These urban streams serve double-duty as naturally occurring aquatic habitat but also as part of the City of Superior's stormwater conveyance system. Have you noticed a storm drain or ditch in front of your home or business? That drain or ditch directs rain and snowmelt off roads and properties to prevent flooding, and channels the stormwater, typically untreated, directly to the nearest stream or lake. This means that your curb and gutter are essentially lake shore property. Superior residents can protect Lake Superior and local streams by properly disposing of litter from your property before it gets to sidewalks and streets where it's carried by stormwater to our local streams and Lake Superior.
Learn more about the Superior Streams here, or download a Waterways of Superior, WI brochure!
Learn more about the City's Adopt-a-Drain program.
Pokegama RiverStream Length: 26 miles
The Pokegama River is nearly 26 miles long and originates in the Pokegama-Carnegie wetlands near the Wisconsin/Minnesota border by Jay Cooke State Park and enters the St. Louis River in the City of Superior, near Dwight's Point (part of the Superior Municipal Forest). The Pokegama River provides important spawning areas for walleye, northern pike, longnose and white suckers, burbot and more.
Learn more about the Pokegama River and Dwight's Point on the Wi DNR website.
Stream Length: 3 miles
Faxon Creek is about 3 miles long, draining wetlands near Tower Ave and 39th St. as well as wetlands on the grounds of the Richard Bong Municipal Airport. It flows northwest through three campuses, including Northern Lights Elementary School, the University of Wisconsin- Superior, and Superior High School, as well as heavily developed residential areas. Faxon Creek is channelized underground for its last half-mile before feeding into Superior Bay near Barker's Island.Faxon Creek flows through some of the most developed areas of the city and its riparian area (the buffer of plants between the stream and upland areas) has been almost completely removed. Monitoring data show that the stream becomes murkier (more turbid) and more polluted the closer it gets to Lake Superior. Faxon Creek is listed on the Wisconsin DNR’s Impaired Waters list due to Degraded Biological Communities.
Stream Length: 1.6 miles
Contamination at Hog Island was severe and in 2005 Newton Creek and the Hog Island inlet were remediated under the federal Great Lakes Legacy Act, the first in the Lower St. Louis River AOC and one of the first in the entire Great Lakes system.
Learn more about the collaborative remediation activities on the University of WI-Superior, Great Lakes Commission, St. Louis River Estuary, and EPA websites.
Stream Length: 65 miles
"Nemadji" is from the Ojibwe language, meaning left-hand river—when traders approached the west end of Lake Superior, the mouth of the Nemadji was on the left; to the right was the estuary of the St. Louis. The Nemadji River bends and turns for 65 miles in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, passing through highly erodable clay and sand soils. Some bends were cutoff naturally over time and small oxbow or horseshoe lakes have been made. There are nearly 27,000 acres of wetland in the Nemadji watershed.
Currently the mainstem of the Nemadji River, from its headwaters to the Wisconsin border, and two tributaries do not meet water quality standards for beneficial uses such as aquatic recreation, drinking, and swimming due to a turbidity impairment. In this watershed, turbidity is associated with suspended sediment. Nearly 33,000 tons of sediment are discharged from the Nemadji to Superior Bay annually.
Stream Length: 18 miles
Bluff Creek (also known as Allouez River) travels about 18 miles, passing through Superior before flowing into Allouez Bay. It is an intermittent warm-water runoff stream. Frequent flood events in Bluff Creek are common. The mouth of Bluff Creek is an important spawning area for northern pike and other warm-water species.
Stream Length: ~10 miles
Watershed Area: 5,807
A portion of the stream is intermittent (contains surface water during high flow periods following rain and snow melt). The mid and downstream sample sites flow through wooded areas and contain exposed rock in the bed of the stream. The upstream site flows through a pasture and the bed consists of soft sediment with no exposed rock.
Stream Length: 9 miles