Get to Know Your Streams

Wisconsin has more than 80,000 miles of streams and now there’s a comprehensive, photo-packed guide unlocking the secrets of the plants, fishes, insects, frogs and reptiles that call them home.

The field guide was co-authored and edited by a trio of state stream scientists and is available at a discount through the publisher, the University of Wisconsin Press.

“The long-awaited Field Guide to Wisconsin Streams represents a major achievement, drawing on the knowledge of more than 150 contributors from within the DNR as well as external partners and institutions,” said Susan Sylvester, a longtime DNR water manager and head of DNR’s water quality program.

“They have produced a field guide originally intended to help our biologists and others who manage streams, but it’s beautifully illustrated and easy to use and will be a great companion for anyone who explores and cares about Wisconsin’s streams.”

Mike Miller, the lead author from DNR, says the impetus for the field guide was that about six years ago he hired a field crew to do stream surveys across the state and the person doing the fish identification work was using a field guide for eastern states, which didn’t have many of Wisconsin’s fish species.

More than 1,200 images illustrate the species in the field guide, and there are descriptions of the species, lookalikes, and distribution maps. The guide identifies: more than 130 common plants, all 120 fish species known to live in Wisconsin streams, eight crayfishes, 50 mussels, 10 amphibians, 17 reptiles and 70 families of insects. For more information visit