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Leave a legacy by ghkgkyyt


									                                                                                                Where to fish                                            Catching fish,
                                                                                                                                                         smiles and
                                                                                                in 2010                                                  memories
      Where walleye is king                                                                    Regional                                                  Photo gallery: send
                          Fishing Tips                  2                                      forecasts            6                                    us your photos      16

                                                                                                                                                         Mississippi River
                                                                                                                                                         backwaters: an
                                                                                                                                                         angler’s paradise
                                                                                                                                                         Backwaters entice anglers with a
                                                                                                                                                         variety of fishing opportunities.
                                                                                                                                                         LA CROSSE – Mississippi River back-
                                                                                                                                                         waters include all sloughs, lakes, ponds
                                                                                                                                                         and side channels in the river’s flood-
                                                                                                                                                         plain. From Prescott, Wis., to Dubuque,
                                                                                                                                                         Iowa, the Mississippi contains more
                                                                                                                                                         than 131,000 acres of backwaters swim-
Whether you’re fishing from shore or boat, Wisconsin is a great state to fish. Keep our fishing tradition alive. Plan a family fishing out-              ming with warmwater fish species in-
ing. Take a friend or acquaintance fishing. The memories, just like the fish, are out there waiting. Can you catch them? Photo: Recreation-              cluding largemouth bass, crappie, blue-
al Boating and Fishing Foundation                                                                                                                        gill, northern pike, pumpkinseed and
                                                                                                                                                         yellow perch. The Mississippi offers

                                                            Leave a legacy
                                                                                                                                                         the greatest variety of sport fishes any-
            ON THE INSIDE                                                                                                                                where in Wisconsin and most fish have
                                                                                                                                                         year-round open seasons.
                                                                                                                                                             Fall fish surveys throughout many
2010 Fishing Season Dates ....................2
                                                            Pledge to take someone fishing                                                               of the river’s 10 Navigation Pools bor-
                                                                                                                                                         dering Wisconsin in the last three years
                                                                                                                                                         showed consistent catches of backwater
Tackling a Lead Problem........................3            MADISON – There are no fees and no                                                           game fish. The highest catch rates per
                                                            meetings; it is not a club. Anglers’ Leg-                                                    hour of game fish were found in the
Fisheries Projects............................... 4-5       acy is simply about making a promise                                                         northeast portion of Pool 9, followed
                                                            to introduce someone NEW to fishing.                                                         by the Lawrence and Target lakes area
Fishing Forecasts ............................. 6-16        As you “take the pledge” you join peo-                                                       in Pool 8, upper Pool 5A, Trempealeau
                                                            ple from across the nation who are also                                                      Lakes area in Pool 7, and the Goose Is-
Hook, Line and Bookmark ..................16                passing on the fishing heritage.                                                             land and Stoddard area of Pool 8.
                                                                If you care about the future of fish-                                                        Anglers can focus their efforts on a
                                                            ing, commit and take at least one new                                                        variety of backwater species:
                                                                                                                                                             Northern pike – Good news for north-
                                                            person fishing this year. Show them                                                          ern pike anglers. Recent surveys have
                       Follow “fishwisconsin”               what you already know about having                                                           shown many northern pike greater than
                                                            fun on the water. It may be a challenge                                                      18 inches, with a few measuring greater
                       on Twitter. Subscribe at             for you and an humbling experience,                                                          than 40 inches. For northerns less than
                              but a great way to build relationships                                                       18 inches, surveys have shown a 16-fold
                                                            with family, friends and colleagues.            A lake trout is proudly displayed at the     increase in numbers. While these fish
                                                                Go to to take          end of a father/son fishing trip on Lake     currently are not part of the fishery, they
                                                            the pledge – then take someone fishing.         Superior. Photo: Mike Staggs                 will be shortly with excellent northern
                                                                                                                                                         pike fishing to follow. Overall, it is sus-
         What do you think?                                     clip and give                                                                            pected that recent cooler summers have
  We’ve been providing an an-                                                             I PROMISE TO                                                   increased northern pike growth, sur-
                                                                                                                                                         vival and reproduction. Northerns can
  nual fishing report to anglers                                                        TAKE YOU FISHING                                                 be found in shallow, weedy backwa-
  for almost 10 years. Please tell                          This year I promise to take you fishing because I want to give back what someone once gave
                                                                                                                                                         ters just after ice-out in early spring for
                                                                                           me – the special gift of fishing.
                                                                                                                                                         about one month. During the summer
  us what you like and what we                                                                                                                           heat, they are often found near cooler
  should do better.                                                                                    TO                                                tributary mouths, deeper backwaters
                                                                                                                                                         and under vegetation canopies. As with
                                                                                                                                                         many other backwater fish, northerns
      Look for an online survey at:                                                                                                                      congregate in backwater areas to over-                                                                        FROM                                                winter. Typical open water baits in-
                                                                                                                                                         clude large spinners, spoons and casting
  We’d appreciate your thoughts.                                                                                                                         plugs. Successful winter anglers often
                                                                                                                                                         tip-up fish with large shiners.
                                                                                                                                                         (see Mississippi River Backwaters p. 15)
                                                                                                                                         clip and give

  F        Find links to fishing licenses, season dates,                        If you have more fishing questions, call toll-                         SUBSCRIBE to Fisheries Updates.
  Y        regulations, where to fish and more at:                              free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463) or                                Go to fishingwisconsin. org to sign
  I                                                 visit for a live chat.                         up and stay informed on fisheries issues.
Dear Wisconsin Angler,                                                                                                                          2010 SEASON DATES
2009 was a challenging year for families across Wisconsin. We were glad then, as we are now, to help provide you with
outstanding fishing, great memories and a break from your daily stresses.                                                                      Early Inland Trout
                                                                                                                                               March 6 (5 a.m.) to April 25
Our fish biologists, technicians, hatchery and education staff work                                    Fisheries Director Mike Staggs
hard to keep fishing good for families now and into the future.                                        with a large, native lake trout
                                                                                                                                               General Inland Trout
Budget reductions and a hiring freeze last year forced us to delay                                     collected during a netting survey
some of our work but we were still able to complete 90 percent of                                      on Lake Superior, October 2008.         May 1 (5 a.m.) to Sept. 30
the stocking, surveys, and habitat and access projects we tradition-                                   Photo: Steve Schram.
ally do to make fishing better in Wisconsin. We’ve                                                                                             Large and Smallmouth Bass
highlighted a lot of that work here in                                                                                                         Northern Zone Catch and
this report.
If you’re looking for ways to                                                                                                                  May 1 to June 18
save some money this year –
take your family and friends fish-                                                                                                             Large and Smallmouth Bass
ing! There’s good fishing close                                                                                                                Northern Zone
to where you live, and the cost of
basic tackle, bait, and a license is                                                                                                           June 19 to March 6, 2011
a bargain compared to restaurants,
movies or video games. And the fish you                                                                                                        Large and Smallmouth Bass
keep are a tasty, healthy and free addition to your din-                                                                                       Southern Zone
ner menu! Take a look in this report for the latest fishing
tips and hotspots from our biologists across the state to help                                                                                 May 1 to March 6, 2011
you find a great fishing spot for your next trip.
                                                                                                                                               Musky – Northern Zone
Thanks for fishing in Wisconsin in 2010. May this year be a                                                                                    May 29 to Nov. 30
GREAT one. I’ll see you on the water!
                                                                                                                                               Musky – Southern Zone
                                                                                                                                               May 1 to Dec. 31
    New shore fishing                        Kewaunee County – L-shaped fishing pier        Monroe County – T-shaped floating pier
    opportunities in 2010                    and platform located on the Ahnapee Riv-       and two stations on Perch Lake in the
                                                                                                                                               Northern Pike
                                             er in Blahnik County Park.                     City of Sparta.                                    May 1 to March 6, 2011
    Burnett County – Fishing pier on Clam
    River Narrows in the Clam Narrows        LaCrosse County – T-shaped floating pier       Pierce County – Fishing pier and five              Walleye
    County Park. The Clam River Narrows      on Pettibone Lagoon in a City of LaCrosse      stations on Nugget Lake in Nugget Lake
    connects Upper Clam Lake & Lower         Park on the Mississippi River.                 County Park. Also a fishing pier on the            May 1 to March 6, 2011
    Clam Lake.                                                                              Mississippi River adjacent to Sea Wing
                                             Marinette County – T-shaped floating pier      Park in the town of Diamond Bluff.
    Chippewa County – Fishing platform on    on Caldron Falls Flowage of the Peshtigo                                                          Lake Sturgeon (hook and line)
    the Yellow River in Lake Wissota State   River in Governor Thompson State Park.         Waushara County – Fishing pier and                 Sept. 4 to Sept. 30
    Park. This is the second shore fishing   This pier is designed for ice anglers dur-     platform on the Library Park Millpond
    facility in the park.                    ing the winter.                                in the City of Wautoma.

                                                                                            tails, or Gulp along the shoreline in six      tively feeding walleye. Start by casting
                                                                                            to12 feet of water. Casting shallow,           on top of the wingdam and reel slowly
                                                                                            diving crank baits can also be effective       bouncing the lure off the top and down
                                                                                            when the fish are up shallow. During           the front face of the wingdam. If fish
                                                                                            daylight or peak light periods, trolling       aren’t biting, change lures or retrieval
                                                                                            in 12 to 20 feet near spawning areas can       speed. Reposition the boat by moving
                                                                                            produce good numbers of quality fish.          the anchor rope to a side cleat or chang-
                                                                                            Stick baits rigged with a three-way            ing the position of the motor, which will
                                                                                            swivel and bell sinker can be an effec-        cause the boat to shift laterally along the
                                                                                            tive way to target deep water walleye in       front of the wingdam. This provides an
                                                                                            a river system. The key to this method         opportunity to fish more of the wing-

       he upper Mississippi River is         SPRING                                         is to keep the weight and lure on the          dam without having to start the motor
       a very productive river system        In early spring, as water temperatures         bottom. The size of the weight will be         and lift the anchor.
       with large populations of walleye     reach 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, walleye        dependent on the depth of water, size of
in Pool 9 near Genoa and Pool 10 near        and sauger begin a migration from over-        the lure, line diameter, and the amount        FALL
Prairie du Chien. In the fall of 2008,       wintering areas to spawning grounds.           of current at the site.                        In late fall and early winter, walleye and
DNR conducted electrofishing surveys         These spawning areas can be found in                                                          sauger can be found in deeper water be-
in Pools 9 and 10 as part of a long-term     tributaries, along riprapped shorelines        SUMMER                                         low the locks and dams and the mouths
monitoring strategy. These surveys                                                          During the summer, walleye are scat-           of tributaries The most active fish can
showed that this natural reproducing                                                        tered throughout the main channel,             be found in 16 to 40-feet of water. Use
system is very productive. Catch-per-                                                       side channels and in sloughs that have         3/8- to ½-ounce jigs tipped with a min-
unit-effort (CPE) for adult walleye was                                                     flowing water. Areas to key-in on in-          now or gulp and jig, drag, or hold the
275 per hour in Pool 9 and 108 per hour                                                     clude riprapped shorelines, wingdams           jig six to 12 inches off the bottom. This
in pool 10. Walleye ranged in size from                                                     and closing dams. Wingdams usually             method can provide good action for even
12 to 28 inches with large numbers of                                                       have plenty of water flowing over and          those finicky walleye. If fish aren’t bit-
fish 12 to 15 inches in length. During        crankbait with                                around them and can be very productive         ing, vary lure color, jig retrieval speed,
                                              three-way swivel                              for summer walleye. Walleye that are           or jig distance off the bottom.
2009, many anglers reported catching
good numbers of walleye just under the                                                      actively feeding are typically on the up-          The Mississippi River is a great
15-inch length limit. Many of those fish                                                    stream edge of these structures.               place to fish but is full of navigational
will grow into the fishery in 2010. There    of side channels, or main channel bor-                                                        hazards. Boaters who are unfamiliar
should be plenty of fishing opportunities    ders that have a slow to moderate cur-                                                        with these waters should proceed with
and action for the next couple of years      rent. These spawning fish are found                                                           caution when navigating side sloughs
as these fish move through the fishery.      over gravel to coarse, sand bottoms.                                                          and main channel borders to avoid turn-
    Fishing the Mississippi River can be     Males typically appear at spawning ar-                                                        ing a fishing or recreational outing into
very challenging. Large river walleye        eas first and are usually the last to leave.                                                  a disaster. Always remember to wear
follow a movement pattern that cor-          Females show up, spawn, and for the                                                           your personal flotation device and have
responds to the changes in flow, water       most part leave spawning areas within                                                         a great time fishing.
temperature and season. An increase          a day. There is typically a daily pattern                                                         For more information on fishing con-
or decrease in the water level by just       for these spawning fish with movement                                                         ditions, contact a local sports shop, the
an inch can produce a dramatic change        to shallow water at night, early eve-                                                         area Chamber of Commerce, or check
                                                                                            Fishing a wing dam                             the web at for up-to-date
in fish movements. Seasonal changes          ning, or early morning, and movement
can also influence where walleye and         towards deeper water during daylight                                                          fishing reports and river conditions.
sauger will be found. Here are a few tips    hours. During early morning or night,          Anchoring upstream of a wingdam and
on when and where to target walleye in       fish shallow casting 1/8- to 3/8-ounce         casting plugs onto the top of this struc-      – Patrick Short, fisheries biologist, Prairie du
                                                                                            ture nearest to the main channel border        Chien
the Mississippi River.                       jigs tipped with ringworms, twister
                                                                                            can be very effective for targeting ac-

2             Fish Wisconsin!
Wild Rose approaching full bloom                                                               elaborate education center is a must-see
                                                                                               for visitors of all ages with live aquaria,                   Fish disease VHS
The state fish hatchery is ready to meet all challenges.                                       interesting exhibits and fun games that
                                                                                               help tell the story of Wild Rose and fish-                    still a concern
Four years ago the Department of Natu-          fish were “large fingerlings” about five       eries management.                                             Anglers should continue to do their
                                                inches long, and should grow large                 From the education center, visitors
ral Resources embarked on a three-
                                                                                               can stroll down the wooden walkway                            part to minimize spread.
phase plan to renovate the century-old          enough to start being caught by anglers
Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery to meet           this summer.                                   and back in time to the hatchery’s his-
                                                                                               toric village where renovated build-                          VHS disease remains a major concern
                                                                                               ings and raceways from the early 1900s                        and threat to fishing in Wisconsin, un-
                                                                                               await them. A picnic area allows visi-                        derscored by the news in January that
                                                                                               tors to stop and enjoy a packed lunch,                        evidence of the virus has been found in
                                                                                               much as people have done for the past                         low levels in fish from areas of Lake
                                                                                               century.                                                      Superior, including Duluth-Superior
                                                                                                   Last fall, the Wild Rose Education                        Harbor.
                                                                                                                                                                 VHS does not affect people or pets
                                                                                               Center won Outstanding Project of the                         but it can infect and kill several dozen
                                                                                               Year Award in the category of “Educa-                         different species of fish, including both
                                                                                               tion” given by the American Fisheries                         game and bait fish. Symptoms of the
                                                                                               Society, highlighting the importance of                       disease include bleeding from the skin,
                                                                                               aquatic education.                                            muscles, and internal organs, bulging
                                                                                                   Additionally, in the summer of 2009,                      eyes and bloated abdomens. Healthy
                                                                                               Wild Rose’s new coldwater fish rearing                        fish can be infected by swimming in
                                                                                               facilities received an Award of Excel-                        VHS-contaminated water or by eating
                                                                                               lence in Engineering from the interna-                        VHS-positive prey fish.
                                                                                               tional Association of Conservation En-                            To contain the virus, the DNR de-
                                                                                                                                                             veloped rules to regulate the transport
                                                                                               gineers.                                                      of live fish, bait and water, and to teach
                                                                                                   There’s no doubt that Wild Rose is                        boaters and anglers about preventative
                                                                                               now an award-winning facility that ben-                       actions. So far, these efforts seem to
                                                                                               efits anglers and non-anglers alike. Next                     be paying off; statewide surveillance
Walleye, northern pike and lake sturgeon will be raised at Wild Rose’s coolwater facilities.   time you’re in the area or looking for a                      efforts show that VHS has not spread
Photo: HDR/FishPro                                                                             day trip, come see for yourself.                              beyond Lake Michigan, the Lake Win-
                                                                                                                                                             nebago system, and Lake Superior.
environmental standards and continue            The coolwater facilities for raising                                                                             So, remember to do your part.
to meet stocking needs.                         northern pike, walleye, lake sturgeon             Wild Rose Hatchery Business Hours                              Drain all water from fishing and
    As we begin a new decade, the               and musky were completed in late 2009                                                                        boating equipment when leaving the
Wild Rose hatchery is now in the home           and rearing is scheduled to begin this                              Summer: Open Wed.-Sunday,                lake or entering the state
                                                                                                                    Memorial Day through Labor Day;
stretch.                                        spring.                                                             8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.                       Do not move live fish or fish eggs
    The coldwater production facilities             A third and final phase is also sched-                                                                   away from any water with the excep-
are complete and fish production is in          uled to begin this year and will restore                            Walk-in tours - 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.       tion of minnows purchased from           a
full swing. This past year saw the first        the wetlands, springs and headwaters of                                                                      registered Wisconsin bait dealer, taken
                                                                                                 Fall (after Labor Day): Open Fri.-Sunday. October: Open
fish raised in the $15.9 million coldwa-        the stream that was damaged when the             Fri. and Sat.                                               away in up to 2 gallons of water, and
                                                hatchery was first built more than 100                                                                       used under certain conditions.
ter facilities stocked into Lake Michigan                                                        N5871 State Rd. 22, Wild Rose, WI 54984                         Use leftover minnows again on the
waters. All told, 150,000 coho salmon           years ago.                                                                                                   same water, or use them on other waters
and 60,000 Seeforellen trout made their             The fish aren’t the only ones ben-           Questions? (920) 622-3527 ext. 209                          if you did not add lake or river water or
debut into the big pond’s harbors. The          efiting from the new facilities. The new                                                                     other fish to the bait container.
                                                                                                                                                             Use dead fish for bait only on the waters
                                                                                                                                                             from which they were taken or if they
                                                                                                                                                             were preserved by a method that does
                                                                                                                                                             not require freezing or refrigeration.
                                                                                                                                                                 For more information on VHS and a
                                                                                                                                                             complete list of VHS rules please visit:

                                                                                                                                                             – Nick Legler, health biologist, Madison

   There are 148 waters where exceptions to this advice apply, including the Great Lakes. More stringent consumption
   advice applies where fish have higher concentrations of mercury, PCBs or other chemicals. Go to dnr.                                                 Inspect. Remove. Drain.
   sumption for more information.

