Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030104
The Oconto Watershed covers over 1,035 square miles and has over 560 miles of streams. The major waterways include the Oconto River, the Lower Oconto River, the Little River, the Lower Branch Oconto River, and the South Branch Oconto River. Most of the watershed is part of the Upper Green Bay Basin Management Area as identified by the Wisconsin DNR.
The City of Oconto is the primary urbanized area in the watershed. The primary source of drinking water is groundwater.
Maple-Basswood is the most common forest type in the watershed. Hard maple is the most common tree species by volume followed by, aspen, white and red pine, soft maple, and balsam fir. The most common wildlife species in the watershed include waterfowl, geese, beaver, mink, otter, timber wolves, elk, colonial waterbirds, trumpeter swans, eagles, osprey, northern goshawk and shorebirds.
Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land, farmland, and forest, and a slight decrease in grassland and wetlands.
The following are the objectives for the Upper Green Bay Management Basin, which includes the Oconto River Watershed:
- Target the West Shore of Green Bay as a high priority for habitat protection
- Implement the DNR’s 50 year Land Legacy Study, and acquisition plan for the state
- Protect shoreline habitat and water quality through water regulation and zoning
- Work with local communities in developing “smart growth” plans and promoting wise land use and zoning
- Complete a comprehensive fisheries plan for the basin, focusing on the Oconto, Menominee, Peshtigo Rivers and Lake Michigan, including addressing invasive species.
- Encourage sound forestry practices on public and private land and identify and manage terrestrial invasive species
- Enhance educational activities for forestry, water quality, wildlife management, and healthy ecosystems.
- River Alliance of Wisconsin
- Upper Green Bay Basin DNR Management Area
- Upper Green Bay Basin Partnership
- Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control
For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website.
The Oconto River Watershed is part of WDNR’s Upper Green Bay Management Basin. For more information, see the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ “Wisconsin’s Basins” website.
Watershed Data and Information
USGS Water Resources Links for: 04030104 - Oconto
USGS State Information and Contacts:
Current Water Data:
- NWIS Real-time Streamflow Stations Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
- NWIS Real-time Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
- NWIS Real-time Groundwater Sites Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):
- National Water Information System: Mapper
- NWIS Site Inventory Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
- NWIS Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
- NWIS Groundwater Inventory Levels Grouped by County in Oconto - HUC 04030104
Other Data Links:
- Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit, NAWQA
- USGS GIS Spatial Data Sets Available on the WRD NSDI Node
- Water Use In The United States
- Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS Data) for the Oconto - HUC 04030104
Current Regional/National Conditions:
- USGS Drought Watch - U.S Map of Drought and Low Flow Conditions
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Streamflow Map for the Great Lakes Region- HUC 04
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Floods and High Flow Conditions Map for the Great Lakes Region - HUC 04
Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:
- Oconto - HUC 04030104
- Northwestern Lake Michigan - HUC 040301
- Northwestern Lake Michigan - HUC 0403
- Great Lakes - HUC 04
EPA Links for the Oconto - HUC 04030104:
- EPA - Impaired Waters for the Oconto - HUC 04030104
- EPA - Storet Watershed Station Summary for the Oconto - HUC 04030104
- EPA - Surf Your Watershed for the Oconto for HUC 04030104
- EPA - Adopt Your Watershed for the Oconto HUC 04030104
- EPA - EnviroMapper for the Oconto HUC 04030104
Impaired (303d) Waters
A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA's website for the Oconto Watershed
Subwatersheds for the Oconto River Watershed
Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at Lake Michigan Subwatershed Information