- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Chub and Mud Lake Riverine Marsh (No. 606)
Within Mud Lake Wildlife Area, Dodge County. T9N-R13E, Sections 24, 25. T9N-R14E, Sections 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 30. 1,987 acres.
Chub and Mud Lake Riverine Marsh is part of an extensive, 7,000 acre wetland impacted by "pulse-flooding" of the Beaver Dam and Crawfish Rivers that join 1.5 miles away. Water from about 688 square miles flows through the marsh. In years of very high water, the upper half of the marsh is inundated with 4 to 5 feet of water with the deepest occurring in the southern portion. Aside from spring snowmelt flooding, the wetland holds about 6 to18 inches of water following a storm event. This occurs approximately 2 to 3 times per season. Much of the year, however, the marsh does not have any standing water, so drought has a major influence on the wetland vegetation. The highly dynamic nature of this riverine wetland creates very unique ecological conditions. Due to the extreme water levels, the marsh is dominated by very few plants, primarily river bulrush and native Phragmites. Cat-tails, which were a previous component, were killed by the extended high water in the June 2008 flood. Houghton muck soils dominate the marsh and while it can absorb water readily, it can also pass freely through it. This area is used by a diversity of wildlife including sandhill crane, great egret, great blue heron, tundra swan, and a wide variety of waterfowl. The high quality of this area and extensive acreage also contribute to the high use of this site by foraging bats. Chub and Mud Lake Riverine Marsh is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2010.
Several parking lots and boat access sites provide access into the marsh.
Chub and Mud Lake Riverine Marsh is owned by:
The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.
The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.
Manage the site as a wetland protection area. Conserve the dynamic riverine marsh ecosystem.
The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site.
- Bidens and smartweed are abundant in the seedbank.
- Planting of wetland species is not normally necessary due to the existing seed bank but should be done after careful review if needed to enhance the wetland.
Management objectives and prescriptions
- Remove non-native phragmites, if found.
- Conduct moist soil management if deemed necessary along the edge of the uplands where canary grass is usually dominant. Bidens and smartweed are abundant in the seed bank. This management could include herbiciding canary grass and prescribed burning.
- Conduct prescribed burns on adjacent uplands.
Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.
In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.
- Cross country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
- Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
- Camping and campfires
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]