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Wildlife Management

Tichigan Wildlife Area

Tichigan Wildlife Area is a 1,521 acre property in northwest Racine County. The property can be found approximately four miles northwest of the village of Waterford off of Marsh Road and can be accessed off of Marsh Road, Bridge Drive and North Lake Drive.

The Tichigan Marsh in pre-settlement times was part of the Fox River system and formed an extensive emergent marsh. It was an area that supported a variety of wildlife species including waterfowl, deer, muskrats, wetland birds and songbirds. As settlers moved in, the landscape changed (e.g. ditching, roads, farming, etc.) and in 1838 a dam was built on the Fox River in Waterford, approximately four miles downstream from the current wildlife area. The dam resulted in the 351 acre lake that abuts the marsh and the wildlife area and that reduced the size and nature of the marsh.

Habitat on the property consists of oak woodland, lowland woodland, shrub-carr wetland, wet meadow, cattail marsh, shallow marsh, grassland and agricultural fields. Tichigan Creek, a class III trout stream, runs through the south part of the property providing fishing opportunities. A No Entry Refuge exists on the north side of the property, west of the river, where hunting and trapping are prohibited. A boat launch located just outside the refuge, off of North Bridge Road, provides access to the Fox River and Tichigan Lake. Wildlife on the property includes deer, turkey, waterfowl and other small game. Pheasants are stocked on the property.

Tichigan is featured in the Lake Michigan Region of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail [exit DNR] as a property on which to see great egrets, least bitterns, terns, teal, wood ducks, Wilson's phalaropes and white-rumped sandpipers. It is also listed as a Natural Area-2 (NA-2) by the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission in the natural areas report, A Regional Natural Areas and Critical Species Habitat Protection and Management Plan for Southeast Wisconsin. Tichigan Marsh is the largest emergent marsh in Racine County.

Management

The Tichigan Wildlife Area is identified as place for managing high quality wetland communities of statewide significance within the Southeast Glacial Plains Ecological Landscape according to Wisconsin's Wildlife Action Plan [PDF]. It is managed to provide opportunities for public hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation while protecting the qualities of the unique native communities and associated species found on the property. Grasslands are managed and maintained through prescribed burning, mowing and herbicide use to limit brush encroachment and encourage vigorous grasslands. Wetlands are managed through limited disturbance to prevent the spread of reed canary grass. Shelterwood harvest and thinning improvement cuts are used to maintain and regenerate oak and central hardwoods. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or bio-control.

Recreation

The Tichigan Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing - Tichigan Creek (class III trout stream) and Tichigan Lake
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting - especially noted for deer, waterfowl, turkey, pheasant (2p.m. closure) and small game
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

Maps

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.

Last revised: Monday September 23 2013