Skip to main content

Namekagon River Fishery Area (Remnant)

DNR Fisheries Areas

The Namekagon River fishery area is a 152.5-acre property, consisting of two separate parcels, in eastern Washburn County.

The Namekagon River fishery area is dominated by aspen stands of varying age classes interspersed with stands of oak, white birch and lowland brush. The property borders the Namekagon River which is a designated wild and scenic river [exit DNR] because of its wild and scenic values. The property provides public access to the river for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, trapping and other compatible outdoor recreational activities.

The waters of the Namekagon River are generally shallow and rocky and not suitable for the use of boats. The Namekagon is a very popular river for canoe and kayak day trips. Numerous launch and pull out sites managed by the state, counties and National Park Service are available along its course.

The Namekagon River upstream from Hayward is a cold water habitat and has received national recognition for its quality fishing. Naturally reproducing brown and brook trout are plentiful. The section from Hayward downriver to its confluence with the St Croix is a transition zone. Here trout become fewer and smallmouth bass begins to dominate, while walleyes and northern pike begin to increase in numbers. Other species in the river sought by anglers include muskellunge, lake sturgeon, catfish, white and yellow bass and panfish.

The Namekagon River fishery area was formed when the Wisconsin Conservation Commission purchased 108.7 acres in 1962 and an additional 43.8 acres in 1963. The intent of the project was to provide public access to the Namekagon River while also providing a public fishing and hunting area. Today the department manages unimproved river access, in cooperation with the National Park Service, to provide users of the river a launch/pull out site.


The fishery area is located east of Springbrook along the south bank of the Namekagon River. To get to the western parcel travel .7 miles east of Springbrook on U.S. highway 63 and turn south on Larson Road and travel an additional 1.9 miles and arrive at the property. The eastern parcel is located an additional 4 miles west on Larson Road and then .5 miles north on County Hwy E. There is a landing, managed in cooperation with the National Park Service, to access the Namekagon River on the western parcel.


Angling opportunities

Anglers can gain access to the Namekagon River from the provided unimproved boat launch. Species generally sought by anglers include smallmouth bass, brook trout, brown trout, muskellunge, walleye, catfish, northern pike and panfish.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Fishing
  • Hunting - deer, bear, small game
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Bird watching
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Cross-country skiing


The Namekagon River Fishery Area is managed to provide a public access site to the Namekagon River while also providing a public fishing and hunting area and allowing other compatible recreational and educational uses.

Timber sales have been used to manage the upland habitats for wildlife, timber production and compatible outdoor recreational opportunities. Since the Namekagon River is a federally designated Wild River, management activity is limited with a buffer zone surrounding the river. These restrictions help to maintain the rivers wild and scenic values.


For questions and comments contact:

Property Manager
Department of Natural Resources
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI 54801

Fisheries Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI 54801