         Tackling a lead problem
                                                                                               tungsten, bismuth, pewter, ceramic,                               “Our goal is to educate anglers so
                                                                                               densified plastic and glass.                                  they create a demand for non-lead prod-
                                                                                                  These alternatives are available on                        ucts,” says Candy Schrank, a DNR en-
                                                                                               the Internet and in some bait and tackle                      vironmental toxicologist in the fisheries
                                                up along with small stones and grit from       shops. Consider asking your favorite                          program. “If you don’t want to replace
                                                the bottom of lakes by water birds to                                                                        your whole tackle box, at least consider
                                                help digest food.                                                                                            replacing some of the smaller sinkers.”
                                                   In 2006 the DNR implemented a                                                                                 Get the Lead Out! is a campaign
                                                Wildlife Health Program that included                                                                        aimed at educating anglers about the

                                                performing necropsies on every dead                                                                          impact of lead fishing tackle on loons
        ime to get your tackle box in or-       loon that was recovered. “We could                                                                           and other wildlife. Dispose of your lead
        der. Consider it a rite of spring       see lead sinkers on x-ray images of the                                                                      tackle properly—do not throw it in a
        along with cleaning out the gar-        loons that had ingested lead tackle,”                                                                        lake or trash can. Take it to your local
den and the garage. While you are sort-         Strom says.                                                                                                  household hazardous waste collection
ing the sinkers and the spools, the DNR            In a letter last year to the Conser-                                                                      site or a scrap metal collector/recycler.
is asking that you consider swapping            vation Congress, Marge Gibson of the                                                                             Schrank says moving away from lead
out the lead tackle for less toxic tackle.      Raptor Education Group, Inc., wrote,           Loons are susceptible to lead poisoning.                      tackle is part of responsible fishing. Re-
    Lead can poison people and animals          “Last year alone we treated 20 trum-           Photo: Roy Toft                                               sponsible fishing includes knowing and
such as loons, bald eagles, trumpeter           peter swans, 15 bald eagles and five                                                                         obeying the law and fishing regulations;
swans, great blue herons and snapping           common loons with lead poisoning.”                                                                           being considerate of others; getting per-
turtles. All it takes is one lead sinker to     And those were just the sick animals           bait/tackle shop to carry lead alternative                    mission before fishing on private land;
kill a 12-pound loon.                           that were found. Statistics indicate that      fishing tackle. LoonWatch (northland.                         being careful not to spread diseases, in-
    Sean Strom, a DNR wildlife toxi-            less than 5 to 10 percent of injured or        edu/loonwatch) maintains a list of non-                       vasive species and litter; and recycling
cologist, explains that lead poisoning          sick wild animals are ever discovered.         lead tackle suppliers. Other sources of                       used fishing line.
from ingested tackle usually occurs in          Switching to non-lead tackle is a fairly       information are the Raptor Education
one of two ways: a lead jig head is swal-       inexpensive and easy way to make a dif-        Group ( and                          – Natasha Kassulke, Wisconsin Natural
lowed by a fish which is then eaten by                                                         DNR’s website (                         Resources magazine
                                                ference. Sinkers and jigs are also made
a waterbird, or lost lead tackle is picked      from safer materials such as: steel, tin,      gettheleadout.html).

                                                                                                                                                           Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010                3
 Fabulous Fisheries Projects
Using technology to track a                         Based on results from the project that
                                                 suggested that anglers were harvesting more
                                                                                                     Making fishing better on the                       as Stoddard Islands, was completed in 1999.
                                                                                                                                                        Construction on Phase III is scheduled to
living fossil                                    than the 5 percent cap considered safe, DNR         Mississippi River                                  continue for at least two more years.
                                                 increased the minimum length limit and ef-                                                                 The project is co-sponsored by the U.S.
PARK FALLS - Microchips are helping fish         fectively reduced basinwide harvest from 78         LA CROSSE - Fish and wildlife habitat along        Fish and Wildlife Service Upper Missis-
biologists learn more about and carefully                                                            Wisconsin’s western coast continues to im-         sippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge, U.S.
manage, populations of Wisconsin’s living                                                            prove. The project on Pool 8 of the Missis-        Army Corps of Engineers and the states of
fossil, the lake sturgeon. The information                                                           sippi River, south of La Crosse, is mid-way        Wisconsin and Minnesota with funding for
they yield supports a unique, family fish-                                                           through construction to rebuild more than 20       construction provided by the Environmental
ing tradition and preserves a species that                                                           islands and restore backwaters. The habitat        Management Program. Twenty-six Habitat
has been swimming in Wisconsin waters for                                                            has been lost over the years due to the long-      Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects
more than 150 million years.                                                                         term effects of the impoundment created by         have been constructed along Wisconsin’s
    Three teams of fish biologists and tech-                                                         Lock and Dam 8 in the 1930s.                       stretch of the Mississippi River since 1986.
nicians from DNR’s Hayward, Park Falls                                                                   The project’s large size – eventually          That work has improved habitat on more
and Mercer offices captured and inserted the                                                         more than 3,000 acres of fish and wildlife         than 30,000 acres on the Wisconsin side
microchips into 791 sturgeon on the Mani-                                                            habitat will be restored – requires that it be     alone and does not include the Phase III
towish, Chippewa and Flambeau rivers from                                                            built over several years. Pool 8, Phase III, as    project.
2005 to 2009.                                                                                        its name implies, is the third habitat project
    The microchips, or PIT (Passive Inte-                                                            implemented in the lower pool. Phase I was         – Jeff Janvrin, fisheries biologist, La Crosse
grated Transponder) tags, can be detected                                                            completed in 1993 and Phase II, also known
when the DNR runs a hand-held scanner
alongside the fish. Biologists can match the
number of the fish and tap into past records       Alison Canniff with juvenile sturgeon
about fish size, gender, movement and loca-        captured by gillnet in North Fork Flam-
tion of capture. Harvested fish are scanned
as well by volunteers at registration stations
                                                   beau River. Photo: Greg Rublee                    Spring pond project aims to                        Walleye rearing partnership
during the fall hook-and-line season so that                                                         restore native brook trout                         benefits anglers
DNR can carefully monitor and control the        and 66 in 2005 and 2006 to six, three, and
harvest.                                                                                             BOULDER JUNCTION – DNR fisheries                   RIB LAKE – Anglers will find more of their
                                                 four in 2007-2009.                                  crews from Antigo and Woodruff are mid-
    The information is particularly important        The monitoring has also yielded inter-                                                             favorite target – walleye – in Taylor County
for lake sturgeon for several reasons: it’s                                                          way through dredging spring ponds near             in coming years thanks to efforts by local
                                                 esting insights into the fish’s movements,          Boulder Junction to improve brook trout
identified as a “Species of Concern” under       longevity and growth. A 52½-inch sturgeon                                                              conservation clubs and the DNR.
Wisconsin’s Endangered Species Act and a                                                             habitat and natural reproduction of this an-           For the past two years, the Rib Lake Area
                                                 marked with a cattle tag in 1984 at age 24          gler favorite.
“Species of Greatest Conservation Need” in       and recaptured in 2009 grew only 1½ inches                                                             Fish & Game Association and Spirit Lakes
the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation                                                                  The eight small interconnected spring          Improvement Association joined forces with
                                                 in 25 years. A 60-inch female tagged in             ponds are located two miles south of Boul-
Plan, and because the fish are slow-growing,     1994 grew less than an inch in 15 years.                                                               DNR to raise and stock nearly 11,000 large
late maturing and require special manage-                                                            der Junction and form the headwaters of            walleye fingerlings into eight county lakes
ment. Female lake sturgeon don’t spawn                                                               North Creek, a tributary to Trout Lake. The        where stocking is needed to restore, estab-
until they are 20 to 25 years old, and then                                                          system has historically been a Class I brook       lish, or maintain desired walleye fisheries.
                                                 – Jeff Scheirer, fisheries biologist, Park Falls    trout water capable of producing fish larger
only every three to five years, so rebuilding                                                                                                           Walleyes raised to six to nine inches and
a population can take generations.                                                                   than 12 inches, but natural siltation and bea-     stocked in fall survive better than small fin-
                                                                                                     ver activity have nearly halted natural trout      gerlings stocked in early summer at 1.5 to
                                                                                                     reproduction. The DNR and local anglers            2.5 inches, especially in waters with abun-
                                                                                                     also have noticed a steady decline in trout        dant largemouth bass.
                                                                                                     numbers during the past 20 years.                      The groups’ cooperative rearing agree-
                                                                                                         Dredge operations will resume again in
Habitat work a boon to Lake                          Before and after comparisons with an
                                                 unaltered reach on the Little Sioux River           late May 2010 to complete the work. Past
                                                                                                                                                        ment helps meet the growing demand for
                                                                                                                                                        large walleye fingerlings, which exceeds
Superior trout                                   in Bayfield County showed that the DNR              projects have shown that trout respond             the state hatchery system’s capacity. They
                                                 habitat work is already paying off. One             quickly without the need for stocking, which       get small fingerlings from the DNR’s Gov-
                                                 year after it was completed, the number of          preserves the genetic stock and wild charac-       ernor Thompson Fish Hatchery in July, buy
BAYFIELD – A 2009 study shows that
                                                 young trout and their food (aquatic inver-          ter of the trout.                                  forage from licensed bait dealers, and raise
Lake Superior tributaries and trout are al-
                                                 tebrates) has increased, with more gains                Once the project is complete, it’s expect-     the fish to large fingerling size. In October,
ready benefitting from habitat work done a
                                                 expected in the future.                             ed to take about five years for the trout pop-     volunteers harvest and plant large walleye
year ago to reclaim stream beds from sand
                                                     The improvement work narrowed the               ulation to rebound. Northwoods Chapter of          fingerlings according to DNR prescriptions.
                                                 channel by 25 percent and increased wa-             Trout Unlimited is an important partner in         Recent refinements the groups made to
                                                 ter velocity by 32 percent. As sand was             this project and has paid for all diesel fuel to   their rearing process more than tripled an-
                                                 flushed, the stream bed dropped by 60 per-          operate the dredge.                                nual production from historic averages. The
                                                 cent, exposing four times more gravel/cob-                                                             Esadore Area Lake Association contributed
                                                 ble, while the unaltered station remained           – Mike Vogelsang, fisheries supervisor,            financial support in 2008.
                                                 unchanged during the study period.                  Woodruff

                                                                                                                                                        – Jeff Scheirer, fisheries biologist, Park Falls
                                                 – Dennis Pratt, fisheries biologist, Superior,
                                                 and Mike Seider, fisheries biologist, Bayfield

                                                 Free clinics, stocked ponds get                     all around good time. The volunteers teach
                                                                                                     the kids about fishing techniques, how to use
                                                                                                                                                                  Urban Fishing Waters
                                                 kids hooked on fishing                              the equipment, knot tying, safety, fish iden-       Southeast Region
                                                                                                     tification and much more. Thanks to the tire-
                                                                                                     less efforts of hundreds of volunteers, thou-       Kenosha County: Anderson Park, Bong Children’s
                                                 It’s easier than ever to get kids started fish-                                                         Pond, Poerio Park; Milwaukee County: Brown Deer
                                                 ing.                                                sands of kids are taught the basics of fishing
                                                                                                     each year.                                          Park, Dineen Park, Estabrook Park, Franklin High
                                                     For parents who haven’t fished much or                                                              School, Greenfield Park, Holler Park, Humboldt Park,
                                                 don’t have their own gear, specially stocked                                                            Jackson Park, Juneau Park, Kosciuszko Park, McCarty
                                                 and regulated urban ponds, loaner fishing           Tackle loaner program
                                                                                                         To accommodate teachers, scout lead-            Park, McGovern Park, Miller Park, Mitchell Park, Oak
                                                 equipment, and free youth fishing clinics are                                                           Creek Parkway, Saveland Park, Shoetz Park, Scout
                                                 great ways to introduce youngsters to this          ers, church groups or anyone else that is
                                                                                                     interested in having a fishing outing with a        Lake, Sheridan Park, Washington Park, Wilson Park;
                                                 great pastime. They are all part of increased                                                           Ozaukee County: Harrington Beach Quarry, Mequon
                                                 efforts by the DNR to boost fishing in urban        bunch of kids, the DNR also runs a tackle
                                                                                                     loaner program. Rods, reels and tackle are          Rotary Park East and West, Pucketts Pond, Schowalter
                                                 areas and among youngsters whose parents                                                                Park, Willow Brooke Park; Racine County: Gorney
                                                 may not fish.                                       available free for loan through DNR outlets
                                                                                                     located throughout the state.                       Park, Johnson Park, Lockwood Park, Pritchard Park,
                                                                                                                                                         Quarry Lake, Reservoir Park; Sheboygan County:
                                                 Try “urban” waters                                                                                      Sheboygan Quarry, Memorial Park, River Park Lagoon;
 Before (above) and after (below) stream             The 60 or so “urban waters” in the state        Angler education
                                                                                                         Finally, DNR offers angler education in-        Walworth County: Ceylon Lagoon, Congdon Park,
 habitat improvement project on the Little       are ponds or lagoons where stocking and                                                                 Millpond Park Pond; Washington County: Boot
 Sioux River, Bayfield County. Photo:            special regulations are aimed at increasing         struction workshops so that adult volunteers
                                                                                                     can learn how to start youth fishing programs       Lake, Hartford Millpond, Homestead Hollow Park,
 Josh Dumke                                      the odds that kids will reel in fish. If you live                                                       Kewaskum Millpond, Regner Pond, Sandy Knoll
                                                 in southeastern Wisconsin, there is an urban        in their community and pass on their love of
                                                                                                     this pastime. Workshop attendees are pro-           Park, Wells Lake; Waukesha County: Calhoun Park,
deposited as a result of beaver dams and         fishing water nearby (see sidebar). The DNR                                                             Foxbrook Pond, Heyer Park North and South, Lepper
logging a century ago.                           annually stocks thousands of rainbow trout          vided guidance and given ideas to help them
                                                                                                     introduce children to basic fishing skills and      Dam Millpond, Lions Park-Overland, Menomonee
    Graduate researcher Josh Dumke               in urban ponds and the Milwaukee County                                                                 Park, Minooka Park, Muskego Park, Nixon Park, Regal
evaluated the effects of a stream habitat        House of Correction Fish Hatchery stocks            connect them with Wisconsin waters.
                                                                                                         Help get kids started fishing. Make it a        Park, and Woodfield North and South
improvement strategy DNR fisheries staff         various species in the urban ponds in Mil-
have commonly used in the basin. DNR             waukee County.                                      family outing and have fun.
crews have worked to remove brushy de-
                                                                                                                                                         Northern Region
bris and beaver dams from the streams,           Free fishing clinics                                – Matt Coffaro, urban fisheries biologist,          Langlade County: Remington Lake; Lincoln
allowing sand to flush downstream uncov-             DNR works with volunteers from local            Milwaukee                                           County: Mirror Lake
ering the gravel/cobble bottoms that trout       fishing clubs to conduct instructional kids                                                             Northeast Region
and salmon need for spawning.                    fishing clinics each winter and spring. The         For more information, contact:
                                                                                                     Matt at (414) 263-8614.                             Brown County: Manger Lagoon - City of Green
                                                 clinics are free, highly informative and an                                                             Bay

4             Fish Wisconsin!
 Fabulous Fisheries Projects
These “fish sticks” attract                        Returning lake sturgeon to the                        The DNR stocked 27 lake sturgeon in
                                                                                                     2006, 158 lake sturgeon in 2007, 767 lake
food for fish                                      Milwaukee River                                   sturgeon in 2008 and 1,042 in 2009. With
                                                                                                     knowledge gained in these four years, we
BAYFIELD COUNTY – Mere months after                NEWBURG – For the fourth year in a row,           are optimistic that we can annually produce
felled trees were dragged across the ice on        DNR teamed up with the Riveredge Nature           more than 1,000 sturgeon for the Milwaukee
Upper Eau Claire Lake as part of a grass-          Center, Inc. in 2009 to raise lake sturgeon       River.
roots partnership to restore fish habitat in its   for release in the Milwaukee River.                   In addition, lake sturgeon stocked in
nearshore areas, hundreds of fish are using            The partners aim to restore this ancient      the Milwaukee River as part of this project
the trees.                                         species to the Milwaukee River, where large       have been picked up in assessments around
    The new habitat results from work done         numbers of the fish lived before 1900. Once       the lake and have been caught by anglers in
by the Eau Claire Lakes Property Owners            deemed so polluted that no fish species could     the Milwaukee area. Based on these obser-
Association and the Eau Claire Conservation        survive, the restoration effort helps highlight   vations, the sturgeon seem to be surviving
Club with DNR fish biologist Scott Toshner         the progress the DNR, Milwaukee and oth-          well after stocking with some of the caught
who found willing property owners to let           ers have made in cleaning up the river.           and released sturgeon originally stocked in
them place more trees in the shallow water             The partners got the eggs from Wolf           2005.
                                                   River sturgeon in the spring and brought
                                                   them to a streamside rearing facility on the      – Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor,
                                                   Milwaukee River on April 25, 2009. Nature         Milwaukee
                                                   center volunteers, with guidance from DNR
                                                   staff, raised the fish throughout the year and
                                                   the sturgeon were released into the river on                                                         Young lake sturgeon are stocked into their
                                                   October 3, 2009.                                                                                     new Milwaukee River home. Photo: Brad

