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St. Louis/Red River Stream Bank Protection Area

DNR Fisheries Areas

St. Louis/Red River Stream Bank Protection Area
The 7,000-acre St. Louis/Red River Stream Bank Protection Area was approved in 1994. It is characterized by steep dendritic ravines that flow into the Red River, or directly into the St. Louis River. More level areas exist between the ravines and are heavily wooded. Marshy areas may make travel difficult at times. The protection area encompasses 18 stream miles and 8 state-owned islands.

The Red River gets its name from the red clay soils in the area. The Stream Bank Protection Area was purchased in order to prevent uses in these locations that would contribute to silt eroding into the river system.

Access to the protection area by land is extremely limited. Walk-in access is available from the south side of the property. The northern boundary of the property can be accessed by boat. The DNR operates a boat landing approximately 0.25 miles downstream in the Village of Oliver.

The St. Louis River and Estuary and the Red River are critical habitats associated with the western arm of Lake Superior. In 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) accepted St. Louis River for the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) [exit DNR]. The NERR System protects more than 1.3 million coastal and estuarine acres in 28 reserves located in 22 states and Puerto Rico for purposes of long-term research, environmental monitoring, education and stewardship. The St. Louis and Red River Streambank Protection Area is the largest land component in the 16,697-acre Lake Superior Reserve.


St. Louis/Red River Stream Bank Protection Area is located near Superior in the far northwest corner of the State. From Superior, take State Hwy 35 south to State Hwy 105. Go west on State Hwy 105 to the Village of Oliver, then south on County Hwy W approximately 1.5 miles to an abandoned railroad grade. This county-owned ATV trail provides access to the southern boundary of the property, however, snowmobile and ATV use is not permitted on the State-owned property itself. Access to the northern boundary of the property is typically by boat.


Angling opportunities

The St. Louis River is highly esteemed for its sport fishing. The St. Louis forms the boundary between Wisconsin and Minnesota and is widely used by boaters from each state.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Pets
  • Swimming
  • Berry picking
  • Canoeing


The main objectives are to protect the St. Louis and Red Rivers and their tributaries from siltation and bank slumping by eliminating motorized vehicle use and intensive development.


For questions and comments contact:

Property Manager
Department of Natural Resources
2501 Golf Course Road
Ashland WI 54806