Bad River Watershed Association

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Welcome to the Bad River Watershed Association

Started in 2002 by a group of local dedicated citizens, the Bad River Watershed Association was formed as a non-profit to promote a healthy relationship between the people and natural communities of the Bad River watershed by involving all citizens in assessing, maintaining and improving watershed integrity for future generations.

The Bad River Watershed (BRW) drains over 1,000 square miles along Wisconsin’s north shore. The headwaters are found in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The lower one-third of the watershed is land of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribes of Chippewa Indians Reservation. Small, rural communities including Mellen, Odanah, Gurney, Mason, Grand View, Delta and Marengo are scattered throughout the watershed. The Kakagon Slough/Bad River Slough, located at the mouth of the watershed on Lake Superior, is the largest and possibly most pristine freshwater estuary remaining on Lake Superior and is the only remaining extensive coastal wild rice wetland in the Great Lakes Basin. The Bad River watershed is home to sturgeon spawning grounds, pristine coldwater trout streams, prime wolf and habitat, and many more outstanding plant, fish and wildlife communities.

Connecting People, Land, and Water

Water Chemistry Volunteers Attend Quality Control Session

BRWA Water Chemisty volunteers gathered at Northland College on the evening on April 1st to test the accuracy of their sampling techniques and equipment. Dr. Sharon Anthony hosted the event in her lab in the Northland College CSE, and helped by preparing standards to test and assisting with oversight. The volunteers did very well - their techniques were sound and their results were accurate. We host at least one water chemistry quality control session each year to help volunteers with any questions or difficulties they may be having, to restock their LaMotte sampling kits, and to ensure that we continue to collect high-quality data. Our thanks to Sharon Anthony and Northland College for hosting this event, and to the volunteers for attending.



BRWA Kicks off 2015 Watershed Words Lecture Series


On March 22nd, BRWA hosted Dick Rewalt of the Mason Area Historical Society (MAHS) for his presentation, "Historic Logging on the White River." This program the first of our 2015 Watershed Words Lecture Series.  Around 40 people attended the presentation held at the Delta Town Hall. Dick spoke for an hour and a half about the path and methods of transporting logs down the White River to Mason during the early 1900s. The presentation featured many photographs of the logging infrastructure on the White River, including historic and recent aerial images, as well as a 3D tour of the saw mill in Mason. Some of the original wood cribbing is still in place in the White River. It is possible to visit some of these sites, though the structures are most visible through aerial photography.

The MAHS has been able to piece together substantial information (and some guesses) about how the White River was altered to suit the needs of the logging industry, and how the day-to-day operations took place. This is thanks in part to local residents' stories and donated photographs. People with information or historic photographs of the logging that took place along the White River are welcome and encouraged to share them with the MAHS to help with their ongoing research. Stay tuned for more upcoming Watershed Words presentations!


BRWA Featured in Penzeys Stories and Recipes

Tony Janisch, BRWA Executive Director, was interviewed several months ago by Penzeys Stories and Recipes. The interview highlights the work of BRWA and volunteers, and emphasizes the importance of clean water in all our lives. Check out the article by following the link below!


Raffle Winner Drawn at Book Across the Bay

This year's Book Across the Bay, an event to raise money for community programs, was held on Valentine's Day. The "Book" is open for both competitive and non-competitive skiing, snowshoeing, running, and walking. The Bad River Watershed Association had its display booth in the registration tent this year. We were pleased to see that, in spite of a cold and windy morning, a great number of people came to the event, many from other states.

BRWA held a raffle at the event for a package including a one-night stay at the new Blue Wave facility in Ashland, two equipment rentals from Solstice Outdoors, 2016 Book Across the Bay registration, a $25 gift certificate from the Delta Diner, a winter hat embroidered with the BRWA logo donated by Heart Graphics of Ashland, a Penokee Mountain calendar by Joel Austin, one pound of wild rice from the Bad River/Kakagon Sloughs, and a quart of maple syrup donated by Bobbi Rongstad. Our thanks to everyone who donated toward this awesome raffle package, and to everyone who purchased raffle tickets. BRWA raised $850 from this event. Ana Tochterman was the lucky raffle winner! Congratulations, Ana!


Get a BRWA T-Shirt!

We just got a fresh order of t-shirts in! We have unisex sizes S-XXL. Get one shipped to you for a donation of $20, or $15 if you pick it up in person at the BRWA office.

Ways to get a t-shirt:

a) Online via PayPal
i. Go to (you're already here!)
ii. In top right corner, click the “Donate” button
iii. In the Special Instructions box, type "T-shirt" and specify size and quantity.

b) Mail check to:
PO Box 875
Ashland, WI 54806
ii. On memo line, write "T-shirt" and specify size and quantity.

c) Come visit our office at 101 W Main St, Suite 204 in Ashland, WI M-F 9:00 AM-4:00 PM. If possible, call in advance at 715-682-2003.


Join or Give Today!

Amazon make a wish

Take Our New BRWA Poll

How do you think the Bad River Watershed Association benefits the local community?


Current Issues


Follow us on Twitter