                                                                                                     and branches provide cover and food for a
                                                   Fish cribs golden for Silver Lake                 variety of fish species.
                                                                                                         A summer scuba survey revealed that
                                                   OCONOMOWOC – New fish cribs in the
                                                                                                     the cribs were doing their job: abundant and
                                                   city’s Silver Lake create golden fishing
 A musky with “fish sticks” on Upper                                                                 diverse panfish and game fish were using
                                                   opportunity for anglers in 2010. DNR fish-
 Eau Claire Lake. Photo: Scott Toshner                                                               them in 18 feet of water. Working closely
                                                   eries crews turned 30-foot pine trees into
                                                                                                     with the Silver Lake Management District,
                                                   8-foot-square fish cribs and allowed the
                                                                                                     DNR fish biologists and technicians are
                                                   cribs to sink through the ice during spring
in front of their property on Upper, Middle                                                          now planning and getting permits for more
and Lower Eau Claire lakes.“Our hope is
                                                   thaw. The trees were donated by a local cit-
                                                   izen interested in supplementing the coarse,
                                                                                                     cribs and tree drops in early 2010.                Stopping the
that this winter an additional 400 trees will
be placed providing habitat for fish in these
                                                   woody structure available for fish in this                                                               red menace
                                                   284-acre lake. The natural red pine timbers       – Benjamin Heussner, fisheries biologist,
lakes in spring 2010,” Toshner says.                                                                 Waukesha                                           GERMANTOWN – Wisconsin anglers can
    The Eau Claire Chain project grew out of                                                                                                            breathe easier for now – the red swamp cray-
an earlier project on Bony Lake, another lake                                                                                                           fish has met its match.
in the same chain, where property owners in                                                                                                                 The November 2009 chemical treatment
2007 launched one of the largest shoreland                                                                                                              of a Washington County subdivision pond
habitat restoration efforts in Wisconsin.                                                                                                               where the destructive crayfish was found for
    The next year, the Eau Claire Conserva-                                                                                                             the first time in Wisconsin in August 2009
tion Club got involved on Upper Eau Claire                                                                                                              appears to have worked. Populations of this
Lake, and 2009 saw a continued effort on                                                                                                                aggressive, rapidly reproducing crustacean
Bony, Middle Eau Claire and Upper Eau                                                                                                                   have been knocked back, if not eliminated.
Claire lakes by the club, the property own-                                                                                                                 That’s good news because the crustacean
ers and the DNR.                                                                                                                                        is potentially a serious threat to fish popula-
    To date, 395 trees have been placed in                                                                                                              tions: it eats fish eggs and clips off the aquat-
Bony Lake, where there were only 89. Up-                                                                                                                ic plants that fish need for spawning, feeding
per Eau Claire has added 98 trees and Mid-                                                                                                              and shelter. The red swamp crayfish’s rapid
dle Eau Claire, 49 trees.                                                                                                                               reproduction, ability to live out of water
    “These trees are very important habitat                                                                                                             and move over land had fisheries officials
because they provide refuge, forage, cover                                                                                                              worried that it could get into nearby Lake
and spawning areas for pretty much every                                                                                                                Michigan tributaries and cause problems.
fish in the lake for at least part of their life                                                                                                            The crayfish was discovered by a citizen
cycles,” Toshner says. “The turtles, ducks,                                                                                                             and reported to the DNR. DNR staff and
kingfisher, otter, mink, beaver and other                                                                                                               cooperators from University of Wisconsin-
wildlife are using them at the same time.”                                                                                                              Madison trapped more than 2,000 of them
    Additional fish sticks projects are sched-                                                                                                          in the next two months, but more remained
uled for Upper, Middle and Lower Eau                                                                                                                    and DNR determined that trapping alone
Claire Lakes as well as Bony Lake and the                                                                                                               wouldn’t work. So fisheries officials worked
Pike Chain of Lakes. The partners learned                                                                                                               with subdivision property owners to develop
recently that their “fish sticks” project will                                                                                                          a control plan, including chemical treatment
receive $15,000 in federal stimulus fund-                                                                                                               of the pond.
                                                   DNR biologist Frank Pratt (foreground) shows how to use a dip net to sample aquatic
                                                   insects during a session of the River Rats program. Pratt and Sue Benson of the Cable
 – Lisa Gaumnitz, public affairs manager,          Natural History Museum started the program in the Namekagon River in 1989, after an                  – Lisa Gaumnitz, public affairs manager,
Madison                                            Adopt a Stream pilot project on Hatchery Creek, 1986-88. Over the last 24 years over                 Madison
                                                   1,500 youngsters and their parents have done hands-on river science as part of the River
                                                   Rats partnership. Photo: Joe Krahn

                                                   agement biologists also attempt to tailor         structure is exposed to ultraviolet light un-
                                                   stocking to individual lakes by selecting a       der a microscope. An inner ear bone, called
                                                   particular size walleye to stock or a unique      an otolith, is formed in three-day-old wall-
                                                   method of stocking such as “scatter plant-        eye fry and can be extracted from walleye
                                                   ing.” In these instances, stocked lakes are       fingerlings collected during lake surveys
                                                   periodically surveyed to evaluate the con-        conducted by fisheries staff. The otolith is
                                                   tribution of the hatchery-produced walleye        mounted on a glass slide and polished before
                                                   to the lake’s population. The evaluation          examining it under ultraviolet light to reveal
                                                   is straightforward in lakes with no natural       the OTC mark. A gold halo appears near the
                                                   reproduction; all walleye collected can be        center of the otolith indicating the fish was
                                                   attributed to the stocking program. In lakes      marked as a fry in the hatchery when the
                                                   with natural reproduction, documenting sur-       otolith was much smaller.
                                                   vival of stocked walleye requires a few ad-           Fish research staff examine walleye fin-
                                                   ditional steps, starting when the walleye are     gerling and yearling samples annually so
Wisconsin has stock in walleye                     very young.                                       biologists can develop tailor-made stocking
                                                       Fish research staff located in Spooner co-    programs and document successes. Refin-
                                                   operate with hatchery staff to mark walleye       ing stocking approaches contributes to a
SPOONER – Wisconsin state fish hatcheries          fry before the fish are stocked or reared to      more efficient, cost-effective hatchery pro-
produce millions of walleye fry and finger-        a larger size. Fry are fragile and require a      gram and ultimately happier anglers.
lings annually to create a fishery where there     unique marking approach. Walleye fry are
is no natural reproduction, and to sustain a       held in an oxytetracycline (OTC) bath for         – Jeff Kampa, fisheries research biologist,
satisfactory walleye fishery in lakes with in-     six hours prior to stocking in lakes or rear-     Spooner
adequate reproduction.                             ing ponds. The OTC is absorbed and incor-                                                               A happy angler presents the fruits of
    General knowledge of stocking ap-              porated into bony structures. The mark is                                                               his labor – a nice Wisconsin walleye.
proaches and outcomes is used to guide             revealed back in the laboratory when a bony
hatchery production, however, fish man-                                                                                                                    Photo: Jeff Kampa

                                                                                                                                                      Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010                  5
Where to wet a line in 2010
Regional fishing forecasts
Northern Wisconsin
                                                 Before venturing out on Lake Superior,             Yellow Lake – This lake is always a good        game fish on Upper St. Croix due to their
                                                 anglers are strongly encouraged to check           choice for walleye anglers. The adult pop-      large numbers and decent size. In 2009, pike
                                                 weather conditions and forecasts. Visit dnr.       ulation estimate is 4.6 per acre. About 77      averaged 19 inches and the largest pike sur-
                                        for more specific infor-       percent are greater than the 15-inch length     veyed was 36 inches. Largemouth bass pop-
                                                 mation about the Lake Superior fishery.            limit.                                          ulations have more than doubled since 1997
                                                                                                                                                    and smallmouth bass numbers have declined
                                                 – Michael Seider, senior fisheries biologist,      – Larry Damman, fisheries biologist, Spooner    slightly in the same period. Both bass spe-
                                                 Bayfield                                                                                           cies average between 12 and 13 inches but
                                                                                                                                                    can reach 19 inches or more in the lake.
                                                                                                    DOUGLAS COUNTY                                  Bluegill and black crappie are abundant
                                                 BARRON COUNTY                                      Fishing in the open lake portion of Lake Su-    with better than average size structures. The
                                                                                                    perior in Douglas and Bayfield counties is a    2009 survey revealed high numbers of black
                                                 Silver Lake – The adult walleye population         very different experience than fishing in the   crappie in the six- to eight-inch range, which
                                                 is estimated at 1.7 fish per acre or 588 fish.     Apostle Islands, yet catch rates can be just    may indicate good crappie fishing in the
                                                 Largemouth and smallmouth bass are pres-           as good. Surveys show wild lake trout are       next couple of years. Several boat launches
                                                 ent, but many are less than 14 inches. There       becoming more abundant. However, lake           around the lake provide angler access.
                                                 are few northern pike, but the lake has some       trout are still stocked each year and make up
                                                 quality-size fish over 30 inches. Panfish          only 20 to 30 percent of angler catch. Con-     Whitefish Lake – Walleye numbers have
LAKE SUPERIOR                                    numbers generally are low but a few nice-          servative fishing regulations and sea lam-      increased on Whitefish Lake according to
The Lake Superior fishery largely depends        sized fish have been collected.                    prey control has been critical to lake trout    2009 surveys. This increase is likely due to
on naturally reproducing native and intro-                                                          rehabilitation throughout Lake Superior. In     several strong year classes since the last sur-
duced fish species. One of the most im-          Duck Lake – The adult walleye population           addition to lake trout, trolling in the west-   vey in 2004. Whitefish Lake is 832 acres
portant components of maintaining natural        is estimated at 5.4 fish per acre or 544 fish.     ern arm of Lake Superior produces coho and      with a maximum depth of 102 feet. The av-
reproduction is restoring and protecting fish    This is above average for local lakes, but         Chinook salmon and walleye.                     erage walleye size in the 2009 survey was
habitat. Managing Lake Superior tributaries      many of the walleye are less than 16 inches.                                                       16.6 inches with a maximum size of 28.2
has focused on reclaiming in-stream habi-        Largemouth bass numbers are low but some           Another fishing destination in western          inches, which is typical of deep clear lakes
tat especially in headwater areas. Poor land     larger bass are present. Northern pike gen-        Lake Superior is the St. Louis River, an        in the area but exceptional at a regional lev-
management over the past 100 years has left      erally run small and skinny. Most pike are in      11,000-acre waterbody in Douglas County.        el. Whitefish has a healthy cisco population,
most of the tributaries inundated with sedi-     the 20- to 24-inch range. Bluegill sizes are       Although the lower portion of the river is      which is becoming increasingly rare. Few
ment, which buries critical trout and salmon     average for local lakes with most fish top-        highly developed, the habitat in the upper      northern pike are present but those found
spawning habitat. During 2009, fisheries         ping out at 7.5 to eight inches.
crews continued habitat work to help flush
legacy sediments, bringing the total restored    Turtle Creek - Several years of intensive
habitat to nearly 20 miles. Habitat projects     trout habitat restoration work as well as an
like these will help to further improve self-    aggressive stocking program have turned
sustaining trout and salmon populations.         this water into one of the top local trout
On the Bois Brule in Douglas County, the         streams. Additional stream habitat resto-
most well known of these tributaries, about      ration work is planned for summer 2010
13,000 trout and salmon returned to the          downstream of Highway D and upstream of
stream to spawn last season.                     the 6th Street parking area. Anglers fishing
                                                 late in the season will be able to explore this
Habitat work not only benefits in-stream         habitat restoration work.
fisheries in the tributaries but also contrib-
utes to the open lake fishery. Tributaries       – Heath Benike, senior fisheries biologist, Bar-
provide naturally produced brown trout,          ron
steelhead, and coho and Chinook salmon
to Lake Superior every year. Trolling near
the river mouths in Iron, Ashland, Bayfield      BAYFIELD COUNTY
and Douglas counties is a dependable tac-
tic for catching trout and salmon in spring      Apostle Islands – Surveys in 2009 showed
and fall. Coho salmon returning to spawn in      that the Apostle Islands region supports
the streams are most commonly caught and         healthy populations of naturally reproducing
average about 19-22 inches. About 180,000        lake trout with more than 95 percent of the
brown trout and splake are stocked each          lake trout in the fishery comprised of wild
year to enhance the shallow water fishery.       fish. In early spring, lake trout are found
Wading from shore near river mouths and          in relatively shallow water but move into
fishing near marinas where trout and salmon      deeper water as the temperature increases.
congregate also can provide prospects for        Catch rates are generally highest in June and
anglers without boats.                           July. The average lake trout caught is about        A beautiful smallmouth bass caught in Chequamegon Bay in June by angler Jayme
                                                 22 inches with fish exceeding 32 inches             Seider. Photo: Michael Seider
– Michael Seider, senior fisheries biologist,    caught each year. Spawning surveys show
Bayfield                                         the population is healthy with lake trout
                                                 growing larger than 40 inches and often liv-       river is pristine and supports a diverse mix    are of exceptional sizes, similar to large and
                                                 ing 30-plus years with some fish living to be      of species including walleye, northern pike,    smallmouth bass populations. The lake has
ASHLAND COUNTY                                   over 50 years old. Two fish refuges adjacent       musky, smallmouth bass and panfish. Im-         very clear water conditions. Water levels
                                                 to important spawning areas are closed to          proved water quality and restrictive fishing    in this seepage lake are about five feet be-
Chequamegon Bay – Year round fishing             sport and commercial fishing and are critical      regulations have created a prosperous sport     low normal due to an extended drought. The
opportunities persist in Chequamegon Bay.        to sustaining the Apostle Islands fishery and      fishery. Documented natural reproduction        DNR-owned boat landing was reconstructed
However, May and June are excellent months       allowing fish to grow very old.                    and the 50-inch minimum length limit for        in fall 2009, but due to low water levels it
to target trophy smallmouth bass in the shal-                                                       musky should contribute to a healthy fishery    may still be difficult to launch large boats
low waters. Spring 2009 surveys found 42         – Michael Seider, senior fisheries biologist,      with future trophy opportunities. The wall-     there.
percent of the spawning smallmouth bass          Bayfield                                           eye fishery also looks healthy with recent
were greater than 18 inches. Spring is a great                                                      surveys finding 33 percent of the adult wall-   – Scott Toshner, fisheries biologist, Brule
time to fish for walleye, too. Chequamegon                                                          eye between 20 and 25 inches.
Bay supports a low density but trophy-sized      BURNETT COUNTY
walleye population with average length of                                                           Upper St. Croix Lake – Anglers looking for      IRON COUNTY
almost 22 inches. In 2009, walleye stocking      Largemouth bass and bluegill provide the           a balanced fishery including walleye, small
was resumed to supplement the population         fishing action in Burnett County and it            and largemouth bass, northern pike and an       Turtle-Flambeau Flowage – Survey infor-
since natural recruitment is very limited in     doesn’t matter which lake you fish. Angler         occasional musky along with a good bluegill     mation gathered in 2009 revealed that the
the western end of Chequamegon Bay. Con-         catch rates for largemouth run about 10            and black crappie fishery should consider       13,500-acre Turtle-Flambeau Flowage lo-
servative fishing regulations have greatly       times higher than the rest of the state. Size      this lake. Upper St. Croix Lake covers 855      cated in southern Iron County continues to
helped establish these trophy fisheries.         limits and a strong catch-and-release ethic        acres with a maximum depth of 22 feet and       support the county’s most abundant popula-
Past studies showed the resurgence of na-        caused populations to increase, but growth         it is the headwaters of the St. Croix River.    tion of walleye. Adult walleye population
tive populations of northern pike and wall-      rates declined. The chance of catching one         Survey results from 2009 reveal a walleye       estimates show that the number of fish has
eye has decreased survival of stocked fish.      larger than 16 inches isn’t very good. Still,      population that remains around three adult      remained the same since the last compre-
Brown trout and splake are stocked annually      catching lots of 11- to 15-inch bass on light      walleye per acre, which is the state manage-    hensive survey in 1997. At four adult wall-
to continue to provide a diverse fishery. Fall   tackle is a fun day on the water. Bluegill is      ment objective for walleye lakes. Walleye       eye per surface acre, this fish population is
is a good time to target brown trout when        the main panfish in all the county lakes and       captured in 2009 ranged in length from 10.7     stable and its numbers continue to be above
they are staging near river mouths. The av-      they can be large with eight-to-10-inchers         to 27.2 inches and averaged 15.6 inches,        the regional average. Although the flowage
erage length of brown trout caught is about      fairly common, especially in lakes around          which is slightly greater than other area       has always been known as a “catch-and-
20 inches but recently more fish topping 25      Siren and Grantsburg.                              walleye lakes. Northern pike are a popular      keep” type fishery with the majority of fish
inches have been showing up.

