University of Wisconsin–Madison
Center for Limnology, Trout Lake Station

Trout Lake Station

Trout Lake Station (TLS) is a year-round biological field station operated by the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that has been supporting environmental and limnological research, training, and outreach in the northwoods of Wisconsin since 1925.  TLS is located in the Northern Highland Lake District, provides access to a wide variety of aquatic ecosystems and their surrounding landscapes including the Northern Highland-American Legion Sate Forest and Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, and is well-equipped to support both short- and long-term visits. TLS is also in close proximity to all of the NEON Domain 5 research sites.


The Station

Our all-season laboratory is a 10,000 sq. ft., two-story structure located on the south shore of Trout Lake. The main building contains multiple small laboratories and offices that are assigned to researchers as needed. In addition, rooms equipped with aquaria, microscopes, incubators, and general use computers are available for common use. The station also has a library, large (75 people) and small (6 people) conference rooms, a main office, a gear storage area and several general purpose laboratories.


Trout Lake Station is well-equipped to provide access for researchers to nearly any aquatic site in the Northern Highland Lake District. Major field gear includes: four-wheel-drive trucks, numerous boats equipped with motors and trailers, and four canoes. Scuba gear is also available. A snowmobile, ice augers, and snowshoes are available for winter field work. Four instrumented buoys are deployed on nearby lakes. We have most standard collecting gear for general limnological work including peristaltic pumps with in-line filtration, meters and probes to measure light (PAR and full spectral characteristics), temperature and oxygen in situ, plankton samplers, fyke nets, and electrofishing gear.

Click here to read about ongoing research at Trout Lake Station. If you are interested in doing research at Trout Lake Station, please contact Susan Knight, Station Interim Director, at or call 715-356-9494.


Six year-round cabins/houses and four seasonal cabins can accommodate 37 people year round and 48 during May-October. All cabins have fully equipped kitchens and the year-round buildings have bathroom/shower facilities. Residents of the seasonal cabins use a centralized bathroom/shower building. All housing units have WiFi available.


UW-Trout Lake Station is located in Vilas County, Wisconsin, USA (46 deg 01’N,89 deg 40’W). The closest commercial airport is Rhinelander-Oneida Country (RHI) in Rhinelander, WI (37 miles/60 km southeast of the station). Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) in Mosinee, WI (80 miles/130 km south) is served by more airlines andhas more daily flights