Located along the west shore of southern Green Bay, the Suamico/Little Suamico River watersheds have some of the most productive wetlands remaining in the Great Lakes system. In fact, more than 50% of Lake Michigan’s remaining wetlands are located along the west shore of Green Bay. Small perennial and intermittent streams and connected wetlands provide high quality fish spawning and rearing habitat, especially for Northern Pike which reside in Green Bay as adults. Many other wildlife species, from songbirds to waterfowl, also benefit from this type of habitat. Green Bay’s ecosystem however has been severely disrupted by wetland loss and mismanaged stream networks from intense development pressure and agriculture practices.
The scarcity of top predator species such as Northern Pike has been recognized as a significant problem in the waters of the Bay. With over 70% of historic wetlands along the west shore already having been lost, this project presents a tremendous opportunity to have a positive impact on the entire ecosystem of the Bay by preserving and/or restoring the remaining intermittent and perennial stream/wetland networks that still exist in these watersheds. Stabilization and protection of these areas will reduce sedimentation and nutrients which now flow into the Bay from land within the watersheds.
Goals and Objectives
- Establish vegetated riparian buffers along intermittent and perennial streams that are considered potential production areas for Northern Pike.
- Establish/restore/protect wetlands that are contiguous to Northern Pike spawning migration routes.
- Reduce sediments, nutrients and pesticides entering the stream network from construction and agriculture production areas to protect spawning habitat and help improve water quality in the Bay.
- Improve access to upstream spawning and rearing habitat sites for adult Northern Pike.
- Increase public awareness of the extremely high importance of maintaining a balanced predator species population in the Bay to not only support recreational fishing opportunities but also to help control the spread of unwanted invasive fish species now living in the Bay.
- Buffers – 20’-150’ wide, $2500/acre
- Critical area plantings - $1300/acre
- Wetland restoration – $1500/acre
Who is eligible?
Any landowner within the Suamico/Little Suamico watersheds that have streams and/or wetlands on their property which have been identified as having the potential to be beneficial for the protection and restoration for Northern Pike spawning and rearing habitat.
What is a buffer?
Buffers are strips of land located next to wetlands and waterways that are planted with grasses and/or trees to help capture the runoff of soils and chemical pollutants flowing off of adjacent upland areas due to land disturbances or agriculture practices.
How do I get my questions answered or sign up?
Contact Dave Wetenkamp with the Brown County Land and Water Conservation Department at (920)391-4639. At no cost or obligation to you, staff will inspect your land to see if it qualifies for the program. For those qualifying, staff will work with landowners to determine which practices are best suited for their land and design a plan that will meet the needs of the program as well as the needs of the landowners.