6             Fish Wisconsin!
                                                  with the majority between 15 and 25 inches.      highest density (3.4 per acre), but more             near Park Falls and in Little Elk River near
                                                  The largemouth bass population also was          small fish with a peak at 15 inches. In Mi-          Phillips. Electrofishing in July 2009 revealed
                                                  abundant with many in the 11- to 17-inch         nocqua, two walleye per acre were found              that portions of both streams had reproduc-
                                                  range. Panfish were abundant and mostly          and good numbers of all sizes from 13 to             ing brook trout at satisfactory numbers and
                                                  on the small side but patient anglers will be    30 inches. Overall walleye numbers were              size. In Little Elk River, 29 percent of brook
                                                  rewarded with perch up to 8.5 inches, blue-      low in Tomahawk at 1.3 per acre, but there           trout five inches and longer were eight to
                                                  gill up to seven, crappie up to 10, and yellow   are trophy-class walleye up to 32 inches in          11.3 inches long. Some brook and brown
                                                  bullhead to 14 inches.                           length. Both species of bass were abundant           trout stocked into portions of Little Elk Riv-
                                                                                                   on the Chain, with good numbers up to 16 or          er were still available in mid summer.
                                                  Stream trout waters – Stream trout are do-       17 inches. Northern pike showed good num-
                                                  ing well despite a seven-year drought. In        bers out to the low 30-inches range. Most            Butternut Lake – Fall 2008 and spring
                                                  2009, trout numbers were up substantially        musky ranged 36 to 45 inches and the larg-           2009 surveys allowed sportfish population
                                                  from the previous year in most streams sur-      est was 50.5 inches. Panfish showed moder-           comparisons to goals outlined in the 2005
                                                  veyed. This includes the East Branch of          ate abundance but good size potential.               Butternut Lake Fishery Management Plan.
                                                  the Eau Claire River, Hunting River, Ever-                                                            Walleye density was midway between the
                                                  green River, Spring Brook and Red River.         Trout waters – Despite a seven-year                  desired range of four to eight adults per acre,
                                                  In-stream trout habitat projects were started    drought, a survey of Bearskin Creek found            but population size structure fell short of the
                                                  on the Hunting River (Highway T wayside          excellent brook trout natural reproduction.          target, which specifies that 30 to 50 percent
                                                  reach) and the Evergreen River (between the      Most trout were seven inches or smaller.             of walleye 10 inches and longer captured by
                                                  railroad bridge and Menominee Reservation        The largest brook trout was 12 inches and            netting in early spring should be at least 15
                                                  off Highway M). The Hunting River proj-          the largest brown was 8.2 inches. Look for           inches. One year after rule changes were
                                                  ect is a two-year project slated for summer      stocked brown trout in Dorothy Lake; rain-           designed to increase the proportion of larger
                                                  2010 completion. The Evergreen River proj-       bows are planned for Perch, Hawk and Little          fish by limiting harvest of walleye over 14
                                                  ect may take two more summers (2010 and          Bass lakes. Brook trout will go into Mercer          inches, densities improved slightly from
                                                  2011) to finish.                                 Springs and Brown, Gudegast, Scott and               19 percent in 2003 to 21 percent in 2009.
                                                                                                   Starks creeks.                                       Capture rates for musky ranked in the 81st
                                                  – Dave Seibel, fisheries biologist, Antigo                                                            percentile among spring netting surveys on
                                                                                                   – John Kubisiak, senior fisheries biologist,         similar “fast-action” musky waters, suggest-
A 55-inch musky taken from a Bayfield                                                              Rhinelander                                          ing that musky density remains above the
County lake in summer of 2009. Photo:             LINCOLN COUNTY                                                                                        goal of 0.2 – 0.3 adults per acre. Anglers are
Photographer unknown                                                                                                                                    encouraged to selectively harvest a musky
at edible size, current data show definite size
                                                  Lake Mohawksin – This 1,910-acre im-             POLK COUNTY                                          34 to 40 inches long once in a while to help
                                                  poundment on the Wisconsin River in                                                                   attain goals for musky, perch and walleye.
structure improvements with 31 percent of                                                          Big and Little Blake lakes – Largemouth
                                                  Tomahawk is one of the premier all-around                                                             Netting in fall 2008 found that black crappie
the population between 15 and 20 inches,                                                           bass are abundant in these waters. Bass
                                                  fisheries in Lincoln County. In 2009, a                                                               in Butternut Lake exceeded anglers’ expec-
which is up since 1997.                                                                            growth is slower than average and most of
                                                  comprehensive survey found strong, self-                                                              tations for size (42 percent of crappie five
                                                  sustaining populations of walleye, musky,        the bass collected were less than 14 inches          inches and longer were at least 10 inches
The musky population also has improved                                                             long. Northern pike and musky have been
                                                  northern pike, smallmouth bass and panfish.                                                           long), but netting capture rate reflects fewer
over the past 12 years. Surveys show that                                                          captured in low numbers in each lake, but the
                                                  The walleye population was estimated at 4.7                                                           fish following a season with high angling
musky abundance is similar from 1997 to                                                            fish were in excellent condition. The musky
                                                  adults per acre, which is above average for                                                           success. Local anglers support more restric-
2009 but the size structure has dramatically                                                       classification will be upgraded on this water
                                                  northern Wisconsin walleye waters. Most                                                               tive panfish harvest regulation to moderate
improved. In 1997, 17 percent of the fish                                                          because of a higher than expected popula-
                                                  walleye were in the 11- to 20-inch range                                                              the boom-and-bust cycles in crappie num-
sampled were 40 inches and longer while                                                            tion. Bluegill size structure has improved in
                                                  and about 22 percent of adults were over the                                                          bers. Yellow perch are plentiful in the six- to
no fish were captured exceeding 45 inches.                                                         recent years with bluegill size structure top-
                                                  minimum 15-inch length limit. There is a                                                              eight-inch range, but spring netting yielded
In the spring of 2009, 31 percent of the fish                                                      ping out in the 7.5- to 8.5-inch range.
                                                  strong musky population with many fish up                                                             none longer than 10 inches. Bluegill are
sampled were 40 inches or longer while
                                                  to 45 inches long. Northern pike are abun-                                                            starting to make a comeback. The Butternut
eight percent exceeded 45 inches. There                                                            Deer Lake – Musky have been present in
                                                  dant; the bulk of which are 13 to 30 inches                                                           Lake Fishery Management Plan is posted on
was no evidence of natural musky reproduc-                                                         moderate numbers. The largest fish mea-
                                                  long. Lots of panfish are present. Perch are                                                          DNR’s website at
tion and the population and fishery remains                                                        sured was 44.6 inches and weighed just un-
                                                  common up to 11 inches, bluegill up to nine,                                                          chip/fisheries/reports.htm.
dependant on stocking.                                                                             der 30 pounds. Northern pike also are pres-
                                                  pumpkinseed up to 7.5 and crappie up to 11
                                                  inches.                                          ent in low numbers but some quality fish             – Jeff Scheirer, fisheries biologist, Park Falls
On the panfish front, survey results show no                                                       exist here. Largemouth bass were abundant
measurable difference in the average size of
fish, but total densities of bluegill, pump-
                                                  Stream trout waters – Stream trout are do-       and growth and size structure appears to be
kinseed and yellow perch appear to have
                                                  ing well despite a seven-year drought. In        declining with many bass in the 11- to 13-           RUSK COUNTY
                                                  2009, trout numbers were up substantially        inch range. Bluegill size structure was av-
increased. Panfish anglers who have fished
the TFF in the past know that the flowage
                                                  from 2008 in most streams surveyed. This         erage with most fish in the 6.5- to 7.5-inch         Lower Flambeau River Flowages – Strong
                                                  includes the Prairie River where trout were      range.                                               river currents, canyon-like shorelines, dark-
has always produced above average sized
                                                  up 20 percent and near historic highs. In 25                                                          stained water and fish moving long distances
panfish and now with increased numbers,                                                            Largon Lake – Largemouth bass and north-
                                                  years of surveys at one Prairie River station,                                                        between dams challenged surveyors in this
those folks fishing for panfish should expe-                                                       ern pike dominate this small lake. A 32-inch
                                                  total trout numbers have only been this high                                                          series of reservoirs, so it is uncertain that
rience a lot more fishing action.                                                                  minimum length limit has been in place
                                                  or higher four other years (2001, 1995, 1994                                                          results from fall 2008 and spring 2009 sur-
                                                  and 1976). History has shown that stream         since the mid 1990s and northern pike abun-          veys reflect the true status of sportfish in Big
The TFF supports an exceptional small-                                                             dance is strong with many fish in the 28- to
                                                  trout numbers routinely fluctuate three-fold                                                          Falls, Dairyland, Ladysmith, and the Thor-
mouth bass fishery in terms of numbers and                                                         36-inch range. Largemouth bass provide an-
                                                  and years of fewer trout likely are coming.                                                           napple flowages. Nonetheless, it is possible
average size. Pound for pound, the small-                                                          other quality fishery with larger than aver-
                                                  An in-stream trout habitat project will be                                                            to cautiously compare findings from those
mouth is known for its exceptional fighting                                                        age size fish present. Bluegill size structure
                                                  started and likely completed this summer                                                              surveys with goals that anglers helped de-
ability. “Smallies” found in the flowage are                                                       is average with most fish in the 7.5- to eight-
                                                  on a newly acquired DNR property on the                                                               fine in 2005.
easily caught in summer and are extremely                                                          inch range.
                                                  Prairie River. The property is immediately
robust for their length. These exceptionally
                                                  above Highway J and this project will tie in                                                          Partner groups considered a very good wall-
heavy fish provide anglers with an extraor-                                                        Poplar Lake – Largemouth bass and northern
                                                  nicely with projects done right below High-                                                           eye fishery as four to eight adults per acre
dinary angling experience.                                                                         pike are the primary game fish in this small
                                                  way J and right above this new property.                                                              and 25 to 30 percent at least 15 inches long.
                                                                                                   western lake. Bass size structure is slightly        Spring 2009 capture rates indicated low
– Jeff Roth, fisheries biologist, Mercer
                                                  – Dave Seibel, fisheries biologist, Antigo       below average but densities have improved            walleye density, but spawning walleye may
                                                                                                   when compared to past surveys. Bluegill              move to the free-flowing river segments
                                                                                                   top out in the 7.5- to eight-inch range.
LANGLADE COUNTY                                   ONEIDA COUNTY
                                                                                                                                                        and elude net capture in the impoundments.
                                                                                                                                                        Small samples suggest that walleye in these
Goto Lake – This is a small lake at only 28                                                        Clam River – About 2,500 feet of stream              flowages probably have the desired size dis-
acres, but it is the deepest lake in the county
                                                  Gilmore Lake – A comprehensive survey            habitat improvement activities occurred              tribution.
                                                  of this lake found abundant northern pike,       on the Clam River in the McKenzie Creek
at 82 feet. There is walk-in/carry-in access
                                                  musky, largemouth bass and panfish, along        Wildlife Area off 60th Street. Bank cov-             Anglers wanted better fisheries for black
from a DNR parking lot on the lake’s west
                                                  with fewer stocked walleye. Most pike are        ers, rock weirs and deflectors were added to         crappie with a goal that 20 to 30 percent of
side. The east half of the lake is privately
                                                  17 to 26 inches, but a few fish up to 34 inch-   improve habitat for large brown and brook            all crappie five inches and longer captured
owned. A 2009 survey found walleye,
                                                  es have been found. About 71 musky were          trout.                                               by fyke netting in early fall should be 10
northern pike, brook trout, yellow perch,
                                                  handled during the survey, with sizes from                                                            inches or longer. If experimental applica-
black crappie and green sunfish. A privately
stocked walleye population was estimated at
                                                  30 to 47 inches. Largemouth bass eight to16      South Twin Lake – DNR fisheries and City             tion of a technique developed in Missouri
                                                  inches long were fairly numerous while few       of Amery staff upgraded the existing aeration        is valid for assessing crappie populations
2.9 per acre, which is a good density for a
                                                  smallmouth were captured. The walleye            system on South Twin Lake in downtown                in northern lakes, fall 2008 capture rates of
stocked population. Most were in the 20- to
                                                  population was reasonable for a stocked          Amery. Two new compressed air pumps                  zero-to-three crappie per net-night indicate
27-inch range. No evidence of walleye nat-
                                                  population, at 1.6 per acre. Walleye ranged      and aeration lines were installed, and sev-          very low abundance in each flowage. Al-
ural reproduction was found and only five
                                                  12 to 29 inches, peaking at 20 inches. There     eral aeration lines were repaired. The new           though not enough fish were measured to
pike were captured ranging from 21 to 32
                                                  were abundant small panfish, but anglers         aeration system will double the amount of            confidently evaluate population size struc-
inches. Two six- to seven-inch brook trout
                                                  willing to sort will find seven-inch bluegill    compressed air in the lake when compared             ture, 29 to 33 percent of crappie in the small
were captured, which is not surprising since
                                                  and pumpkinseed, seven- to nine-inch crap-       to the previous aeration system and should           samples were at least 10 inches long.
Goto Lake basically is a big spring pond and
                                                  pie and eight- to 11-inch yellow bullhead.       prevent or minimize future fish winterkills.
has brook trout streams flowing in and out.
Perch were numerous but most were small                                                                                                                 Electrofishing capture rates for smallmouth
at five to eight inches. Only nine crappies
                                                  Squash Lake – A recent walleye survey on         – Heath Benike, senior fisheries biologist, Bar-     bass seven inches and longer ranged from 16
                                                  Squash Lake found about two adults per           ron                                                  to 28 per hour in the four flowages compared
were captured but they were quality size
                                                  acre. Most walleye were 13 to 20 inches                                                               to 50 to 100 bass per hour, the measure of
ranging from five to 14 inches. Green sun-
                                                  in length. Largemouth bass were abundant                                                              desired abundance. Proportions of bass 14
fish were abundant and ranged from three to
five inches.
                                                  with size centered on 14 inches.                 PRICE COUNTY                                         inches or longer ranged from zero percent in
                                                                                                                                                        Thornapple Flowage to 29 percent in Dairy-
Phlox Lake – A 2009 comprehensive survey          Minocqua Chain – A survey on the Minoc-          Murray Creek and Little Elk River – Anglers          land and Ladysmith, suggesting that small-
                                                  qua Chain found low to average density           should have good opportunities for catching          mouth did not achieve the target range of 40
on this 45-acre impoundment on the Red
                                                  walleye populations. Kawaguesaga had the         native and stocked trout in Murray Creek             to 60 percent.
River found northern pike were common

                                                                                                                                                      Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010                      7
Four bluegill longer than three inches were                                                           ral Resources, this special regulation goes        Lac du Flambeau Tribal Natural Resource
found in 12.5 miles of shoreline electrofish-                                                         into effect on Long and Big Sand lakes this        Department; call (715) 588-3207 for more
ing, so expectations for a substantial blue-                                                          spring. These lakes are located in Northeast-      information.
gill fishery probably are unrealistic in light                                                        ern Vilas County just east of the town of
of habitat conditions. Sparse aquatic plants                                                          Phelps. The lakes are connected by a half-         – Steve Gilbert, fisheries biologist, Woodruff
and many young walleye are not a prescrip-                                                            mile long thoroughfare. Both lakes have the
tion for abundant bluegill of decent size.                                                            potential to produce trophy musky if given
                                                                                                      enough protection. Currently, there are a          WASHBURN COUNTY
Results from recent surveys about the effects                                                         few big fish in these lakes and it will take
of the 30-foot reservoir drawdown in 2007                                                             10 to 15 years to see the full impact of this      Only a handful of Washburn County’s many
or the ongoing habitat enhancement project                                                            regulation change. These may not be good           lakes are walleye waters, but there are a few
at Dairyland Flowage were inconclusive.                                                               lakes to fish this year but keep an eye on         exceptional ones.
                                                                                                      these waters for future big fish potential.
– Jeff Scheirer, fisheries biologist, Park Falls                                                                                                         Minong Flowage – Minong Flowage sup-
                                                                                                      Long Lake – Long Lake also has a new               ports a thriving adult walleye population of
                                                                                                      walleye regulation in 2010. In an effort to        seven per acre as well as many juveniles.
TAYLOR COUNTY                                                                                         increase adult walleye numbers, re-establish       If you’re catching sub-legal walleye, try a
                                                                                                      natural recruitment, and control rainbow           different spot. The big boys won’t be in the
Wood Creek – Harsh conditions stemming                                                                smelt numbers, an 18-inch minimum length           same habitats as the cigars.
from prolonged drought and beaver dams                                                                limit and a three fish (*) bag limit was
forced trout to concentrate in spring-fed                                                             placed on the lake. The illegal introduction       Shell Lake – Shell Lake has had several
reaches of Wood Creek southeast of Rib             Fisheries technician Greg Rublee holds             of smelt into this lake has ruined the healthy     huge walleye hatches in recent years with
Lake. A July 2009 survey at five stations          two large walleye (largest 29.5 inches) cap-       natural walleye population. The Department         fall fingerling counts running around 100
confirmed that natural reproduction sus-           tured in spring 2009 in fyke nets in Spirit        of Natural Resources, Long Lake of Phelps          per mile. Twelve- to 14-inch walleye domi-
tains a viable fishery with brook trout up         Lake, Taylor County. Photo: Kendal                 Lake District and the Phelps Chamber of            nate the fishery now but a no-minimum size
to 13 inches long and brown trout to 17.5          Liebzeit                                           Commerce are promoting smelt awareness             limit applies.
inches. Size and numbers for both species                                                             and stocking the lake with large walleye
were highest near Trout Avenue. For now            very few were found to be longer than eight        fingerlings on an annual basis. The goal is        Long Lake – Long Lake’s adult walleye pop-
anglers should avoid the headwater reaches         inches. Just over half of the bluegills mea-       to see natural walleye recruitment return to       ulation has only been running around two
downstream from Wood Lake where there              sured were six to seven inches long.               this lake.                                         per acre, but fast growth results in a quality
has been extremely low stream flow and no                                                                                                                fishery. A third of the population is greater
trout.                                             Diamond Lake – Those seeking a relaxed             * Please note: Long Lake is in the ceded ter-      than 20 inches with 30-plus inch trophy fish
                                                   fishing experience on a small lake with light      ritory and the bag limit may be lower on an        out there. The 2005 year class was the best
Spirit and North Spirit lakes – Anglers of         boat traffic and the added amenities of a          annual basis based on tribal declarations.         in 15 years and those fish will run 17 to 20
all skill levels can pick from a variety of        county park should consider a trip to the 49-                                                         inches this spring.
fishing opportunities the Spirit Lakes offer.      acre Diamond Lake, located about 20 miles          Lac du Flambeau area Lakes – Covering
Novice and avid musky anglers should en-           west of Medford. Spring 2009 surveys found         144 square miles of western Vilas County,          Trout anglers will want to check the updated
joy fast-action with a decent chance to land       mainly largemouth bass and bluegill each in        the Lac du Flambeau Indian reservation of-         website
one of memorable size. Netting in spring           moderate to high numbers with 59 percent           fers some overlooked fishing opportunities.        estry/info/huntfishwild.htm. Locations for
2009 yielded 31 musky ranging 29.5 to 42.5         of bluegill six inches or longer and 38 per-       There are 260 lakes located in or on the res-      18 backwoods trout ponds in the Washburn
inches. Musky abundance and size structure         cent of bass at least 15 inches long. A low-       ervation border. State, tribal and town boat       County Forest can be found there. Two-inch
were better in North Spirit Lake where 42          density population offers bonus fishing for        landings provide access to most of the larger      long brook trout stocked at ice out grow to
percent were 38 inches or longer. The low-         21- to 27-inch walleye. The slow-no-wake           lakes. When it comes to big water in the           nice eating size by fall and can reach 18
density walleye populations in both lakes          ordinance is friendly toward small boats.          county, four of the top 10 largest lakes by        inches in just a few years. The best fishing
were comprised entirely of older adults 21 to                                                         acreage are located within the reservation.        is in fall and first ice when most other trout
29.5 inches long with no evidence of natural       – Jeff Scheirer, fisheries biologist, Park Falls                                                      waters are closed.
reproduction—annual stocking maintains                                                                Lac du Flambeau reservation lakes provide
the walleye fishery (see story on page 4).                                                            a range of fishing opportunities. No special       – Steve Gilbert, fisheries biologist, Woodruff
Largemouth bass were twice as abundant             VILAS COUNTY                                       tribal license is required to fish these waters,
in North Spirit Lake, but Spirit Lake held a                                                          but you do need a Wisconsin fishing license.
greater proportion of bass 15 inches or lon-       Long and Big Sand lakes – For the first time       Most reservation waters have special regula-
ger (62 percent versus 26 percent). Families       in Vilas County fishing history there will be      tions regarding walleye and musky harvest.              Interested in fishery areas?
can find good panfish fishing as long as size      lakes with a 50-inch minimum regulation            Consult the Wisconsin fishing regulation
is not too important. Black crappie and yel-       on musky. Through cooperative efforts of           pamphlet for lake-specific rules. These       
low perch were plentiful in both basins, but       the Headwater Chapter of Muskies Inc., the         waters are stocked and monitored by the
                                                   local lake districts and Department of Natu-

 Northeastern Wisconsin
                                                   Inland Lakes – Surveys over the past sev-          197 adult musky of amazing sizes from the          good year classes since 2003 is good news
                                                   eral years on Kangaroo and Clark lakes in-         Lower Fox River and Green Bay. The av-             for anglers. The 2009 ice fishing season
                                                   dicate good fish populations and anglers tar-      erage fish size has continued to increase as       resulted in nearly equal proportions of two,
                                                   geting smallmouth bass and walleye in both         this re-established population matures. The        three and four-year-old yellow perch har-
                                                   lakes. Northern pike ice fishing can be good       average fish length was 43.5 inches. Twelve        vested. Those fish averaged 8.2 inches. In
                                                   on Kangaroo Lake. The panfish population           fish were larger than 50 inches and 30 fish        2009, perch fishing throughout the bay was
                                                   on Kangaroo Lake is dominated by yellow            were larger than 48 inches. Anglers pursuing       spotty during early summer but improved
                                                   perch and rock bass while bluegill is more         musky on Green Bay need to be prepared             dramatically beginning in August. Many of
                                                   common in Clark Lake. Anglers seeking sol-         with an adequate-sized landing net and a           the fish caught were seven to eight inches
                                                   itude should give Europe Lake a try. Fishing       good pair of pliers and side cutters for re-       and 2 years old (2007 year class), which
                                                   may be a little slow but an occasional small-      moving hooks. Oh, and make sure to have            suggests accelerated growth rates compared
                                                   mouth bass or panfish may be caught.               your camera ready.                                 to most years. Those fish should continue
                                                                                                                                                         to provide quality yellow perch angling op-
                                                   – Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Mishicot      – David Rowe, fisheries biologist, Green Bay       portunities in 2010.

