Coon Creek (Kishwaukee River)

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Coon Creek
Origin Burlington Township, Kane County, Illinois
42°01′09″N 88°34′59″W / 42.0191667°N 88.5830556°W / 42.0191667; -88.5830556 (Coon Creek origin)
Mouth Confluence with the Kishwaukee River east of Belvidere, Illinois
42°15′16″N 88°47′39″W / 42.2544444°N 88.7941667°W / 42.2544444; -88.7941667 (Coon Creek mouth)
Progression Coon Creek → Kishwaukee → Rock → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Length 28 mi (45 km)
Source elevation 880 ft (270 m)
Mouth elevation 758 ft (231 m)
GNIS ID 421756

Coon Creek is a 28.1-mile-long (45.2 km)[1] tributary of the Kishwaukee River in northern Illinois.[2][3]


Coon Creek flows north from DeKalb County, Illinois into McHenry County.[4] The stream continues flowing northwest from the DeKalb County–McHenry County line until it empties into the Kishwaukee River in Boone County.[5] In terms of square miles drained, Coon Creek is the second-largest tributary of the Kishwaukee River, behind only the South Branch Kishwaukee River.[6]


The DeKalb County and Boone-McHenry County portions of Coon Creek are different in character. While 72% of the watershed, Coon Creek and its tributaries, has had its stream beds channelized (ditched and straightened) only 42% of the Coon's main stem has been channelized.[5] In McHenry County, Coon Creek still features many of its natural features, such as pools and riffles.[5] In DeKalb County, further away from the Kishwaukee, the stream has been entirely channelized, only 6% of the Coon's tributaries in this area have not been channelized.[4] This portion of Coon Creek retains very few of the natural instream characteristics such as pools or riffles.[4]


The Coon Creek watershed (technically a subwatershed) is home to at least 34 different species of fish. Some of the species found in Coon Creek include bluegill, black crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike.[5] The blacknose shiner (Notropis heteropis) is an example of an endangered fish found in the creek.[5] The creek is also home to two species of reptile, the federally threatened Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and the snapping turtle.[5]


Coon Creek has several tributaries. Among them are Harmony Creek, Hampshire Creek, and Burlington Creek.[5]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 19, 2011
  2. ^ Kishwaukee River Watershed, Watersheds of Illinois - 1996 Fact Sheets, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, 1996, accessed January 22, 2011.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coon Creek
  4. ^ a b c Upper Coon Creek Subwatershed Plan, Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership, May 2005, accessed January 22, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Lower Coon Creek Subwatershed Plan, Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership, May 2005, accessed January 22, 2011.
  6. ^ Piscasaw Creek - Subwatershed plan, Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership, May 2005, p. 3, 8 - 10, accessed January 23, 2011.