The Pine and Popple Rivers, virtually unaltered by man, flow through a semiprimitive area of forests, lakes, and glacial hills. White-water streams, natural lakes, fish and animal life, and abundant vegetation contribute to the unique recreational and aesthetic characteristics of the area. Resource planning or development should recognize the interrelationships within the hydrologic system and the possible effects of water and land-use changes upon the wild nature of the area.
The basin covers about 563 square miles in northeastern Wisconsin. Swamps and wetlands cover nearly 110 square miles, and the 70 lakes cover about 11 square miles. The undulating topography is formed by glacial deposits overlying an irregular, resistant surface of bedrock.
An annual average of 30 inches of precipitation, highest from late spring to early autumn, falls on the basin. Of this amount, evapotranspiration, highest in mid summer and late summer, averages 19 inches; the remaining 11 inches is runoff, which is highest in spring and early summer.
Ground water from the glacial drift is the source of water for the minor withdrawal use in the basin. Ground-water movement is to streams and lakes and regionally follows the slope of topography and the bedrock surface, which is generally west to east. Ground water is of good quality, although locally high in iron.
The major uses of water are for recreation and power generation. Domestic use is slight. No water is withdrawn from lakes or streams, and no sewage or industrial wastes are added to lakes or streams. Most of the flow of the Pine River is used for power generation. The main stems of the Pine and Popple Rivers contain 114 canoeable miles, of which 95 percent is without such major obstructions as falls or large rapids. In general streams support cold-water fish, and lakes support warm-water fish. Trout is the principal stream and game fish in the basin.
The basin has no significant water problems. Future development between the Pine River power plant and the mouth of the Pine River should have little effect on the western two-thirds of the basin, already largely protected by public ownership or development planning agreements.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
The Pine-Popple River basin--Hydrology of a wild river area, northeastern Wisconsin
Water Supply Paper
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
iv, 57 p. :ill., maps (some fold. col. in pocket) ;24 cm.