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Wildlife Management

Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area

Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area

The Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area is located about one mile southwest of the City of Lodi and straddles the Dane County and Columbia County borders. This property contains an intact and diverse mix of wetland and upland ecosystems in a very scenic setting. The Lodi Marsh State Natural Area is a large wetland complex with numerous springs and spring runs, southern sedge meadow, fen, shallow marsh, shrubcarr with some cattail marsh and disturbed-low prairie. The principal upland habitat types are oak woodlands, oak openings, surrogate grasslands and a small remnant dry prairie.

The wildlife area provides excellent hunting opportunities for turkey, deer, squirrel and rabbit. Pheasant hunting opportunities are supported by the department pheasant stocking program. The ongoing grassland restoration efforts are improving the quality of the habitat for grassland birds and pheasants. Trapping for muskrat, beaver and otter is also popular at Lodi Marsh.

A 2.5-mile segment of the 1,000-mile Ice Age Trail (IAT) [exit DNR] crosses the property and is regularly used by hikers and birders who enjoy the scenic vistas and natural setting. Other activities include morel hunting in the spring, enjoying the spring water, the occasional hearty canoe paddlers willing to portage fallen trees in the wetland and winter activities such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Management

The management objectives for Lodi Marsh State Wildlife Area include:

  • enhancing the diverse, high-quality habitats for game species (deer, turkey, furbearers) as well as for the incredible diversity of pollinators and non-game species that make this site unique.
  • Provide a high quality recreational experience for hikers, anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Department staff and volunteers have been working to restore prairie, savannas and woodlands throughout the property using prescribed fire, re-seeding of native plants and control of invasive plants. As funding allows, we are using a forestry mower to reclaim brush and trees that have taken over grass fields and the wetlands. Existing grassland units are being enlarged through the removal of trees that fragment adjacent fields. This should enhance habitat conditions for the state-threatened Henslow's Sparrow as well as provide better brood cover for turkeys and pheasants. Existing grassland units are being diversified through interseeding to improve habitat for moths and other pollinators as well as to provide better brood cover for game and non-game species.

The Columbia County master plan was completed in 2012 and guides the long term management of this property. Progress toward achieving the goals of the master plan are tracked through annual monitoring reports.

Recreation

The Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding [exit DNR]
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Firewood permits available upon request
  • Fishing
  • Hiking (Ice Age Trail [exit DNR])
  • Hunting - waterfowl, turkey, pheasant (stocked), deer, squirrel and rabbit
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing
Master Plan

The Natural Resources Board approved a new master plan in December 2012 for this property as well as 19 other state fish and wildlife properties and associated state natural areas. These properties are mostly within Columbia County, but portions lie within Dane, Marquette and Sauk counties.

Columbia County Planning Group Master Plan [PDF]
DNR PUB-LF-066 2013
Maps

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

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

Useful links
Last revised: Monday February 20 2017