Hunters, trappers, anglers and wildlife watchers in Wabasha, Winona and Olmsted counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Whitewater Wildlife Management Area staff.
Acting Wildlife Supervisor Christine Johnson along with three full-time staff oversee more than 28,000 aces of state-owned land in the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota. Along with neighboring Whitewater State Park, this popular hunting, fishing and wildlife watching destination hosts an estimated 500,000 visits annually. It is particularly popular with wild turkey hunters in spring and deer and small game hunters in autumn.
For Johnson and her staff, core work includes preserving, protecting and managing wildlife habitat, and administering an antlerless-only deer hunt within a 2,300-acre state game refuge. Preserving habitat is increasingly difficult, in part, due to a growing inability to keep buckthorn and other invasive species in check.
- What we do
At work for you
A prescribed burn to benefit habitat at the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area.
- Annually conducting prescribed burns on 500-1,500 acres of grassland and forest.
- Planning and administering more than 300 acres of timber sales each year to improve wildlife habitat for numerous species including wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, deer, woodcock, and numerous non-game species.
- Managing invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, black locust, wild parsnip and garlic mustard to reduce their spread.
- Managing 2,700 acres of farming agreements to provide winter food plots for deer, wild turkeys and ring-necked pheasants.
- Maintaining 26 miles of access roads and 60 parking areas to provide user access to the WMA.
- Maintaining 150 miles of property boundary, much of which is in steep terrain and not easily accessible.
- Area highlights