The Shioc River is a tributary to the Wolf River, having its headwaters in Shawano County and flowing south and west to meet the Wolf River in Outagamie County, north of the City of Shiocton. This watershed holds the East, West and Mainstem Shioc River and is approximately 53 miles in its entirety.
The West Branch of the Shioc River begins in a cedar swamp just north of the Village of Bonduel. Groundwater input in the Village supports a Class 1 Brook Trout fishery- the only known brook trout fishery in the eastern part of the Wolf River Basin. Habitat enhancement (1998) and removal of the sewage treatment plant discharge (2000) should allow for expansion of the population and expansion of suitable water for brook trout.
The Shioc River Watershed spans two ecological landscapes: the Central Lake Michigan Coast Ecological Landscape along its western third and the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape in the eastern two-thirds of the watershed.
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 Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape is located in northeastern Wisconsin, and includes Green Bay and the northern part of the Door Peninsula. Its landforms consist of the Niagara escarpment, a prominent dolomite outcropping along the east side of Green Bay, a lacustrine plain along the west side of Green Bay, and ground moraine elsewhere. Low sand dunes and beach ridges that support Great Lakes endemics and many other rare species are found along the Great Lakes shoreline. The influence of Lake Michigan moderates extreme temperatures. Soils are very diverse; in some areas, lacustrine sands are found overlying clays or bedrock within only a few feet of the surface. In the Door Peninsula, soils are typically stony loamy sands to loams. Poorly drained sands are common in the lake plain or in depressions between dunes and beach ridges. On the western side of Green Bay, the ground moraine is composed mostly of moderately well drained, rocky sandy loams, interspersed with lacustrine sands and clays, and peat and muck also common.
Historic vegetation included maple-basswood-beech forest, hemlock-hardwood forest, northern white cedar swamp, hardwood-conifer swamp, wet meadows, and coastal marshes. Conifer dominated upland forests that resemble the boreal forest were present along Lake Michigan; they contain a significant component of white spruce and balsam fir. Cliffs, sinkholes, and dolomite ledges are associated with the Niagara Escarpment. Current vegetation consists of more than 60% non-forested land, most of which is in agricultural crops, with smaller amounts of grassland, wetland, shrubland, and urbanized areas. Forested lands are dominated by maple-basswood, with smaller amounts of lowland hardwoods, aspen-birch, and lowland conifers. High quality areas of exposed alkaline bedrock beach occur on the northern Door Peninsula, providing habitat for many rare plants. Several islands lie off the Door Peninsula and these also provide critical habitat for rare species and colonially nesting birds.
Monitor biology on WBIC: 317100
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Black Creek, WBIC: 317100, AU:337848
Monitor biology on WBIC: 317200
Conduct biological (mIBI or fIBI) monitoring on Unnamed, WBIC: 317200, AU:5735836
Watershed History Note
The City of Seymour in the Shioc River Watershed was founded in 1868 and named after Governor Horatio Seymour of the state of New York. Seymour is said to have once been called Squeedunk, which means "little settlement" or "village".
William and John Ausbourne were the first settlers in Seymour. They had traveled from western Outagamie County on the Wolf River during the summer of 1857 and made their way to the mouth of the Shioc River. They then moved to a spot where the Black Creek flows into the Shioc. After finding that there were no longer any roads to follow, the Ausbournes finally settled in the present location of Seymour, which was occupied by Native Americans at the time. There they built a log house, the only residence in Seymour for two years.
Over the years more settlers came to Seymour. As the population of the area grew, more villages were established in the Seymour area. On March 1, 1877 Seymour became a recognized town, along with the towns of Osborn and Freedom. During the early 1880s, construction of the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railroad was completed. In 1883 a station was built in Seymour, and soon Seymour was recognized as the smallest incorporated city in the nation.
The Seymour resident, Charlie Nagreen, at the age of 15, served the world's first hamburger at the Seymour Fair of 1885. He did this by flattening a meatball and placing it between two pieces of bread, to increase its portability. He became known as Hamburger Charlie and later sold hamburgers at the Brown and Outagamie county fairs. In 2007, the Wisconsin State Legislature declared Seymour, Wisconsin, the original Home of the Hamburger.