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DNR Fisheries AreasBlack Earth Creek Fishery Area

Black Earth Creek Fishery Area is a pleasant mix of a high quality trout stream flowing within a wide green agricultural valley. The parcels typically mix stream stretches with adjoining riparian corridors that grade from a wet margin of jewelweed, aster, and reed canary grass into shrub, then sparse woodlot, then pasture or cultivated crop. The corridor alternates from open to partially canopied. There are small pockets of low lying sedge and wetland. The stream is a class 1 coldwater fishery characterized by high gradient, coarse substrates, with much meandering and pleasant riffle - pool sequences.

Recognized as a premier trout destination and regionally significant and unique resource, much attention has focused here. The history includes millpond removal to initially restore the stream, followed by intensive DNR habitat work to improve trout holding and production potential as well as public access. Subsequent high profile events include intensive priority watershed work with the dairy farmers to correct nonpoint runoff, Village and surrounding development planning to limit stormwater impacts, water use discussions, and land use decisions. The history here is deep, multi-layered, and dynamic.

Location/Directions

The Black Earth Creek Fishery Area follows both the north and south banks of Black Earth Creek, beginning west of Middleton and proceeding westward to east of Black Earth in Dane County. Access to the stream and adjacent lands are from US Hwy 14 and town roads and County Hwy KP. Multiple road accessible entry points are well marked with either yellow standards, signage, and where possible, parking areas.

Activities

Angling opportunities

The creek is designated as a class 1 trout stream and as such receives no stocking.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking (no established trails)
  • Snowmobiling trail (on marked trails)
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Berry picking
  • Geocaching (with property manager approval)

No overnight camping or fires are allowed. Signage indicates permitted and prohibited uses.

Objective

The Black Earth Creek Fishery Area is managed for stream restoration, trout habitat, and public access.

Contacts/Partners

For questions and comments contact:

Fisheries Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
3911 Fish Hatchery Road
Fitchburg WI 53711
608-273-5946

Partners:

Black Earth Creek Watershed Association [exit DNR]

Last revised: Monday February 20 2017