Oconto Watershed

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Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030104

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Watershed Overview

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.

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Watershed Activities

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.

Watershed Groups

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:

All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):

Other Data Links:

Current Regional/National Conditions:

Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:

EPA Links 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

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Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at Lake Michigan Subwatershed Information

HUC Watershed Name
04030104 0101 Second South Branch Oconto River
04030104 0102 Headwaters South Branch Oconto River
04030104 0103 First South Branch Oconto River
04030104 0104 Precore Creek
04030104 0105 South Branch Oconto River
04030104 0201 Townsend Flowage-McCaslin Brook
04030104 0202 McCaslin Brook
04030104 0203 Torpee Creek-North Branch Oconto River
04030104 0204 Knowles Creek-North Branch Oconto River
04030104 0205 Waupee Creek
04030104 0206 Chute Pond-North Branch Oconto River
04030104 0207 Wesco Creek-North Branch Oconto River
04030104 0301 Headwaters Peshtigo Brook
04030104 0302 Peshtigo Brook
04030104 0401 Daly Creek
04030104 0402 Headwaters Kelly Brook
04030104 0403 Kelly Brook
04030104 0404 North Branch Little River
04030104 0405 Hogsback Road-Little River
04030104 0406 StilesJunction-Little River
04030104 0501 Linzy Creek
04030104 0502 Village of Suring-Octono River
04030104 0503 Underhill-Oconto River
04030104 0504 Oconto Falls Dam-Oconto River
04030104 0505 Machicknee Flowage-Oconto River