U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Whittlesey Creek
National Wildlife Refuge

coastal wetland with forest behind
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
29270 County Hwy. G
Ashland, WI   54806
E-mail: whittleseycreek@fws.gov
Phone Number: 715-685-2678
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Whittlesey Creek Refuge protects coastal wetlands on Lake Superior.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located on Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake, by surface acres, in the world. Wetlands along the coast of Lake Superior, especially those found at the mouths of stream tributaries, help feed the lake.

Wetlands make up less than 10 percent of the coast of Lake Superior but are critical for the production of the lake's aquatic plants and animals, including its fishery. Lake sturgeon, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch and several species of trout utilize coastal wetlands at some stage in their lives. Many birds, such as ducks, herons, and warblers use them for shelter and food during migration. Rails and warblers nest in the habitats along the creek.

One of the reasons that Whittlesey Creek Refuge was established is to protect the remaining coastal wetland habitat in Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay. Other refuge habitats include sedge meadows, lowland hardwood swamps, black spruce swamps, and abandoned agricultural fields. Whittlesey, Little Whittlesey, and Terwilliger creeks flow through the refuge, collecting water from the many cold-water spring upwellings in the streams and bordering wetlands.

One of the goals of the refuge is to work with partners to restore coaster brook trout into Whittlesey Creek. Coaster brook trout is a native form of trout that spends at least part of its life in Lake Superior. However, it is gone from the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior.

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