Wisconsin's Northwest Sands
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Northern Wisconsin summers are short and sweet. While I have always enjoyed outdoor sports and swimming, recently I've undertaken a more serious study of habitats found here on the Northwest Sands. One seeming paradox of this drought and fire-prone region is an abundance of lakes, streams, and wetlands. Many of these waters are suitable for snorkeling during summer months and a person equipped with simple dive gear can investigate these aquatic environments from the bottom up. In this era of Global Warming the bottom of a lake or riverbed is a good spot to be when temperatures crack the 90-degree mark. Some of the places seen here have probably never been visited before by a human being. Not quite like walking on the moon perhaps, but a lot easier for an ordinary person like me to get to. Besides the thrill of adventure one also obtains first-hand knowledge and understanding of habitats and creatures in this northern freshwater environment. It's like having a vast self-maintaining aquarium for study and enjoyment at ones doorstep. There is also something deeply satisfying about meeting other living creatures eyeball-to-eyeball in their watery homes without harming or killing them. One comes to appreciate how radically different this underworld realm is from the surface world just a few feet away. On this webpage you'll find a composite of some my diving adventure last summer in area riverways.
Taking underwater photos is a challenge. Light and color are quickly lost at depth and some waters are tea-colored due to organic material issuing from adjoining swamps and bogs. Some of the photos here exhibit a distinct brown or yellowish cast due to tinted water. Fish also tend to lurk in shadows which makes photographing them difficult when you rely on natural light like I do. Without the luxury of scuba gear time spend where fish are found below snorkel depth is limited to how long a person can hold his/her breath. It's no easy feat to do all of the following at the same time: 1) Dive under the surface (sometimes in strong current) and find a suitable subject to photograph. 2) Hang onto something so you don't float away. 3) Compose the image and manipulate the camera's controls while hoping that ones suspicious subject doesn't become overly perturbed and swim away. All this taking place while you're running out of breath with mere seconds to finish up so you can jet to the surface for a gasp of fresh air! I can't count the times I timed out and lost a promising shot. If the results you see here aren't always perfect, please realize the conditions under which I'm operating and that I'm still perfecting my technique.
Warmwater Stream Environment
Several streams flow across the Northwest Sands. These include the St. Croix, Trade, Wood, Clam, Yellow, Namekagon, Totogatic, Ounce, Eau Claire, Ox, Iron, and the Upper Bois Brulé rivers. The DNR broadly classifies such streams into two catagories: warmwater and coldwater. Simply put, trout waters are those waters that support trout species while warmwater streams don't. Temperature variations between coldwater and warmwater streams can be striking. Last July, for example, the water temperature of a warmwater river on the Northwest Sands was 78 degrees fahrenheit, while the temperature taken in a nearby coldwater stream on the same day was some 20 degrees colder! Since trout streams tend to be small, chilly, and shallow they are normally not good places to snorkel. The more medium-sized, deeper, and of course warmer warmwater rivers are much better places to explore. These usually have little or no motorboat traffic, their shorelines are often in a semi-wilderness condition, and water quality is high. According to DNR these streams contain both common and rare aquatic fauna, although most of these waterways have not been studied in detail.
Below are some surface photos of a typical warmwater river on the Northwest Sands. Due to a second summer of drought conditions water levels were low. Logs and other woody debris that would normally be partially or totally submerged were exposed. Low water conditions like these force fish and other creatures to congregate in the remaining deeper pools. Under such conditions I was able to locate and photograph an unusually high number of fish including some nice lunker bass. Normally these fish would be more spread out along the stream and not piled up in the manner you'll see here. Drought and low water conditions make fish and other creatures more vulnerable to predation. Lucky for them I was only after pictures.
In this area our river meanders through a low flood-plain forest with many grassy meadows. The tall area of grass in the photo to the left is growing on an old sandbar. These start out as sterile inland beach environments deposited during high water events but contain enough organic material so that grass and woody plants quickly colonize them. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) seeds easily sprout on these sandy floodplains and that species is the dominent tree of this northern riverbottom, although it is considered a southern Wisconsin species. During high water this river overflows its banks and inundates the entire floodplain area as it expands into a roaring torrent a half-mile across. As this flood-pulse stage recedes numerous side channels will be stranded or cut off with back-swamps formed behind the river's natural levee, while logs will have shifted downstream into new jams and jumbles. This process creates countless ephemeral woodland pools that offer perfect breeding habitat for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and yes, a few ZILLION mosquitoes! You can almost hear these little monsters buzzing in the photos here as we walk through the itch- and cut-grass to the river. The only thing possibly worse are the deerflies which in their frenzy for human blood have even come down my snorkel tube!
