The Apple and Ashwaubenon Creek Watershed is 113 square miles (294 square kilometers) in size; approximately 60 percent lies within Outagamie County and 40 percent is located in Brown County. There are 171 miles of named and unnamed streams in the watershed, all of which empty into the Fox River.
Land use in the watershed is primarily agriculture and residential, though industrial areas do exist in the urban areas of Green Bay and the north side of Appleton. Many intermittent tributaries discharge to Apple and Ashwaubenon Creeks and serve as the transport system for rain runoff. The headwaters are often dry in summer.
Aquatic life habitat and macroinvertebrate communities in these headwaters are generally fair to poor in condition. Sediment and phosphorus loading from upland agricultural fields are the major sources of nonpoint pollution in the watershed.
There are no municipal point source dischargers and two industrial point source dischargers in the Apple and Ashwaubenon Creek Watershed: Fabco Equipment and Super Value Stores Inc.
Nonpoint and Point Sources
The Apple/Ashwaubenon Creek watershed was selected as a Priority Watershed Project (PWS) along with the Duck Creek Watershed in 1994 and a Priority Watershed Plan was completed in 1997 (WDNR 1997). It joined approximately 80 similar watershed projects statewide in which nonpoint source control measures are being planned and implemented. The plan was prepared cooperatively by the WDNR, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP), the Brown County Land Conservation Department, and the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department, Oneida Nation Planning Department with assistance from the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Nonpoint Source Control Plan for the Duck, Apple, and Ashwaubenon Creeks Priority Watershed Project (WDNR 1997) describes in detail the water resources in the watershed. The plan outlines nonpoint source problems, establishes water quality goals and objectives, and identifies management practices to achieve those goals and objectives. The project began during the sign up period in the fall of 1997. For additional information regarding the priority watershed project please refer to the 1996 Nonpoint Source Control Plan for the Duck, Apple, and Ashwaubenon Creeks Priority Watershed Project. The watershed was selected based on three criteria: the severity of the water quality problems; the seriousness of the nonpoint sources; and
the capability and willingness of the local units of government and agencies to carry out the project.
The Apple and Ashwaubenon River Watershed is located primarily in the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape which stretches from southern Door County west across Green Bay to the Wolf River drainage, then southward in a narrowing strip along the Lake Michigan shore to central Milwaukee County. Owing to the influence of Lake Michigan in the eastern part of this landscape, summers there are cooler, winters warmer, and precipitation levels greater than at locations farther inland. Dolomites and shales underlie the glacial deposits that blanket virtually all of the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape. The dolomite Niagara Escarpment is the major bedrock feature, running across the entire landscape from northeast to southwest. Series of dolomite cliffs provide critical habitat for rare terrestrial snails, bats, and specialized plants. The primary glacial landforms are ground moraine, outwash, and lakeplain. The topography is generally rolling where the surface is underlain by ground moraine, variable over areas of outwash, and nearly level where lacustrine deposits are present. Important soils include clays, loams, sands, and gravels. Certain landforms, such as sand spits, clay bluffs, beach and dune complexes, and ridge and swale systems, are associated only with the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
Historically, most of this landscape was vegetated with mesic hardwood forest composed primarily of sugar maple, basswood, and beech. Hemlock and white pine were locally important, but hemlock was generally restricted to cool moist sites near Lake Michigan. Areas of poorly drained glacial lakeplain supported wet forests of tamarack, white cedar, black ash, red maple, and elm, while the Wolf and Embarrass Rivers flowed through extensive floodplain forests of silver maple, green ash, and swamp white oak. Emergent marshes and wet meadows were common in and adjacent to lower Green Bay, while Lake Michigan shoreline areas featured beaches, dunes, interdunal wetlands, marshes, and highly diverse ridge and swale vegetation. Small patches of prairie and oak savanna were present in the southwestern portion of this landscape.
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Brown
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Outagamie
Confirm FCA: IW pre-2000 data
117900 name Lower Fox River (Depere Dam To Middle Appleton Dam) TMDL ID 150 Start Mile 7.39 End Mile 32.18
Watershed History Note
The Charles A. Grignon Mansion is located in the City of Kaukauna in Outagamie County in the Apple and Ashwaubenon Watershed. In the days before Wisconsin's statehood, the Fox River was an important water highway for travelers and fur traders. At a natural portage point along the Fox, where the Mansion now stands, a trading post was established as early as 1760. Charles A. Grignon, whose family had been active in the fur trade for over 100 years, took over this post in 1830.
In 1837, Grignon built an elegant Mansion as a wedding gift for his Pennsylvania bride, Mary Elizabeth Meade. An oasis of luxury and civilization on the Wisconsin frontier, this stately home was known as "The Mansion in the Woods" to countless travelers.
The Mansion and the Grignon family were also familiar to local American Indian tribes. The grandson of a Menominee woman, Charles acted as an interpreter for the U.S. government at the Treaty of the Cedars, which transferred four million acres of Menominee land to the U. S. Government for European and Euro-American immigration in the area now known as Northeast Wisconsin.
The museum is restored to the time period of 1837-1862. Visitors may tour the home with costumed guides and stroll through the Mansion's historic apple orchard.