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DNR Fisheries AreasHinkson Creek 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.

Hinkson Creek drains a small watershed (9 square miles) as it flows a distance of 6 miles to its junction with Rowan Creek, a tributary to the Wisconsin River. An abundance of springs throughout the stream course maintain water temperatures capable of supporting a high quality brook trout fishery. Over 600 acres of marsh adjacent to the creek are, in general, bordered by agricultural field. Distant bluffs border the lower stream valley. For the most part, alder growth and marsh isolate the stream from surrounding land uses. Roads cross the stream at three locations.

Thirty-nine mammal species may inhabit the area. Those species which can be managed for hunting or trapping include muskrat, raccoon, red fox, mink, white-tailed deer, fox and gray squirrels and cottontail rabbits. Beaver are known to inhabit the stream.

The presence of 153 bird species has been documented in the area of the Columbia Generating Station and may also be present on the fishery area. Those of interest for hunting purposes include the common waterfowl species, ring-necked pheasants, woodcocks and ruffed grouse. It is likely such endangered species as the bald eagle and osprey, along with the threatened red-shouldered hawk and loggerhead shrike, pass through the area. Sandhill cranes have been sighted along Hinkson Creek. Cranes may nest within the proposed boundary.

Ten species of amphibians and 10 species of reptiles have been documented in the area.

The abundance of wetlands associated with Hinkson Creek, while important in maintaining excellent water quality of the stream, also provide valuable wildlife habitat.

This 233-acre fishery area contains at least one archaeological site and possibly more. Data collected by the State Historical Society in the early 1900s indicates that there was an Indian village and a campsite within or on the edge of the fishery area boundary.


Hinkson Creek Fishery Area is located in south central Wisconsin in southwest Columbia County. Hinkson Creek flows just north of the Village of Poynette, 25 miles north of Madison and 11 miles south of Portage. US Hwy 51 crosses the headwaters region of the creek and Interstate 90/94 lies immediately downstream from its confluence with Rowan Creek.


Angling opportunities

Past DNR surveys have recorded 12 fish species including brook trout, white suckers, northern muddlers, creek chubs, pearl and red-belly dace, common and blacknose shiners, fathead and brassy minnows, Johnny darters and Michigan brook lampreys. The stream is managed for brook trout. Natural reproduction occurs where the substrate is adequate in the headwaters area; however, that portion of stream is too small to be considered fishable. Stocking is necessary to provide a fishery in the downstream sections of the creek.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting - deer, waterfowl & small game
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing - trout
  • Bird watching
  • Berry picking


Hinkson Creek Fishery Area is managed to provide a public use area along Hinkson Creek emphasizing preservation and management of the trout fishery, compatible management of wildlife and forest resources and to provide for other recreational activities while maintaining the aesthetic qualities of the area.


For questions and comments contact:

Wildlife Biologist
Department of Natural Resources
W7303 County Highway CS
Poynette WI 53955

Last revised: Wednesday May 06 2020