The Mighty Wisconsin River
When I travel through the state on my get lost rides, inevitably I come across a river, usually several in one day’s drive. I love rivers, and Wisconsin has some good ones. I almost always take some photos of them. I’m going to start posting some photos of them in this section. Each river posted shows on the sidebar. I started this posting effort on August 1, 2014.
Wisconsin is river country, with more than 12,000 rivers and streams traveling through 84,000 miles. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says this about Wisconsin and her rivers:
- “About 32,000 miles of these streams perennially run, or continuously throughout the year; the remainder flow intermittently during spring and other high water times.
- “There are nearly 2,700 trout streams in Wisconsin; put end to end, they would stretch more than 10,370 miles.
- “The Mississippi River winds its way through about 200 miles of Wisconsin and drains the third largest area of land in the world. With its 250 tributaries and branches, the river drains 41 percent of the country’s water from all or part of 31 states.
- “More than 100 varieties of warm water fish are found in the Upper Mississippi.
- “Wisconsin rivers and streams host about 4,700 dams of varying sizes, more than half of them owned by private individuals. The state owns 19 percent, and townships and county governments own 16 percent.
- “More than 50 percent of Wisconsin dams were built for recreational purposes, 13 percent to generate power, and 10 percent for fire control reasons or to create farm ponds.
- “Wisconsin has one of the longest free–flowing stretches of river, the Baraboo River, in the nation. The removal of four dams in the 1990s has allowed canoeists and other boaters to enjoy a 112–mile free flowing stretch of this river.
- “Wisconsin has nearly 1,600 stream and river miles designated as "outstanding" and recognized as the state’s highest quality water resources.
- “Kayakers and other whitewater enthusiasts will find 503 miles of whitewater rivers to challenge them.”
I also wish to mention here that Wisconsin has an enormous amount of water underground, known as aquifers. The DNR describes aquifers this way:
“An aquifer is an underground formation that can store and transmit water. Most of Wisconsin is underlain by thick, permeable deposits. These layers of rock and soil make up our state’s four major aquifers: 1) the sand and gravel aquifer, 2) the eastern dolomite aquifer, 3) the sandstone and dolomite aquifer and 4) the crystalline bedrock aquifer.”
The DNR has a nice paper on the subject with some good graphics.