Surface Waters and Margins


Isabella River, BWCAW

Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...
The natural history of the northwoods


  • Province: Laurentian Mixed Forest
    • Section: Northern Superior Uplands
      • Subsection: Border Lakes
  • System: Fire Dependent Woodland


  • The Alder/Willow Wetland, about 2.5% of the BWCAW by surface area
  • Slow moving subsurface water with dense, nearly impenetrable cover of tall shrubs
  • Signature Species





  • Sedges, Carex ssp

Ground Cover

  • Feather Moss,
  • Dicranum Moss, Dicranum spp
  • Hair Cap Mosses,
  • Sphagnum Moss, Sphagnum spp

Landform & Topography:

Soils & Hydrology:


  • Generally small, slow moving, shallow, and muddy bottomed
  • Shores support marsh or bog communities
  • Signature Species
  • Common Loon, Gavia immer
  • Pied Bill Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  • Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  • Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  • American Black Duck, Anas rubripes
  • Blue Wing Teal, Anas discours
  • American Wigeon, Anas americana
  • Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  • Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus
  • Ring Neck Duck, Aythya collaris
  • Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  • Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  • American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus
  • Killdeer Plover, Charadrius vociferous
  • Solitary Sandpiper, Tringa solitaria
  • Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia
  • Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
  • Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
  • Black Tern, Chlidonias niger
  • Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
  • Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
  • Tree Swallow, Iridoprocne bicolor
  • Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum
  • Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia
  • Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla
  • Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas
  • Northern Waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis
  • Clay Colored Sparrow, Spizella pallida
  • Swamp Sparrow, Melospiza georgiana
  • Red Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Rusty Blackbird, Euphagus carolinus
  • Moose, Alces alces
  • Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
  • Beaver, Castor canadensis
  • Masked Shrew, Sorex cinereus


  • History


Lowland Plant Communities Upland Plant Communities

Boreal border

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Last updated on 30 June, 2004