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Horicon Marsh, Photo by Hagerty, USFWS Horicon Marsh, Photo by Hagerty, USFWS

Contact information
Lisa Helmuth
Water Quality Bureau

Upper Rock River basin

Description

About the basin

The Upper Rock River basin, covering 1,890 square miles, lies in south central Wisconsin's eastern ridges and lowlands geographical province (Martin, 1932). At the north end of the basin, the East, South and West branches of the Rock River come together in Horicon Marsh. From the city of Horicon, on the south edge of the marsh, the river flows south 76 miles to Fort Atkinson. The remainder of the Rock River mainstem, 62 miles, is in the Lower Rock River basin, which extends from Fort Atkinson to the Wisconsin-Illinois border. The gradient of the Upper Rock River is very flat. The fall of the river from the upper Federal dam in the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge to the upper Watertown dam is just 34 feet over 58 miles.

The basin is bounded on the east by the Niagara escarpment and the eastern terminal moraine, formed by the Green Bay lobe during the last glaciated period in Wisconsin. The most dominant geologic features are the extensive drumlin fields in Dodge County and portions of Dane, Columbia and Jefferson counties. Principal soil types in this region are Dodge, Miami, Morley, Casco, Plano, Warsaw and Varna soil associations in upland areas. Soil associations in wetland areas are Pella, Poygan and Brookston (Hole, 1976). These soils are fertile and productive.

Watersheds, waters

Water resource information for specific watersheds

Watershed name/view details Watershed code/map Watershed size Lists (Streams, lakes, bays & harbors) Counties Water management unit (WMU) Major drainage system
Ashippun River UR10 68.7 mi 2 UR10 Water lists Dodge, Jefferson, Washington, Waukesha Upper Rock Mississippi River
Beaver Dam River UR03 290.25 mi 2 UR03 Water lists Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake Upper Rock Mississippi River
Calamus Creek UR04 30.18 mi 2 UR04 Water lists Columbia, Dodge Upper Rock Mississippi River
East branch Rock River UR13 198.99 mi 2 UR13 Water lists Dodge, Fond du Lac, Washington Upper Rock Mississippi River
Johnson Creek UR07 45.22 mi 2 UR07 Water lists Jefferson Upper Rock Mississippi River
Lower Crawfish River UR02 177.65 mi 2 UR02 Water lists Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson Upper Rock Mississippi River
Maunesha River UR05 126.02 mi 2 UR05 Water lists Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson Upper Rock Mississippi River
Middle Rock River UR01 95.12 mi 2 UR01 Water lists Dodge, Jefferson Upper Rock Mississippi River
Oconomowoc River UR09 130.86 mi 2 UR09 Water lists Dodge, Jefferson, Washington, Waukesha Upper Rock Mississippi River
Rubicon River UR11 79.15 mi 2 UR11 Water lists Dodge, Washington Upper Rock Mississippi River
Sinissippi Lake UR08 234.93 mi 2 UR08 Water lists Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha Upper Rock Mississippi River
Upper Crawfish River UR06 161.18 mi 2 UR06 Water lists Columbia, Dane, Dodge Upper Rock Mississippi River
Upper Rock River UR12 257.61 mi 2 UR12 Water lists Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake Upper Rock Mississippi River

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Last revised: Thursday January 21 2016