Description - The United States Fish and Wildlife Service established Whittlesey Creek in 1999 with the intention of protecting and restoring the lower Whittlesey Creek, nearby wetlands and a portion of the Lake Superior shoreline. As of this writing, 97 of the proposed 540 acres have been acquired.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
A young cottontail sits motionless
Whittlesey Creek NWR has enormous value to the fish, wildlife, and people of the Chequamegon Bay area due to its location along the coastal area of Lake Superior at the mouth of Whittlesey Creek. As part of a large wetland complex at the head of Chequamegon Bay, tributary streams provide habitat for migratory birds and anadromous trout and salmon. These coastal wetlands are significant, shallow water ecosystems in an otherwise very cold and deep lake. Whittlesey, Little Whittlesey and Terwilliger creeks flow through the refuge collecting water from the many coldwater spring upwellings in the streams and bordering wetlands.
- Located adjacent to the Whittlesey Creek NWR guests can tour the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center which is 2.5 miles west of Ashland. Situated on the Bayfield Peninsula, views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands are outstanding. An exhibit area brings to the life the natural and cultural history of northern Wisconsin. Visitors can look back at glacial development, Native American influences, the fishing and fur trade industries, mining operations, and the development of Lake Superior lighthouses. A 5-story observation tower and boardwalk trail over cedar wetland completes the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center experience. It is open everyday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Future recreation developments include environmental education, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and demonstrating restoration and management techniques.
Note: The Whittlesey Creek NWR office is housed at the center.
Recreation - Recreations unfold as development occurs on the newly established Whittelsey Creek NWR. At present, a visitor center offers exhibits about the region's history and ecosystem.
Climate - Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.
Whittlesey Creek NWR is located three miles east of Ashland on Highway 2.