Regional Reports-Midwest

Whitewater River

If you're chasing turkeys around the southeastern part of Minnesota this spring, do yourself a favor and take along your trout rod, too. Gopher State gobbler hunters must quit at noon each day, a closing hour that leaves plenty of time for brown, brook and rainbow fishing on hundreds of miles of excellent trout water the rest of the day. Some of the best turkey habitat in the state lies adjacent to the trout streams flowing through the steep, densely wooded bluffs known as "Coulee Country." One prime example is the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Elba. The sprawling WMA hosts an abundant turkey population, as well as three branches of the Whitewater River and Beaver Creek, all prime trout waters. The Whitewater isn't the only show in town, however. Parcels of the 40,000-acre Richard J. Doerer Memorial Hardwood Forest are scattered throughout the region, and few of these public hunting areas are more than a short drive from a trout stream. Camping is allowed on most state-owned lands in the area. To locate public hunting areas and designated trout streams, obtain a copy of the PRIM map (Public Recreation Information Maps) for the region from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Contact: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155; 651-296-6157).