Wolf River

Watershed/Basin 3,690 square miles

Northern Pike head

Northern Pike caught during a DNR fishery survey on the Wolf River (Widow Bay)

Unlike the Fox River, the Wolf River begins its journey in the forests of Northern Wisconsin.   It is a river robbed of its glory, for it carries more water than the Fox River when the two meet.  Therefore, there should be no Lower Fox River, it should end at Lake Butte des Morts.  The Wolf River should keep its name until it mixes with the waters of Green Bay, but after several centuries, this technicality hardly matters anymore.  The Wolf has had much less commercial boat traffic than the Fox River historically, but what it did floated downstream and had much larger impact on the early industrial economy.  Millions of Eastern White Pine logs were rafted down the Wolf, collected and put into booms at Lake Poygan’s Boom Bay and sent down to the growing City of Oshkosh to be converted into the raw lumber that built the Mid-West.  In addition to 2x4s, planks and lath numerous manufactures turned the old growth pines into window sashes, doors, matches and other products.  eventually the old-growth pines were no more and the rafts of logs dried up.

Spring fishing boats on the Wolf River

Early spring fishing on the Wolf River can make for crowded water.

The Wolf River is home to the largest run of Lake Sturgeon in the world.  It is also the highway for most of Lake Winnebago’s walleyes on their journey to spawning marshes adjacent to the river, an unusual place for walleye to spawn.

WDNR Wolf River Basin

Wolf River Bottoms

Wolf River at Wolf River Bottoms

Wolf River Floodplain Forest

Wolf River floodplain forest after the water has receded in spring.