Creek IV
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Koshkonong Creek II
5.5.13 | ☆ ☆
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Koshkonong Creek I
2.24.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
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La Crosse River III
11.1.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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La Crosse River II
9.28.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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8.2.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Lake Columbia
2.2.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Lake Superior: Sea Caves
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5.13.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Madison, Wisconsin

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Lemonweir River
9.17.13 | ☆ ☆
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Little Platte River
7.6.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Little Wolf River III
8.6.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Little Wolf River II
8.25.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Wolf River Road to Big Falls

Little Wolf River I
9.11.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Manawa to County Road X

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Maunesha River VI
4.3.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Marshall to Firemen’s Park

Maunesha River V
4.5.15 | ☆ ☆
County Road TT to Canal Road

Maunesha River IV
6.13.13 | ☆ ☆
Elder Lane to Twin Lake Road

Maunesha River III
5.18.13 | ☆ ☆
Waterloo to Portland

Maunesha River II
5.8.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
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Maunesha River I
4.21.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Waterloo Road to Firemen’s Park

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Mecan River Overview
Our Guide to the Mecan River

Mecan River IV
6.10.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Dover Avenue to Germania

Mecan River III
6.3-6.4.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Mecan River Springs to 11th Road

Mecan River II
10.26.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Germania to Lock Road

Mecan River I
5.18.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
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Menomonee River
7.3.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Mill Creek (Portage)
10.16.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Mill Creek (Iowa)
6.8.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
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Milwaukee River IX
7.2.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Milwaukee River VIII
9.29.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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Milwaukee River VII
9.30.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Fredonia to Grafton

Milwaukee River VI
6.20.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Grafton to County Highway T

Milwaukee River V
6.20.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Newburg to Fredonia

Milwaukee River IV
7.19.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Kewaskum to Barton

Milwaukee River III
7.27.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
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Milwaukee River II
7.20.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Estabrook Park to Discovery World

Milwaukee River I
6.24.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Newburg to Fredonia

Milwaukee River: East Branch

Milwaukee River: East Branch III
9.27.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Dundee to Mauthe Lake

Milwaukee River: East Branch II
6.16.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
New Fane to Kewaskum

Milwaukee River: East Branch I
6.3.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
New Prospect to New Fane

Mink River

Mink River
8.16.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Rowley’s Bay

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake II
10.17.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Mirror Lake State Park to Lake Delton

Mirror Lake I
5.24.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Mirror Lake State Park to Lake Delton

Montello River

Montello River
11.8.16-11.10.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Harrisville to 11th Road

Moon Lake

Moon Lake
6.19.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Montello, Wisconsin

Mormon Creek

Mormon Creek
8.3.14 | ☆ ☆
Mormon Coulee Park to Goose Island County Park

Morrison Creek

Morrison Creek II
5.5.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Cemetery Road to Pettibone Pass

Morrison Creek I
9.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Cemetery Road to Morrison Landing

Mukwonago River

Mukwonago River
11.3.15 | ☆ ☆
Mukwonago to Big Bend

Mullet River

Mullet River
10.20.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Plymouth to County Road M

Namekagon River

Namekagon River
7.16-7.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road K to Riverside

Neenah Creek

Neenah Creek
4.19.15 | ☆ ☆
County Road EE to Oxford

Nippersink Creek (IL)

Nippersink Creek
11.3.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Richmond to Spring Grove

Oconomowoc River

Oconomowoc River III
6.4.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Monches to Okauchee Lake

Oconomowoc River II
4.8.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Wisconsin Avenue to Fowler Lake Park

Oconomowoc River I
6.25.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Concord Road to County Road P

Old Pearl River (LA)

Old Pearl River
4.3.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Crawford Landing Road to Indian Village Road

Onion River

Onion River II
10.11.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road A to County Road V

Onion River I
9.23.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road V to Sheboygan Falls

Pecatonica River

Pecatonica River IV
5.20.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Mifflin to Jones Branch Road

Pecatonica River III
4.16.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Brownton to Winslow

Pecatonica River II
11.15.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Darlington to Red Rock

Pecatonica River I
6.16.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Calamine to Darlington

Pecatonica River: East Branch

Pecatonica River: East Branch V
5.2.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Woodford to Highway 11

Pecatonica River: East Branch IV
4.11.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Argyle to Blackhawk Memorial County Park

Pecatonica River: East Branch III
3.16.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Highway HK to Hollandale

Pecatonica River: East Branch II
11.19.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hollandale to Blanchardville

Pecatonica River: East Branch I
9.29.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Blanchardville to Argyle

Peshekee River (MI)

