Dane County offers some of the best, most diverse fishing opportunities in Wisconsin.
In the southwestern Driftless Area of the county, multiple coldwater streams provide excellent trout fishing. The Yahara chain of lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa) provide great fishing for a variety of species throughout the year. All are well known for their fantastic panfishing. Lake Waubesa, Lake Monona and Lake Wingra are all excellent muskellunge fishing lakes. In the far northwest corner of the county, Crystal and Fish Lakes provide exceptional panfish and largemouth bass action. The Jenni & Kyle Preserve offers great shore fishing opportunities for kids under the age of 16 and persons with disabilities. Fish Camp, Lake Farm, Riley-Deppe, Salmo Pond, Stewart Lake, and Token Creek County Parks also offer accessible fishing piers. Dane County also has acquired nearly 18 miles of streambank easements that provide public access (by foot travel only) for trout fishing (see maps below).
Lake Maps for the Yahara Lakes
The Yahara River chain of lakes offers anglers, whether they fish from shore or from a boat, some of the best fishing opportunities in Dane County. The Yahara River chain of lake maps provide information on free and fee-required boat launches, canoe put-ins, walk-in fishing access, accessible fishing piers, lake depths and contours, and much more. PDF maps are available for the following lakes: Kegonsa, Mendota, Monona (with Wingra), and Waubesa (with Upper Mud). Please note these maps are not intended for navigational use. Water-resistant copies of these maps are available at the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department (5201 Fen Oak Drive, Madison - Room 208)
Dane County Trout Stream Maps
Below are maps of public fishing lands and access easements for Dane County trout streams within the Black Earth Creek, West Branch Sugar River and Gordon Creek watersheds. Fishing access easements are on private property. Please respect the landowner's property and carry out any trash. Public access is by foot travel only. Easements are along the stream banks and vary in width. Anglers should try to keep as close to the river as possible to avoid encroaching on adjacent private property.
- West Branch Sugar River Watershed (PDF)
- Gordon Creek Watershed (PDF)
- Black Earth Creek Watershed (PDF)
For a list of other Dane County classified trout streams, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.
- Get the complete fishing regulations (WDNR)
- Connect with others who love fishing in Dane County at the Yahara Fishing Club and the Madison Fishing Expo.
- Learn what you can do to prevent the spread of invasive species while you’re fishing
- Check out the latest research (WDNR) to learn why lead poisoning is increasingly recognized as a killer of our fish and wildlife and learn what you can do about it.
- Learn about Eating your Catch (WDNR)