About The Illinois State Water Survey

Stream and Watershed Assessments and Restoration (SWAR) Video and Photo Documentation

Principal Investigators John Beardsley, Laura Keefer

Project Staff: 

Primary contributors: John Beardsley, Long Duong, Marc Gaboury,  Thomas Hill, Rob Hilsabeck, Laura Keefer, Dr. Robert Newbury, Jon Rodsater, Don Roseboom, and Rick Twait.  
Other contributors: Erin Bauer, Phil Bradshaw, Diana Day, Linda Dexter, Rick Johnson, Alan Kirwan, Billy Kocher, John Lesnak, Rod McCoy, Richard Offenback, Steve Pescitelli, Greg Saline, Steve Staats, Lara Seek, Randy Sauer, Randy Stowe, Joy Telford, Scott Tomkins, Mike Trigg, Bill White, Steve Wikner and others.

Agency Sponsors and or Contributors: 

Illinois State Water Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Corps of Engineers, City of Waukegan, Illinois, Johnson County, Kansas, Dupage County, Illinois, United States Fish and Wildlife, Fox Waterway Agency, Newbury Hydraulics and others. 

Project Period: early 1980’s – Present

Since the early 1980’s the SWAR program (formerly Nonpoint Pollution program) has been video and photo documenting its projects and river and stream conditions including conditions that have an impact on people and infrastructure. In 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011 SWAR conducted aerial flyovers as part of geomorphic assessments of the Illinois River basin covering 1,750 miles of rivers and streams using a helicopter and RED Hen system. This system embeds GPS coordinates into digital videos allowing documented features to be located on maps with greater efficiency. To date SWAR’s collection is estimated to consist of several thousand photos and over 400 hours of video. 

Looking south during flood on 4/25/2013 at Illinois State Route 100 south of Browning, Illinois.

Findings to Date:

Video and photo documentation has been a valuable resource for projects, workshops, outreach, and as a historical reference.

Project Documents/Publications: 

Beardsley J., 2018, Draft, The Story of a Dike at Emiquon, Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

Rock slide of giant boulders block South Kickapoo Creek Road near Kickapoo Creek, Peoria, Illinois on 6/1/2018, survey rod indicates 1 foot increments.
Street damaged by flooding in Marseilles, Illinois, 4/30/2013 picture. 

Video Flyovers:

                                           Rivers and Streams Video Documented
Illinois River and Sub-Basins Spring 2004Miles (km) of Aerial Reconnaissance 
Ackerman Creek6.83 (11.00 km)
Blue Creek7.04 (11.33 km) 
Farm Creek21.19 (34.10 km)
Partridge Creek15.77 (25.39 km)
Mundinger Creek3.10 (4.99 km)
Tenmile Creek7.62 (12.26 km)
Spring Creek4.00 (6.44 km)
Senachwine Creek32.80 (52.79 km)
Peoria Lake
Lacon to Downtown Peoria27.50 (44.26 km)
La Moine River Watershed
Camp Creek29.30 (47.15 km)
East Fork La Moine River52.00 (83.69 km)
Drowning Fork18.00 (28.97 km)
Grindstone Creek18.40 (29.61 km)
Des Plaines River Watershed
Hickory Creek5.40 (8.69 km)
Vermilion River Watershed
Little Vermilion River40.10 (64.53 km)
Kankakee River Watershed
Kankakee River (IL, IN)119.00 (191.51 km)
Baker Creek12.00 (19.31 km)
Exline Slough11.00 (17.70 km)
Rock Creek30.50 (49.08 km)
Trim Creek23.00 (37.01 km)
Iroquois River Watershed
Iroquois River (IL, IN)40.40 (65.02 km)
Beaver Creek (IL, IN)27.50 (44.26 km)
Langan Creek27.50 (44.26 km)
Pike Creek25.50 (41.04 km)
Yellow River63.20 (101.71 km)
Spoon River Watershed Fall 2005Miles (km) of Aerial Reconnaissance 
Spoon River146.50 (235.77 km)
Barker Creek5.80 (9.33 km)
Coal Creek14.50 (23.34 km)
East Fork Spoon River12.70 (20.44 km)
Francis Creek4.00 (6.44 km)
Indian Creek24.40 39.27 km)
Littlers Creek12.80 (20.60 km)
Shaw Creek7.00 (11.27 km)
Snake Den Hollow

5.50 (8.85 km)

