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  • Watershed

    The Kinni is designated an “Outstanding Resource Water” by the Wisconsin Legislature – the highest classification possible.

    Kelly CreekIt rises north of Interstate 94 in St. Croix County, Wisconsin and flows generally southwest for about 22 miles until it empties into the St. Croix River. It is joined by several spring creeks along its course (including Parker Creek, Kelly Creek, South Fork, and Rocky Branch) draining a watershed area of 170 square miles (108,000 acres). On a typical day, the Kinni flows at 50 cubic feet of water per second.

    The Kinni watershed is characterized by scenic bluff lands, rare oak savanna, original prairie, farm land, white pine forest, wooded coulees, sedge meadows, rare and endangered plant species (including the Fameflower) , beautiful stands of white pines and plenty of open space and scenic vistas. Its feeder creeks are cold and clean, containing wild native brook trout, important spawning areas, wetlands, and many springs arising from under picturesque limestone outcroppings. Its acreage is home to deer, wild turkey, pheasants, rabbits, ducks and other wildlife. Within the Kinni watershed can be found 40 Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern species, 500 plant species (40% of all plant species found in Wisconsin), 100 non-vascular plants (mosses, lichens, etc.), and 140 bird species (50% of the species found in Wisconsin).

    Pre-settlement Kinnickinnic River canyon vegetation, National Biological Survey“The Kinnickinnic River is home to a wonderful variety of plant communities and species. From goat prairies to balsam fir stands, from weeping cliffs to sedge meadows, this river must not be taken for granted. In my estimation, this combination of plant communities and endangered species is a rare gem and must be conserved. I have seen nothing like it in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.”

    - Sara Rogers, National Biological Survey