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Nature and Wildlife

Chippewa Flowage

The local topography is a mosaic of rolling hills, valleys, streams and bogs that reflect the glacial origin of the landscape. The flowage's shorelands are generally forested with a mixture of aspen, birch, pine, northern hardwoods and oak. Mature aspen forests predominate but in many places longer-lived hardwoods and conifers are gradually replacing them. Almost all birds and animals that are indigenous to northern Wisconsin are found within the area and include bald eagle, osprey and loon. Wildlife viewing opportunities enhance the attractiveness of the flowage to visitors.

The waters and surrounding lands of the flowage provide abundant aquatic and terrestrial habitats. A diverse variety of northern forest and aquatic wildlife find food, nest sites and shelter along the many miles of undeveloped mainland and island shoreline.

The flowage provides exceptional nesting habitat for eagles and common loons. Keep your distance from eagle nests, and boat slowly around loon nests because large wakes can destroy them. There is a large great blue heron rookery on Banana Island. Keep your distance from May through July to prevent disturbance. Mallards, wood ducks and hooded mergansers are common. Ospreys are spotted occasionally. Large numbers of waterfowl use the flowage during spring and fall migration. Over 130 species of birds have been observed on the flowage or in the nearby forests.

Deer coming down for a drink at the lake, otters popping their heads out of water or a family of raccoons carousing along the shoreline are common sights. Occasionally, black bears, fishers and wolves are reported.

Most of the animals found on the flowage can be observed at close range if they are approached slowly and quietly, especially with a boat. Be particularly careful not to disturb nesting birds or animals with small young.