Ones first reaction to seeing a log-choked streambed like the one here may be: "Get rid of all that ugly woody crap and clean the dang river up!" Some river restoration handbooks even advocate that practice in the interest of flood control or navigation. But in a sand-laden river like this one removing the logs would actually be the WORST thing to do in. While high sediment loads in a river are normally a sign of human-induced erosion that fill in the streambed and make the waterway wide and shallow with little gamefish habitat, on the Northwest Sands high-sediment load conditions are natural and normal. The fine outwash sediments here make the riverbanks loose and unstable like the sand in an hourglass. This constantly collapsing condition introduces vast amounts of new sediment yearly into the river. Without mitagating factors, a sand-choked river like this one would be a biological "desert" with a shallow channel of bare sterile sand with few fish or other wildlife. Barren sandy river stretches on the Northwest Sands where such habitat-poor conditions exist are common.
However, since river shorelines on the Northwest Sands are almost always heavily forested, each year a number of trees erode out of the riverbank and collapse into the stream. High spring water or large rainfall events constantly shift this coarse woody debris downstream forming logjams at bends, on sandbars, or at the head of islands. While at first glance these log jumbles look unsightly and impede navigation, they also perform a vital function for the health of the river. Large logs restrict water flow which slightly backs up the current into deeper pools. Water pressure and velocity increases as the impounded water seeks a way under, over, or around these obstructions. The complex and dynamic interaction between woody debris and current action has a powerful scouring effect which deepens the channel beneath submerged logs. This natural perpetual motion machine creates ideal fish cover and habitat without any funding or human agency. In fact, it's probably better for humans to let well enough alone. Without such large woody debris rivers in the Northwest Sands would be shallow, barren, and probably mostly fishless.
A Freshwater Estuary
Enough theory. Let's get into the river. Entering the water it takes a moment to get used to the shock of the temperature shift (air temps in the 80s-90s F. & water temps in the 70s F.) while we make sure that our dive-mask isn't leaking and we establish a good breathing routine through the snorkel. Here Andrew Kirov demonstrates basic snorkeling equipment and technique. I'm on the surface next to him testing my camera for leaks and taking a few test shots. Notice the water drop distortion on the camera lens. Once everything checks out, we submerge and start looking for underwater photo opportunities. The first thing we notice is the silence of the underwater environment. Our destination is upstream so that any silt we kick up will be carried off behind us by the current. As we follow along the bank in order to stay out of the main current we come to a shallow backwater area or freshwater estuary adjacent to the main channel (seen in the background of the previous photo). At this point a small tributary stream flows into the river through a shallow marsh with a soft organic bottom. This boggy substrate supports a lush growth of submergent aquatic vegetation quite different from the normally scoured sandy river bottom.
Since the marshy estuary is shallow and fragile we won't venture into it. This photo, however, shows the lush plant growth in this underwater jungle and the excellent habitat for aquatic creatures like the "minnows" you see here. These are a few from a large school that scattered at our approach. Because small fish like these are constantly darting about they are difficult to photograph well.
Weedy shallow backwaters like these provide excellent habitat for waterfowl, fur-bearing mammals, and wading birds. Oh oh? What do we have here but a northern pike (Esox lucius) lurking nearby! After the mighty musky the northern is Wisconsin's most voracious finny predator. Even for a fish the northern's brain is small and primitive, but what it lacks in smarts it makes up with appetite and proclivity to strike at just about anything. Luckily that doesn't include humans as these babies have real teeth! If these fish were shark size this would be a no swimming zone because with their jaws and tempers they would gobble you up without a second thought. As soon as this one spotted us it exploded into action and jetted away, but not before I bagged this photo. The Wisconsin record for northern pike is around 38 pounds. This one weighs considerably less. With its paddle-like fins where feet should be and an alligator head doesn't this critter almost look like a proto-reptile ready to crawl out of the water?
