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




August 3, 1-5pm
The event is free and open (rain or shine) to the public.

Learning how a fyke net works as folks prepare to board pontoon boat for a “research cruise” on Trout Lake.

Join us for our 8th-annual Trout Lake Station (TLS) Open House, Friday, August 3 from 1 to 5 pm for a chance to get a first-hand look at what research is going on at the station this summer, as well as meet the scientists and students conducting it!

Activities for visitors will include riding out on pontoon boats on Trout Lake, meeting some of the fish that call Wisconsin’s northern lakes home, learning to tell invasive species from natives, and talking with scientists about the state of Wisconsin lakes and our role in keeping them healthy for future generations.

There will also be aquatic-themed crafts for kids, an art exhibition of material produced by the station’s annual “Artists in Residence,” and, of course, free Babcock Dairy ice cream brought up from the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus!

Scientists at the the Center for Limnology conduct research all over the world, exchanging knowledge and helping to solve global environmental problems. We hope you’ll join us at TLS where researchers are doing world-class research on Wisconsin lakes.

Paul Shramm explains the FLAMe

With stations manned by TLS staff and student researchers, guests are able to learn about the small mammals who forage in local forests, what it means when a tree is bendy, how to build a battery from bog water, what that giant buoy on Trout does, how to pinpoint zooplankton under the scope, why aquatic hitchhikers must be stopped and how to identify fish and aquatic plants.

Trout Lake Station is located at 3110 Trout Lake Station Drive (between Hwy 51 and Hwy M). For more information, call 715-356-9494 or e-mail


Science on Tap Minocqua

Forget the lecture, at Science on Tap-Minocqua, you won’t find jargon or a PowerPoint presentation – we search for scientists who are good at well, not sounding like a scientist. Our topics are wide ranging, spanning issues from bacteria to bees and from a search for life on other planets to a search for the perfect pint.

The series provides a forum where the public engages experts in an informal, two-way conversation about important issues of the day.  Speakers provide 15 or 20-minutes of opening remarks, then the floor is opened for questions, letting the audience join the conversation. The result is a dynamic, engaging community gathering.

Science on Tap-Minocqua is the result of a unique partnership among UW-Madison’s Trout Lake Station, UW-Madison’s Kemp Natural Resources Station, the Lakeland-Badger chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Minocqua Public Library and the Minocqua Brewing Company and exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea – that the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state.

Events are held at the Minocqua Brewing Company, a restaurant in downtown Minocqua, on the first Wednesday of each month. This relaxed setting, combined with the accessible program format, fosters public engagement. But you don’t have to make your way to the brewery to join the discussion – interested members of the public can also watch a live stream at the Minocqua Public Library, watch a live stream from your home over your own Internet connection or watch our archived programs online.

Free, fun and open to everyone! We hope you’ll join us at the Minocqua Brewing Company for Science On Tap Minocqua!  For those wishing to eat at the Brewery before or after the event, mention Science on Tap and get 10% off. And, if you can’t join us in person, you can still watch the show and ask questions on line.

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