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DNR Fisheries AreasCaves Creek Fishery Area

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Caves CreekCaves Creek fishery area is high quality trout water. The waters are generally crystal clear. There have been stream bank improvement projects throughout the system enhancing the already excellent fishing opportunities. The state ownership is 823 acres of fragmented parcels stretched along the stream's 14 mile corridor. Some of the acres are held in perpetual easement intended to protect the stream shorelines and provide access to fisherman.

The clear, spring-fed waters of Caves Creek have areas of natural brook trout reproduction throughout its 12.1 miles of stream length. Caves Creek is regarded as one of the better brook trout streams in southern Wisconsin. Fishing pressure is heavy on stream sections accessible to the public.

The vegetative cover is rich with diversity with a large portion being lowland brush and swamp hardwoods to upland forests and grasslands. Additionally, many old agricultural fields have been abandoned and are reverting to natural vegetation; others have planted into pine plantations, converted into native prairies, or continued to be farmed in share crop agreements. This unique mix of woods, water, and fields provides prime habitat for a variety of game and non-game species as well offering a pleasant satisfaction to all who visit this natural and beautiful area.

Recreational opportunities are a year round occurrence and seemingly endless, from fishing and hunting to canoeing and snowshoeing. There exists numerous parking areas scattered about the entire stretch of the property providing ample access points.

Land along Caves Creek was first acquired for fishery purposes in 1962. Caves Creek is a class 1 brook trout stream. The project includes about six miles of the creek to be managed and improved for trout fishing and other recreational uses such as hunting and trapping. The project will protect important spawning areas, allow trout habitat management, and provide public access for fishing, hunting, and other recreational uses.


The Caves Creek Fishery Area is located in northwestern Marquette County about two miles northwest of the Village of Westfield. US Highway 51 runs through the center of the property approximately 65 miles north of Madison.


Angling opportunities

Past stream surveys have shown that brook trout are the most important fish species found in Caves Creek. Although natural reproduction sustains the trout fishery throughout the entire stream length, the major spawning areas are found in the headwater area where spring feeders and instream springs are associated with gravel substrate. Other fish species present and listed in order of abundance include: blacknose dace, white suckers, Johnny darters, common shiners, mottled sculpins, creek chubs, mudminnows, brook lampreys, hog suckers, sticklebacks, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and northern pike.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Snowmshoeing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Berry and Mushroom Picking
  • Canoeing


Caves Creek fishery area is managed to preserve and enhance the Caves Creek for trout fishing and other compatible recreational activities that are consistent with maintaining an aesthetically pleasing area.

Caves Creek fishery area master plan (1987) [PDF]


For questions and comments contact:

Wildlife Management

Last revised: Tuesday March 24 2020