Speaking of reptiles we soon spot a real one as we move past the esturary to an underwater woody debis field in the river. This interesting waterdenizen is a wood turtle (Clemmys insculpta), one of the nicest and most innoffensive creatures on the northwest sands. I will admit being prejudiced in favor of these living fossils because as a child my father would take us kids turtle hunting in Comus Lake in southeastern Wisconsin where I grew up and we'd always net a couple of painted turtles for pets. We kept then in a backyard washtub with a hollow cement block in the middle as an island. We fed them nightcrawlers and table scraps and never lost a one. Come late summer our father wisely made us let them go again in a pond in nearby Johnson Park.
But don't expect to find any wood turtles in southeast Wisconsin as they have been extirpated from that area. Their stronghold in Wisconsin is the western and northern parts of the state, but even there they are declining. Since 1974 this handsome herptile has been protected in Wisconsin and is considered a threatened species. Its continuing decline can be blamed on habitat loss and predation of its eggs and young. Since "woodies" don't mature until age 10 to 14 years the survival rate of young turtles has to be high to maintain the species. Since young wood turtles favor shoreline alder thickets (Alnus rugosa) such habitat is considered critical for the health of the species. Adults favor fast moving rivers with a sand or gravel bottom that flow through lowland hardwood forests. The wood turtle is aptly named since the plates of its upper shell (carapace) look like a cross-section of a tree trunk with annual growth rings. Individuals live up to 60 years and years ago many were collected as pets. In Wisconsin this practice is now strictly prohibited. They are also quite intelligent and said to be as quick as a rat in learning a maze. Eggs are laid in spring and hatch in late summer. These turtles are said to exhibit communal nesting behavior with females from several river miles gathering together at the same site each year. I have not observed this behavior, but if true this would make the species even more vulnerable to egg-hungry skunks and raccoons. Wood turtles deserve all the help and protection we can give them so we won't overly disturb this one.
When encountered it was slowly moving like a tank along the river bottom but instantly noted our presence. First it turned its head towards us for a better look (above) then realized something strange and foreign was in the stream. It slightly pulled into its protective shell as we swam nearer for another shot but seemed more puzzled than alarmed. Once it realized we were observing it and not just passing by this armoured denizen of the deep turned and lumbered towards a jumble of branches and other debris. We let it go it's way. Incidently we'd age this individual somewhere in its 20s. Old enough to know that humans are bad news. Adios and good luck to your kind!
Primordial Peat Bed
Pressing further upstream we come to a completely different type of aquatic substrate. Here the river crosses an ancient extinct lakebed and has scoured clean and cut down into a peat deposit there. This current action has created ledges or outcrops of pure organic material instead of the usual sand deposit of this stream. Deep erosion into the peatbed has left deep undercuts and shallow caves and large detached chunks of peat resemble boulders, at least until you touch them. This makes for a spooky underwater experience, the water murky, and the setting more eerie than in the clean and cheerful sandy parts of the river. If there are any river monsters lurking around it'll be in this peat-cave habitat where we'll find them!
Inspecting the peat deposit more closely, we can discern ancient wood chunks, sticks, branches, leaves, and cones eroding out. In the next photo a piece of prehistoric wood is shown protruding from this peat layer. While it looks solid, its consistency is like soft cheese and easily broken up when handled. This ancient wood shows that this layer of the peat bed developed in a forest environment making the presence of fossil animal remains an distinct possibility. While I have not found any bones so far, peat deposits in southern Wisconsin (and as far north as Dunn County) have yielded bones of extinct mega-fauna such as mammoths and mastadonts. In far northern Wisconsin the presence of these large extinct mammals is more problematic. Plant communities that would have supported a large population of these megafauna species may not have stablized this close to the glacial front before most of them went extinct around 10,000 years ago. However, less than 75 miles south in Polk County at Interstate Park, a discovery was made in 1936 along the lower St. Croix River of hundreds of extinct bison bones (Bison occidentalis) in a peat bog. The most recent estimated age of these bones is between 6300 to 7500 years before present. By that time glacial ice had long receded from this area. It is possible, therefore, that members of this extinct bison species could have wandered into this area and today their bones are entombed in area peat deposits. Remains of more modern creatures such as moose, elk, deer and lesser species are almost certainly present in them. It would be interesting to learn how extensive (thick) and old this riverine peat deposit is. In places the river has eroded down into it at least 15 feet deep, a thickness that would have taken many hundreds if not thousands of years to form. But what is here today may be gone tomorrow. Current borne sand deposits alternately expose or cover such peat beds, washing them clean one year and covering them with sand the next. One also wonders what ecological role this organic material plays in the stream environment. I have not yet found a satisfactory answer in the scientific literature that I've examined. From personal observation this peat material seems rich in macroinvertabrates (aquatic "bugs") and introduces considerable organic material into the stream itself. By the way, those black "rocks" you see in the photo above are actually loose chunks of peat lying on the sandy river bottom.
