Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Parisi: County Reaches Agreements to Open More Stretches of Sugar River for Public Fishing

January 30, 2017
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the county will acquire a new fishing easement along the Sugar River to make it easier for trout fishing in the popular fishery. The easement will run through a 40 acre parcel in the Town of Montrose that contains a meandering stretch of the West Branch of the Sugar River.


“With our lakes, streams, and rivers, Dane County has some of the best fishing in the state,” said County Executive Parisi.  “By working with property owners in the Sugar River watershed, we’re making more areas of the river open to fishing, canoeing, and other outdoor recreation that’s part of the quality of life that keeps our county thriving.”


The West Branch of the Sugar River is a cold-water trout stream identified as a Tier I Stream Project in the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan 2012-2017.  The purpose of the easements is to provide permanent public fishing access, protect water quality, and preserve fish and wildlife habitat. 


To date, Dane County has secured over 19 miles of public fishing easements, forever protecting these areas and ensuring they’re available for public use. Overall, the Dane County Streambank Easement Program is an affordable and efficient way to provide permanent public access to restored trout streams while keeping the property in private ownership and without negatively impacting surrounding agricultural uses. 


The purchase price of this easement is the appraised value of $42,390.


A resolution approving the purchase was introduced Thursday, January 12 to the Dane County Board. Once approved by the board and signed by Dane County Executive Parisi the county will close on the property later this spring.


In 2015 Dane county acquired more than 100 acres south of Paoli, a property that includes over 4,800 feet of frontage on the Sugar River. This is after the County's historic acquisition that forever protected more than 450 acres and several miles of the Sugar River just north of Paoli. That property, now named the "Falk Wells Natural Resource Area," has since had parking areas developed to improve outdoor recreation and access to the river for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.