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Fox River NRDA Preserves Habitat on the Oneida Reservation
Midwest Region, September 18, 2019
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Habitat Preservation on the Oneida Reservation
Habitat Preservation on the Oneida Reservation - Photo Credit: Oneida Nation
Habitat Preservation on the Oneida Reservation
Habitat Preservation on the Oneida Reservation - Photo Credit: Oneida Nation

The Fox River, located in eastern Wisconsin, was contaminated in the 1950s with hazardous chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs impacted not only the water quality, but native fish and wildlife, as well as how the local communities and Native American Tribes use their natural resources.

 

The Fox River Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees cost shared with Oneida Nation for the purchase of 93 acres within the Oneida Reservation for the preservation and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat. Through this land purchase, the Nation will protect a reach of Duck Creek, important wetlands, and part of a cold-water trout stream that is a tributary to the Bay of Green Bay.
Very few trout streams left in Brown County. Fish species important to the Oneida people such as northern pike and white suckers will benefit from this project, as will migrating waterfowl. Mallards and wood ducks in particular will benefit from having hardwood swamp and riparian wetland habitat. Mink and the wood turtle will utilize the riparian corridor and the bald eagle will benefit with seasonal migrations of healthy fish in clean water.
In addition to preservation, the Oneida Water Resources Team now has the opportunity to address negative impacts to these types of riparian corridors. This purchase will focus on agricultural portions for protection and to repair serious erosion and habitat degradation issues within these areas. This will be done either by reforesting portions of the parcels or planting a native prairie mix or a combination of habitat enhancing activities and erosion prevention.
Adding the opportunity to access and improve stream habitat enhances the ability of the people of Oneida Nation to harvest clean fish which continues to play a key role in the Oneida way of life. These waterways were historically used for fishing and gathering annually.


Contact Info: Trina Soyk, 920-866-1737, trina_soyk@fws.gov
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