New Munster Wildlife Area
In 1947, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission created the New Munster Wildlife Area. The wildlife area was established to provide important pheasant and upland game habitat in a rapidly developing area of Wisconsin. In the project protects water quality, improves fish habitat, and provides public access for fishing, hunting and trapping. The New Munster Bog Island State Natural Area is found within the boundaries of the property and was one of the early state natural areas, designated in 1967.
A 177-acre Department of Transportation wetland mitigation site was added to the property in 2008, encompassing 3,050 linear feet of bank frontage on both sides of the Fox River. The addition of the DOT property to the wildlife area added riverine and emergent/open water wetland habitat to an area that was predominately oak woodland, lowland woodland, shallow marsh, grassland and agricultural fields to create a larger contiguous block of habitat. Two perennial streams, Palmer Creek and New Munster Creek flow through this property into the Fox River. Palmer Creek, a class III trout stream, runs through the northwest part of the property, provides canoeing opportunities, and is stocked with brown and rainbow trout in portions of the wildlife area. For birders, there are opportunities to see great horned owls, long- and short-eared owls, golden crowned kinglets, brown creepers and nuthatches.
The wildlife area is managed to provide opportunities for public hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation while protecting the qualities of the unique native communities and associated species found on the property. Shelterwood harvests are used to maintain the oak types. The shrub-carr, emergent wetland and grassland types are maintained with brushing, mowing and prescribed fire. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or bio-control.
The New Munster Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:
- Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
- Fishing (Palmer Creek class III trout stream);
- Hunting (especially noted for deer, small game, waterfowl, pheasant [2 p.m. closing] and turkey);
- Wild edibles/gathering; and
- Wildlife viewing.
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