Peshekee River
8.31.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Peshekee Grade to 3-Mile Mark

Peshtigo River

Peshtigo River
9.2.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Burnt Bridge to Goodman Park

Pigeon River

Pigeon River
12.5.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road J to Lake Michigan

Pine River

Pine River (Lincoln)
9.7.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Center Road to County Road W

Pine River III (Richland)
7.26.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Rockbridge to County Road AA

Pine River II (Richland)
5.12.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Krouskop Park to Twin Bluffs Road

Pine River I (Richland)
4.7.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Rockbridge to County Road AA

Piscasaw Creek (IL)

Piscasaw Creek III
4.17.17 | ☆ ☆
Denny Road to Squaw Prairie Road

Piscasaw Creek II
4.12.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Streit Road to Denny Road

Piscasaw Creek I
4.9.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Maxon Road to Streit Road

Platte River

Platte River Overview
Our Guide to the Platte River

Platte River V
3.27.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road A to Platte Road

Platte River IV
10.28.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Big Platte Road to Indian Creek Road

Platte River III
11.10.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Platte Road to Big Platte Road

Platte River II
9.22.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Ellenboro to Platte Road

Platte River I
6.19.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Ellenboro to County Road B

Plover River

Plover River
5.19.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Jordan Park to Iverson Park

Prairie River

Prairie River II
5.27.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road C to Stange’s Park

Prairie River I
11.17.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Haymeadow Creek to Prairie Road

Puchyan River

Puchyan River
04.19.15 | ☆ ☆
County Road J to Huckleberry Road

Red River

Red River
12.9.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gresham to County Road A

Red Cedar River

Red Cedar River
5.30.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Menomonie to Downsville

Robinson Creek

Robinson Creek II
5.7.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Old County Road I to Kelly Road

Robinson Creek I
7.8.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Old County Road I to Kelly Road

Rock Creek

Rock Creek
3.26.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Lake Mills to Millford

Rock River

Rock River IV
7.16.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Watertown to Johnson Creek

Rock River III
9.27.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Kanow Park to County Road P

Rock River II
9.21.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Janesville to Beloit

Rock River I (IL)
8.4.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Oregon to Dixon

Root River

Root River
8.2.13 | ☆ ☆
5 Mile Road to Horlick Dam

Root River: South Branch (MN)

Root River: South Branch
9.20.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Highway 5 to Preston Trailhead Park

Rubicon River

Rubicon River
5.27.15 | ☆ ☆
Saylesville to Neosho

Seeley Creek

Seeley Creek
5.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Seeley Lake to Hatchery Road

Six Mile Creek

Six Mile Creek
6.7.14 | ☆
Waunakee Village Park to South Woodland Drive

Spring Creek

Spring Creek
4.20.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Fair Street to County Road V

St. Croix River

St. Croix River II
8.11.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Osceola to Somerset Landing

St. Croix River I
8.8.10 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
St. Croix Falls to Osceola

Starkweather Creek

Starkweather Creek
6.08 | ☆
Yahara River to Highway 30

Sugar Creek

Sugar Creek II
4.17.17 | ☆
Bowers Road to State Road 120

Sugar Creek I
4.15.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road ES to Bowers Road

Sugar River

Sugar River Overview
Our Guide to the Sugar River

Sugar River XI
11.15.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Attica to Albany

Sugar River X
10.4.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Highway 69 to County Road A

Sugar River IX
3.28.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road A to Belleville

Sugar River VIII
9.6.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Brodhead to Avon

Sugar River VII
9.14.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Riverside Road to Paoli

Sugar River VI
5.18.14 | ☆ ☆
Albany to Brodhead

Sugar River V (IL)
9.14.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Colored Sands Forest Preserve to North Meridian Road

Sugar River IV
8.11.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road X to County Road EE

Sugar River III
7.22.11 | ☆
Valley Road to Paoli

Sugar River II
7.3.11 | ☆
Paoli to Belleville

Sugar River I
6.9.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Belleville to County Road X

Token Creek

Token Creek III
5.22.11 | ☆
Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

Token Creek II
8.22.09 | ☆ ☆
Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

Token Creek I
5.2.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Token Creek County Park to Cherokee Park

Tomorrow River

Tomorrow River
7.4.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Rolling Hills Road to Amherst

Trappe River

Trappe River
8.2.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road WW to Wisconsin River Road

Trempealeau River

Trempealeau River II
9.27.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Highway 35 to Perrot State Park

Trempealeau River I
8.16.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Whitehall to Independence

Turtle Creek

Turtle Creek Overview
Our Guide to Turtle Creek

Turtle Creek VI
3.20.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Fairfield to Sweet-Allyn Park

