Sundown on the Badfish

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Badfish Goodnight

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

The Badfish Creek in southern Wisconsin was originally named Waucoma by the original Native American inhabitants.

This account of how the Badfish mistakingly got its name comes from the Cooksville Blog:

“The name, “Bad Fish,” appears to have been applied, perhaps mistakenly, in late 1833, when the U.S. government land surveyors were moving through the Wisconsin part of the Michigan Territory from the east and the Rock River to the west past the Yahara (Catfish) River and on further west in Rock County (then part of Brown County), through a “Rolling Prairie,” as their sketch map called it. When the surveyors came upon a large creek in the northwest corner of what is now Rock County, they apparently thought they had reached a part of the Bad Fish River (later the Sugar River) system.

The Bad Fish River was the name of the upper branch of the Sugar River at that time. The land surveyors presumed, mistakenly, that the little creek flowing from that direction was a small tributary of the Bad Fish River. Thus, they named it the Bad Fish Creek.

For whatever reason, the name “Bad Fish Creek” was recorded in the early 1830s survey.”

The Badfish Creek is now a favorite paddling destination in the Madison – Oregon area.