The Milwaukee River’s North Branch Subwatershed covers an area of 149.7 square miles spread between four counties: Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington. The North Branch Milwaukee River begins in the Nichols Creek State Wildlife Area in Sheboygan and flows 28 miles until it meets the main channel of the Milwaukee River in Ozaukee County. The seepages and springs in the 612 acres of the Nichols Creek State Wildlife Area are one of the originating sources of the Milwaukee River. The North Branch Subwatershed is primarily rural, its land cover is 45% agricultural, 15% wetland, 20% grasslands, and 14% forested. Urban land use in the Subwatershed makes up less than 5% of the total coverage. As a result, the North Branch of the Milwaukee River is made up of a network of small tributaries that meander through primarily natural or agricultural land. Approximately 60% of the 100-foot riparian area surrounding streams in the North Branch Subwatershed is classified as wetland, and only around 2% is listed as urban or developed (WDNR 2016). Conversely, the 100-foot riparian buffer of the Milwaukee River Estuary is almost exclusively classified as urban/developed land use, with only small pockets of forests making up about 1% of the land cover (WDNR 2016). Much of the lower Milwaukee River Watershed deals with balancing aquatic habitat flood management because of urban development, while habitat within tributaries of the North Branch Subwatershed is often limited by the lack of water contributing to streamflow (especially in late summer months). The land use characteristics and hydrology of the North Branch of the Milwaukee River make it unique from its southern counterparts.