Living Fossil & Modern Trash
Swimming along we encounter one of the northwood's more exotic aquatic creatures. Okay, it's only a humble mussel or clam, but have you ever considered that these creatures (pelecypods) in the phylum Mollusca first appeared in the Cambrian period and are little changed some 500 million years later? Until you see one of these filter-feeders alive and up-close in the water with their feather-like mouth parts extended you don't realize how wonderfully exotic these creatures are. They look more like an inhabitant of a tropical reef than a denizen of a northern river. Several threatened and endangered mussel species are known to exist in the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers, but I'm not good enough to tell you what species you're looking at here or whether it's common or rare. One of my goals next summer is get more photographs of these curious ancient creatures.
In contrast to living gems like that clam, there are other "exotics" in the stream but that are not desireable and should be removed. This time it's an encrusted and corroding pre-aluminum Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can lying on the streambed. Over the years I have found other trash items while diving area waters. Compared to rivers in more inhabited regions where tires, broken concrete, rusty rebar, junked cars, old refrigerators and other human trash is omnipresent here the streams are still amazingly free of junk. To date some of the items that I've found (and removed) have included liquor bottles, beer and pop cans or bottles, broken fishing rods, a water-logged oar, plastic beverage cups, a critter-knawed softball, and a rusty Buck knife. My guess is that most of this trash was thrown off bridges or washed in from highway crossings. Needless to say I remove any such junk that I find in the river. Okay, one older long-neck brown beer bottle was deep and mostly buried in the sand and looked sort of cool that way so I left it in place. Since glass is pure silica anyway and this is sand country it just doesn't seem as offensive as rusty metal, plastic, or rubber in the river. But maybe that's just my own personal quirk. Incidently, I am always on the lookout for human-made objects with significant historical value. These could be tools lost in the river during log drives of the "big pine cut" era between 1860 to around 1905. Even earlier fur trade goods or Native American artifacts are also possible. One old account I've read about the Bois Brulé River tells of a "special English manufacture" double-barrel 8-gauge shotgun lost in that steam in the 1880s. Sooner or later I'll find something good even if it's only a rusty old shotgun, Peavey, or the older and more notorious "bitch hook."
As we approach a jumble of logs and woody debris we get ready to do some serious diving and picture taking. Sure enough, diving under again we see we see a school of bluegills watching us from a shadowy cave-like environment up ahead. If we're lucky we may get some good photos here. The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a member of the sunfish family that also includes largemouth and smallmouth bass, rock bass, pumpkinseeds, and crappies. Notice how these guys stick like magnets under and around this cover. This should give you a clue where to fish for them. We move slowly and cautiously here and score some prize-winning in-your-face photos. Since we are in a smaller enclosed area we have to be careful not to stir up silt in the backwash around these logs and spoil our our shooting. Swirling turbulance around obstructions like these can be unpredictable and even run backwards or upstream. In places like this it also pays to be careful so you don't become entangled or caught somehow. Remember, we have to surface for air every minute or so. Although the water is relatively shallow here don't let that deceive you. People accidently drown in their own bathtubs. Since water-soaked logs can weigh tons and are sometimes precariously balanced and even bobbing in the current, any shift in position they make could easily pin a swimmer to the bottom and drown you in a flash in just a few feet of water. Just like riding a motorcycle or working in the woods with a chainsaw you have to practice caution at all times.
The bluegill is probably the most popular angling fish in Wisconsin. This spunky guy is easy to catch, puts up a feisty battle once hooked, and is excellent in and out of the frying pan. During the June breeding season the male bluegill is as colorful as any aquarium tropical or saltwater fish. Found just about everywhere from farmponds to large rivers this fish can tolerate very warm water (85-88 F.) and other adverse conditions. Small ones (fingerlings) provide food for predator fish, although in some lakes bluegills are so prolific that their population becomes stunted and eat themselves and every other species out of house and home.
