White River Fishery Area (Waushara County)
DNR Fisheries Areas
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 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 is a 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 areas 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 been 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 as 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. Numerous parking areas are scattered about the entire stretch of the property, providing ample access points.
White River Fishery Area consists of various parcels of land around the City of Wautoma in Waushara County.
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.
White River Fishery Area is managed to preserve and protect the White River and to provide multiple benefits and public uses consistent with the natural resource capabilities of the area.