St. Croix River (Stillwater to Mississippi River)

Location:

Lake St. Croix refers to the lower portion of the St. Croix River from Stillwater to Prescott along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

Species Present:

There have been more than 60 species of fish documented from Lake St. Croix. Those of primary interest to anglers include the following:
Walleye: Above average abundance, average size. There is a 15” minimum size limit for walleye on the St. Croix.
Sauger: A close relative of the walleye. Average abundance, average size.
Northern Pike: below average abundance; above average size.
Muskellunge: Low abundance, average or above average size. Some large fish are present.
Largemouth Bass: Low abundance, average size. There is a 14” minimum size for largemouth bass on the St. Croix.
Smallmouth Bass: Average abundance, average size. There is a 14” minimum size on smallmouth bass on the St. Croix.
Bluegill: Lower than average abundance, average size.
Crappie: Average abundance; average size.
Catfish: Average abundance; all sizes available. The state record catfish for Minnesota (70 pounds) comes from the St. Croix. Channel catfish exceeding 25 pounds are also present.
White Bass: Locally abundant, but average abundance for the entire lake, all sizes available.
Lake Sturgeon: Low abundance, large size fish available. Fish exceeding 50 pounds have been caught here.

Boat Access:

Boom Site Access: This state owned site is located on the St. Croix River just north of Lake St. Croix, 2 miles north of the Stillwater Bridge along highway 95 (St. Croix Trail).
St. Croix Bluffs County Park: This facility is operated by Washington County. There is a fee to enter the park, but no fee to use the access. The park is located 7 miles south of Afton on Stagecoach Trail (Washington County Road #21).
Anderson Windows: This is a dead end road adjacent to the Anderson Window manufacturing facility in Bayport. Parking is limited to designated city streets. No parking of vehicles with boat trailers is allowed on Anderson Corporation property.
Bayport Marine: This private facility allows boat launching and parking of vehicle/trailer units for a fee. This marina is located just south of Anderson Windows adjacent to the Bayport City park.
Windmill Marina: This facility is located in Afton, Minnesota. They allow launching and parking for a fee.
Beanie's Resort: This facility also has a launch fee. It is located just below the I-94 bridge in Lakeland. Exit I-94 at the Highway 95 exit. Turn south to the first road on the left (Eighth street N.) Follow Eighth Street N. to Quixoite Street, then turn right to the facility.

There are additional facilities with launch fee on the Wisconsin side of the river in Hudson.

Shore Angling:

King Plant Electrical Generating Facility: Exel Energy allows shore anglers to fish in the discharge channel to the King Plant. The entrance to the plant is off highway 95 at the north end of Bayport. Follow the signs to the designated parking area for anglers.
Lowell Park in Stillwater: This facility is in downtown Stillwater on either side of the historic lift bridge.
Hudson City Park, Hudson, Wisconsin: The city of Hudson has an extensive park area west of Main Street. Included within the park is an old causeway of the pre-I-94 highway 12. Anglers may fish on either side of the causeway.
St. Croix Bluffs County Park: Anglers fish at the mouth of the entrance to the boat access lagoon. There is a small amount of additional shoreline available in the park.
Point Douglas County Park: This is another Washington County facility, but there is no fee for use of this park. There are shore fishing structures located at the extreme east end of the park, just above and under the U.S. highway 10 bridge to Wisconsin. The park can be reached by traveling east on highway 10 from U.S. 61.

Management Plans:

 

  1. Conduct special assessment if staff are available.
  2. Stock 4000 muskie fingerlings in odd numbered years.
  3. Monitor tagged catfish thru 2013.
  4. Monitor tagged sturgeon.
  5. Monitor commercial fishermen in attempt to determine presence of asian carp.
  6. Conduct LCCMR funded white bass study 2011 - 2013.

Exotic Species Alert:

Lake St. Croix contains Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels. Remove all vegetation and drain all live wells, bait containers and any other water reservoirs before leaving the lake.

Comments:

Fishing on Lake St. Croix is often limited by extremely high level of recreational boating. Angling for walleye and sauger is the most popular fishing activity on this lake. There has been increased interest in muskie angling in recent years. White bass and crappie populations tend to fluctuate greatly. Anglers should be aware that most fish taken from the St. Croix are contaminated with mercury or PCBs. Refer to the Health Department recommendations for consumption advisories.

More information about Lake St. Croix