When you're in the water with them, bluegills don't seem to fear humans much, but always remain wary. Maybe they have enough confidence in their ability to scoot away if threatened. If you do try to reach to touch them -- "zip" -- it's gone! The ones you see here are probably also reluctant to leave their logjam home so put up with our presence as an unfortunate consequence. But they don't seem to care much anyway. Bluegills soon become accustomed to us and even follow us around pecking in the sediments we stir up for food. Before long they begin sampling us too! Their bite feels like a quick pinch on your leg or arm. Luckily they don't have real teeth or these guys would be as dangerous as a piranna! Here we get lucky and score some nice shots of this ubiquitous fish and every kid's favorite when out fishing with grandpa. The two chunky fellows here are showing off and demonstrating how good life can be in a wilderness stream with your home under a log jam while standing on ones head.
Moving on again we come to a pretty sun-dappled waterscape in the stream and what appears to be an underwater garden of elodea (Elodea canadensis) growing out of pure sand. This is a common native plant and as a kid I remember buying bunches of it for 25 cents for my aquarium. Eaten by invertebrates, tadpoles, ducks, muskrats, and even beavers, I imagine that in shallow water you might even find a deer feeding on it too. Why not? Deer eat everything else. This plant grows fast and in thick stands and is sometimes considered a nuisance in ponds or lakes. In a sandy stream like this, however, it's an important addition to the aquatic community. While I suppose these plants might be growing out of pure sand, more likely there is a thin layer of sand covering a more silty substrate and these plants are rooted into that deeper organic material. In the photo above you can see the light-colored streambed with ripple marks and how sunbeams bounce off the bottom and dominate the color spectrum and texture of the shot. If we dive deeper and then shoot sideways we obtain a different color spectrum as the next photo shows. With scenes like this and water temperatures in the high 70s, we soon find ourselves humming the Beatle's tune:
We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden with you
Of course there are no octopi in Wisconsin (that clam we saw earlier would be the closest relative as both are in the mollusk family) and our northern "tropical" paradise for snorkling only lasts for a few weeks out of the entire year. Incidently, let's pop to the surface here for a second just to see where we are and how nice and green the woods are during the summer. This is quite a constrast to the winter when the snow lies deep and the lakes and rivers are frozen over. Look at all that timber up ahead in the river. What will we find lurking under the surface there?
Lunker Bass Logjam
Now we come face-to-face with the drama queens and kings of our underwater adventure: a school of smallmouth bass! Although often a solitary fish, we find a few big ones together at a place where sunken logs partially obstruct the channel providing excellent cover for good-sized gamefish. Again, since we were experiencing low-water conditions this may be an unusual situation. Curiously in our diving we had already passed several sunken logs with habitat that looked just as good or better than we find here but that were empty of fish. Go figure. We saw many such examples of excellent looking habitat that was deserted while a so-so location was packed with fish. Just what makes one log in the river more desireable than the next is a mystery to me, but if these guys could talk I'm sure they could explain it. Notice how these big boys are pointed upstream into the current and hugging the bottom. Here the substrate contains some gravel and is not just sand. The current here has scoured the bottom beneath this "sweeper" (large log) and has carried the finer sediments away. In typical bass fashion these are hiding in the shadow of the log while keeping out of the direct sunlight filtering down from the surface. These big fellows liked their spot so much that they were in no hurry to leave and that gave us ample opportunity to photograph them from vaious angles.
How a fish's I.Q. is measured is another mystery, but in intelligence tests conducted by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago the smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) came in second only to its kissing cousin the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). These are the largest members of the sunfish family on the Northwest Sands and you can tell them apart because the smallmouth's jaw stops at its eye, while the largemouth's jaw extends beyond its eye. Another difference is the color of the eye itself. The smallmouth's eye is a firey red while the largemouth's eye is golden-brown. On this dive all the bass we encounter are smallmouths. These beautiful gamefish assume the color of their surroundings in shades of green, gold, brown, or black. For this reason they are sometimes referred to as "black bass." While the largemouth favors weedbeds, soft bottoms, and can tolerate warmer water in the 80-85 F. range, the smallmouth demands cleaner and cooler waters (below 80 F.) and prefers sand, gravel, or rocky bottoms. Because of these more stringent requirements, smallmouths are found in high-quality streams with good current or in deep clean lakes. You won't find them in muddy, polluted, stagnant, or weed-choked waters. Since smallmouth habitat is near the the lower end of brook trout range, some streams hold trout in their headwaters while smallmouth bass are found lower downstream. On the Northwest Sands the Namekagon River is one example of a stream with such a trout-bass gradient.