                                                                                                                                                         Brown trout shocking surveys in the lower
                                                   GREEN BAY/LOWER FOX RIVER                                                                             Menominee River resulted in a record low
                                                                                                                                                         number of browns. Catches averaged eight
                                                   The Lake Michigan creel survey estimated                                                              fish per hour compared to 20 to 30 fish per
CALUMET COUNTY                                     that anglers caught more than 160,000 wall-                                                           hour in the past few years. However, the
                                                   eye from Green Bay and the Lower Fox River                                                            fish that were caught were quite impressive,
Calumet County’s eastern half houses sev-          in 2008 and kept about 48,000 of those fish.                                                          averaging more than 28 inches with an occa-
eral lakes and streams that are popular with       During March and April in the Lower Fox                                                               sional fish in the mid-30 inch range weigh-
anglers. Bass, northern pike and rock bass         River, the catch rate improved to one fish for                                                        ing more than 20 pounds. Large numbers
fishing can be very good during the sum-           every 1.1 hours of fishing. Fall surveys doc-                                                         of whitefish were found during November
                                                   umented strong year classes of walleye from                                                           2009 sampling, and a few anglers caught
mer on the Chilton Millpond, South Branch
                                                   2008 and 2009 with catch rates of young-of-                                                           whitefish by hook and line. Spring walleye
of the Manitowoc River and the Killsnake                                                                                                                 fishing in the Menominee, Peshtigo and
River.                                             the-year walleye almost three times greater
                                                   than the long-term average in those years.                                                            Oconto rivers is very good with most fish
                                                   Anglers should find plenty of 20- to 26-inch                                                          in the 21- to 24-inch size group. Walleye
– Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Mishicot                                                                                                            catches in the surrounding areas of Green
                                                   fish from a strong 2003 year class and a lot
                                                   of small fish action as the 2008 year class                                                           Bay have been exceptional for the past few
                                                                                                                                                         years and continue to be dominated by the
DOOR COUNTY                                        begins to recruit to the fishery.                  All smiles with a 50-inch Green Bay                2003 year class.
                                                                                                      musky. Photo: Tim Simonson
Tributary streams – Steelhead are stocked          Green Bay musky fishing should be fantas-
                                                   tic. While fall 2009 wasn’t particularly great                                                        The Department of Natural Resources con-
annually in Heins, Hibbards and Whitefish                                                                                                                tinues annual stocking of brown and rain-
                                                   in terms of catch rate, huge schools of for-
Bay creeks. These streams are scenic and
                                                   age fish comprised of gizzard shad and em-
                                                                                                      GREEN BAY (MARINETTE, OCONTO,                      bow trout, and Chinook and coho salmon in
provide anglers with a good small-stream
fishing experience. Increasing water levels        erald and spotfin shiners were present. This       BROWN AND KEWAUNEE                                 Upper Green Bay. These fish will provide
                                                                                                                                                         future opportunities for stream angling and
in Lake Michigan have raised the number            healthy forage base resulted in some massive       COUNTIES)                                          trolling.
of steelhead and other fish found in these         fish and there were plenty of 50-plus inch
streams during spring and fall runs.               fish caught and released that would have
                                                   weighed in at over 45 pounds. DNR net-             A sizeable 2009 yellow perch year class            – Tammie Paoli, fisheries biologist, Peshtigo
                                                   ting surveys in the spring of 2009 captured        along with several years of moderate to

8               Fish Wisconsin!
KEWAUNEE COUNTY                                   MARINETTE COUNTY                                   Walleye fishing in the area continues to be
                                                                                                     excellent due to outstanding walleye repro-
                                                                                                                                                        estimated at 6.1 per acre in a 2008 survey.
                                                                                                                                                        There was fair size structure with eight per-
                                                                                                     duction in southern and western portions of        cent of adult bass caught electrofishing larg-
Tributary streams – Following the spring          Lake Noquebay – A 2009 survey on the               Green Bay. The strong 2003 year class is           er than 15 inches. Northern pike were com-
melt, anglers target large migrating steel-       2,000-acre Lake Noquebay near Crivitz re-
                                                                                                     still well represented by many fish in the         mon and estimated at 1.2 per acre with good
head, northern pike and suckers in the Ke-        sulted in more than 600 walleye, 500 large-
                                                                                                     lower to middle 20-inch range. Although            size structure. Fourteen percent of adult fish
waunee and Ahnapee rivers and Stony Creek.        mouth bass and 3,000 panfish captured. The
                                                                                                     walleye stocking in Door County waters has         were larger than 28 inches. Walleye con-
The steelhead run begins in late March and        primary predator was the largemouth bass,
                                                                                                     been sporadic the past several years, fish         tinue to be the most sought after species by
in many years continues through the end of        with more than 350 captured during net-
                                                                                                     stocked in 2003 and 2004 should continue           anglers according to creel survey results and
April. Recent spring runs have been much          ting and another 173 caught by electrofish-
                                                                                                     to contribute to the creel. The number of          their abundance was estimated at 2.6 adults
better than runs in the early 2000s. While        ing. Catch rates for largemouth bass were
                                                                                                     walleye caught incidentally during spring          per acre.
many anglers focus on fishing the large           about 20 fish per mile indicating a very good
                                                                                                     smallmouth bass surveys suggests a good
streams, anglers should not overlook small        population. The largest bass captured was
                                                                                                     local population.                                  – David Rowe, fisheries biologist, Green Bay
streams such as Silver and Stony creeks.          22 inches and the average length was 13.5
                                                  inches. More than 600 walleye were han-
                                                                                                     – Scott Hansen, fisheries biologist, Sturgeon
Summer tributary fishing for smallmouth           dled in the surveys, but several were cap-
bass should be very good in lower sections        tured more than twice. It is estimated, using
                                                                                                     Bay                                                SHAWANO COUNTY
of the Kewaunee and Ahnapee rivers. Those         the ratio of unmarked fish to marked fish,
seeking catfish, bullhead, panfish or a few       that Lake Noquebay houses about 0.5 adult                                                             White Clay Lake – Anglers looking for qual-
yellow perch should try fishing the Algoma        walleye per acre or 1,200 fish. The largest        LAKE MICHIGAN (MANITOWOC                           ity fishing might want to consider White
                                                                                                                                                        Clay Lake. DNR 2009 surveys showed
or Kewaunee harbors.                              walleye caught was 24 inches and the aver-
                                                  age size was 14.9 inches. Panfish, including
                                                                                                     AND KEWAUNEE COUNTIES)                             abundant (six pike per acre) northern pike.
                                                                                                     The Lake Michigan fishery offers abundant          Average size also was good (17.4 inches with
In mid-September, salmon spawning migra-          bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, rock         fishing opportunities for all anglers who can
tions begin and if stream flows are good,         bass and yellow perch, were captured in                                                               52 percent over 21 inches) with several pike
                                                                                                     choose to fish from piers, the shore, small        up to 37 inches. Largemouth bass popula-
fishing should be excellent in most tributary     large numbers during surveys. All species          or large boats, or from charter boats at the
streams, first Chinook, followed by coho,         were numerous and large. Bluegill was the                                                             tions appeared to be above average with 76
                                                                                                     major ports of Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Ke-          percent of the catch over the legal size limit.
brown trout and steelhead, until the rivers       most dominant panfish species with an aver-        waunee and Algoma.
freeze. Most fishing activity is on the Ke-       age size of 6.2 inches and the largest fish at                                                        Walleye were found in low numbers (1.2 per
waunee River.                                     9.5 inches. Black crappie were impressive                                                             acre) but showed good size with some fish
                                                                                                     During April and May anglers target brown          up to 28 inches. Approximately 8,000 wall-
                                                  with the average size being 8.6 inches and         trout and steelhead that are nearshore. Sum-
When it comes time for ice fishing, try the       the largest fish caught at 13 inches. Overall,                                                        eye are stocked on a biennial basis. Panfish
                                                                                                     mer months find anglers targeting Chinook          surveys indicate a healthy bluegill popula-
lower reaches of the Kewaunee River for           Lake Noquebay is a good fishing destina-           and coho salmon, and brown trout within
steelhead and brown trout.                        tion.                                                                                                 tion with more than 44 percent exceeding
                                                                                                     several miles of the shore, and steelhead          six inches. In addition, yellow perch and
                                                                                                     farther offshore. During the warm summer           crappie were sampled with 34 percent of the
Inland lakes and streams – Bass fishing           Menominee River and flowages – Surveys             months, when favorable wind conditions
is fair and panfish fishing is good in Ke-        performed in 2009 on the Menominee Riv-                                                               crappie larger than eight inches.
                                                                                                     push warm surface water offshore and bring
waunee’s small lakes, with many anglers           er and its flowages documented abundant            cold water nearshore, fishing from the piers
targeting panfish in the winter. East Alaska      smallmouth bass fisheries. Those fisheries                                                            Shawano Lake – Routine annual surveys
                                                                                                     and breakwalls can be fantastic with lucky         on Shawano Lake indicate largemouth bass
Lake is stocked with small numbers of             are in very good condition with smallmouth         anglers landing a mixed bag of salmon and
musky that provide anglers with a unique          bass larger than 14 inches common. Evening                                                            populations are in good shape. During 2007
                                                                                                     trout. Summer fishing for yellow perch in          fall assessments, approximately 12 bass
fishing opportunity. Although density is low,     surveys were performed at Big Quinnesec            Hika Bay off of Cleveland also can be very
anglers catch several 40-plus inch musky          Flowage on the Menominee River in May                                                                 per mile were captured during electrofish-
                                                                                                     good. As the weather cools in fall, most an-       ing with 22 percent longer than 14 inches.
nearly every year. Krohns Lake located            and October of 2009 and showed a good              glers target Chinook salmon that begin to
southwest of Algoma is stocked annually           fishery with abundant northern pike, wall-                                                            Panfish anglers can expect continued good
                                                                                                     stage near river mouths for their annual fall      angling for bluegill and crappie. Bluegill
with rainbow trout and is an excellent place      eye, bass and bluegill. One-mile sections of       run. Some anglers however continue to fish
to take a kid fishing. Several streams, in-       the Menominee River near Sturgeon Falls,                                                              catch rates averaged 266 bluegill per hour
                                                                                                     farther offshore for steelhead and immature        of electrofishing with fish up to eight inches
cluding Scarboro and Little Scarboro creeks       Miscauno Island, Grand Rapids and Lower            salmon until weather conditions on the lake
and the upper East Twin River have either         Scott Dam also were sampled and revealed                                                              long. Northern pike numbers appear to be
                                                                                                     prevents safe fishing. During mild winters,        down from past surveys; however, size struc-
stocked brown trout or native brook trout         abundant juvenile and adult smallmouth             brown trout fishing can be good from the
that provide anglers with inland trout fishing    bass. Other notable game fish found during                                                            ture has improved with 21-inch and larger
                                                                                                     shore or from piers.                               pike making up a significant percent of the
opportunities.                                    the river surveys included northern pike,
                                                  musky, walleye and channel catfish. All of                                                            catch. Walleye are still at very low densi-
                                                                                                     – Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Mishicot      ties with most of the population comprised
– Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Mishicot     the flowages and river reaches have public
                                                  landings and shoreline fishing opportunities.                                                         of larger (greater than 20 inches) adults from
                                                  The Peshtigo River and its flowages also                                                              year classes produced in the 1990s. Musky
MANITOWOC COUNTY                                  provide similar smallmouth bass fisheries.
                                                                                                     OCONTO COUNTY                                      have continued to provide a great fishery
                                                                                                                                                        with several 45- to 50-inch musky captured/
                                                  – Mike Donofrio, fisheries supervisor,             White Potato Lake – This 978-acre lake             observed during our fall assessments. This
Tributary streams – Following the spring                                                             is one of the more popular fishing destina-        past year the Department of Natural Re-
melt, anglers can hook steelhead, brown           Peshtigo
                                                                                                     tions in Oconto County and for good reason.        sources stocked 2,500 musky fingerlings. In
trout and northern pike in larger tributaries                                                        White Potato Lake is a large, shallow lake         2010, department staff is planning to con-
including the Manitowoc, Branch, East Twin                                                           that warms quickly and has ample amounts           duct fyke netting surveys on Shawano Lake
and West Twin rivers. While many focus on         LAKE MICHIGAN AND GREEN BAY                        of aquatic vegetation, which results in fast       to obtain more comprehensive information
fishing the large streams, anglers shouldn’t
overlook small streams such as Silver and
                                                  (DOOR, MANITOWOC AND                               growth. There are a variety of fish species to     on the entire fish community.
                                                                                                     pursue and plenty of access. In a 2008 sur-
Fischer creeks. Looking for a different fish-     KEWAUNEE COUNTIES)                                 vey, the walleye abundance was estimated           – Al Niebur, fisheries biologist, Shawano
ing experience? Try dip-netting suckers or                                                           at just under four adults per acre. Northern
smelt as they migrate upstream.                   Chinook salmon stocking reductions in              pike also were prominent with plenty of fish
                                                  2006 have now nearly taken full effect in the
Anglers fishing in tributary streams during       population as fish from that stocking year                                                            UPPER FOX BASIN
summer can catch a variety of fish. Small-        class returned to the 2009 creel as 3-plus
mouth bass fishing should be very good in         year olds. Once again, the results of a lake-                                                         Montello, Buffalo and Puckaway lakes -
lower sections of the Manitowoc and Branch        wide marking program indicate a substantial                                                           These shallow impoundments are highly
rivers. Northern pike anglers should try fish-    contribution of naturally recruited fish to the                                                       productive and exhibit above average growth
ing the lower Manitowoc or West Twin riv-         population of Lake Michigan Chinook with                                                              for most species. Largemouth bass and
ers. Those seeking catfish, bullhead, panfish     a 2008 estimate of approximately 50 percent                                                           northern pike grow extremely well. Walleye
or a few yellow perch should try fishing in       of young salmon being “wild” fish. Chi-                                                               on Lake Puckaway and the Fox River also
the Manitowoc and Two Rivers harbors.             nook size continues to trend upward from                                                              grow very fast and most attain legal size by
                                                  near historic lows in 2007. The average size                                                          the time they are three or four years old.
In mid-September, salmon spawning migra-          of a fish returning to the Strawberry Creek
tions begin and if stream flows are good, fish-   Weir in Sturgeon Bay increased from 2008                                                              Big Green Lake – Wisconsin’s deepest inland
ing should be excellent. The Chinook run is       levels.                                                                                               lake continues to be one of the area’s most
followed by the coho run, then brown trout                                                                                                              popular destinations. Known for its stocked
and steelhead runs until the rivers freeze.       An apparent change in whitefish feeding                                                               lake trout fishery, the warmwater component
                                                  and/or distribution patterns in Green Bay                                                             of Big Green remains very popular. Small-
Try the lower reaches of the larger rivers        several years ago created an unprecedented                                                            mouth bass, northern pike and walleye are
such as the Manitowoc and West Twin rivers        ice fishery for this species in the area. Winter                                                      targeted annually by anglers for their trophy
to ice fish for steelhead and brown trout.        creel estimates for 2009 indicated whitefish                                                          potential. A low density stocked population
                                                  again provided good action for ice anglers.         Elliot Hoffman, fisheries technician, hold-       of musky exists and some are beginning to
Inland lakes – Recent surveys show that           Population assessments and stock size esti-         ing a flathead catfish captured during a          appear in the angler’s creel. Reports of fish
most lakes in the county are largemouth bass      mates completed in 2009 indicate the area           DNR fyke net survey on the Wolf River,            in the 40-inch range are common. Bluegill
and panfish lakes. Larger lakes such as Long,     whitefish spawning stock(s) are robust and          Waupaca County. Photo: Al Niebur                  is known to reach trophy sizes and should
Cedar, Pigeon and Wilke lakes have a mix          recruitment is strong.                                                                                remain a popular year round catch.
of bass population sizes that will provide
anglers with some good angling. Bass are          The smallmouth bass fishery continues to                                                              Little Green Lake – This lake offers a unique
present in smaller lakes but in lower num-        be a gem along portions of Door County’s                                                              opportunity for anglers in this part of the
                                                                                                     in the 24- to 30-inch range. Musky are pres-       state to target musky. Many anglers catch
bers. Fishing is fair and walleye are stocked     shoreline and 2010 should be no exception.         ent, and while at low numbers, the average
in several lakes including Bullhead, Pigeon,      Spring population assessments in Little                                                               and release here and the chance to catch a
                                                                                                     fish surveyed was 38 inches. Largemouth            50-inch fish exists. Each year, fish in the up-
Silver and Harpts lakes. Northern pike fish-      Sturgeon Bay and Sturgeon Bay areas pro-           bass were common with an estimated densi-
ing is good in several lakes including Silver,    vided evidence that the smallmouth density                                                            per 40-inch range are reported. The lake also
                                                                                                     ty of 1.4 adults per acre, but they grow very      contains a healthy population of largemouth
Cedar and Long lakes. Panfish, mainly blue-       is in good condition. Size structure appears       fast with 21 percent of adult fish exceeding
gill, yellow perch and rock bass are popular      to be very good as 25 percent of fish cap-                                                            bass, northern pike and walleye. Bluegill,
                                                                                                     14 inches. Panfish are common, grow fast           crappie and yellow perch will continue to be
with local anglers despite low numbers and        tured measured between 18 and 22 inches            and are decent sizes. The average lengths
small sizes in some lakes. Horseshoe Lake         with the largest fish approaching 23 inches.                                                          popular ice fishing targets.
                                                                                                     were 6.3 inches for bluegill, 7.3 inches for
is stocked annually with trout and is very        Future smallmouth fishing opportunities are        yellow perch and 9.3 inches for black crap-
popular with anglers during the winter.           optimistic as preliminary information sug-         pie.
                                                  gests recruitment has been very good with
– Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Mishicot     sub-adult fish well represented in addition to     Wheeler Lake – This 293-acre seepage lake
                                                  positive summer and fall young-of-the-year         sees a lot of fishing pressure but maintains
                                                  assessments.                                       a healthy fishery. The largemouth bass
                                                                                                     population is doing better than ever and was

