Before the work started there was a stream shocking. Photo by Bob Haase

Trout Stream Reflections


Stream & Field Day Event set for Sept. 21 Bird Creek Park

Autumn is rapidly crawling across our calendars, likely faster than we are ready to receive it. As summer ends, kids are back to the books, footballers are running the grid iron and county fairs have run their course. Not all things have a natural interruption though - trout streams flow forever, whether they are small bubbly brooks or surging muscular rivers, trout streams roll-on forever. Their constancy on our landscape at times though makes them invisible while being in plain sight, because they are there all of the time.

A perfect example of this is Bird Creek, Wautoma’s in-town trout stream. Bird Creek quietly flows into the western edge of town on its way to join the White River to the south. It flows under several roads and past Wautoma High School and through Bird Creek Park. Bird Creek has been quiet, like most Central Wisconsin trout streams; however, it is now getting increased notoriety due to the collaborative planning and efforts of Trout Unlimited and WDNR’s Trout Stream Habitat Management Team from Wild Rose.

Bird Creek is getting a make-over - well, that is not to change the nature of the creek but to bring its wonderfulness and awesomeness to a point of greater visibility by enhancing the capability of the stream to be a the best trout stream it can be. To understand how this is happening TU CARES (Trout Unlimited Central Area Restoration Effort for Sustainability) is inviting the public to attend the Stream and Field Day event on Saturday Sept. 21 at Bird Creek Park from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This is free to all and all are welcome and the pavilions provide good shelter if needed. Watch the Waushara Argus for the advertisement.

The Stream and Field Day event, lead by Laura and John Tucker, is a fun and enjoyable time for all, whether you fish, hike, kayak or just love the quietness and beauty of a stream (Both Laura and John are TU CARES founding members and past Presidents of Central Wis Trout Unlimited). WDNR members will show how they capture trout and how they are improving trout habitats in Bird Creek. Kids and families will have a good time collecting and identifying bugs (its ok to get your hands wet!), there is a “Tree Walk” guided by WDNR and kid’s games (casting for gifts and coloring fish pictures). Have you ever wanted is try fly casting or tying a fly pattern that really catches fish - come along and try it out, instructors will be there. There is plenty here for the seasoned trout fisher too, along with booth displays for gardeners, TUer’s and other outdoor organizations.

There will be lunch, during the “Lunch & Learn” session at noon. Learn how WDNR’s Trout Stream Habitat Management Team is planning, with TU to improve the lives of trout living in Bird Creek. Shawn Sullivan (supervisor of this WDNR team), in his unique and passionate style, will share the vision shaping the future of Bird Creek. In addition, a presentation about one of the most iconic natural wonders of Central Wisconsin trout streams, “The Hex Phenomenon” will be presented by John Gremmer, a longtime teacher and scholar of all things naturally beautiful in our streams and woods.

Bird Creek has great potential for Wautoma, not only by enhancing the experience of visitors to Bird Creek. Bird Creek is a fishable trout stream in a convenient place with easy access. It can be a first step to becoming familiar with stream fishing before venturing into other numerous streams within 30 minutes distance of Wautoma. The stream provides a natural laboratory to anyone wanting to learn. The location near the Park Side and Wautoma High schools provides the best opportunity for a “natural outdoor classroom” for all classes from science to literature studies. Through imaginative thought, Bird Creek can be realized as Wautoma’s in-town trout stream.


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