The rivers of Wisconsin drain either into the Mississippi River system, which flows southward into the Gulf of Mexico, or into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system, which flows eastward into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Mississippi is the only river in Wisconsin navigable by commercial vessels. It forms part of Wisconsin’s border with Minnesota and all of Wisconsin’s border with Iowa. The river’s principal tributaries in the state are the Saint Croix River, which also forms part of the Minnesota state line, and the Chippewa, Black, Rock, and Wisconsin rivers.
The principal rivers draining into Lake Michigan are the Menominee, which forms part of the Michigan state line, and the Fox and its tributary the Wolf River. Several small streams drain into Lake Superior.
Wisconsin has many lakes. In addition to lakes Superior and Michigan, there are nearly 9,000 smaller lakes scattered over the surface of the Superior Upland and Central Lowland. The largest natural lake is Lake Winnebago, which covers 534 sq km (206 sq mi). Other lakes include Lake Pepin, which was formed behind silt that acted as a dam on the Mississippi River; Green Lake; and lakes Poygan, Mendota, and Koshkonong. The largest artificially created lakes are Petenwell and Castle Rock reservoirs on the Wisconsin River, Lake Chippewa, and Flambeau Reservoir. "Wisconsin" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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