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C. D. Besadny Fish and Wildlife Area

COVID-19 Update

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, please visit our COVID-19 information webpage for the most up to date information on property access, building closures, camping cancellations, event cancellations and more.

C. D. Besadny Wildlife Area

C. D. (Buzz) Besadny Fish and Wildlife Area is a 2,632-acre property located in Kewaunee County. Find it west of Kewaunee with many access points (see map). The property is comprised mostly of forest, wetlands, river (warm water), stream (cold water) and grasslands. Ahnapee State Trail [exit DNR] runs through the property.


Property history

The C. D. "Buzz" Besadny Fish and Wildlife Area was established in 1957 to manage fish and wildlife resources associated with the Kewaunee River and surrounding landscape. The property is located in eastern Kewaunee County and contains one of the largest wetland complexes bordering Lake Michigan as well as one of the largest remaining blocks of forest in the county.

Management objective

The fishery portion of the project consists of the Kewaunee River, a warm water stream, and Little Scarboro Creek, a cold water stream. The Kewaunee River has native populations of smallmouth bass and northern pike. It also receives seasonal migration of trout and salmon from Lake Michigan. Recreational fishing is very popular during these seasonal runs for both species. The Little Scarboro, a tributary of the Kewaunee River, is a Class I brook trout stream with a self-sustaining fishery.

The wildlife portion of the project is managed for a whole host of species. The area provides habitat particularly for songbirds, waterfowl, water birds and upland game. It supports a diversity of birdlife due to its proximity to Lake Michigan, the varied habitats present. This area is also migration corridor for many raptors and other birds. Portions of the property receive annual pheasant stocks for hunting opportunity. Forest are primarily lowland, consisting of cedar and bottomland hardwood species.

Interim Forest Management Plan (2013) [PDF]


The C. D. Besadny Fish and Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Fishing - salmon, steelhead, inland trout and bass
  • Hiking
  • Hunting - especially noted for waterfowl, pheasants (2 p.m. closure and Hen-Rooster Area rules apply), small game and deer
  • Snowmobile trail
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

C.D. Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility is also located within the boundaries of the property. This facility collects eggs from great lakes trout and salmon for propagation. A unique viewing window allows visitors to see fall and spring runs of fish as they enter the facility. Call ahead for tours.

  • Location: 3884 Ransom Moore Lane - off of County Highway F, west of Kewaunee, on the west bank of the Kewaunee River, Kewaunee County
  • Dates: March - December, public viewing window open at all times
  • Hours: Site is open daily, dawn to dusk. Building is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday
  • Telephone: (920) 388-1025
  • Note: Call ahead for tour information (minimum 10 people).


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: Tuesday March 24 2020