Wisconsin

River County Reach Length (miles) Description Potential Classification ORVs Watershed (HUC Code 8) Year Listed/ Updated Other State
Bad River Ashland From town of Mellen to mouth 51 A northern Wisconsin river in a heavily forested watershed. Flows through outstanding Copper Falls State Park and Bad River Indian Reservation and empties into Lake Superior. Upper area has high hills, rock outcrops, gravel banks and Copper Falls. Good trout fishing in upper reaches. Canoeable only below falls. Relatively undeveloped. Studied by the state for possible inclusion in the State Wild Rivers System. Geologic, Scenic Bad-Montreal 1982
Black River LaCrosse, Jackson Black River Falls dam to confluence with Mississippi River 62 An outstanding river segment flowing through western Wisconsin hill country to the Mississippi River. Very little cultural intrusion. High sand banks, wooded shores and occasional limestone bluffs. Only 12 dwellings visible, except for village of North Bend; 4 road crossings on entire stretch. A sand bottom stream with good water quality and flow. Many large sandbars offer excellent recreation opportunities on this unspoiled stretch of river. Studied by the State for possible inclusion in the State Wild Rivers System. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Black 1982
Black River, East Fork Jackson, Wood, Clark From source SE of Chili to mouth at Black River. 58 A generally small stream only seasonally canoeable. Low recreational use. Fishing fair. Has a relatively undeveloped shoreline and a fairly well wooded watershed. Little cultural intrusion. Scenic Black 1982
Bois Brule River Douglas Campground at County road south to mouth at Lake Superior 38 This stretch of river flows entirely within the Brule River State Forest to Lake Superior. One of the state's most famous and scenic trout streams. An excellent canoe trip over some medium rapids in lower section. Watershed heavily forested with 3% public ownership along stream. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Beartrap-Nemadji 1982
Brule River Florence, Forest Forest Boundary to backwater of Brule Island dam 43 Flows on boundary of Michigan and Wisconsin. Good to excellent canoeing and fishing. Watershed is primarily forested. Good water quality. Fish, Recreational Menominee 1982 MI
Brule River Florence, Forest Brule Lake to Forest boundary 10 Excellent brown trout fishery. Provides fine recreational canoe route during most of the year. Recreational Fish, Historic, Recreational Menominee 1982/ 1993 MI
Chippewa River Rusk, Sawyer Dam at Radisson to Holcombe Flowage 56 A north central Wisconsin stream flowing through a mostly forested area. Some farming to waters edge. Not a top quality river although very good for recreation. More than usual cultural intrusion. Recreational, Scenic Upper Chippewa 1982
Chippewa River Peppin, Dunn Eau Claire-Dunn County line to confluence with Mississippi River 48 A broad river segment located in the western Wisconsin hill country. Many sand bars and islands in the channel. Near mouth, the country flattens out to a broad floodplain interspersed with forests and farms. Chippewa River Bottoms National Natural Landmark located at mouth. Banks are generally forested. Fishing fair to good. Provides an excellent scenic canoe trip with generally slow water and few rapids. Recreational, Scenic Upper Chippewa 1982
Chippewa River, East Fork Iron, Ashland Headwaters to Glidden 32 A tributary of the Chippewa River flowing through a forested watershed. An average stream for this part of the state. Fair to good recreational potential. Crosses Chequanegon National Forest. Recreational, Scenic Upper Chippewa 1982
Chippewa River, East Fork Ashland, Sawyer forest boundary to Sturgeon Bay at upper end of Blaisdell Lake 21 A tributary of the Chippewa River flowing through a forested watershed. An average stream for this part of the state. Fair to good recreational potential. Crosses Chequanegon National Forest. Recreational/Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Upper Chippewa 1982/ 1993
Clam River Burnett, Polk Clam Falls flowage to Clam River flowage 45 A tributary of the St. Croix River located in northwestern Wisconsin forest land. Limited trout fishing and some warm water species. Canoeing possible on entire length. Scenic Upper St. Croix 1982
Crystal River Waupaca Long Lake to confluence with Waupaca River 12 A fast running small stream flowing through central Wisconsin farm and forest country. Banks are generally wooded. Trout fishing above Cory Millpond. Old grist mill and small towns have historic value. Recreational Wolf 1982
