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DNR Fisheries AreasWhite River Fishery Area (Waushara County)

White RiverThe White River System Fishery Area includes some of the choicest trout waters found anywhere in the State of Wisconsin. The streams on this system are renowned for their ability to provide quality trout angling year after year, and the fact that they are among the few trout streams in all of Wisconsin where a naturally reproducing population of rainbow trout exists.

The White River Fishery Area is composed of the White River and four tributaries; Soules Creek, Lunch Creek, Bowers Creek, and the West Branch of the White River. These streams are high quality trout waters. The water is generally crystal clear. The Main Branch of the White River is the largest stream within the system, and each of the other streams ultimately flows into it on its passage to the Fox River, a major stream on the Lake Michigan watershed.

Soules Creek flows into the Wautoma Pond, but the stream flowing from the pond is known as the Main Branch, White River. It flows south and east, picking up the combined Bird and Bowers, Mud and West Branch streams in turn before it flows into Dahlke Flowage. Lunch Creek flows into the Main Branch after it flows from Dahlke Flowage and before it flows into Neshkoro Pond, outside of the fishery area. Soules Creek is actually the headwaters of the Main Branch of the White River. It originates as a series of spring feeders northeast of the City of Wautoma.

Lunch Creek Sign
DNR Photo

Lunch Creek is cold water trout stream that flows into the Lower White River Mill pond. Lunch Creek has several springs and tributaries that maintain thermal stability and high oxygen content. In addition, the tributaries serve as important spawning and nursery area for trout. The adjacent wetlands and uplands serve as important buffers to protect this high quality water source. The upland dry prairie is important because this property is on the edge of the Area of Conservation Emphasis as Stated in the Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

The vegetative cover is rich with diversity with a large portion being lowland brush and swamp hardwoods to upland forests and grasslands. Additionally, many old agricultural fields have been abandoned and are reverting to natural vegetation; others have planted into pine plantations, converted into native prairies, or continued to be farmed in share crop agreements. This unique mix of woods, water, and fields provides prime habitat for a variety of game and non-game species as well offering a pleasant satisfaction to all who visit this natural and beautiful area.

Recreational opportunities are a year round occurrence and seemingly endless, from fishing and hunting to canoeing and snowshoeing. There exists numerous parking areas scattered about the entire stretch of the property providing ample access points.

Location/Directions

White River Fishery Area consists of various parcels of land around the City of Wautoma in Waushara County.

Activities

Angling opportunities

The fish species composition of the waters of the White River system is characteristic of a coldwater fishery. The principal fish species found include: brown, brook and rainbow trout, mottled sculpins, hog and common suckers, common and blackchin shiners, Johnny and fantail darters, longnose and blacknose dace, and creek chubs. A few game and panfish, including largemouth, rock bass, and northern pike, are present and probably originate from warmwater lakes and ponds that are in, or drain into, the system.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling - (designated areas only)
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Berry and Mushroom Picking
  • Canoeing
  • Snowshoeing

Objective

White River Fishery Area is managed to preserve and protect the White River, and to provide multiple benefits and public uses consistent with natural resource capabilities of the area.

White River System Fishery Area master plan (1986) [PDF]

Contacts/Partners

For questions and comments contact:

Wildlife Management

Last revised: Monday February 20 2017