St. Croix River (St. Croix Falls to Stillwater)


The St. Croix River forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This stretch starts at the Dalles area below the Highway 8 bridge between St. Croix Falls and Taylor’s Falls, then continues downstream to the historic lift bridge between Stillwater and Houlton, Wisconsin.

Species Present:

Walleye: average abundance, average size.
Sauger: average abundance, average size.
Northern Pike: low abundance, average size.
Muskellunge: average abundance, average size.
Smallmouth Bass: higher than average abundance, variety of sizes present.
Bluegill: lower than average abundance, smaller than average size.
Crappie: lower than average abundance, average size with some larger fish present.
Catfish: higher than average abundance, all sizes present, including record size fish.
Lake Sturgeon: higher than average abundance, average size fish with occasional larger fish.

There have been more than 60 species of fish documented from the St. Croix River. Everything from Freshwater Drum and Redhorse to American Eel and Paddlefish. Be prepared for anything.

Boat Access:

Interstate Park: Entrance to the park is on Highway 95 south of Taylor’s Falls. There is a fee to enter the park.
Franconia Landing: This site is located at the end of Franconia Trail. Turn east of Highway 95 on the 2nd road south of U.S. Highway 8. This is a small, shallow, undeveloped facility unsuitable for larger boats.
Osceola Landing: This site, operated by the U.S. Park Service, is located off Highway 243 east if Highway 95.
Log Cabin Access: This site, also operated by the Park Service, is located at the end of 205th Street N. east of County Rd 53 (Quinnell Ave N.). This facility is suitable for car top boats and canoes only.
William O’Brien State Park: Entrance to the park is on Highway 95 north of Marine on the St. Croix. There is a fee to enter the park.
Boom Site Access: This D.N.R. facility is located north of Stillwater and south of the Wayside Rest/Historical Site on Highway 95. This is a very popular facility and is often full on summer weekends.

Anglers may not travel from areas below the Arcola Sandbar to areas above the Arcola Sandbar. U.S. Park Service employees are stationed at the Arcola Bar to prohibit access up stream. Most of this area upstream of the Soo Line Railroad Bridge (the "high bridge”) is limited to slow, no wake travel. In addition, some areas around popular islands south of the high bridge are limited to slow, no-wake travel. See signs posted at access points.

Shore Fishing:

Interstate Park: Anglers may fish from shore within the park. Fishing may be hindered by overhanging trees and steep cliffs at some locations.
Osceola Landing: There is a nice picnic area adjacent to the boat access where anglers may fish from shore.
William O’Brien Park: The lower campground is a very popular site for shore fishing. Anglers also fish from shore below the outfall from Lake Alice.
Boom Site Historical Wayside: There are stairs located from the parking area adjacent to the historical marker that leads down to the river.
Stillwater City Park: anglers fish from the retaining wall in the park between the lift bridge and Stillwater Marina.

Management Plans:

  1. Special assessments as schedule permits.
  2. Stock 1,000 surplus muskellunge fingerlings when available.
  3. Monitor tagged catfish through 2013.
  4. Monitor tagged sturgeon.
  5. Monitor area for presence of invasive carp.

Aquatic Invasive Species Alert:

This river contains zebra mussels below the Arcola sanbar and Eurasian water milfoil throughout. Remove all visible plant material from your boat, trailer and other boating equipment before leaving the stream. Drain water from the motor, livewell, bilge and transom wells before leaving the water. The St. Croix River from Taylor's Falls downstream to the confluence with the Mississippi River contains Grass Carp, Silver Carp and Bighead Carp. Report any catches of these fish to the Minnesota DNR


Fishing this portion of the St. Croix can be a great experience. Angling opportunities are limited by access and shallow areas which restrict the use of larger boats. Walleye, sauger and smallmouth bass are the primary target of anglers fishing this stretch of river. A variety of other fish offer additional opportunities. Sturgeon, muskellunge, white bass and catfish are just some of the fish anglers can seek.

Traveling on this stretch of river can be difficult in normal or low water conditions. Shallow sand bars and in-stream debris make navigating challenging.

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