Des Plaines River Kenosha Headwaters to Wisconsin-Illinois State line 22 An interstate river rising in Kenosha County farm country. Major portion of this river is in Illinois. Flows through Racine and Chicago SMSA. Portion in Wisconsin generally free of development, except farming. Some floating use. Fishing is major use. Good warm water fishing. Recreational Des Plaines 1982
Flambeau River Rusk, Price Crowley dam to Big Falls Reservoir 46 Much of this stretch of river lies in the Flambeau River State Forest. Virtually all wilderness with very little cultural development. Good water quality with many rapids and good fishing. A very good stretch of wild river. Recreational, Scenic Flambeau 1982
Flambeau River, South Fork Sawyer, Rusk, Price SR 13 S. of Park Falls to confluence with Flambeau River 33 Flows through a generally wild, forested watershed and portion of Chequamegon National Forest. A good to high quality stream with very good musky and walleye fishing. Some bald eagle nesting. Canoeable with mostly easy water and some rapids. Minimal cultural intrusion. Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife South Fork Flambeau 1982
Flambeau River, South Fork Price Round Lake to forest boundary 24 Canoeable in high water. Recreational/Scenic Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic, Other South Fork Flambeau 1982/ 1993
Fox River Ontagomie, Brown Kankana to DePere 17 A major route across Wisconsin of early explorers, fur traders and settlers. Many historic sites in upper river area and around Green Bay. Flows through Green Bay SMSA. Historic, Recreational Lower Fox 1982
Fox River Kenosha, Racine, Waukesha Waukesha to Waterford (33 river miles); Waterford to Wilmot (26 river miles) 61 A slow moving river through southern Wisconsin farm country with agriculture to the waters edge in many places. Flows through some lakes and Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha SMSA's. Has good recreation potential. Historic, Recreational Lower Fox 1982
Jump River Chippewa, Price, Rusk, Taylor From confluence with North Fork Jump River to Holcombe flowage. 33 A north central Wisconsin tributary of the Chippewa River. Good warm water species habitat. An average stream for recreation purposes. Scenic Jump 1982
Kickapoo River Crawford, Richland, Vernon Ontario to confluence with Wisconsin River 108 A long river segment flowing through very scenic western Wisconsin hill country. Bottomlands along river are generally farmed, but hill-sides and watershed are fairly well wooded. High bluffs and rock outcrops in places. Harbors rare and endangered tundra plants. Flows through Kickapoo River National Natural Landmark. Geologic, Scenic Kickapoo 1982
LaCrosse River LaCrosse, Monroe Perch Lake 143 dam to mouth at Mississippi River 40 Flows through western Wisconsin area of high hills and coulees. Moderate floating use. Good trout fishing above Perch Lake 143. Scenic La Crosse-Pine 1982
Marengo River Ashland Town of Marengo to confluence with Bad River 14 A generally narrow trout stream, tributary to the Bad River. Shorelands almost entirely forested. Lower reaches have extensive agriculture to waters edge in places. Scenic Bad-Montreal 1982
Mecan River Marquette, Waushara Richford to backwaters of impoundment at Germania 21 A fair to good trout stream in upper reaches and warm water fishing in lower portion. A good small central Wisconsin stream receiving moderate fishing and canoeing use. Watershed about 50% farmed. Banks generally wooded. Flows through some marsh areas in upper reaches. Recreational Upper Fox 1982
Menominee River Marinette Dam at White Rapids to backwaters of Grand Rapids 28 Flows on boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan. A broad river with good flow thtough heavily forested country. Good fishing and canoeing. Several portages. Recreational Menominee 1982 MI
Menominee River Marinette Dam at White Rapids to backwaters of Grand Rapids 29 Flows on boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan. A broad river with good flow through heavily forested country. Good fishing and canoeing. Several portages. Recreational Menominee 1982 MI
Milwaukee River Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, FonDuLac Eden to Campbellsport (8 rm); Campbellsport to YoungAmerica (16 rm); West Bend to Waubeka (20 rm); Grafton to Thiensville ( 10 river miles) 66 A southeastern Wisconsin river rising near the highly popular Kettle Moraine State Forest emptying into Lake Michigan at Milwaukee. Has scenic dolomite bluff near Grafton. Relatively little development considering the area it flows through. Watershed fairly heavily farmed although banks are generally wooded. Recreational, Scenic Milwaukee 1982