                                                                                                                                                      Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010                  9
WAUPACA, SHAWANO AND OUT-                      Although overall trout numbers are down
                                               from recent years, this stream still out pro-
                                                                                                WINNEBAGO SYSTEM (WOLF AND                      Over half of the 12,000 males captured
                                                                                                                                                were 16 inches or larger and 20 percent
AGAMIE COUNTIES                                duces most area streams. Recent electro-         UPPER FOX RIVERS, LAKES WIN-                    were 18 inches or more. For females, just
Wolf River – The Wolf River continues
                                               fishing surveys show above average density       NEBAGO, BUTTE DES MORTS,                        under half the 2,900 sampled were 22 inch-
                                               with over 29 percent of the adult catch over                                                     es or larger, with 10 percent 25 inches and
to provide diverse angling opportuni-          the legal size limit (nine-inch minimum).        WINNECONNE AND POYGAN)                          larger.
ties. Surveys conducted throughout the         Anglers can access the stream from many
river showed good populations of various       properties and parking areas in the Radley       The Winnebago system should continue to         Anglers seeking less “toothy” quarry will
game fish and panfish. Game fish catch was     Creek Fishery Area.                              be a “go to” destination for anglers in 2010.   find the system’s bass fishing to be on par
mainly comprised of smallmouth bass with                                                        For the past few years the system has been      with the last couple of years, with small-
fewer numbers of walleye, largemouth bass,     Waupaca River – Recent electrofishing            producing nice walleye, bass and panfish        to medium-size fish common throughout
flathead catfish and northern pike. Small-     surveys conducted on the Waupaca River           catches. Clearer water and more submerged       the system. Fish that are 18-plus inches
mouth bass catch rates were the highest in     show a promising trout fishing future.           weeds have benefitted almost all fish spe-      occasionally show up but anglers will re-
the reach between Shawano and Shiocton         Young-of-the-year numbers were up 200            cies by providing more spawning beds,           alistically see most fish falling in the 12- to
with as many as 11 bass caught per hour        percent from the last time the river was         cover and feeding areas. An added benefit       16-inch range. Smallmouth on Lake Win-
of electrofishing. Smallmouth bass size        surveyed and 180 percent higher than the         of the increased vegetation is clearer water    nebago continue to show increases in both
averaged 9.4 inches with 21 percent over       10-year average. Total adult numbers are         as the plants act as natural filters, slowing   number and size, while the clearer water
the legal size (14 inches). Annual hoop        down from past years, however, density of        the water and allowing suspended materi-        and abundant vegetation have helped to
net surveys conducted near Gills Landing       larger trout (greater than 15 inches) have       als to fall out and preventing re-suspension    provide increased habitat for largemouth.
captured good numbers of channel catfish.      been holding steady in the special regula-       of finer bottom material. Anglers are reap-
Channel catfish size averaged 21.3 inches      tions water. Anglers have a good chance          ing the benefits from these improvements        Panfish numbers and sizes have been reach-
and ranged from 12.8 to 34.8 inches. The       of catching a trophy trout with densities        in the form of more fish on their pole or in    ing the radar of non-specialist anglers for
largest channel catfish sampled weighed in     of 15-plus inch fish as high as 42 trout per     the live well.                                  the last couple of years. The resurgence of
at 17.2 pounds. Adult flathead catch was       mile. The “wild trout” stocking program                                                          rooted vegetation has been a boon to pan-
down from past surveys. A total of 130 flat-   has been very important to bolstering trout      The Winnebago system’s walleye popula-          fish throughout the system. The large year
heads were captured ranging in size from       populations in the Waupaca River. Annu-          tion continues to be among the top in the       classes of yellow perch from 2004-2007 are
4.3 to 49.3 pounds.                            ally, the river is stocked with 18,000 feral     Midwest and the spring walleye run on the       now in the range of six to 10 inches. An-
                                               brown trout fingerlings. Past studies have       Wolf River is famous. Since the start of the    glers who are able to catch these fish should
– Al Niebur, fisheries biologist, Shawano      shown that stocked “wild trout” comprise         millennium, the system has had only two         be rewarded with some tasty meals.
                                               almost 40 percent of the adult population.       really poor year classes. Five of them are
                                                                                                among the largest the system has seen in
                                                                                                                                                – Kendall K. Kamke, senior fisheries biologist,
                                                                                                the last 25 years. In April 2009, Oshkosh
WAUPACA COUNTY                                 – Al Niebur, fisheries biologist, Shawano
                                                                                                DNR fisheries staff, along with volunteers,     Oshkosh
TROUT STREAMS                                                                                   captured and tagged almost 16,000 wall-
Radley Creek – Anglers looking for action-
oriented fishing should try Radley Creek.

 Southeastern Wisconsin
                                               lowing January/February. VHS rules now           2002, 2003 and 2005 year classes now            through April. In spring 2009, the return
                                               prohibit the transfer of live fish to a hatch-   contribute most significantly to the sport      of steelhead to the Root River Steelhead
                                               ery. Skamania were last stocked in 2008,         harvest, and the 2005 year class dominates      Facility was the strongest in the past five
                                               but additional numbers of Chambers Creek         annual DNR surveys. Perch are averag-           years. With good conditions in spring 2010
                                               and Ganaraska strain fish will be stocked to     ing 10 inches long and should significantly     anglers can expect a good run, probably
                                               make up the difference.                          contribute to the 2010 sport catch.             similar to 2009.

                                               Nearshore fishing – Shore anglers enjoyed        Walleye stocking in the Milwaukee River         For up-to-date fishing information, call the
                                               some good fishing in July and August work-       was discontinued in 2008 due to VHS con-        Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline at
                                               ing harbors and river mouths for Skamania        cerns. However, previously stocked wall-        (414) 382-7920.
                                               steelhead. These fish are staging in antici-     eye have shown good survival and high
                                               pation of their early fall spawning run. The     growth rates. Walleye anglers can be found      – Pradeep Hirethota and Cheryl Peterson,
                                               Chambers Creek and Ganaraska strains             throughout the lower Milwaukee River, the       Southern Lake Michigan fisheries,
                                               should also provide some action for anglers      Menomonee River and canals, as well as in       Milwaukee
                                               in late winter and early spring.                 the harbor.

                                               Brown trout fishing in southern Lake             Tributary fishing – In 2009 favorable fish-     KENOSHA COUNTY
                                               Michigan was good in the spring and fall         ing conditions in area tributaries through-
                                               of 2009. Browns provide a consistent near-       out the fall led to a moderate salmon run.      Hooker Lake – Much of this lake’s shore-
SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN,                        shore fishery during cold months, especial-      In fall 2010 anglers can expect good Chi-       line is undeveloped and anglers who want
INCLUDING SHEBOYGAN, OZAU-                     ly at warmwater discharges and near river        nook and coho returns, provided the river       to get away from the crowds will enjoy
                                                                                                                                                fishing here. Largemouth bass is the prima-
KEE, MILWAUKEE, RACINE AND                     mouths. Fish diet studies in the Milwaukee
                                               Harbor show that brown trout are feeding
                                                                                                water levels remain conducive for upstream
                                                                                                fish migration. Spring and fall steelhead       ry predator in this 87-acre lake located near
KENOSHA COUNTIES                               on round gobies and the browns stay in the       runs have not been strong in recent years.      the Village of Paddock Lake. Northern
                                               harbor for an extended time. This continues      Anglers can generally look for Skamania         pike are present and stocking supplements
Open lake fishing – Anglers can expect         to draw shore and boat anglers who target        in the Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Root            the population. Most of the bass collected
good Chinook fishing and bigger fish in        brown trout in the harbor throughout the         rivers as water temperatures start to cool      in recent surveys were between 11 and 13
Lake Michigan again in 2010. Chinook           year.                                            in mid-September. Chambers Creek usu-           inches with a few fish up to 19 inches long.
caught in 2009 seemed larger, with reports                                                      ally follow in late fall and can be found       Plenty of 20- to 23-inch northern pike pro-
of more 20-pound fish being caught than in     Yellow perch numbers in Lake Michigan            through March and early April. Ganaraska        vide good action for ice anglers. A public
recent years, and that trend is expected to    are slowly showing signs of improvement,         enter the streams as early as late November     boat launch site is located on the lake’s
continue. A reduction in Chinook stocking      but overall the population is still low. The     and December and again from late March          north side.
implemented lakewide in 2006 to bring the
Chinook numbers more in line with the for-                                                                                                      Rock Lake – The most common gamefish
age base is likely contributing to lower an-                                                                                                    collected during 2008 surveys was large-
gler harvests than the record-setting 2007                                                                                                      mouth bass. Thirty-two percent of the bass
haul – but bigger fish. Fewer Chinook mean                                                                                                      in the sample were larger than 14 inches
better growth and survival of Chinook in                                                                                                        and included 18-and 19-inchers. The De-
coming years, provided that the prey base                                                                                                       partment of Natural Resources stocks this
remains sufficient.                                                                                                                             lake with legal-size brown trout. The lake
                                                                                                                                                is 52 acres and 33 feet deep and has excel-
Coho salmon stocking contributes sig-                                                                                                           lent water quality. Public access is avail-
nificantly to the Wisconsin coho harvest.                                                                                                       able at a carry-in access site on the lake’s
Through an angler-driven fundraising ef-                                                                                                        south end.
fort, Wisconsin and Illinois sport anglers
provided more than $47,000 to the Michi-                                                                                                        Silver Lake – Surveys confirm the presence
gan Department of Natural Resources to                                                                                                          of a healthy largemouth bass population in
raise 400,000 additional yearling coho that                                                                                                     this 464-acre lake near the Village of Silver
were stocked in 2008. It appears that the                                                                                                       Lake. Largemouth bass average 13 inches
stocking increase coupled with good fish-                                                                                                       and there are bass 18 inches long in the
ing conditions contributed to an improved                                                                                                       lake. Musky up to 48 inches, 22-inch wall-
coho harvest in 2009 compared to 2008.                                                                                                          eye and 38-inch northern pike also swim
However, due to budget concerns,                                                                                                                these waters. Bluegill dominate the pan-
                                                                                                                                                fish population and 12-inch crappies have
Steelhead catches in recent years have been                                                                                                     been reported. The Department of Natu-
average at best. Steelhead strain manage-                                                                                                       ral Resources stocks the lake with musky,
ment in Wisconsin is now being altered.                                                                                                         walleye and northern pike. Public access
Historically, adult Skamania strain fish                                                                                                        is available at a DNR boat launch site off
were transported in the fall from the Root       DNR Secretary Matt Frank and sons enjoy a successful day at a Salmon Unlimited                 Highway B on the lake’s west side.
River Steelhead Facility to Kettle Moraine       outing on Lake Michigan, June 2009. Photo: Matt Frank
Springs Fish Hatchery, where they were                                                                                                          – Douglas Welch, senior fisheries biologist,
held until they were ready to spawn the fol-                                                                                                    Sturtevant

10             Fish Wisconsin!
RACINE COUNTY                                    Pike and Big Cedar lakes – Walleye anglers      2,700 or one for every two acres of water.
                                                                                                 At 5,262 acres and 135 feet deep, Geneva
                                                                                                                                                    Okauchee Lake – Okauchee Lake, another
                                                 will do well to try Washington County’s                                                            Waukesha County musky destination, has
Browns Lake – This 396-acre lake near            Pike and Big Cedar lakes. Walleye in Pike       Lake is the largest lake in DNR’s South-           incredible growth rates with an astounding
Burlington in western Racine County is           Lake remain all wild fish. It seems when        east Region. The lake supports healthy             42-inch average length reported by 2009
popular with anglers seeking northern pike       they turn on they really bite; when they are    populations of large and smallmouth bass,          tournament anglers. Okauchee Lake has
and largemouth bass. The DNR walleye             off, they are very hard to catch. Pike also     walleye, northern pike, lake trout, blue-          more than 12 miles of shoreline and a max-
stocking program is beginning to pay off.        holds some large bluegill and decent perch.     gill, black crappie, yellow perch and rock         imum depth of 90 feet, supporting a forage
Surveys collected several walleye between        Big Cedar, despite supporting a stocked         bass. The Department of Natural Resources          base consisting primarily of cisco, pan-
17 and 23 inches long. Anglers can access        walleye population, remains an excellent        stocks walleye every other year and an-            fish and yellow perch. Okauchee Lake is
the lake at the County Park on the lake’s        largemouth bass lake. Its walleye are not       nually stocks lake and brown trout. Water          a favorite among largemouth bass anglers
southeast side off Highway 11.                   real abundant, but they do get very large.      quality is excellent and the lake is popular       because of the population’s incredible size
                                                 For the most part it’s bass on the weedy        with recreational boaters and anglers. The         and numbers. Popular fishing techniques
– Douglas Welch, senior fisheries biologist,     north end and walleye and large northerns       best times to fish this lake and avoid sum-        include a drop shot or Texas rig along weed
Sturtevant                                       from the much deeper and rocky south end.       mer crowds are early in the morning and            edges and steep drops offs.
                                                 Little Cedar has been quite quiet in recent     later in the evening. Municipally owned
                                                 years, but the lake has a decent walleye and    public boat launches are located in the City       Oconomowoc Lake and Lac La Belle –
                                                                                                 of Lake Geneva, the Village of Fontana and
SHEBOYGAN, WASHINGTON AND                        northern pike population.
                                                                                                 the Town of Linn.
                                                                                                                                                    Oconomowoc Lake and Lac Labelle have
                                                                                                                                                    special regulations that protect female
OZAUKEE COUNTIES                                 Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine –                                                              walleye past the age of 4, enabling them
                                                 For some very scenic fishing, consider          Lake Como – Lake Como is a 946-acre, rel-          to spawn at least once before they can be
Milwaukee River – Smallmouth bass an-            using a canoe on any of the several small,      atively shallow (deepest spot is nine feet)        caught. Due to higher than average abun-
glers should do well anywhere along the          largemouth bass lakes within the Northern       lake located north of Geneva Lake in cen-          dance of the adult spawning stock, natural
Milwaukee River in Washington, Ozau-             Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.        tral Walworth County. It’s not as crowded          reproduction is strong on both systems. A
kee or Milwaukee counties. As with most          Crooked, Mauthe, Lake Seven, Forest and         as nearby Geneva Lake which makes it a             2009 survey documented above-average
stream-dwelling smallmouths, these fish          Auburn lakes, to name a few, all offer good     good alternative for anglers, especially           walleye natural reproduction on Lac La-
are generally not as long or heavy as their      bass and panfish angling in beautiful sur-      those who are after bass. Surveys in 2009          Belle four consecutive years from 2006 to
lake-living counterparts; but they are abun-     roundings.                                      collected largemouth bass up to 18 inches          2009.
dant in the main stem of the Milwaukee                                                           long. Bluegill dominates the panfish com-
River and Cedar Creek. Wherever you find         – Ben Heussner, fisheries biologist,            munity. Other panfish include black crap-          Pine Lake – Pine Lake’s diverse habitat
smallmouths (and they’re abundant from           Waukesha                                        pie and yellow perch. The lake’s east end          continues to provide anglers with various
the river mouth at Lake Michigan upstream                                                        is bordered by completely undeveloped              opportunities. Abundant largemouth and
into central Washington County), you also                                                        shoreline, which makes for an aesthetically        smallmouth bass are found along the rocky
will find rock bass. Quite easy to catch,        WALWORTH COUNTY                                 pleasing fishing experience. A recently im-        shoreline and course woody structure. Big
rock bass are often fish fry centerpieces.                                                       proved public boat launch site is located on       walleye can be caught trolling near the ther-
                                                 Turtle Lake – This 140-acre lake located        the lake’s north side.                             mocline in summer months as they are tar-
Random Lake – For musky action, try              in the Town of Richmond in northwest                                                               geting cisco as their primary forage base.
Sheboygan County’s Random Lake. This             Walworth County is a good spot for an-          – Douglas Welch, senior fisheries biologist,
good-sized shallow, marshy lake has been         glers seeking action. DNR fish surveys in       Sturtevant                                         Nagawicka Lake – Nagawicka Lake is a
a consistently good musky producer since         2009 produced many chunky bass between                                                             good choice when searching for trophy
it was originally stocked in the late 1970s.     11 and 13 inches with some between 18                                                              smallmouth bass. Anglers continually re-
There also is pretty decent largemouth bass      and 19 inches. Yellow perch are common          WAUKESHA COUNTY                                    port fish larger than 20 inches being caught
fishing.                                         and some eight- and nine-inch fish were                                                            and released. Abundant zooplankton pro-
                                                 sampled during the survey. Bluegill are         Pewaukee Lake – If there is one thing you          vides for ample forage resulting in excel-
Onion River – Trout anglers have it pretty       abundant. Other fish in the lake include        can still count on, it’s big muskies and lots      lent smallmouth growth rates. Anglers pre-
good on Sheboygan County’s Onion River.          warmouth, pumpkinseed, black crappie,           of them on the 2,500-acre Pewaukee Lake            fer using live bait along rocky shorelines
Thanks to lots of help from area conserva-       smallmouth bass, northern pike and wall-        – the county’s largest lake. The Department        throughout the season.
tion clubs and angler trout stamp dollars, the   eye. The DNR stocked walleye in 2008.           of Natural Resources continues to stock up
Onion no longer needs brown trout stock-         There is plenty of undeveloped shoreline        to 2,500 10-inch fall fingerlings annually on      – Benjamin Heussner, fisheries biologist,
ing. Generally, if you fish from Highway E       and very good water quality, which makes        this lake and an October 2009 fishing tour-        Waukesha
upstream for several miles you are going to      for an aesthetically pleasing experience.       nament recorded a phenomenal catch rate
catch only wild brown trout with a possible      The Town of Richmond public boat launch         of 27 musky in eight hours ranging from
stocked rainbow in the mix. Thanks to all        ramp is located on the lake’s west end.         34 to 46 inches long. Many fish are caught
the habitat work and a protective 15-inch                                                        using sucker rigs and trolling is permitted
size limit, one bag and artificial lures-only    Geneva Lake – Plenty of big walleye swim        throughout Waukesha County, which has
fishing regulation, this stretch of the Onion    these waters. Surveys in 2009 produced          been a proven technique during warmer
holds a very good wild trout population.         walleye up to 30 inches long and 13 pounds.     summer months.
Caution – wild trout can be hard to catch!       Most of the walleye sampled were between
                                                 22 and 28 inches. The population esti-
                                                 mate for walleye over 18 inches long was

 South Central Wisconsin
                                                 indicates an above-average walleye year         is six years. Further monitoring will allow        has been noted since 2004. No stocked hy-
                                                 class, making two years in a row of good        the movement behavior of this fishery to be        brid stripers were sampled in the 2008 fall
                                                 year classes.                                   documented. Tracking in 2009 was limited           survey, but several anglers reported excel-
                                                                                                 with no new findings.                              lent catches during 2008. Large hybrids
                                                 Lake sturgeon work continues on both Lake                                                          are known to be impacted by higher tem-
                                                 Wisconsin and the river below the Prairie       Lake Columbia – The annual, late fall              peratures, which hold less oxygen. Chan-
                                                 du Sac (PDS) dam. Although few fish were        electro-shocking survey confirmed a ma-            nel catfish numbers were similar to 2007,
                                                 captured during the 2009 fall population        jor change in this fishery, due to warm            but less than previous years, and flathead
                                                 estimate on Lake Wisconsin, the estimate        lake temperatures for a longer time period         catfish numbers, which had been increasing
                                                 was similar to the 2008 estimate. Both es-      (April – November), because of increased           over the last several years, declined. Shad
                                                 timates show a stable fishery. About 1,450      power production. The once dominant lar-           and small bluegill continue to be abundant.
                                                 lake sturgeon larger than 50 inches can be      gemouth and smallmouth bass fishery has            Because of increasing water levels, DNR
                                                 found in Lake Wisconsin. A fifth estimate       declined to near zero levels. No recruitment       crews were unable to access the lake to sur-
                                                 below the Prairie du Sac dam was done in
                                                 fall 2009. It showed that the fishery had
                                                 decreased to 133 sturgeon (larger than 50
                                                 inches), down from 200 a year ago. The
                                                 decline may be associated with the high
                                                 harvest in 2005 of 75 fish. A female lake
                                                 sturgeon only reproduces every four years
COLUMBIA COUNTY                                  and these fish are now returning to Prairie
                                                 du Sac four years later in reduced num-
Lake Wisconsin/Wisconsin River – Anglers         bers. Survey work has shown that the lake
are reporting good catches of large walleye      sturgeon congregating below the dam are
and sauger with lots of fish larger than 20      predominately fish that will spawn the fol-
inches due to the success of the 20- to 28-      lowing spring.
inch no-harvest size limit on walleye and
sauger, which began in 2002. Anglers             Radio tracking continues on the 16 adult
continue to report good catches of larger        sturgeon implanted with tags in October
walleye and sauger, with reports during          2007. Monitoring showed all of these fish
2009 of walleye greater than 28 inches be-       overwintered at two locations below the
coming common and 24-plus inch sauger            Prairie du Sac dam. During April 2008, all
as well. A 28.5-inch, 8.92-pound sauger          had disappeared from the Wisconsin River,
caught in Lake Wisconsin in fall 2009 has        with several being located in the Missis-
been submitted to the Department of Natu-        sippi River. Fall 2008 monitoring noted at
ral Resources to be certified as a new state     least eight of them to be back in the Wis-         A young angler proudly displays his first lake sturgeon - a 59-inch fish caught in the
record. The fall 2009 recruitment survey         consin River. The battery life for these tags      Lower Wisconsin River. Photo: Bradd Sims

