Watersheds in the Region

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    The divide between the Flambeau River watershed and the Wisconsin River watershed runs through the town of Star Lake. Ballard Lake is in the Flambeau watershed and Little Star (and thus Star) is in the Wisconsin River watershed.

    The "[Sub]continental Divide is located on Highway B, west of Land O'Lakes towards Presque Isle. Lakes and streams to the north of the highway run towards the St. Lawrence Waterway, south runs into the Mississippi Watershed. This spot is marked near Devil's Lake. "Where to Go and What to See in Vilas County" 1982

    Note: A continental divide separates watersheds that flow to different oceans. There are three oceans surrounding North America: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic, thus there are three continental divides in North America--between the Atlantic and the Pacific, between the Pacific and the Arctic, and between the Arctic and the Atlantic. Because of the high ridge of the Rockies, we tend to think of the divide that runs down that spine as a single divide, and pay little attention to the divide that runs from Triple Divide Peak in Glacier Park in Montana to the Canadian East Coast.

    A subcontinental divide separates watersheds that flow to the same ocean but to different gulfs or seas. The subcontinental divide that goes through Star Lake separates the waters flowing to the Gulf of Mexico via the Missiissippi River (through the Wisconsin River) from the waters flowing to the Gulf of St. Lawrence through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Both gulfs are part of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Charles P. Forbes
    August 28, 2009
  • Bibliography

    Major References

    Bates, John. River Life [Manitowish River]. Mercer, 2001. View Full Entry
    Berquist, Goodwin, Ed.. Natural Resources of Northern Wisconsin. [Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, Vol. LIII, Part A, 1964] Madison, 1964. View Full Entry
    Master et al.. Rivers of Life: Critical Watersheds for Protecting Freshwater Biodiversity. [A NatureServe Publication] Arlington, VA, 1998. View Full Entry
    O'Donnell, D. John. Watersheds: Points to Ponder. [Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin, 32:2, Mar-Apr 1967, pp. 16-19.] Madison, 1967. View Full Entry
    Oakes and Cotter. Water Resources of Wisconsin: Upper Wisconsin River Basin. [Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-536] Washington, 1975. View Full Entry
    Radloff, Gene. Where To Go and What To See in Vilas County. [One page, mimeo] Eagle River, 1982. View Full Entry
    Sapper, Becky. Our Watershed, Our Water. Ashland, 2002. View Full Entry
    Scientific American. Great Lakes Drainage Area. ["The Aging Great Lakes" Scientific American, Nov. 1966] 1966. View Full Entry
    Sloss, Brian. Musky Genetics. [Wisconsin Natural Resources, Vol. 32, #4, August 2008, pp. 22-23.] Madison, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    UWSP, WI Co Fish Res Unit. Annual Report October 2008 - September 2009. Stevens Point, 2009. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Young and Hindall. Water Resources of Wisconsin: Chippewa River Basis. [Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-386] Washington, 1972. View Full Entry
    Zaporozec, Alexander. Groundwater Levels in Wisconsin. [WI Geological & Nat Hist Survey, Educ. Series 15: Series includes a summer for 199101993, and annual summaries for 1994-1999.] Madison, 1999. View Full Entry (Full text available)

    Minor References

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  • Miscellany


    From "Musky Genetics" (A report on musky genetic research, "College of Natural Resources, UW Stevens Point): Our tests show a definite split in the genetic makeup of musky populations from the northeastern areas of the state (including the Upper Wisconsin and Upper Chippewa River drainage areas) and the northwestern portions. These distributions and differences do not correspond to contemporary fish management units suggesting these differences are more the result of long-term, natural variations.

    "One of two explanations or a combination of the two likely describe the current patterns we're seeing. First, the Upper Chippewa River musky populations and the eastern Lake Superior populations may have historically been connected to the upper Wisconsin. This would explain the genetic heritage we are documenting in these fish. Secondly, the influence of stocking cannot be eliminated."

    The 2008-09 Annual Report of the UW Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit noted: "Two contemporary management units, the upper Chippewa River and the Lake Superior, failed to resolve suggesting historical genetic boundaries and contemporary watershed boundaries are not congruent for these two units. Further delineation and resolution of stock boundaries within the state will provide for more accurate and efficient management of Wisconsin's muskellunge resource."