Nemadji River Douglas Wisconsin-Michigan State line to drive-in theater S. of Superior village 26 A meandering, generally slow moving stream flowing through the extreme northwestern part of the state. Moderate recreational use. High banks along part. Generally little cultural intrusion. Flows through Duluth-Superior SMSA. Scenic Beartrap-Nemadji 1982
North Branch Peshtigo River Forest From Forest Road 2183 to National Forest Boundary 15 Canoeable on main branch in high water, variety of character from flat oxbows to narrow rapids. Scenic/Wild Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Other Peshtigo 1982/ 1993
North Branch Pike River Marinette Township Rd. one-half mile downstream of U.S. 8 to mouth at Pike River 30 A tributary of the Pike River flowing through mostly wild, well forested country with some farmland in the watershed. Some rapids and low falls. Canoeing fair, difficult at times. Scenic Menominee 1982
North Branch Pine River Florence, Forest From the East shoreline of Butternut Lake to confluence with Pine River. 17 Canoeable in high water. Remote recreational setting. Scenic/Wild Recreational, Scenic Menominee 1982
North Branch Popple River Forest From source to confluence with Popple River 11 Canoeable below Highway 55 during high water (spring), stretches of rapids alternate with slow water, variety of wildlife in area. Scenic/Wild Recreational, Wildlife Menominee 1982/ 1993
North Fork Jump River Price From Spring Creek Flowage to confluence with Jump River 26 A north central Wisconsin tributary of the Chippewa River. Good warm water species habitat. An average stream for recreation purposes. Scenic Jump 1982
Oconto River Oconto Confluence with Peshtigo Brook to Underhill 19 A northeastern Wisconsin river flowing through generally forested land in upper portion and largely agricultural country in lower portion. A basically slow moving stream. Scenic Oconto 1982
Peshtigo River Marinette, Forest Headwaters to backwaters of Caldron Falls Reservoir excluding portion in National Forest 32 A winding stream flowing through marsh country in upper portion. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Peshtigo 1982
Peshtigo River Forest The Peshtigo River within the Nat. Forest boundary 28 Canoeable on main branch in high water, variety of character from flat oxbows to narrow rapids. Rec/Wild/Scenic Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Other Peshtigo 1982/ 1993
Pike River Marinette From confleunce with South Branch Pike River to mouth at Menominee River. 16 An excellent northeastern Wisconsin stream flowing through a heavily forested watershed. Rock outcrops, falls, canyons, and rapids provide a high quality floating experience. Somewhat threatened by expanding recreation home interest. A component of the State Wild Rivers System. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Menominee 1982
Pine River Florence, Forest National Forest Boundary to backwaters of Pine River dam 21 A relatively undeveloped stream mostly within the Nicolet National Forest. Has a heavily forested watershed with few areas cleared to waters edge. Generally not canoeable during summers. A component of State Wild Rivers System. Fishing generally good. Scenic Menominee 1982
Pine River Florence, Forest Portion within National Forest Boundaries. 46 Canoeable in high water. Remote recreational setting. Scenic/Wild Recreational, Scenic Menominee 1982
Plover River Portage, Marathon Bevent to east of Stevens Point and Park Ridge 25 A small tributary of the Wisconsin River located in north central farm and hill country. Brook, brown and rainbow trout in upper reaches. Very good canoeing. Recreational Castle Rock 1982
Popple River Florence From National Forest boundary to mouth at confluence with Pine River 14 Flows through a heavily forested portion of northeastern Wisconsin. Good fishing. Canoeable from Hwy. 139 downstream. Relatively undeveloped, flowing mostly through Nicolet National Forest. A component of the State Wild River System. Recreational Menominee 1982
Popple River Florence, Forest From source to boundary of National Forest 33 Canoeable below Highway 55 during high water (spring), stretches of rapids alternate with slow water, variety of wildlife in area. Scenic/Wild Recreational, Wildlife Menominee 1982/ 1993
Potato River Iron Town of Upson to confluence with Bad River 27 A tributary of the Bad River system in northern part of the state. Very little cultural development. Waterfalls and rapids in wild corridor. Canoeing limited. Low quality trout fishing. Good public ownership. Some high hills and banks. Geologic, Scenic Bad-Montreal 1982
