Watershed - Lower Flambeau River (UC07)
Lower Flambeau River Watershed

Details

The Lower Flambeau River Watershed is located primarily in Rusk County and is approximately 82,319 acres in size. It contains 152 miles of streams and rivers, 252 acres of lakes and 13,319 acres of wetlands. This watershed is predominately forested (56%) except around the city of Ladysmith where significant amounts of agricultural land (14%) adjoin the Flambeau River. Ladysmith, the largest city in the Upper Chippewa River Basin and the only municipal area in this watershed, maintains a wastewater treatment plant that discharges effluent into the Flambeau River.

Date  1996

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Flambeau River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The North Central Forest Ecological Landscape occupies much of the northern third of Wisconsin. Its landforms are characterized by end and ground moraines with some pitted outwash and bedrock controlled areas. Kettle depressions and steep ridges are found in the northern portion. Two prominent areas in this Ecological Landscape are the Penokee-Gogebic Iron Range in the north extending into Michigan, and Timm's Hill, the highest point in Wisconsin (1,951 feet) in the south. Soils consist of sandy loam, sand, and silts. The vegetation is mainly forest, with many wetlands and some agriculture, though the growing season is not as favorable as it is in southern Wisconsin. Lake Superior greatly influences the northern portion of the Ecological Landscape especially during the winter season, producing greater snowfall than in most areas in Wisconsin. The historic vegetation was primarily hemlock-hardwood forest dominated by hemlock, sugar maple, and yellow birch. There were some smaller areas of white and red pine forest scattered throughout the Ecological Landscape, and individual white pines trees were a component of the hemlock-hardwood forest. Harvesting hemlock to support the tanneries was common at the turn of the century, and the species soon became a minor component of forests due to over-harvesting and lack of regeneration. Currently, forests cover approximately 80% of this Ecological Landscape. The northern hardwood forest is dominant, made up of sugar maple, basswood, and red maple, and also including some scattered hemlock and white pine pockets within stands. The aspen-birch forest type group is also relatively abundant, followed by spruce-fir. A variety of wetland community types also are present, both forested and non-forested.

Date  2010

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Lake Protection Grant
Date
9/1/2000
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Res-Corbett Lake Aeration Project: The City of Ladysmith will conduct an improvement project on Corbett Lake, which lies within the corporate limits of the city. This project involves the installation of a system of bottom aerators in the lake. Bottom aerators would be installed at 11 locations in the eastern half of the lake basin. Compressors would be located within Falge Park, which is located along the northern shoreline of Corbett Lake. The park is owned and operated by the City of Ladysmith.

A special condition of this grant project is that the installation and operation of this aeration system must comply with all conditions of the water regulation permit issued by this department for the aeration system.

The City of Ladysmith shall notify the Department of Natural Resources upon completion of the installation of the aeration system.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1997
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Corbett Lake Profile And Water Surface Elevation Survey: The City of Ladysmith proposes to conduct a profile survey of the unnamed drainage ditch to the west of Corbett Lake. The study will also include collecting water surface elevations from Corbett Lake, the wetland area and the diversion ditch.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1997
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Corbett Lake Water Quality Data Collection: The City of Ladysmith proposes to collect basic water quality and watershed data for Corbett Lake. Project activities include 1) lake water quality monitoring, 2) complete a limited topographic survey for the ditch system west of the lake including the former inflow channel, 3) delineate the Corbett Lake subwatershed boundaries, including inflow points, drainage area, and land use, and 4) a final report. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information about the project will be disseminated to the public by public meeting and newsletter mailing.

Amendment 1
Scope rewritten as follows:
The City of Ladysmith proposes to conduct water quality monitoring at two cites in Corbett Lake, delineate Corbett Lake subwatershed boundaries, along with inflow points, drainage areas and land use. They will also prepare data collection report including data, data interpretation and recommendations for second project phase. Project deliverables will include data collection report, including lake water quality data, watershed data, interpretation and recommendations. One report will cover both Part One and Part Two of Phase I.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1997
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Corbett Lake Data Report Including Water Budget & Sediment: The City of Ladysmith proposes to develop a preliminary annual water budget, create a bathymetric lake map and study the sediments in Corbett Lake. Other specific activities for this project will include an initial assessment of possible water diversion quantities and a sounding of the soft sidiments thickness in the eastern half of the lake. The Department of Natural Resources will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. The project results will be disseminated to the public by public meeting(s) and local newspaper articles with copies of the project report available in City Hall and the County Library.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/1998
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Corbett Lake, Phase 3: The City of Ladysmith proposes to conduct a phase 3 project involving the evaluation of management alternatives for Corbett lake and developing a "lake management plan". Specific activities for this phase 3 project are: 1) conducting a feasibility analysis and obtaining cost data for candicate management activities such as lake aeration, fishery enhancement, and sediment removal, and 2) development of a Lake Management Plan for Corbett Lake.

The results will be distributed by public meeting(s) and local newspaper article(s). Two (2) copies of the final report will be provided to the department in a written and electronic version.


