WXPR The Stream Water in Wisconsin's Northwoods and Michigan's Upper Peninsula serves as the basis of life and health. With countless lakes, rivers, springs, and aquifers, water is also linked with the very identity of this region. As a service to our listeners, WXPR is pleased to announce the creation of a new reporting position with a specific focus: water.
WXPR The Stream

WXPR The Stream

From WXPR

Water in Wisconsin's Northwoods and Michigan's Upper Peninsula serves as the basis of life and health. With countless lakes, rivers, springs, and aquifers, water is also linked with the very identity of this region. As a service to our listeners, WXPR is pleased to announce the creation of a new reporting position with a specific focus: water.

Most Recent Episodes

Bringing Back History: The Attempt To Restore Wild Rice On Spur Lake

Pete McGeshick II looked out upon Spur Lake and thought about what used to be. "The lake was full," he said. "The rice bed was full all the way around." Wild rice used to grow thick on the 113-acre undeveloped lake in eastern Oneida County. It grew tall, too. "You could come out here and you could see people harvesting wild rice," McGeshick said. "A lot of them, you couldn't even see because the wild rice was so high." McGeshick, a Sokaogon Chippewa tribal member and former Rice Chief, is 80

Urban Wetlands, A Flood-Control Tool, Face Threats Under New Trump Administration Rule

The construction on Stevens Street on Rhinelander's north side is nearly complete as heavy machinery rumbles by the auto dealerships that line the road. But Tom Jerow didn't come to look at a car or check up on the road work. "I see a beautiful wetland with lots of diverse vegetation that are indicators of wetlands," Jerow said. Wedged between Rhinelander Toyota and the Aspirus Clinic is a low-lying wetland with tamaracks, cattails, and reeds. Jerow is a retired regional water division leader

Urban Wetlands, A Flood-Control Tool, Face Threats Under New Trump Administration Rule

Half Of Wisconsin's Wetlands To Lose Federal Protection, Conservation Groups Estimate

Walking out onto a muskeg, or wetland, the first things most people notice are the sensation of sinking and sound of suction. Saturated sphagnum moss, or peat moss, covers the wetland. It's walkable, but only with knee boots on. Legs sink to calf-level. They're buoyed by the moss, although water seeps in. But upon arriving at this wetland in Iron County, Aaron Marti first noticed a different sensation. "If you take a deep breath," he said, "you can get a bit of a whiff of, it's kind of a sweet,

Half Of Wisconsin's Wetlands To Lose Federal Protection, Conservation Groups Estimate

How Do Professionals Manage Local Trout Streams? Often, It's Through Explosives

In this line of work, projects don't start with a bang. They end with one. With a booming explosion on Tuesday morning, a portion of stream at the headwaters of Big Haymeadow Creek in Langlade County again flowed freely, a beaver dam blasted out of the way. Jeremy Irish, an assistant district supervisor with the USDA's Wildlife Services program, triggered the blast, undoing some of this year's construction by beavers in the area. In the process, he cleared another portion of one of northern

How Do Professionals Manage Local Trout Streams? Often, It's Through Explosives

Ashland Sees Historic Oredock Redevelopment As Bridge To The Future

A walk to the end of the Ashland Oredock feels like a walk out onto Lake Superior for Ed Monroe. "We're out amongst the buoys and the shipping lane," he said. What's left of the Oredock--a slender tongue of concrete--juts 1,800 feet out from the city of Ashland. Not long ago, the superstructure, a hulking mass of metal, would have risen 80 feet over his head. During the Oredock's operation, and after it was out of use, kids used to play out here, fishing and even jumping off the top. But even

National Forest Continues Recovery After Massive 2016 Flooding

The water flow on a little creek in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is modest. In fact, the stream is small enough that it has no name. Officially, it's Unnamed Tributary to Morgan Creek. But on July 11, 2016, it was just one of the unassuming streams that heavy rainfall turned into rushing rivers in this area of the National Forest. "Roads were gone. Bridges were gone. Culverts were gone," said Jim Mineau, a hydrologist for the National Forest. This area is near the Ashland-Bayfield

Objectors: National Forest Choosing Wrong 'Fork In The Road' With Northwoods Cutting Project

On a sunny day in a shaded forest, Don Waller and Dave Zaber, two environmental professionals, came across an orchid growing on the forest floor. This part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River is maturing, with tall trees, a shady canopy, and a cooler temperature. It's good orchid habitat. But that might change soon, Zaber said. "We're in a proposed cutting unit of the Fourmile timber sale," he said. The National Forest has slated this area for selective harvest, part of

Objectors: National Forest Choosing Wrong 'Fork In The Road' With Northwoods Cutting Project

Wisconsin-Based Evinrude Stops Boat Motor Production, Surprising Local Repair Shops

On a hot, sunny day last week, Jim Montgomery pulled a 1958 Evinrude Lark outboard motor outside his repair shop for a tune-up. Montgomery pointed to the "fancy chrome on the hood," a sign that, although the motor is now vintage, it was considered deluxe at the time. Montgomery owns Duke's Outboard Service just outside Rhinelander. Long ago, he lost count of the number of Evinrude motors he's fixed. "I have no idea. Just a lot. Thousands," he said. But that stream of Evinrudes coming into his

Wisconsin-Based Evinrude Stops Boat Motor Production, Surprising Local Repair Shops

Northwoods Lake Research Shows How Angler Catch Rates Can Stay High, Abruptly Crash

Northwoods fishermen and women love when the fish are biting often, offering excitement with every cast. Frequent catches mean the fish population in a lake is doing well. Right? Maybe not. New research shows, in many lakes, the fishing stays good until it abruptly collapses. That research largely belongs to University of Notre Dame PhD candidate Colin Dassow, whose days of research can sometimes feel more like recreation. "I fish for work," Dassow said. "I do this eight hours a day, sometimes."

Northwoods Lake Research Shows How Angler Catch Rates Can Stay High, Abruptly Crash

Facing Invasive Species, Lake Groups Struggle With Decisions About Chemical Treatment

During the first week of June, a boat sprayed chemicals into the waters of Anvil Lake in Vilas County for the first time. It was applying an herbicide called 2,4D, targeting Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive species whose presence in the lake has grown and grown. The decision to use chemicals in treating the problem was difficult and often controversial for lake leaders. But it's a decision more and more lake groups in the Northwoods are forced to consider as invasive species spread. In

Facing Invasive Species, Lake Groups Struggle With Decisions About Chemical Treatment

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