While you’re out looking for your new honey hole for the upcoming fishing season, Washburn County will be sure to have what you’re looking for. Here are some fun fishing & lake facts about our area that you may want to know while exploring for the perfect spot to cast a line.


  1. Did you know Washburn County has nearly 1,000 lakes?! 964 to be exact, according to Washburn County Lakes & Rivers Association (WCLRA). Not all of those lakes are named, but they are out there and some of the best fishing can be found on those little “no name” lakes. If you pick up a Washburn County Highway Map you will see where the public access landings are for you to take advantage of.
  2. The majority of Washburn County’s lakes are incredibly healthy. To continue the health & clean water of our nearly 1,000 lakes, WCLRA has started placing decontamination stations for boaters to use before and after being out on the lakes. This measure helps prevent the spread of potentially invasive species which have been found in other Northwest Wisconsin lakes.
  3. Washburn County is proud to be home to both the Walleye Capital and Bluegill Capital of Wisconsin. Long Lake is very proud of their title as the Walleye Capital, which they have held since June of 1977. In addition, Birchwood is very well known as the Bluegill Capital. Be sure to take a selfie with the famous Birchwood Bluegill; located right on Highway 48 as you enter Birchwood.
  4. Aside from all those lakes, there are 700 miles of rivers & streams throughout this county! Included in that striking number are 13 trout streams and 99.5 miles of Wisconsin’s Moving National Park, the Namekagon River. The water options seem almost endless with numbers like those.
  5. Washburn County is also home to the Governor Tommy G. Thompson State Fish Hatchery, also known as the Spooner Fish Hatchery. The hatchery has the capacity to produce up to 2.5 million 1.5” to 2.0” walleye fingerlings, 100,000 6” walleye fingerlings, and 100,000 8” to 12” muskellunge and/or northern pike fingerlings. Visitors are able to experience the hatchery’s visitor center Monday - Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  6. Last, but not least; did you know that you could adopt a musky? It is actually a rather easy process, just fill out the application and then watch it grow! The WI DNR will be able to scan their PIT tag and track their measurements. You can even get an official adoption certificate - that’s how you know it’s official.


For more Washburn County fun and to learn about all of the great places to explore in the area, visit the Lakes page of our website. To start planning your “fish-venture”, order your visitor information packet today.