Gilbert Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area
Gilbert Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area is a 241-acre property approximately 7 miles west of Menomonie on State Highway 29. This property is divided into two units. The unit west of County Highway Q can be accessed via driveway parking off of Highway 29. The unit east of County Highway Q has several parking areas providing access. Two parking lots are located on the east side of Highway Q and a third is located on the south side of County Highway N. Driveway parking is also available on the north side of Highway N.
The north and south forks of Gilbert Creek are the predominant features of the eastern portion of this property. These narrow, cold water trout streams meander through a considerable portion of the eastern unit. The area bounding the creeks is primarily an open landscape comprised of marsh and savanna. North of Highway N in the eastern unit is a wooded hillside.
The western unit is comprised of primarily lowland brush transitioning to central hardwoods on the hillside.
Acquisition of lands for the Gilbert Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area began in the early 1960s to protect and provide public access to Gilbert Creek and the associated wetland complex. Land acquisition is still active in this area today, primarily through the Fisheries program, in an effort to protect and restore trout habitat in the creek.
Extensive grazing had caused a great deal of degradation to the stream banks of Gilbert Creek, creating a poor fishery. Since the mid 2000s, the primary management objective on this property has been the restoration of the creek and the adjacent uplands.
Department trout habitat crews have worked extensively to restore the banks and channels of both forks of the creek to their pregrazed conditions. This restoration has included bank stabilization and placement of structures within the creek. In addition, work has been done on the uplands to remove unwanted brush and trees such as boxelders. The open areas have also been planted to a mix of warm and cool season grasses.
The wooded portions of this property are monitored for invasive species and are managed as wooded wildlife habitat.
For more information on master planning for this and other wildlife areas around the state, visit the property planning page.
The Gilbert Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:
- Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
- Hiking (no designated trail);
- Hunting (especially noted for deer, bear, turkey, pheasant, waterfowl and small game);
- Wild edibles/gathering; and
- Wildlife viewing.
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If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.
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