Stuart Creek7.30 (11.75 km)
Tater Creek12.60 (20.28 km)
Walnut Creek32.70 (81.1 km)
West Fork Spoon River10.60 (17.06 km)
Cedar Creek25.30 (40.72 km)
Big Negro Creek8.80 (14.16 km)
Italian Slough/Indian Creek8.10 (13.04 km)
Little Negro Creek6.40 (10.30 km)
Little Swan Creek7.24 (11.65 km)
Negro Creek2.30 (3.70 km)
Picayune Creek and Tributaries38.70 (95.11 km)
Slug Run/Cedar Fork13.80 (22.21 km)
Swan Creek15.20 (24.46 km)
Court Creek7.00 (11.27 km)
Middle Creek7.50 (12.07 km)
North Creek3.50 (5.63 km)
Haw Creek22.25 (35.81 km)
Brush Creek18.60 (36.37 km)
Hermon Creek7.60 (12.23 km)
Lake Bracken1.80 92.90 km)
French Creek17.50 (28.16 km)
Swab Run10.30 (16.58 km)
Put Creek10.00 (16.09 km)
Laswell Branch5.20 (8.37 km)
Lost Grove Creek6.70 (10.78 km)
Turkey Creek11.00 (17.70 km)
Big Creek28.60 (46.03 km)
Slug Run3.20 (5.15 KM)
Crow Creek West Watershed
Crow Creek West27.50 (44.26 km)
Scholes Branch8.70 (14.00 km)
North West Branch4.10 (6.60 km)

Spoon River Watershed Winter 2007

Miles (km) of Aerial Reconnaissance 
Spoon River41.54 (65.98 km)
CREP 6.36 (10.24 km)
Haw Creek5.00 (8.05 km)
Camp Run11.00 (17.70 km)
Cedar Creek27.00 (43.45 km)
Cedar Creek Tributary1.83 (2.95 km)
Picayune Creek17.00 (27.36 km)
Picayune Creek Tributary4.08 (1.61 km)
Negro Creek9.00 (14.48 km)
Little Negro Creek5.00 (8.05 km)
Big Negro Creek11.00 (17.70 km)
Cedar Fork11.40 (16.09 km)
Latimer Creek6.00 (9.66 km)
Slug Run4.00 (6.44 km)
Indian Creek3.00 (4.83 km)
Swan Creek27.40 (44.10 km)
Swan Creek Tributary2.90 (4.67 km)
Crow Creek West Watershed
Crow Creek West31.34 (50.44 km)
Crow Creek West Tributary4.00 (6.44 km)
Scholes Branch7.00 (11.27 km)
Big Bureau Creek Watershed Spring 2008Miles (km) of Aerial Reconnaissance 
Big Bureau Creek85.23 (137.16 km)
East Bureau Creek16.02 (25.78 km)
Epperson Run7.06 (11.36 km)
Lime Creek10.59 (17.04 km)
Masters Fork18.83 (30.31 km)
Pike Creek21.21 (34.13 km)
Pond Creek10.33 (16.62 km)
Rocky Run6.18 (9.94 km)
West Bureau Creek23.73 (38.20 km)
South Kickapoo Creek Watershed Spring 2011Miles (km) of Aerial Reconnaissance 
South Kickapoo Creek8.40 (13.52 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary A1.20 (1.93 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary AA1.10 (1.77 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary B0.90 (1.45 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary C2.20 (3.54 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary D0.90 (1.45 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary E1.70 (2.74 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary EA0.90 (1.45 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary F1.40 (2.25 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary G0.80 (1.29 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary GA0.70 (1.13 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary H0.80 (1.29 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary I0.60 (0.97 km)
South Kickapoo Tributary J1.00 (1.61 km)


Flood Damage on Route 26 near Richland Creek, Woodford County, Illinois, 4/29/2013 picture.
Ice Jam at Warner Bridge on the Kankakee River, 2/28/2014 picture.
Warner Bridge on the Kankakee River 3/11/2014 after February Ice Jam


Pictures on this page are example of information collected


John Beardsley
Illinois State Water Survey
Prairie Research Institute 
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 
Illinois Central College 
1 College Dr, Room 340G 
East Peoria, Illinois, 61635-0001 
Office: (217 300-3474 
Cell: (309) 299-5680 
Email: jbeardsl@illinois.edu 



    Watseka, Illinois on 7/15/2015 during flood event of the Iroquois River. 

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