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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
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Whittlesey Creek Refuge protects coastal wetlands on Lake Superior.
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Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge is part of a large wetland complex on Lake Superior, near Ashland, Wisconsin. These coastal wetlands are a significant part of the wildlife habitat and aquatic resources of the south shore of Lake Superior.

The refuge was established in 1999, and it is still being created. Its purpose is to protect, restore, and manage coastal wetland and spring-fed stream habitat. Up to 540 acres of coastal wetland in the Whittlesey Creek watershed will be acquired, and up to 1,260 acres will be protected through conservation easements.

Restoration of coaster brook trout, an anadromous fish native to Lake Superior, is one of the refuge goals. The refuge will also restore stream and wetland habitat to benefit other fish species and migratory birds.

The refuge is located immediately north of the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, which is operated by the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Wisconsin State Historical Society, University of Wisconsin Extension Service, and Friends of the Center Alliance, Ltd. The Center serves as the headquarters and contact station for the refuge.

Getting There . . .
The refuge is located along Wisconsin State Highway 13, just north of the junction with U.S. Highway 2, in Northern Wisconsin. It is easiest to access the refuge from the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, which is at the intersection of County Highway G and U.S. Highway 2. Signs direct travelers to the Center off Highway 2.

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Wildlife and Habitat

We like to refer to Whittlesey Creek as the "Little Refuge on the Big Lake."

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When Asaph Whittlesey, one of the first European settlers to the Whittlesey Creek and Ashland area, saw the land in 1850, he saw an abundance of timber and other natural resources.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
Since the Whittlesey Creek Refuge is relatively new, management and restoration actions are being planned. Management will include restoration of in-stream fish habitat, stream-side habitat and wetlands, both on the refuge and on private lands.

As we acquire lands, we begin our management by removing old buildings and developing restoration plans. We restore wetlands by plugging drainage ditches and allowing the areas to re-fill with water. We also restore forest habitat along spring-fed creeks that flow through the refuge.

To help restore the Coaster brook trout, the Service and its partners will stock different-aged fish, from adults to eggs, into Whittlesey Creek from 2003 through 2008.