In southern Wisconsin smallmouth bass were once so plentiful that they were netted for hog feed. Perhaps that lingering memory is responsible for the fact that bass do not have quite the reputation as table fare as does the walleye. Among knowledgeable fish gourmets, however, only the Lake Superior whitefish is deemed superior to the succulent, flaky white flesh of the smallmouth bass. But I'd better stop there because these guys wouldn't want that information to get out. Some of them definitely qualify as "lunker" class or trophy fish.
The smallmouth is also a good parent. Males sexually mature at around 3-5 years and females at 4-7 years. In mid-May the male builds a nest on a clean sand or gravel bottom in moderately deep water. Egg laying begins in late May or June when the female deposits up to 10,000 eggs that the male fertilizes and then guards. This parenting behavior extends until the eggs hatch and even longer and the male will actually drive off threats to his young. In spite of this protective behavior, many nests are destroyed by other fish. For example, a group of bluegills will sometimes approach the smallmouth's nest. The male bass will drive away the lead bluegill, while others will dash in and feed upon the bass eggs or young while the adult fish is distracted. A few rounds of such attacks and the bass nest is wiped out. Those that survive, however, become predators at an early age while adult smallmouths feed on crayfish, tadpoles, minnows, frogs, insects, and other fish. They normally position themselves in or near current where food is brought downstream to them. We can see that trait in the photos here.
While the smallmouth has been introduced into Europe, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and in some U.S. waters where it was not originally found, it is actually less abundant in Wisconsin than in days past. Agriculture runoff, grazing, siltation, pollution, exotics like carp, along with dam-building has seriously degraded former smallmouth habitat in the southern part of the state. Due to this habitat loss smallmouths have become uncommon, rare, or absent in some southern Wisconsin lakes and streams where they were formerly abundant, including the Mississippi. The smallmouth's stronghold remains northern Wisconsin and these beauties alive and well in Northwest Sands waters demonstrate that fact in a striking fashion.
By this time in our diving adventure we had been in the water for a couple of hours, shot a pile of photos, and were starting to feel somewhat chilled. Although the river enticed us on we called it quits for the day and drifted back down to our entry point. We had met a lot of interesting critters who had given us gave us a fresh view of the world below and the living community found there. Instead of seeing lunker fish simply as a quivering meal pulled out of mysterious and dark waters at the end of a fishin pole, they are actually sensate living creatures with haunts and personalities of their own. When you're underwater in their domain they seem more human-like, or perhaps once underwater humans regress to an earlier stage of existence in our perceptions. In any case, with humans no longer in the river, the place quickly returned to its former wild condition.
If you would like to support this website and future writings you can help by ordering a copy of "At the Creation" my landmark book on the origin and baby years of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Even if you're not a Harley enthusiast yourself, you probably know somebody who would enjoy this action and information-packed book as the perfect gift item!
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All images copyright 2007
by Herbert Wagner
Becker, George C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin.
Clayton, Lee 1984. Pleistocene Geology of the Superior Region (WGNHS Information Circular 46).
Holman, J. Alan. 2001. In Quest of Great Lakes Ice Age Vertebrates.
Holtan, Pat. 1997. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Wis. DNR PUBL-FM-711-97.
Hubbs, Carl L. & Karl F. Lagler. 2004. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region.
Large Woody Debris in Streams, 2002. Ohio Stream Management Guide No. 21.
Lyons, John & Cheryl C. Courtney. 1990. A Review of Fisheries Habitat Improvement Projects in Warmwater Streams with Recommendations for Wisconsin. Wis. DNR Technical Bulletin No. 169.
Mecozzi, Maureen. 1989. Northern Pike (Esox Lucius). Wis. DNR PUBL-FM-707-89.
Mecozzi, Maureen. 1989. Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides). Wis. DNR PUBL-FM-709-89.
"Smallmouth Bass: Great Gamefish Series," Wisconsin Sportsman. March 1985, p.73-76.
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