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Leader Lake Fishery Area

DNR Fisheries Areas

Leader Lake
The Leader Lake Fishery Area is a 72.5-acre property located in southern Douglas County. Leader Lake Fishery Area is primarily dominated by timber stands of scrub oak with pockets of white pine, aspen, oak and wetlands. The fishery area provides carry in access to several lakes including Pickerel Lake, Leader Lake, Bond Lake and Whitefish Lake. The property also offers users maintained hiking trails throughout the property where users can enjoy the lakes for their natural beauty and relatively undeveloped shoreline.

Pickerel Lake offers anglers abundant panfish, good numbers of northern pike and a small population of largemouth bass. Leader Lake contains abundant populations of largemouth bass and northern pike while panfish and walleye are present in lower numbers. Largemouth bass are common in Bond Lake while panfish, smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike are present. Whitefish Lake offers an excellent fishery with trout being common and panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye present.

The Leader Lake Fishery Area was gifted to the state of Wisconsin in 1987 by the Marjorie Crabb Estate. The property was donated to protect its wild and natural values while also accommodating use for hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing and other quiet compatible outdoor activities.

An area of lakeshore and littoral zone habitat on the south shore of Whitefish Lake that has been designated as a Sensitive Area borders a portion of the Leader Lake Fishery Area. Sensitive areas are areas of aquatic vegetation identified by the DNR as offering critical or unique fish and wildlife habitat, including seasonal or life-stage requirements, or offering water quality or erosion control benefits to the body of water.


The fishery area is located 7.5 miles west of Wascott. To get to the fishery area from U.S. Hwy 53 in Wascott, turn west on County Hwy T and travel 4.9 miles and turn north on South Apple Lake Road. Travel an additional 1.5 miles and turn east on South Bass Lake Road and travel 1.1 miles and arrive at the property. There are several parking lots located along South Bass Lake Road.


Angling opportunities

Anglers can gain access to the lakes from shore, by canoe/kayak and boat from the provided carry in access sites.

Recreational opportunities

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Bird watching
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Swimming


The Leader Lake Fishery Area is managed to provide public carry in access to a chain of several lakes while also providing a public fishing and hunting area and providing for additional quiet outdoor recreational activities and to maintain walking/hiking trails throughout the property for public enjoyment.

Timber sales have been the primary management tool to enhance wildlife habitat and timber value while protecting the shoreline characteristics. Walking and hiking trails have been maintained to promote public enjoyment of the property. A carry in access site with ADA accessible parking was installed in 2004 on the western shore of Leader Lake.


For questions and comments contact:

Fisheries Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
6250 S Ranger Rd
Brule WI 54820