University of Wisconsin–Madison

Community Relations & Facilities

Can I bring my class for a field trip? While we do host some class field trips, our primary focus is research. Please contact Pam Fashingbauer with your information and what kind of experience you were hoping for in the field trip.

Is Trout Lake Station associated with the DNR?
No. We are part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology. We do collaborate with the DNR in research and conservation efforts.

Are speakers available for my lake association’s or civic group’s meeting? Yes. Please contact the station to schedule a research specialist to visit.

Can you answer questions about my lake? We perform a broad range of research across many lakes in the Northern Highland Lakes District. While we welcome questions, not all lakes have been studied extensively. We will answer your questions to the best of our knowledge.

Can you help identify the aquatic plants or animals in my lake? Certainly, we have many specialists available to identify any species brought in to our station.

Visit us at our open house on 3 August, 2018 from 1-5pm


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 two larger general purpose laboratories.

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.

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, trawls, fyke nets, gill nets, seines and electrofishing gear.

Our laboratories are equipped with fume hoods, two systems to provide high-quality purified water suitable for chemical sample processing, drying ovens, a muffle furnace, balances, pH meters, a spectrophotometer, fluorometer, gas chromatograph configured for greenhouse gas analysis, and a liquid scintillation counter. A set of three light-and temperature-controlled incubators are available for experimental projects and culture maintenance. We have 6 dissecting and 2 compound microscope stations. Two dissecting scopes are equipped with a digital camera and computerized measurement and counting system. A Zeiss inverted microscope is equipped for epifluorescence. The laboratory has a series of large fiberglass holding tanks, four 75-gallon fiberglass aquaria, assorted small aquaria, and a controlled-temperature incubation system for primary production measurements. Portable generators and pumps allow the use of holding tanks at remote sites throughout the region. In addition, a wide variety of other analytical equipment is available on the Madison campus.For further information, contact Pam Fashingbauer.