Turtle Creek V
6.21.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
School Section Road to O’Riley Road

Turtle Creek IV
6.19.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Springs Park to School Section Road

Turtle Creek III
7.14.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
O’Riley Road to Sweet-Allyn Park

Turtle Creek II
7.13.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Sweet-Allyn Park to Dickop Street

Turtle Creek I
8.6.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Sweet-Allyn Park to Dickop Street

Upper Iowa River (IA)

Upper Iowa River II
5.29.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Kendallville to Bluffton

Upper Iowa River I
5.24.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Chimney Rock Road to Bluffton Road

Waupaca River

Waupaca River VI
6.2.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Weyauwega to Decker Memorial Park

Waupaca River V
10.24.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Amherst to Durrant Road

Waupaca River IV
4.12.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

Waupaca River III
9.22.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Highway DD to County Highway Q

Waupaca River II
7.7.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

Waupaca River I
7.9.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Highway Q to Brainards Bridge Park

Wausau Whitewater Park

Wausau Whitewater Park
7.13.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Wausau, Wisconsin

Wedges Creek

Wedges Creek
9.20.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Middle Road to Black River Lodge Resort

White River

White River III (Walworth)
3.12.16 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Sheridan Springs Road to Lyons

White River (Waushara)
11.1.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road YY to Czech Lane

White River (Bayfield)
8.16.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Maple Ridge Road to Highway 112

White River II (Walworth)
6.30.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Sheridan Springs Road to Wagner Park

White River I (Walworth)
5.15.10 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Sheridan Springs Road to Lyons

Wisconsin River

Lower Wisconsin River
…………………………………

Lower Wisconsin Overview
Our Guide to the Lower Wisconsin Riverway

Wisconsin River VIII
6.22-6.23.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Lone Rock to Muscoda

Wisconsin River IV
9.4-9.5.10 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Prairie Du Sac to Arena

Wisconsin River III
5.29-5.31.10 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Arena to Gotham

Wisconsin River II
9.5-9.7.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gotham to Boscobel

Wisconsin River I
8.22-8.24.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Boscobel to Wyalusing State Park

Middle Wisconsin River
…………………………………

Wisconsin River XV
7.11.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Castle Rock Dam to Lyndon Station

Wisconsin River XIV
10.11.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
River Bay Road to Norway Drive

Wisconsin River XIII
6.13.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Pine Island to Portage

Wisconsin River XI
4.22.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Portage to Dekorra

Wisconsin River IX
10.13.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Lyndon Station to Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin River VII
8.6.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Wisconsin Dells to Norway Drive

Wisconsin River VI
8.15.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Dekorra to Whalen Bay

Wisconsin River V
6.1.11 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Lyndon Station to Wisconsin Dells

Upper Wisconsin River
…………………………………

Wisconsin River XII
5.11.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Grandfather Dam to Lokemoen Road

Wisconsin River X
12.2.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Pine River to Texas

Wolf River

Wolf River III
9.6.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Lily to Hollister

Wolf River II
9.5.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
County Road A to Lily

Wolf River I
8.29.09 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Lily to Langlade

Yahara River

Yahara River Overview
Our Guide to the Yahara River

Yahara River XII
7.16.17 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Veterans Memorial Park to Windsor Road

Yahara River XI
4.19.16 | ☆ ☆
Windsor to Highway 113

Yahara River X
3.7.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Mud Lake to Lake Kegonsa

Yahara River IX
12.14.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Stoughton to Stebbinsville Road

Yahara River VIII
12.13.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Lake Kegonsa to Stoughton

Yahara River VII
7.22.13 | ☆ ☆
Veterans Memorial Park to Windsor Road

Yahara River VI
7.14.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Stebbensville Road to County Road H

Yahara River V
5.25.13 | ☆ ☆ ☆
Veterans Memorial Park to Windsor Road

Yahara River IV
6.6.12 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Murwin County Park to Janesville

Yahara River III
7.13.10 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stebbensville Road to Murwin County Park

Yahara River II
9.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stebbensville Road to County Road H

Yahara River I
8.08 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stebbensville Road to Murwin County Park

Yellow Creek (IL)

Yellow Creek
4.19.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Bolton Road to Krape Park

Yellow River

Yellow River (Taylor)
8.31.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Miller Dam to County Road H

Yellow River (IA)

Yellow River II
5.6.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Old Sixteen Road to Highway 76

Yellow River I
5.5.14 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Highway X16 to Old Sixteen Road

Zumbro River (MN)

Zumbro River
6.1.15 | ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Zumbro Falls to Millville


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