Wolf River Basin


Wolf River Wetlands

Wolf River Wetlands, WDNR Photo

About the Basin

The Wolf River basin lies in northern and central Wisconsin and drains 3,690 square miles. It includes all of Waupaca County and parts of Forest, Langlade, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago Counties. Almost the entire 233,384-acre Menominee Indian Reservation (Menominee County) is within the basin. A portion of the 655,000-acre Nicolet National Forest extends into the northern part.

Basin Resources

The Wolf River basin is bordered by the Upper Green Bay basin to the north and east, the Upper Wisconsin River basin to the west, and the Upper Fox River basin to the south. The basin includes the entire Wolf River, which flows in a southerly direction until it joins the Upper Fox River just above the Lake Winnebago Pool lakes.

The basin lies in portions of the Northern Lakes and Forests and the North Central Hardwood Forests Ecoregions (Omernik and Gallant, 1988). Predominant land uses are agricultural -- dairy, cash-cropping -- and forestry. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources owns and manages more than 50,000 acres of public conservation and recreation lands in the basin, including natural areas, state parks, fisheries access areas and wildlife management areas (WDNR, 1994). Urban development is limited primarily to the Clintonville, New London, Shawano and Waupaca areas. Most of the counties in the basin have had moderate (< 3 percent) population growth since 1990 (WDOA 1994).

Much of the basin's economy is based on tourism. In 1993, more than $399.5 million in income was generated from tourism (Walters, 1994). Tourism likely created more than 10,500 full-time equivalent jobs here in 1993. (Davidson-Peterson Associates, 1994). The basin's water resources provide numerous recreational opportunities and are a major component of the tourism industry.

View Map

Watersheds, Waters

Click the links below to find water resource information for specific watersheds and their waters.

Watershed Name/View DetailsWatershed Code/MapWatershed SizeLists (Streams, Lakes, Bays & Harbors)CountiesWater Management Unit (WMU)Major Drainage System
Arrowhead River and Daggets Creek WR01 142.91 mi 2 WR01 Water Lists Outagamie, Waupaca, WinnebagoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Lily River WR19 209.47 mi 2 WR19 Water Lists Forest, LangladeWolf RiverLake Michigan
Lower Little Wolf River WR06 153.6 mi 2 WR06 Water Lists WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Lower Wolf River WR04 119.95 mi 2 WR04 Water Lists Outagamie, Waupaca, WinnebagoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Middle Wolf River WR14 133.78 mi 2 WR14 Water Lists Outagamie, Shawano, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Middle and South Branches Embarrass Rive WR11 250.01 mi 2 WR11 Water Lists Langlade, Marathon, ShawanoWolf RiverLake Michigan
North Branch and Mainstem Embarrass Rive WR09 312.62 mi 2 WR09 Water Lists Outagamie, Shawano, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Pigeon River WR10 116.32 mi 2 WR10 Water Lists Shawano, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Pine and Willow Rivers WR02 302.08 mi 2 WR02 Water Lists Waupaca, Waushara, WinnebagoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Red River WR16 207.12 mi 2 WR16 Water Lists Langlade, Menominee, ShawanoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Shawano Lake WR15 71.16 mi 2 WR15 Water Lists Menominee, Oconto, ShawanoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Shioc River WR13 189.76 mi 2 WR13 Water Lists Outagamie, ShawanoWolf RiverLake Michigan
South Branch Little Wolf River WR08 160.29 mi 2 WR08 Water Lists Portage, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Upper Little Wolf River WR07 182.05 mi 2 WR07 Water Lists Marathon, Portage, Shawano, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Upper Wolf River and Post Lake WR20 203.31 mi 2 WR20 Water Lists Forest, Langlade, OneidaWolf RiverLake Michigan
Walla Walla and Alder Creeks WR03 112.09 mi 2 WR03 Water Lists Waupaca, Waushara, WinnebagoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Waupaca River WR05 290.77 mi 2 WR05 Water Lists Portage, Waupaca, WausharaWolf RiverLake Michigan
West Branch Wolf River WR17 266.11 mi 2 WR17 Water Lists Langlade, Menominee, ShawanoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Wolf River - Langlade and Evergreen Rive WR18 179.74 mi 2 WR18 Water Lists Langlade, Menominee, OcontoWolf RiverLake Michigan
Wolf River - New London and Bear Creek WR12 142.49 mi 2 WR12 Water Lists Outagamie, WaupacaWolf RiverLake Michigan




Watershed Plans

One watershed plan has been updated in this basin. This document is an update to the Wolf River Basin Plan. Contact Daniel Helf, Watershed Supervisor for information.

State of the Basin Plan(2001)

State of the Basin Report Tables (2001)

State of the Basin Report Maps(2001)

Last Revised: