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DNR Fisheries AreasSouth Branch Oconto River Fishery Area

COVID-19 Update

On Friday, May 1 and at the direction of Gov. Evers, the department reopened state parks, forests and sites within the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway with special conditions. Four State Natural Areas remain closed: Parfrey's Glen, Pewits Nest, Gibraltar Rock and Dells of the Wisconsin River. All Wildlife Areas and Fisheries Areas are open. For more information, please visit the DNR's COVID-19 information webpage for the full list of conditions, including hours of operation, admission fees and more.

The South Branch Oconto River originates from several branches in Oconto and Langlade Counties. After they combine, the stream then dips briefly into Menominee County. The Fishery Areas commences almost at the Menominee-Oconto County line, and includes 11 miles of stream to where the north and south branches of the Oconto River merge immediately above Suring. The combined streams form the main Oconto River which flows directly into Green Bay as part of the Great Lakes drainage basin.

By the time the South Branch Oconto River reaches the Fishery Area, the stream averages over 50 feet in width. Despite the great distance from its origins, the water in the stream during the summer throughout the Fishery Area is ideal for growth of trout. Natural reproduction of brook trout takes place as well as brown trout to a more limited extent. The popularity of the stream to anglers attests to its fine trout population.


The South Branch Oconto River Fishery Area is northwest of Suring in Oconto County. There are several access/parking locations throughout the Fishery Area.


Angling opportunities

The fish population is characteristic of a cold water fishery. In addition to brook and brown trout, some forage and rough fish have been observed. The most common species are the mottled sculpin, white sucker, hog sucker, longnose dace, blacknose dace, and pearl dace.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting - deer, fowl, and small game
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing - brook and brown trout
  • Bird watching
  • Berry and Mushroom Picking
  • Canoeing


The South Branch Oconto River Fishery Area is managed to preserve, protect, and enhance the high quality fishery and habitat for a variety of recreational and educational opportunities.


For questions and comments contact:

Property Manager
Department of Natural Resources
101 N Ogden Road
Peshtigo WI 54157-1708

Last revised: Wednesday May 06 2020