                                                                                                                                                 Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010            11
vey it in 2009. The lake is open year round
and allows for carry-in boats and outboard
                                                DANE COUNTY                                     spring has also made it more difficult to
                                                                                                harvest bluegill. However, carp presence
                                                                                                                                                  fish has provided a very heavily-used ice
                                                                                                                                                  fishery for the past couple of years, but the
motors at the public access on the lake’s       Dane County hosts great fishing for cold,       is becoming more noticeable and yellow            population has been very heavily harvested
south end. A fish refuge is present near        cool, and warmwater fishing enthusiasts.        bass are now showing up in angler catches,        and is not expected to continue to meet its
the power plant on both sides of the center     With more than 19,000 acres of lakes            demonstrating change.                             recent success in upcoming years. The
dike.                                           and 20-plus trout streams, opportunities                                                          Blackhawk Lake Recreation Commission
                                                abound.                                         As lakes age, habitat and the fishery change.     purchased 400 large fingerlings for the lake
Swan Lake – Swan Lake is a natural lake                                                         Crystal still supports an above average bass      this year. Fingerling survival should be
formed on the Fox River with lake depths        Survey efforts in 2009 focused on Lake          population with better than average growth.       very good because of their large size, but it
of 80 feet and a primarily sand bottom. The     Mendota to provide current population           In 2009, the lake experienced very high           will be three years or more before these fish
lake usually has good water clarity and has     estimates for northern pike and walleye.        lake levels that closed adjoining roads and       significantly contribute to the fishery.
a very diverse fishery including many riv-      Another goal was to gather data to evalu-       limited boat access and shoreline access to
erine fish species. An extensive lake survey    ate the longstanding size and bag limits that   the lake during May and June, which typi-         Cox Hollow Lake – The lake is sporting
in 2009 found a decent population of 675        went into effect in the early 1990s. Fyke net   cally is the heaviest fishing period. It is yet   its best population of pumpkinseed sun-
adult walleye that ranged in size from 14 to    catches were modest due to the on-again,        to be seen how this low harvest period dur-       fish in terms of numbers and size. These
26 inches and 2,744 largemouth bass with        off-again nature of spring weather. Crews       ing 2009 will affect future fishing success.      fish battle hard, are very colorful and bite
numerous fish topping 20 inches. Small-         captured 300 pike ranging from 10 to 42.5                                                         readily. They do have a tendency to be a
mouth and white bass were present at good       inches. The average Mendota pike was 25.7       Fish Lake – The most recent survey in             little grubbier than bluegills and have very
sizes. A stocked musky fishery also pro-        inches and weighed 5.96 pounds. Sixteen         2003, found a good opportunity to catch           large rib cages and therefore less “meat.”
vides action with the presence of 45-plus       percent of pike exceeded 34 inches. Wall-       and release largemouth bass under the 18-         I tend to recommend that anglers keep the
inch fish. Crappie, bluegill, yellow bass,      eye numbers tallied 1,443 fish from 11 to       inch size limit. Largemouth bass in Fish          bluegills rather than pumpkinseeds unless
perch and channel catfish round out the         29.4 inches. The average walleye was 16.9       Lake have slow growth rates because the           deeply hooked. The lake also contains yel-
fishery.                                        inches and 3.13 pounds, with 25 percent         predator-prey relationship with panfish is        low perch. Most of these fish are small but
                                                of all fish exceeding the minimum legal         hampered by dense milfoil beds allowing           there are some decent-size perch in the pop-
Tarrant Lake – This 25-acre impoundment         18-inch size. Population estimates will be      bluegill to escape predation. Thus, they are      ulation. The bluegill fishery remains domi-
within the Village of Cambria was refilled      completed this spring based on recovery of      abundant but don’t grow to quality size,          nated by a moderate number of medium
during spring 2007. The dam washed out          fin-clipped fish.                               though a fair number of seven-inch fish ex-       and larger fish with only limited number of
in June 2004 and had been drained to al-                                                        ist. Although the largemouth bass are slow        smaller fish in the lake. Large, young-of-
low for reconstruction and some near shore      Crews noted some impressive catches of          growing, they are long lived and fish up to       the-year walleye have been stocked and a
dredging. Bass and bluegill restocking is       quality-size bluegill and catfish as well as    16 years old are present. Carp are abundant       few of these fish have now made the legal
occurring. The 2007, 2008 and 2009 fall         a possible state record yellow bass, a three-   and nutrient levels from agricultural runoff      18-inch size limit.
surveys suggest the fishery is on its way       pound, 16.7-inch specimen. Musky fishing        over the years have decreased water qual-
back. This used to be a phenomenal little       on the Madison chain has never been bet-        ity. Water levels fluctuate, impacting boat       Twin Valley Lake – A massive summer
fishery, especially used by local kids.         ter, with many substantiated accounts of        ramp usability. Mud Lake, connected by            kill of crappie occurred in 2008 reducing
                                                50-plus inch fish caught and released.          a road culvert, contained good populations        the crappie population to only a fraction of
Silver Lake – This 70-acre, groundwater                                                         of quality size yellow bullheads and sev-         what it had been. This will result in larger
fed lake lies in the City of Portage. The       Fall index sampling of other lakes noted a      en- to nine-inch crappie in 2003. Oxygen          fish but significantly reduced catch rates.
lake has always been plagued by stunted         consistently superior largemouth resource       typically gets very low in Mud Lake during        Bluegill numbers, while reduced, remain
bluegill, but they provide good action for      on Lake Monona. Lake Waubesa yielded            winter.                                           very good at the small to medium size and
kids. It has low density largemouth bass,       impressive bluegill samples with very                                                             there are sufficient numbers to provide a
though some are dandies. You’ll also find       strong numbers of fish seven inches and         – Dan Fuller, fisheries technician, Poynette      very good catch rate. These fish will run
low-density, natural reproducing northern       greater. Lake Wingra boasted its best wa-                                                         from 5.5 to 6.75 inches with a few fish up
pike, limited large walleye from volunteer      ter clarity in memory since the removal of                                                        to 7.25. There are fairly decent numbers of
stocking and any given summer evening           48,000 pounds of carp in March 2008. An-        GRANT AND IOWA COUNTIES                           yellow perch in the lake with some being
there will be three to four boats casting for   glers report good musky action.                                                                   large enough to keep. The largemouth bass
musky. Poor forage base results in slower                                                       Trout populations here are in the best shape      population has been protected by catch-
musky growth but still 40-plus inch fish are    Trout anglers will enjoy a wide range of        in 40 years for overall numbers, average          and-release regulation. The number of bass
present.                                        trout experiences in Dane County. DNR           size and distribution. Brook trout reproduc-      is not particularly high but there are very
                                                crews and partners worked extensively in        tion and distribution appears to be at an all     good numbers of large fish. The lake has
Lake George – This 36-acre groundwater          2009 to add in-stream habitat, remove nui-      time high. The entire coulee region should        developed a decent walleye population of
fed lake is located just south of Portage off   sance vegetation and establish convenient       provide outstanding trout fishing for the         fish 12 to 15 inches, and although growing
Highway P. Boat ramp use on the lake’s          access. Fly fishing anglers will appreci-       foreseeable future. Adult wild brown trout        well, have not been in lake long enough to
north side depends on adequate lake levels.     ate the tree-free banks of Kittleson Valley     average 10 to 14 inches with big trout mea-       reach the legal limit. There are a few very
Access can be made off Highway G on the         Creek, West Branch Sugar River and pe-          suring 14, 15, 17 and 18 inches, and tro-         large walleye in the lake. The number of
lake’s south side. Outboard motors are not      rennial favorite, Black Earth Creek. Dane       phies measuring 19 or 20 inches.                  musky stocked in the lake has been reduced
allowed. Largemouth bass, northern pike         County streams generally have a bag limit                                                         and this has resulted in catch rates that are
(smaller sizes), bluegill, yellow perch and     of three with a nine-inch minimum size          Lower Wisconsin River – Overall fisheries         more normal along with fish in much better
crappie comprise the fishery.                   limit, that provides spinner and bait an-       in the Lower Wisconsin River (LWR) are            condition and heavier bodied. While not
                                                glers lots of choices. Quality, harvest-size    in very good shape. The walleye popula-           a producer of trophy musky, the number
Long Lake – The 69-acre Long Lake is            fish are abundant in Elvers Creek, Primrose     tion of 15- to 18-inch fish has significantly     of 36- to 40-inch fish is outstanding for a
located in the floodplain of the Wisconsin      Branch and Story and Garfoot creeks. The        increased and a fair increase in the number       small lake.
River, west of Portage. There is a little bit   opportunity to land a true trophy can be had    of 19-plus inch fish has been noticed. An-
of everything here, but the lake is noted       on the Upper Sugar River and Mt. Vernon         glers report that the number of medium and        – Gene Van Dyck, fisheries biologist,
for bass, northern pike, crappie and blue-                                                      larger walleye caught downstream has im-          Dodgeville
gill. Musky also are present. Atypical low                                                      proved significantly since the 18-inch size
winter oxygen was noted during the severe       – Kurt Welke, fisheries manager, Fitchburg      limit went into effect.
winter of 2007-08 and again in 2008-09 be-
cause of deep snow depth, with some dead                                                        Channel catfish populations are in good           GREEN COUNTY
fish observed, but it is “restocked” with       Crystal Lake – (border of Dane and Colum-       shape and continue to be the most impor-
Wisconsin River floodwater. There is a                                                          tant fishery on the lower part of the LWR.        While Green County provides only modest
                                                bia counties) This 500-acre wetland, all of a
poor boat access on the lake’s east side.                                                       The smallmouth bass population has a good         lake fishing possibilities, river and stream
                                                sudden, became a lake when the underlying
                                                                                                number of fish with a number of medium            anglers can choose from several waters and
                                                hydrology broke loose in the mid 1980s.
Spring Lake – This deep 24-acre lake is lo-     Now, 20 years later, the fishery has settled    and larger fish. Almost all of the bass an-       fishing opportunities. The Sugar River and
cated just below Park Lake in Pardeeville.                                                      glers on the LWR practice catch and release       mouths of larger systems like Sylvester and
                                                down and is starting to experience change.
There is a boat ramp on the lake’s south                                                        and the population is improving as a result.      Allen creeks see seasonal action for warm-
                                                In 1999 a population estimate found the lar-
side. Outboard motors are not allowed.                                                                                                            water fish like bass and catfish, and coolwa-
                                                gemouth bass greater than 10 inches to be
Fish from downstream Swan Lake can                                                              There are also decent populations of blue-        ter species like walleye and northern pike.
                                                37 per acre, a very high level. The bluegill
enter via the Fox River connection. A fall      numbered 185,000 in mid-April 1999, with        gill and crappie located in the quiet still-
2004 shocker survey found the lake to be                                                        water areas of the river. These are little        Trout anglers have widespread access on
                                                angler harvest of 85,000 documented by
alive with fish including nice bluegill, some                                                   utilized fisheries and would provide good         easement and fee title parcels along the
                                                the end of June. Another 5,000 to 15,000
crappie, largemouth bass, walleye, northern                                                     fishing for those wanting to specifically tar-    New Glarus Branch, Hefty Creek and
                                                bluegill die annually from the late spring
pike and a few musky.                                                                           get these fish.                                   Dougherty creeks. Reports and maps can
                                                bacterial outbreak of Columnaris and like-
                                                                                                                                                  be found on the fishing page of the DNR
                                                ly another 20,000 are harvested or die from
Lake Wyona – This 93-acre lake is located       natural mortality the rest of the year. Thus,   Northern pike throughout the LWR and              website at
in a shallow impoundment of the Duck            two-thirds of the harvestable size fish are     musky in the uppermost part of the LWR
Creek system at Wyocena. A ramp is lo-                                                          provide pretty good action for anglers tar-       – Kurt Welke, fisheries manager, Fitchburg
                                                gone by year’s end, only to be replenished
cated at the upstream end of the lake in the    by next year’s recruitment, due to an out-      geting these species.
County Park. Heavy rains in June 2008           standing growth rate of 8.2 inches in five
caused the dam to fail. The 2008 “pre-          years. The huge bass population also plays
flood” survey found a very nice largemouth      a role in thinning out numbers of bluegill      Blackhawk Lake – A “No Size Limit” reg-           ROCK COUNTY
bass, crappie and bluegill fishery to be de-    less than five inches.                          ulation has reduced the over-population of
veloping, following years of carp domina-                                                       medium-size bass. The current population          Rock River – Part of Lake Koshkonong
tion. The lake always supported a decent                                                        still consists of good numbers but the fish       resides in Rock County, but the dominant
                                                Another bass population estimate was con-
northern pike fishery.                                                                          are much heavier for their body length and        county water resource is the Rock River.
                                                ducted in 2004. Numbers (greater than
                                                                                                there are more large fish. The current regu-      Tailwater fisheries at four dams provide
                                                10 inches) had dropped from 37 per acre
Crystal Lake – Located southeast of             in 1999 to 22 per acre, still a high level      lation will be kept in place this year. The       most of the action. These dams are at In-
Pardeeville is the 27-acre, groundwater-                                                        crappie population remains in pretty good         dianford, two in Janesville and one in Be-
                                                compared to other waters. A largemouth
fed Crystal Lake. This requires a half mile                                                     shape for number and size distribution. The       loit. Anglers can expect to catch a variety
                                                bass virus (not VHS) was not detected in
walk, no developed access, but aesthetics                                                       bluegill population is in very good shape         including walleye, northern pike, channel
                                                tests during 2001, but was found in 2006
are worth the effort. The lake is deep and                                                      with good numbers of all sizes of fish. There     catfish, black crappie, white bass, bluegill
                                                and possibly played a role in the decline.
has clear water with good vegetation. Bass,                                                     is also a decent bonus walleye fishery.           and yellow perch. The Rock River is one
                                                With the declining bass number, the blue-
bluegill, crappie and perch are present.                                                                                                          of the state’s most fertile systems. While
                                                gill growth rate dropped to 7.6 inches after
                                                                                                A recently developed northern pike popu-          the heavy nutrient load sometimes causes
                                                five years. An increase in growth of curly
– Dan Fuller, fisheries technician, Poynette                                                    lation with a significant number of large         algae blooms, the system also incites rapid
                                                leaf pondweed, which grows earlier in the

