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John A Lawton Fishery Fishery Area

DNR Fisheries Areas

John A Lawton
John A. Lawton Fishery Fishery Area (previously named Tagatz Creek Fishery Area) is located in the northwestern quarter of Marquette County in central Wisconsin, approximately 70 miles north of Madison. The clear, spring-fed waters of Tagatz Creek have natural brook trout reproduction throughout its 16.2 miles of trout stream length. Tagatz Creek is known as one of the better brook trout streams in southern WI. Fishing pressure is heavy on those stream sections accessible to the public.

Tagatz Creek originates from ponds in the terminal moraine south of Pleasant Lake and flows southeasterly until it joins Westfield Creek. It drains a watershed area of approximately 100 square miles and ultimately empties into Lake Michigan via the Fox River.

There are roughly 200 acres of land open to hunting on this property that consists of a 50/50 split of upland prairie and swamp hardwoods.


The John A. Lawton Fishery Fishery Area is located in northwestern Marquette County just east of US Highway 51/I-39 on either side of County Hwy Z. From County Hwy Z, turn south onto 8th Drive approximately 1 mile to a parking lot.


Angling opportunities

Although natural reproduction sustains the trout fishery throughout its stream length, the major spawning areas are found in Section 21 of Newton Township and extend upstream to Section 10 of Springfield Township. Other fish species present and listed in order of abundance include blacknose dace, white suckers, Johnny darters, mottled sculpins, creek chubs, common shiners, mud minnows, brook lampreys, hog suckers, sticklebacks, bluegills and northern pike.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Snowshoeing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Berry and Mushroom Picking
  • Canoeing


John A Lawton Fishery Fishery Area is managed to preserve and enhance the fishery area for trout fishing and other compatible recreational activities consistent with maintaining an aesthetically pleasing area.


For questions and comments, contact:

Property Manager
Department of Natural Resources
427 E Tower Drive, Suite 100
Wautoma WI 54982

Fisheries Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
427 E Tower Drive
Wautoma, WI 54982
(715) 410-4222