Watershed - Lower Little Wolf River (WR06)
Lower Little Wolf River Watershed

Details

The Lower Little Wolf River watershed is 152 square miles and lies in central Waupaca County. Approximately 27 miles of the Little Wolf River are in this watershed, from the confluence of the South Branch Little Wolf River (WR08) to the dam at Big Falls. The Winnebago Comprehensive Management Plan ranked this watershed as a medium priority for watershed selection due to local soil erosion and animal waste problems. The data search for the Wolf River Basin Plan indicated that problems related to polluted runoff exist in this watershed. The Lower Little Wolf River Watershed was selected as a priority watershed in 1995 and will expire at the end of year 2008. The priority watershed plan was be prepared cooperatively by the WDNR, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and the Waupaca Land and Water Conservation Department, with assistance from the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The approved watershed plan is considered an amendment to this plan. The soils, geology and other physical resources of the western and central 20 percent of this watershed indicate the area is highly susceptible to groundwater contamination by poor land use practices (WDNR and WGNHS, 1987). The remaining 80 percent of the watershed lies in an area of medium susceptibility. A data search revealed groundwater samples contaminated mainly from pesticides.

Date  2001

Ecological Landscapes for Lower Little Wolf River Watershed

Ecological Landscapes

The Lower Little Wolf River Watershed lies primarily in two ecological landscapes: the Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape in the south and the Forest Transition Ecological Landscape in the north. The Central Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape 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. The Forest Transition Ecological Landscape lies along the northern border of Wisconsin's Tension Zone, through the central and western part of the state, and supports both northern forests and agricultural areas. The central portion of the Forest Transition lies primarily on a glacial till plain deposited by glaciation between 25,000 and 790,000 years ago. The eastern and western portions are on moraines of the Wisconsin glaciation. The growing season in this part of the state is long enough that agriculture is viable, although climatic conditions are not as favorable as in southern Wisconsin. Soils are diverse, ranging from sandy loam to loam or shallow silt loam, and from poorly drained to well drained. The historic vegetation of the Forest Transition was primarily northern hardwood forest. These northern hardwoods were dominated by sugar maple and hemlock, and contained some yellow birch, red pine and white pine. Currently, over 60% of this Ecological Landscape is non-forested. Forested areas consist primarily of northern hardwoods and aspen, with smaller amounts of oak and lowland hardwoods. The eastern portion of the Ecological Landscape differs from the rest of the area in that it remains primarily forested, and includes some ecologically significant areas. Throughout the Ecological Landscape, small areas of conifer swamp are found near the headwaters of streams, and associated with lakes in kettle depressions on moraines. Ground flora show characteristics of both northern and southern Wisconsin, as this Ecological Landscape lies along the Tension Zone.

Date  2010

Watershed Documents
Watershed Grants
Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
3/21/2001
Waters Involved
Bear Lake
Status
Complete

Bear Lake Homeowners Assc. Inc.: Bear Lake Management Plan: The Bear Lake Homeowners Association, Inc., proposes to develop a comprehensive lake management plan for Bear Lake. The study will consist of a number of components including: 1) evaluate surface water quality and physical lake characteristics, its watershed and associated land uses; 2) determine areas of groundwater inflow and outflow along with the quality of the groundwater flowing into the lake; 3) develop a water and nutrient budget and run a lake response model; 4) inventory aquatic macrophytes; and 5) survey residents. The data collected will be compared to similar data collected in previous studies. A final report with survey results and recommendations will be provided to the DNR in both a paper copy and an electronic copy. The survey results will also be distributed to the Manawa and Waupaca libraries, Fox-Wolf 2000, Fox-Wolf Basin Educator, Waupaca County Land and Water Conservation Department and the Wisconsin Water Resources Center. Environmental Task Force Program staff will present the final results to the Association upon completion.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/1999
Waters Involved
Blue Mountain Lake
Status
Complete

Blue Mountain Lake Limited: Blue Mountain Lake Management Plan: The Blue Mountain Lake Ltd proposes to begin work toward a comprehensive lake management plan for Blue Mountain Lake. The objective of this study is to provide a baseline characterization of the lake while identifying lake management issues and needs. To meet this objective, the lake study will include delineation of watershed drainage basins and corridors, identification of existing land uses in the Blue Mountain Lake watershed, exmination of the impacts of existing land uses on water quality, characterization of the lake's substrate and morphology, water quality monitoring, and an aquatic vegetation survey. To disseminate information to the public and increase local understanding of lake management issues, a public meeting will be held prior to project start-up to present goals and objectives of the lake planning project and obtain public input regarding lake concerns. At completion of the project, the resuslts of the lake planning study will be disseminated to local lake management organization members through a public meeting, news releases, and summary reports. A report containing the results, management alternatives and implementation strategies for the recommended management alternatives will be submitted to DNR.