Grant Details
Small Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2011
Waters Involved
Corbett Lake
Status
Complete

City Of Ladysmith: Corbett Lake Management - Long Term Planning Project: The City of Ladysmith is sponsoring a project to update the existing Corbett lake management plan which was completed in 2000.

Project Goals and Objectives: 1) Inform the community about lake management issues and alternatives through stakeholder meetings; 2) Develop a long term vision/management strategy for Corbett Lake.

Project Deliverables: 1) Maintain all records (news releases), data results (meeting minutes) and other information pertinent to this project; 2) A final report including the long term planning document.

Specific conditions for this Project: The WDNR will be provided electronic and hard copies of all data and or reports/plans generated as a result of this project.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2002
Waters Involved
Flambeau River
Status
Complete

Rusk County: Rusk Co Development/Relocation Guide Project: Rusk County will conduct a county-wide informational & educational project to: Develop a brochure/guide to inform interested people about the shoreland management regulations that effect proposed waterway property development projects; assist in the possible formation of a Countywide Waterways Association and develop a strategic plan for this group; and distribute shoreland informational packets to new waterfront property owners in the county.

Specific deliverables for this grant project include:
1. A copy of the "Shoreland Development Guide"
2. A copy of the "Rusk County Waterway Strategic Plan"
3. A copy of the "Waterfront Owner Packet"
4. A copy of the survey and evaluation results of project activities

The project results will be disseminated to the public by brochure(s), public meeting(s), and local newspaper articles. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report.


Grant Details
River Planning Grant
Date
7/1/2002
Waters Involved
Thornapple Flowage
Status
Complete

Rusk County: Rusk Co Development/Relocation Guide Project: Rusk County will conduct a county-wide informational & educational project to: Develop a brochure/guide to inform interested people about the shoreland management regulations that effect proposed waterway property development projects; assist in the possible formation of a Countywide Waterways Association and develop a strategic plan for this group; and distribute shoreland informational packets to new waterfront property owners in the county.

Specific deliverables for this grant project include:
1. A copy of the "Shoreland Development Guide"
2. A copy of the "Rusk County Waterway Strategic Plan"
3. A copy of the "Waterfront Owner Packet"
4. A copy of the survey and evaluation results of project activities

The project results will be disseminated to the public by brochure(s), public meeting(s), and local newspaper articles. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report.


Monitoring & Projects

Projects including grants, restoration work and studies shown below have occurred in this watershed. Click the links below to read through the text. While these are not an exhaustive list of activities, they provide insight into the management activities happening in this watershed.

Grants and Management Projects
Lower Flambeau River Watershed
Watershed Recommendations
Hire County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator
 
Date
Status
Hire Aquatic Invasives (AIS) County Coordinator - Rusk
1/1/2011
Not Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 5005928
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 5005928, AU:5736803
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor biology on WBIC: 5006202
Date
Status
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 5006202, AU:5747067
5/21/2016
Proposed
Projects
 
Monitoring Ecosystem
 
Date
Status
WRM and fisheries should conduct additional fish tissue sampling and test for metals in bivalve mollusks in Dairyland and Big Falls Reservoirs .
1/1/2010
Proposed
 
Trout Classification Mgmt
 
Date
Status
Fisheries Management should reclassify the lower 1.1 miles of Josie Creek to a Class I trout stream, Cold (I), and delete the upper 2.9 miles from trout water classification (Type B).
1/1/2010
Proposed
 
Lower Flambeau River WatershedWatershed History Note

The City of Ladysmith in the Lower Flambeau River Watershed was founded at the intersection of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad with the Flambeau River in 1885. It was originally called "Flambeau Falls" after the Ojibwa name for the area Gakaabikijiwanan meaning "of cliffed rapids". Robert Corbett, a logging and lumbering entrepreneur, was a dominant influence on the community in its early years, so the town was renamed as Corbett, then changed to Warner in 1891. In 1900, attorney W.S. Manning and land proprietor James L. Gates of Milwaukee came to Warner, Wisconsin - at that time a small hamlet of seventy-five people. After establishing the First National Bank and considering the development prospects of the newly established railroad, both of these men sought to make a fortune from the Warner community. Gates, who owned vast amounts of cutover land in the area, needed to sell off thousands of acres to the American pioneers and immigrants moving west. Gates knew Charles R. Smith, president of the Menasha Wooden Ware Company. Smith's company was surveying Warner as a possible site to build a branch plant to manufacture staves and other woodoen implements. During this time Smith announced his engagement to the young Wisconsin socialite Isabel Bacon Rogers. At a dinner party given by Mr. and Mrs. Manning, it was suggested by Mrs. Manning herself that the community of Warner change its name to Ladysmith in honor of Charles Smith's new bride. This gesture would connect the town to the Menasha Wooden Ware Company and create the media attention Gates needed to attract buyers for his cutover land. The name change became official on July 1, 1900 and the Menasha Wooden Ware Company did build a plant in Ladysmith. The population of this once small town grew from approximately a hundred people in the year of 1900 to well over 1,700 inhabitants by 1905.

Date  2011