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Mouth of the Brule River

Back to Western Lake Superior

Counties: Douglas


Aerial of small embayment at Brule River Mouth. A recent storm has stirred up clay sediments in Lake Superior. Photograph by Eric J. Epstein, 1996.

Site Description

On the west side of the mouth of the Brule River there is an emergent marsh of approximately 80 acres separated from the river and Lake Superior by a natural levee and sand spit. Several distinct plant species associations occur in the marsh. A small lagoon supports dense beds of pond lilies, pondweeds and common bladderwort. Around the lagoon there are stands of emergent aquatic macrophytes composed of bur-reed, soft-stem bulrush, cattail, and arrowhead. Near the margins of the marsh sedges are dominant, with lake sedge and tussock sedge the most important species. The natural levee between the marsh and the Brule River is vegetated with speckled alder, dogwoods, willows, and small ash trees. A very small beach and dune complex between the marsh and Lake Superior supports a sparse growth of marram grass and beach pea. Upstream, low terraces along the river support additional wetland communities, including black ash-dominated hardwood swamp, alder thicket and wet meadow. Steep clay bluffs flanking the Brule are forested with a boreal mixture of white pine, white spruce, balsam fir, balsam poplar, trembling aspen, and paper birch. Seepages and short spring runs are frequent on the clay slopes. Rare animals and plants are resident on this site, and several rare birds, including Common and Caspian Terns, use the mouth of the Brule as a resting and foraging area.

Additional Comments

Though this is a relatively small site, it contains a good quality marsh located at the mouth of one of Wisconsinís most fabled trout streams.

Last revised: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:21:15 CDT