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

Hatch Lake Association: Hatch Lake Water Management Plan: The Hatch Lake Association proposes to gather basic water quality, land resources and watershed data. This will inlcude physical and chemical water quality characteristics, bottom sediment and benthic characteristics, aquatic plant communities, fish communities, land use information, watershed soils, geology, and stream assessment. This information will be used to determine the existing and potential management practices that will stabilize and/or restore the ecosystem. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Information will be disseminated to the public via newsletters, presentations at the annual and other lake association meetings, a final report and a comprehensive management plan at the end of the project.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
4/1/2001
Waters Involved
Hatch Lake
Status
Complete

Hatch Lake Association: Hatch Lake Restoration Project Phase Ii: The Hatch Lake Association proposes to develop a dredge proposal plan for Hatch Lake and to develop and implement a shoreland restoration demonstration project. This study will include the following: 1) conduct a water resource appraisal that will evaluate the aquatic plant and animal species and their habitat, determine the impacts that the dredging plan will have on the ecosystem and community, and develop alternatives to minimize impacts; 2) develop a water resource restoration plan that will review existing water resource data, develop and implement a comprehensive restoration plan, and appraise the effects of restoration activities; 3) assess benthic flora and macroinvertebrates in proposed dredge areas and develop feasible alternatives to avoid or minimize any distruptions; 5) develop a post-dredging fish habitat restoration plan; 6) develop a dredge spoil deposition plan that considers restoring historic surface water drainage patterns to the lake and evaluates the lake sediment for nutrient and contaminant content; and 7) develop and implement a shoreland restoration demonstration project. The DNR will be provided with both a paper copy and an electronic copy of the final report. Progress reports and the final report will be presented to the Association at their annual meetings, board meetings, and through newsletters.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2005
Waters Involved
Little Wolf River
Status
Complete

City Of Manawa: Manawa Millpond Lake Planning Study Ph 1: the project is a basic appraisal of Aquatic plants, water quality and watershed. In addition to the appraisal an APM plan will be developed with community participation. The plant survey is a point intercept survey following DNR standards for data collection and reporting. Water quality parameters (trophic condition) will be collected on 5 events and past data reviewed and analyzed. The watershed evaluation will determine land uses, sensitive areas, potential sources of sediment and nutrients as well as modeling of loads to the lake.

Deliverables:

1. Aquatic plant survey report
2. Aquatic Plant management plan
3. Watershed analysis report
4. Water Quality condition report

This scope is intended to summarize the detailed scope provided in the grant application and does not supersede grant application specifics.


Grant Details
Large Scale Lake Planning
Date
10/1/2005
Waters Involved
Manawa Millpond
Status
Complete

City Of Manawa: Manawa Millpond Lake Planning Study Ph 1: the project is a basic appraisal of Aquatic plants, water quality and watershed. In addition to the appraisal an APM plan will be developed with community participation. The plant survey is a point intercept survey following DNR standards for data collection and reporting. Water quality parameters (trophic condition) will be collected on 5 events and past data reviewed and analyzed. The watershed evaluation will determine land uses, sensitive areas, potential sources of sediment and nutrients as well as modeling of loads to the lake.

Deliverables:

1. Aquatic plant survey report
2. Aquatic Plant management plan
3. Watershed analysis report
4. Water Quality condition report

This scope is intended to summarize the detailed scope provided in the grant application and does not supersede grant application specifics.


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.

Lower Little Wolf River Watershed
Lower Little Wolf River WatershedWatershed History Note

The city of Manawa grew up south of a sawmill built on the Little Wolf River in 1871 by J.M. and Harley Rounds and Robert Pugmire. For a short time after the post office opened in 1872, under the postmaster Elbert Scott, the city was known as Elberton. The name Manawa was formally adopted in 1874. According to local folklore, "Manawa" means "long bow," and was the name of a Native American killed in a duel near the lower river crossing. The river was bridged in three places by the 1880s, making Manawa the hub for all traffic through the area. The timbered bridge at the sawmill was replaced with a steel truss bridge in 1902. About a mile downstream, the railroad crossed the river on a plate girder bridge, and barely a half-mile below the railroad trestle, the lower bridge, originally built of lumber, was replaced by a three-arch stone bridge in 1902. The city was cradled in the lower crook of the reverse-S made by the river, with the streets of the city laid out in three distinct parts. A northern part in sixteen blocks was drawn just south of the sawmill and became the central business district through most of the city's life. A central sliver of just barely eight blocks, a mix of businesses and residences, lay on the south side of the railroad. And to the south, a square of twenty blocks was laid out around the river crossing about a half-mile below the railroad. Although this was the largest part of Manawa to be platted, and appeared to be laid out as the civic center of the city, complete with a town square, it fell into decline, and only in more modern times has begun to grow again.

Date  2011