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View into wetland with an egret

The Kickapoo River Watershed (pdf) consists of 500,000 acres within Crawford, Monroe, Richland, and Vernon Counties; in addition, this watershed contains over 500 miles of streams. The Reserve is located in the Middle Kickapoo sub-Watershed. The Kickapoo River headwaters are found north of Wilton, Wisconsin (Monroe County). Although the length of the Kickapoo River Valley is approximately 60 miles, the numerous meanders yield a river length of 106 miles. The river ends at the confluence with the Wisconsin River near Wauzeka, Wisconsin (Crawford County). A comprehensive report on the Kickapoo River basin can be found through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.




The Kickapoo River is a gentle, meandering river flowing past diverse vegetation and alongside sandstone bluffs. Water quality of the Kickapoo has improved greatly over recent years. Fish studies have identified 31 species in the Kickapoo River. Water depth typically varies from less than one foot to three or four feet, yet some deep holes create a depth of over six feet. During spring thaws and after heavy rains, the Kickapoo River is known to rapidly go above flood stage ("Flash Flood"). At times, flood waters cover road and bridge surfaces. A U.S. Geological Survey water stage station at La Farge provides real time information of river flow conditions.

Five main tributaries feed the Kickapoo within the Reserve. Of these, Billings Creek, Weister Creek and Warner Creek have reputations as excellent streams for fishing brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout. Organizations and agencies such as the Coulee Region Chapter of Trout Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vernon County Land and Water Conservation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Ho-Chunk Nation have made efforts in improving fish habitats and populations through stream restoration, surveys, and other related work.

Several small ponds exist in the Reserve. Whereas these do not support abundant fish populations, the ponds do provide valuable habitat for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and aquatic invertebrates in the Kickapoo Valley.


The Kickapoo Reserve Management Board acknowledges that the state and federal lands that comprise the Reserve fall within the ancestral homelands of First Nations people including the Hooçak Nation. We recognize the sovereignty of the Hooçak and other First Nations and will work towards a shared future by continuing to create collaborative opportunities to protect and preserve these lands.

Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

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