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Merrick State Park Nature

In the Mississippi River valley, surrounded by the hills of Wisconsin's Coulee Region, Merrick State Park is home to a variety of fish, birds, other animals and plants. Rising and falling river levels, though controlled some by dams, are part of the natural environment.

Fish

The water is alive with large and smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappies and other species.

Plants and animals

Countless great blue herons, egrets, muskrats, ducks, kingfishers and an occasional otter make their homes in the park. At night, you'll hear crickets, frogs and owls.

Throughout the year, some of the plants found in the prairies include purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, hoary puccoon, spiderwort and butterfly weed. In other parts of the park, look for the cardinal flower, wild rose, wood anemone and wild geranium.

There is poison ivy in the park, which can cause discomfort if you touch it. Learn to identify and avoid it. You can minimize exposure to poison ivy by staying in mowed areas and on designated trails.

Floods

In the spring there can be more water than we'd like and the river sometimes floods its banks. In flood conditions, almost a quarter of the park can be under water. When the river returns to its banks, the ground dries. Large rocks have been set along the shore to halt erosion and protect campsites. Do not move these rocks.

Last revised: Tuesday May 08 2012