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Totogatic Wildlife Area master planning effort in progress now.

Contact information
For information on the wildlife area, contact:
Wildlife Management

Totogatic Wildlife Area

Acquisition of totogatic Wildlife Area began in 1941 and was completed in 1951 comprising a total of 2719 acres. This project was funded originally through the Pittman-Robertson Act as a waterfowl restoration area. A 600 foot dike and 70 foot dam were completed in 1953 which flooded approximately 1000 acres with about 400 acres of open water. Fifteen miles of roads were constructed on the property to improve access and provide fire breaks.

A 35-acre impoundment was created on the south edge of the property in 1956 to improve muskrat habitat and nesting islands were created here for waterfowl. Boat landings were built at both ends of the flowage to provide public access. Active timber management provides a diverse forest with a focus on quality wildlife habitat. The flowage is now used more heavily for fishing than waterfowl hunting and is a popular place in spring and fall for viewing migrating waterfowl. Osprey nesting platforms have been placed on the property.

Totogatic Dam
Totogatic Dam

Since 2014, the Totogatic Flowage has been drawn down approximately two feet to alleviate pressure on the Wozny Road dam, which is currently in deteriorating condition. The current height of this spillway is approximately 4.5 feet. Additional drawdowns will be considered as needed for safety and ecological purposes.

Due to the current condition of the spillway and dike along Wozny Road, the department must remove the current spillway. The actions following spillway (dam) removal may include dam replacement, or stream channel restoration of the Totogatic River. The Totogatic River is designated as a "Wild River" 500 feet downstream of the dam.

When the dam was constructed in the 1950s, the deck that spans the dam was not designed to sustain constant vehicle traffic. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is currently in the planning process of re-routing Wozny Road, which travels over the dam. A new route to the north will create sound infrastructure and address long-term transportation needs between Washburn and Sawyer counties.

Assessments have been conducted on various aspects of the dam and flowage, including the fishery, wild rice presence, recreational uses, sediment, wildlife values and long term costs associated with dam reconstruction or abandonment.

Master planning efforts are nearly underway to re-write the 1981 Totogatic Wildlife Area Master Plan - public input opportunities will be available in 2016. More information will be available on the DNR website as it becomes available, and a separate master planning process will include the Totogatic Wild River properties located near Minong, through the Northwest Barrens Master Plan.


Currently hunting, trapping, fishing, snowshoeing, bird watching and canoeing are the main recreational activities taking place on the property. Cross country skiing takes place on the property although there are no groomed trails. Snowmobiles and ATV’s are allowed only on designated county routes.

Presently, it is managed for wildlife recreational activities and to provide wildlife habitat.


The Totogatic Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Fishing
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

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: Wednesday July 05 2017