Peshtigo Watershed

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Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030105

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Watershed Overview

Totaling 1,165 square miles, the Peshtigo watershed is made up of the Lower Peshtigo River, the Little Peshtigo River, the Middle Peshtigo and Thunder River, and the Upper Peshtigo River. The watershed ultimately drains into Green Bay in Wisconsin.

The City of Marinette is the only urbanized area in the watershed. Forested areas are generally made up of maples and basswoods, with hard maples being the most dominant species by volume. Other common tree species include aspen, white and red pine, soft maple, and balsam fir.

Wildlife in the watershed include the black bear, white-tailed deer, turkey, ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, waterfowl, geese, beaver, mink, otter, timber wolves, elk, trumpeter swans, eagles, osprey, northern goshawk, and shorebirds.

The Nature Conservancy has identified several critical habitats and ecosystems within the Peshtigo River Watershed. They are as follows:

  • Great Lakes Shoreline Cattail – Bulrush Marsh
  • Silver Maple – Elm – (Cottonwood) Forest
  • White Pine – Red Oak Forest
  • Central Wet-Mesic Tallgrass Prairie
  • Lake Plain Wetland Lakes
  • Large rivers on till and lake plain
  • Cool/cold headwaters
  • Large, cool/coldwater rivers in outwash
  • End moraine and ice contact
  • Large, headwater lakes in ground moraine
  • Outwash, and ice contact
  • Low gradient tributary streams on west Green Bay till plain
  • Riverine coastal marsh
  • Spring-fed headwater lakes

The Nature Conservancy has also identified the following critical species within the watershed:

  • Wood duck
  • Le Conte’s Sparrow
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • American Bittern
  • Whip-poor-will
  • Veery
  • Black Tern
  • Northern Harrier
  • Marsh Wren
  • Sedge Wren
  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Yellow Rail
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Blackburnian Warbler
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Least Flycatcher
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Bald Eagle
  • Wood Thrush
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Wild Turkey
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • American Woodcock
  • Clay-colored Sparrow
  • Field Sparrow
  • Forester’s Tern
  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Canada Warbler

Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land, farmland, and forest, and a slight decrease in grasslands and wetlands.

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Watershed Activities

As part of the Upper Green Bay Management Basin, the Peshtigo Watershed has adopted the same watershed initiatives. They are as follows:

  • Target the West Shore of Green Bay as a high priority for habitat protection
  • 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 exotic and 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 Peshtigo River Watershed is part of the WDNR Upper Green Bay Management Area. For more information, see the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ “Wisonsin’s Basins” [ website]

Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool for the Peshtigo Watershed. This site has interactive watershed-based information on industrial facilities discharge sites, toxic release inventory, permit compliance system, water quality stations, bacteria stations, national sediment inventory stations, best management practices, water quality observation stations, weather data stations, impaired waters (reach and area), landcover change (1992-2001), landuse 2001, soil, and elevation.

Watershed Data and Information

USGS Water Resources Links for: 04030105 - Peshtigo

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 Peshtigo - HUC 04030105:

Impaired (303d) Waters

A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA's website for the Peshtigo Watershed


Subwatersheds for the Peshtigo River Watershed

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

HUC Watershed Name
04030105 0101 Headwaters Rat River
04030105 0102 Upper Rat River
04030105 0103 Middle Rat River
04030105 0104 Lower Rat River
04030105 0201 North Branch Peshtigo River
04030105 0202 South Branch Peshtigo River
04030105 0203 Otter Creek
04030105 0204 Camp Eight Creek
04030105 0205 Kersten Creek-Peshtigo River
04030105 0206 Armstrong Creek
04030105 0207 Catwillow Creek-Peshtigo River
04030105 0208 Swede John Creek-Peshtigo River
04030105 0301 Upper Middle Inlet
04030105 0302 Middle Inlet
04030105 0303 Upper Inlet
04030105 0304 Lower Middle Inlet
04030105 0305 Lake Noquebay-The Outlet
04030105 0401 Otter Creek
04030105 0402 Caldron Falls Reservoir-Peshtigo River
04030105 0403 Eagle Creek
04030105 0404 North Fork Thunder River
04030105 0405 South Fork Thunder River
04030105 0406 Thunder River
04030105 0407 High Falls Reservoir-Peshtigo River
04030105 0408 Medicine Brook-Peshtigo River
04030105 0501 Left Foot Creek
04030105 0502 Headwaters South Branch Beaver Creek
04030105 0503 North Branch Beaver Creek
04030105 0504 South Branch Beaver Creek
04030105 0505 Headwaters Little Peshtigo River
04030105 0506 Little Peshtigo River
04030105 0507 Peterman Brook-Peshtigo River
04030105 0601 Gravelly Brook
04030105 0602 Potato Rapids Dam-Peshtigo River
04030105 0603 Trout Creek
04030105 0604 Peshtigo Dam-Peshtigo River
04030105 0605 Little River-Frontal Lake Michigan
04030105 0606 Peshtigo River-Frontal Lake Michigan
04030105 0607 Thomas Slough-Frontal Lake Michigan