The 128-square-mile Middle Wolf River Watershed is in Shawano, Waupaca and Outagamie Counties. The watershed extends from the Shawano Dam to where the Shioc River meets the Wolf River north of Shiocton and holds 47 miles of the Wolf River.
The Winnebago Comprehensive Management Plan ranked the Middle Wolf River watershed a high priority due to animal waste problems and soil erosion rates of 3.1 tons/acre/year. The data search for the Wolf River Basin Plan found that streams of this watershed, including the mainstem Wolf River, are suffering from streambank erosion and animal waste problems.
Groundwater concerns were ranked as medium under the priority watershed selection process. The northern 20 percent of the watershed are of highest concern for groundwater contamination due to poor land use practices. The remaining 80 percent of the land is of medium susceptibility (WDNR and WGNHS, 1987).
The Middle Wolf River Watershed lies in two ecological landscapes: The Central Lake Michigan Coastal Landscape in the south and the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal 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 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.
Confirm FCA: IW pre-2000 data
241300 name Wolf River-Main Stem TMDL ID 617 Start Mile 65.58 End Mile 85.58
Unnamed W Trib to Schoenick Cr TP
New 303(d) Listing for Biology (5A). 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10016411. AU: 3997977.
Schoenick Creek TP
New Category 2 based on mIBI. 2018 TP Results: May Exceed. Station: 10042835. AU: 9814.