Stiles Project, Oconto River, Wisconsin

HRC or member-contributed


Hydropower Reform Coalition


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License SummariesMidwestPublished   6/1/2009


  1. License Issued: Feb 26, 2003
  2. Expiration: Feb 25, 2033
  3. Waterway: Oconto River
  4. Capacity: 1.0 MW
  5. Licensee: Oconto Electric Cooperative
  6. County: Oconto
  7. Federal lands: None
  8. Brief Project Descriptions:
    • 30-foot-high and 2,160-foot-long earthen embankment dam
    • 463-acre reservoir (Machickanee Flowage) with a storage capacity of 2,300 acre-feet
    • A powerhouse containing two units with a total capacity of 1,000 kW
    • Other appurtenant facilities.



1. Operation [Reference: License Article 401]

For the first three years, the project will be operated in a peaking mode. At the end of the third year, the project will be operated in a run-of-river mode. In the run-of-river mode, the elevation of the reservoir will  be maintained at 623.4 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD). Run-of-river may be temporarily modified after consultation with Wisconsin DNR.

2. Reservoir Drawdown [Reference: License Article 402]

Reservoir drawdown shall not occur in April, May or June. This is to protect the near-shore fish spawning and nursery activities. Drawdowns may occur at other times but only with consultation from Wisconsin DNR, FWS, and Machickanee Flowage Advancement Association (MFAA).

3. Water Quality [Reference: License Article 404]

Within six months and after consultation with Wisconsin DNR and FWS, the licensee will develop a plan to monitor dissolved oxygen (DO) and water temperature once every five years.

4. Exotic Species Control [Reference: License Article 407]

An Exotic Species Control Plan contained within the license addresses the spread of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in the project area. The Plan describes the monitoring as well as the measures to control the spread of exotic species.

5. Bald Eagle Protection Plan [Reference: Article 408]

The license includes a Bald Eagle Protection Plan developed in consultation with Wisconsin DNR and FWS to protect the bald eagle and its habitat. It includes measures such as preserving canopy, maintaining nest information and conducting annual inspections of the land area.

6. Land Management Plan [Reference: Article 409]

The land management plan in the license aims to protect and enhance the project’s scenic, recreational, and other environmental resources.



The license also requires the licensee to:

  • Implement the Programmatic Agreement to protect cultural resources (Article 412). The Agreement was between FERC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the State of Wisconsin (State Historic Preservation Officer), and the State of Michigan (State Historic Preservation Officer for Managing Historic Properties).

Prepared: June 2009

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