Somo River Lincoln Junction of Big Somo & Little Somo creeks at Clifford to Lake Mohawksin 23 Flows through an open area of little relief in north central part of state. Many low, swampy areas along stream. Scenic Upper Wisconsin 1982
South Branch Pike River Marinette From Brock Pond dam to confluence with Pike River 22 An excellent northeastern Wisconsin stream flowing through a heavily forested watershed. Rock outcrops, falls, canyons, and rapids provide a high quality floating experience. Somewhat threatened by expanding recreation home interest. A component of the State Wild Rivers System. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Menominee 1982
South Branch Popple River Florence, Forest From source to confluence with Popple River 11 Canoeable below Highway 55 during high water (spring), stretches of rapids alternate with slow water, variety of wildlife in area. Scenic Recreational, Wildlife Menominee 1982/ 1993
South Fork Jump River Price State Highway 13 at Prentice, WI to confluence with Jump River 34 Flows through a well forested watershed and has some cultural intrusions. Canoeable and fishable, but not heavily used. Recreational/Scenic Recreational, Scenic Jump 1982/ 1993
Sugar River Green, Winnebago Lake Decatur in Green County, Wisconsin to confluence with the Pecatonia 33 A meandering interstate river with many remnant and existing oxbow lakes. Flows through an area of very intensive agriculture in northern Illinois. Has very good sport fishing and some unique flora Fish, Recreational Sugar 1982 IL
Thornapple River Rusk, Sawyer Headwaters to mouth at Chippewa River confluence (except part within Chequamegon National Forest) 64 Flows through forested and farmed watershed. Low to moderate recreational use. Corridor generally well forested. Scenic Upper Chippewa 1982
Totagetic River Douglas, Sawyer, Washburn Nelson Lake to Minong flowage (formerly Lake Nancy) 39 A small to medium sized stream flowing through northern coniferous and hardwood forests. Good recreation potential, but use low. Fishing is generally average. Tributary to Namekagon River, a component of National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Scenic Namekagon 1982
Waupaca River Waupaca, Portage Weyauwega to below Mill Pond at Amherst, Wisconsin 39 The Tomorrow/Waupaca is one river with two names. The name change occurs at the Portage-Waupaca county line rather than at a confluence. The corridor is largely undeveloped, but it does flow through farm lands and woods. The upper reaches support a trout fishery, while the lower reaches support trout and small mouth bass. In addition, many waterfowl and shore birds use the corridor. Recreational Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Wolf 1995
White River Ashland, Bayfield Headwaters in Bayfield County to impoundment at crossing of County Road 112 in Ashland County 43 A large tributary of the Bad River flowing through an area of high hills in the lower reaches and many miles through the very wild Bibon Swamp. Outstanding water quality in upper reaches. A popular canoe route. Popular trout water in upper portion. A very small portion lies within the Chequamegon National Forest. Recreational/Scenic Recreational, Scenic Bad-Montreal 1982/ 1993
Wisconsin River Marathon, Lincoln Merrill to Wausau (22 river miles); Wausau to Marathon Co. line south (23 rm) 51 The largest river system in Wisconsin. Good water quality. Flows from near Michigan border in the north to Mississippi River. Crosses unglaciated driftless area of hills and bluff. Geologic, Recreational Lake Dubay 1982
Wolf River Outagamie, Wampaca, Shawano Shawano to county Road P, 2 miles North of Shiocton 43 Considered a prime northern river, it has outstanding seasonal walleye and white bass fishing. The river is a popular canoe route with generally good water quality. The watershed is about 60% farmed, the rest being forested with some extensive swamps. Part of upper portion of this river is an existing component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Fish, Recreational Wolf 1982
Yellow River Juneau, Wood Spillway at Lake Dexter to Necedah Bluff 42 A central Wisconsin stream flowing through farm country with a generally wooded corridor and watershed. Lower portion flows through Necedah National Wildlife Refuge where there are remnant oxbow lakes. Scenic Castle Rock 1982

Last updated: November 30, 2016

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