12            Fish Wisconsin!
fish growth. Most communities along the
river welcome anglers and provide oppor-
                                                                                                   Lake Virginia – Monitoring continues after          SAUK AND COLUMBIA COUNTY
                                                                                                   the lake was totally drained for replacement
tunities for shore fishing and public access.                                                      of the outlet structure and refilling in the
                                                                                                                                                       TROUT STREAMS
Common carp are abundant and provide ac-                                                           spring of 2004. Restocking adult bass and
tion for anglers and archers. Anglers should                                                                                                           Stocking wild strains of trout has been
                                                                                                   bluegill has occurred. A 2009 survey found
be aware that if you catch a carp and choose                                                                                                           documented to provide two to three times
                                                                                                   decent bluegill recruitment and no bass re-
not to keep it, you may legally release it. It                                                                                                         better survival in trout streams. About 80
                                                                                                   cruitment since the 2004 year class. Fish
is illegal to leave dead fish or fish parts in                                                                                                         percent of the streams in these counties are
                                                                                                   from the large 2004 largemouth bass year
the water or on the banks of public waters                                                                                                             stocked. The better streams in Columbia
                                                                                                   class are only seven to nine inches but are
and lands.                                                                                                                                             County are Rowan, Rocky Run, Jennings
                                                                                                   helping prevent an overpopulation of blue-
                                                                                                                                                       and Lodi Spring. While in Sauk County, try
                                                                                                   gill. Anglers last summer reported decent
Turtle Creek – This is an exceptionally                                                                                                                Dell, Honey, Rowley and Manley creeks
                                                                                                   catches of nice sized adult bluegill. The su-
beautiful natural stream and boasts a high                                                                                                             for native brookies. Habitat work conduct-
                                                                                                   per-size aeration system installed warmwa-
level of species diversity of game fish and                                                                                                            ed on four stretches of Honey Creek (Class
                                                                                                   ter fish like bass and catfish and coolwater
non-game species. Most anglers on Turtle                                                                                                               II brown trout) in western Sauk County is
                                                                                                   species like walleye and northern pike.
Creek seek smallmouth bass, but walleye,                                                                                                               showing positive response and receiving
catfish and northern pike are present es-                                                                                                              high angler use. More work was done in fall
                                                                                                   Mirror Lake – A fall 2009 electrofishing            of 2009. Deeper water along with habitat
pecially in the lower reaches near Beloit.                                                         survey on Mirror Lake revealed a very good
Several darter species are present as well as                                                                                                          features have created living space for larger
                                                                                                   panfishery, probably the best size structure
the endangered gravel chub.                                                                                                                            size fish. A project on 800 feet of a feeder
                                                                                                   along with the best numbers of black crap-
                                                                                                                                                       stream to Lodi Spring Creek in southwest-
                                                                                                   pie and bluegill that DNR crews have seen
Kiwanis Pond – Trout fishing is available in                                                                                                           ern Columbia County was conducted dur-
                                                                                                   in the last 20 years on the lake. This 137-
the heart of Janesville. This 10-acre pond                                                                                                             ing April 2007. Here a channelized drain-
                                                                                                   acre state park impoundment continues to
supports a two-story fishery of rainbow                                                                                                                age ditch for 50 years was converted back
                                                                                                   support an excellent largemouth bass popu-
trout, bluegill and bass. The pond and the                                                                                                             to a trout stream. It responded by August
                                                                                                   lation as well. Native northern pike also are
neighboring Lions Beach Pond are the re-                                                                                                               2007 with increases in the native popula-
                                                                                                   present and a very decent stocked walleye
sult of sand and gravel mining operations.                                                                                                             tion of brown trout of 10 times for young-
                                                                                                   population supports a good fishery. There is
Depths are up to 37 feet and the cold wa-                                                                                                              of-year and yearlings, five times for nine- to
                                                                                                   a township boat landing on the lake’s north-
ters support an annual stocking of 3,000          A father and son show the spoils of a day                                                            11-inch fish and doubling of the number of
                                                                                                   west side and very nice access in the state
rainbow trout. A nice fishing pier and boat       on Devil’s Lake in Sauk County. Photo:                                                               12-plus inch fish. The summer 2008 survey
                                                                                                   park. The name Mirror Lake is appropri-
launch provides access. Only electric mo-         Jayson Himebach                                                                                      found another doubling of both the nine to
                                                                                                   ate because the lake is well protected from
tors are allowed.                                                                                                                                      11 and 12-plus inch size groups.
                                                                                                   winds by beautiful sandstone bluffs lined
                                                                                                   with white pine and oak trees.
– Don Bush, fisheries supervisor, Janesville     comprised of two-year-old trout (14 to 17                                                             Plenke and Pauquette ponds – Plenke
                                                 inches), which have survived one summer                                                               Pond in Reedsburg provides a fishing op-
                                                 by seeking out the four-foot layer of oxy-
                                                                                                   Lake Delton – The dramatic breach and de-           portunity for kids and disabled anglers.
                                                                                                   watering of this 267-acre lake in June 2008
                                                 genated water just under the thermocline.                                                             Pauquette Pond in Portage is home to the
                                                                                                   will forever be remembered. Rebuilding of
JEFFERSON COUNTY                                 Stocked at nine inches in April, they grow
                                                                                                   Highway A and the dam was completed in
                                                                                                                                                       Elks Club kids fishing day, usually the first
                                                 to 12 inches by fall. Anglers enjoy ice fish-                                                         Sunday in June. The event gets bigger ev-
                                                                                                   late fall and a successful chemical treatment
Rock River and Lake Koshkonong – Every           ing for the trout using fathead minnows.                                                              ery year.
                                                                                                   of the existing fishery occurred on Decem-
day is opening day on the Rock River and         This year, 5,000 rainbow trout and 10,000
                                                                                                   ber 3, 2008. The stage is set for restocking
Lake Koshkonong. Seasons are continuous          brown trout will be stocked into Devil’s                                                              – Dan Fuller, fisheries technician, Poynette
                                                                                                   in the coming years, with the potential for
for all game fish except musky. The river        Lake. The lake touts a trophy northern pike
                                                                                                   a fishing bonanza. The first fish stockings
system takes in tributaries such as the Bark     fishery with its 32-inch size limit. A 2006
                                                                                                   into Lake Delton in the spring of 2009 were
and Crawfish rivers. Fish freely move in         ice-out netting survey found a low density,
                                                                                                   large numbers of forage fish including white
and out of the lake and may move upstream        but a stable number of northerns over five
                                                                                                   suckers, fathead minnows and golden shin-
as far as 48 river miles. An ice-out bite of     years of similar netting since 1993. The sur-
                                                                                                   ers. These bait fish provided the food for
northern pike and walleye is very popular        vey noted good numbers of large females
                                                                                                   the extensive game fish and panfish stock-
on the Rock River. As the spring progress-       32 to 41 inches, and good 2004 year class
                                                                                                   ings that followed. Walleye, largemouth
es, there are spawning runs of white bass,       recruitment. Largemouth and smallmouth
                                                                                                   and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and
black crappie and catfish. Shore fishing         bass, and jumbo bluegills also are present.
                                                                                                   bluegill were then stocked. An early fall
opportunities abound along the Rock River        Only electric motors are allowed. The De-
                                                                                                   2009 electroshocking survey showed ex-
upstream from the lake, through Fort At-         partment of Natural Resources has been op-
                                                                                                   cellent survival and fabulous growth rates
kinson and up to the Jefferson Dam. The          erating a 24-inch siphon over the past four
                                                                                                   on all the fish species that were stocked and
confluence with the Bark River in Fort           years to withdraw phosphorus before the
                                                                                                   also showed the presence of large numbers
Atkinson is popular, as is the mouth of the      lake turns over in the fall. Over time (10
                                                                                                   of young-of-the-year black crappie, yellow
Crawfish River in Jefferson. A strong adult      to 15 years), the goal is to return the lake to
                                                                                                   perch and white bass established by adult
walleye population will provide excitement       a more pristine state with less filamentous
                                                                                                   fish reproduction from the upstream im-
this spring. Large numbers of two-year-          algae and increased water clarity. Slower
old walleye and sauger may provide a high        fish growth likely will be a trade-off.
                                                                                                   poundment of Mirror Lake. Unfortunately,
                                                                                                   some young-of-the-year carp found their              Close to Home series
catch rate, but take care in releasing these
little fish. White bass and channel catfish      Lake Redstone – Lake Redstone rose five           way into the lake as well, but Lake Del-             promotes shore fishing
                                                                                                   ton isn’t that well suited for carp and they         Fifty places to fish from shore within 60
action will be good as several year classes      feet during heavy rains in June 2008. A
                                                                                                   shouldn’t become a nuisance. No gizzard
are present. The floods of 2008 also washed      fishery survey did not occur in 2008 or                                                                minutes of Milwaukee.
                                                                                                   shad were found, which was a relief as they
in large numbers of bluegill, crappie and        2009. The next survey is scheduled for
                                                                                                   often out compete other desirable juvenile
perch, so anglers should have good luck on       2012. A trend assessment of this fishery,                                                              Fall may be the last thing on many an-
                                                                                                   fish for food. The Lake Delton fishery is
panfish. Zebra mussels were found in Lake        from 1993-2004 was recently compiled.                                                                  glers’ minds this time of year, but when
                                                                                                   off to a fantastic start and it should provide
Koshkonong in 2009. Please take care to          Largemouth bass monitoring from DNR                                                                    summer winds down, we don’t want
                                                                                                   excellent fishing within three to four years.
properly remove all exotics and invasives        shocking and an annual tournament since                                                                you to forget about the famous trout and
                                                                                                   The public boat landings on the lake were
from your boat prior to leaving Lake Ko-         1997 shows numbers close to average                                                                    salmon spawning run that takes place
                                                                                                   reconstructed and several rock fish reefs
shkonong. Motor trolling is allowed on           in 2003 and 2004, though the composi-                                                                  every year in and around Milwaukee’s
                                                                                                   were added.
Lake Koshkonong as far downstream as the         tion of 16-plus-inch fish is slightly less.                                                            harbor mouths and rivers.
Highway 59 bridge at Newville.                   Smallmouth bass are thriving with num-
                                                 bers similar to largemouth. They became
                                                                                                   Leland Pond – The record rainfall (500 year          To make sure you get the most of your
                                                                                                   flood) during August 2007 flooded out this
Lake Ripley – A comprehensive survey             established from stocking in 1998-99 by a                                                              fishing experience, we’ve got new, in-
                                                                                                   14-acre impoundment on the North Branch              formatio for anglers looking to fish the
was completed on Lake Ripley in 2009.            local club and are now naturally reproduc-
                                                                                                   of Honey Creek, located in the Village of            spectacular runs that highlight 50 places
Generally the lake supports strong popu-         ing. The stocked walleye fishery continues
                                                                                                   Leland. The lake and fishery survived, but           to fish from shore within 60 minutes of
lations of game fish including largemouth        to provide an average fishery. Panfish data
                                                                                                   another record flood in June 2008 caused             downtown Milwaukee.
bass, northern pike and walleye. Walleye         (crappie, bluegill and perch) reports a sta-
                                                                                                   major damage and the lake is now in a de-
are stocked and are present at two per acre.     ble fishery over the time span. Redstone is
                                                                                                   watered state. Repairs to the pond’s infra-          And although it’s not fall, you certain-
While Lake Ripley is famous for producing        a crappie factory, but heavily harvested at
                                                                                                   structure are complete and refilling should          ly don’t need to wait for the leaves to
the state record largemouth bass in 1940,        eight to nine inches (three years old). The
                                                                                                   occur early this year with fish restocking to        change color to take advantage of these
the population today is typical of most          red stone bluffs that line the lake’s southern
                                                                                                   follow.                                              hotspots. They’re great places to fish
good Wisconsin bass fisheries. Heavy fish-       shoreline are very scenic.
ing pressure limits the number of big fish,                                                        Dutch Hollow – This very deep, clear water
but catch-and-release angling leaves lots of     White Mound Lake – The lake was raised            impoundment (210 acres) occurs because
                                                 to full pool in 2005 after a partial draw-                                                             Visit
mid-size legal fish. Many year classes of                                                          of pumping water to offset leakage through           ing.html for:
bass are present, but there are very few over    down during winter 2003-04 to allow a
                                                                                                   the dam. The clear water can make day-
20 inches. A few smallmouth bass are also        large amount of sediment to be removed.
                                                                                                   light fishing difficult. A bass survey was           • A downloadable pocket-size brochure
present. The large number of predators in        The sediment had accumulated since the
                                                                                                   done in 2006 for comparison to 1993, when            that lists the 50 locations, the dominant
the lake keeps the bluegill population from      lake was constructed in the early 1970s.
                                                                                                   numbers were very high (256 per hour of              species available, and gives directions,
becoming stunted. Bluegill are fast grow-        By reducing sedimentation and the result-
                                                                                                   eight-plus inch fish collected by electro-           distance and driving time from down-
ing and present in good numbers up to eight      ing reduced aquatic vegetation growth, the
                                                                                                   shocking). The 2006 value was 164 per                town Milwaukee.
inches long.                                     lake’s fish population is expected to find
                                                                                                   hour, down 36 percent. However, the 2006
                                                 a better balance. Sampling in 2007 found
                                                                                                   population estimate of 13 per acre of 10-            • Google map showing photos of the
– Don Bush, fisheries supervisor, Janesville     plenty of small bluegill, though anglers
                                                                                                   plus inch fish is still a high value for local       fishing sites and detailed driving direc-
                                                 were reporting more larger bluegill and
                                                                                                   lakes. The lake is noted for large size blue-        tions.
                                                 crappie caught in deeper waters. The bass
                                                                                                   gill and crappie. The 2006 survey found
                                                 numbers (greater than eight inches) are up                                                             • Advice on the fishing gear to use and
                                                                                                   a good number of 16- to 24-inch walleye,
SAUK COUNTY                                      27 percent compared to a 1999 survey and
                                                                                                   supported by small fingerling stocking.              the best times to go.
                                                 are 12 per acre, which is better than average
Devil’s Lake – This two-story brown trout        for local lakes. A robust five per acre were                                                           Milwaukee won’t be our only featured
fishery continues to grow in popular-            from 14 to 17 inches. This small impound-                                                              city. Look for more Close to Home fish-
ity. Typically 15 percent of the catch is        ment is surrounded by county park lands                                                                ing projects this coming summer.
                                                 and provides a pleasant setting.

                                                                                                                                                    Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010             13
 West Central Wisconsin
                                                River area. Bluegill numbers are increas-        per mile in 2009. The Hatfield Sportsman           couple years are Pine Creek, Traverse Val-
                                                ing with the vegetative increase.                Club stocked yellow perch in 2008. Lake            ley Creek, Borst Valley Creek and Bruce
                                                                                                 Arbutus is scheduled for more survey work          Valley Creek, all in Trempealeau County;
                                                – Bob Hujik, fisheries supervisor, Eau Claire    in spring 2010.                                    and Pigeon and French creeks in Jackson
                                                                                                                                                    County. These projects were initiated and
                                                                                                 Black River – (Clark/Trempealeau/Mon-              completed through efforts between land-
                                                EAU CLAIRE COUNTY                                roe/La Crosse counties also) For the upper         owners, local conservation clubs, county
                                                                                                 Black River (upstream of the Black River           land conservation staff, Natural Resources
                                                Lake Altoona – Recent surveys indicate           Falls dam) total catch rates for walleye,          Conservation Service, Trout Unlimited
                                                a very healthy yellow perch population           smallmouth bass and musky decreased in             and the Department of Natural Resources.
                                                here. Perch up to 13 inches in length were       2009 compared to 2008. Walleye went                Each project area has a public fishing ease-
                                                sampled, with over 22 percent of the perch       from 27 per mile in 2008 to 17 per mile            ment, granted by the landowners, which al-
                                                sampled greater than nine inches long.           in 2009. Smallmouth bass went from 102             lows anglers to access the stream by land
                                                Growth rates for yellow perch were much          per mile in 2008 to 83.5 per mile in 2009.         and water.
                                                faster than statewide averages. On Lake Al-      Musky went from seven per mile in 2008 to
                                                toona, a 5-year-old perch is approximately       six per mile in 2009. Catch rates for legal        - Dan Hatleli, fish biologist, Black River
                                                10 inches long, compared to seven years          size walleye went from 3.5 per mile in 2008        Falls
                                                old for perch from a statewide sample. An-       to two per mile in 2009. Legal smallmouth
                                                glers will also find good numbers of black       bass rates increased from seven per mile in
ADAMS COUNTY                                    crappie and bluegill. Smallmouth bass out-       2008 to 13 per mile in 2009. Legal musky           DUNN COUNTY
                                                numbered largemouth bass by three to one         rates remained stable from 2008 to 2009.
                                                on Lake Altoona. Anglers will find some                                                             South Fork of the Hay River – Nestled
Big Roche-a-Cri Lake – A fair number of         largemouth and smallmouth bass in the 20-        For the lower Black River (downstream of           in northwest Dunn County is some of the
largemouth bass were captured and many          inch range.                                                                                         best brook trout water in the county. The
                                                                                                 the Black River Falls dam) total catch rates
more seen during a spring 2009 shocking                                                                                                             upstream four miles of the South Fork of
                                                                                                 for walleye, smallmouth bass and musky
survey on Big Roche-a-Cri Lake. Surveyed        Lake Eau Claire – Anglers will find very                                                            the Hay River is listed as Class I (self-sus-
                                                                                                 also decreased. Walleye went from 31.5 per
largemouth bass ranged in size from 5.3         good numbers of yellow perch, bluegill and                                                          taining) trout water from the Barron/Dunn
                                                                                                 mile in 2008 to 12 per mile in 2009. Small-
to 18.9 inches. Panfish were plentiful with     black crappie in Lake Eau Claire. Recent                                                            county line downstream. The remaining 17
                                                                                                 mouth bass went from 16 per mile in 2008
bluegill dominating. Bluegill ranged in size    surveys indicate over 23 percent of the                                                             miles, which passes through Connorsville
                                                                                                 to eight per mile in 2009. Musky went
from three to 7.2 inches with an average        black crappie are 10 inches or longer. Over                                                         and Boyceville is Class II water (requires
                                                                                                 from two per mile in 2008 to one per mile
size of 5.4 inches.                             40 percent of the bluegills sampled ranged                                                          supplemental stocking). Trout surveys in
                                                                                                 in 2009. Catch rates for legal size walleye
                                                in size from seven to nine inches. Northern      decreased from six per mile in 2008 to two         2009 show the Class I portion to contain
Neenah Creek – Good trout fishing should        pike were sampled in fairly good numbers         per mile in 2009. A good year class of 10-         up to 5,000 brook trout per mile with six to
be expected here. Neenah Creek was sur-         with the majority of fish in the 18- to 24-                                                         10-inch fish being abundant. Anglers seek-
                                                                                                 to 11-inch walleye was present in 2008 and
veyed in 2009 upstream from the conflu-         inch range. Largemouth bass outnumbered                                                             ing trophy brook trout (14 inches or more),
                                                                                                 these fish may recruit to legal size in the
ence of Peppermill Creek. The survey cap-       smallmouth bass by two to one. However,                                                             should try the Class II waters between Con-
                                                                                                 next couple of years increasing their catch
tured 145 brown trout ranging from four to      anglers will have the opportunity to harvest                                                        norsville and Boyceville. Recent and past
                                                                                                 rate. Catch rates for legal size smallmouth
14.4 inches with an average length of 8.1       either species in the 19- to 20-inch range.                                                         surveys show this area to have low brook
                                                                                                 bass and musky remained low but stable.
inches. These results are similar to those                                                                                                          trout densities but excellent potential for
                                                                                                 A tagging study for walleye in the lower
found in the creek in 2008. The healthy         – Bob Hujik, fisheries supervisor, Eau Claire                                                       quality (greater than 12 inches) and trophy
                                                                                                 Black River, initiated in 2008, continued in
trout population is supported through natu-                                                                                                         brook trout up to 18 inches.
                                                                                                 2009 and will continue this year. So far,
ral reproduction and habitat improvements
                                                                                                 1,026 walleyes have been tagged.
initiated in 1983.                              JACKSON COUNTY                                                                                      Elk Creek – While Dunn County boasts
                                                                                                 – Dan Hatleli, fish biologist, Black River         many brook trout streams, only one high
Big Roche-a-Cri Creek – Big Roche-a-Cri         Arbutus backwaters (Buckhorn and Emer-           Falls                                              quality brown trout stream is found here.
Creek was surveyed in 2009 west of High-        ald lakes) – It’s time to give these lakes an-                                                      Elk Creek originates in Chippewa County
way G. The survey captured 418 brook            other try. Flooding and associated damage                                                           and passes into Dunn County just east of
trout and two brown trout. The brook trout
ranged in size from four to 13.4 inches with
                                                left Buckhorn and Emerald lakes drained          CLARK COUNTY                                       the Village of Elk Mound at Interstate 94.
                                                for many years. In 2003, repairs to the                                                             It is classified as Class I brown trout water
an average length of 7.1 inches. These re-                                                                                                          for three miles. Some of the best fishing on
sults show more brook trout in the stream
                                                Arbutus Power Canal caused both lakes            Mead Lake – The bass have bounced back
                                                to fill again. Since then, the Department of     after a 2007 fish kill. A fall 2009 electrofish-   Elk Creek can be found just upstream from
than in a 2008 survey, with a slightly lower    Natural Resources has stocked both lakes                                                            Elk Creek Lake off 410th Avenue. Surveys
                                                                                                 ing survey assessed the lake’s largemouth
average size. The healthy brook trout popu-     with northern pike, yellow perch, black                                                             show brown trout populations range up to
                                                                                                 bass population and recorded a total catch
lation in this portion of the Big Roche-a-Cri   crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, wall-                                                           3,500 trout per mile and are intermixed
                                                                                                 rate of 21 per mile and legal size catch rate
is supported through good natural repro-        eye and musky. Spring 2009 netting and                                                              with a small population of brook trout.
                                                                                                 of 11 per mile. That’s not quite back to the
duction and habitat improvements installed      electrofishing surveys found bluegill (six                                                          Brown trout average eight to 15 inches with
                                                                                                 rates recorded in 2003 (45 per mile with a
in this section in 1980. Good trout fishing     to seven inches) and black crappie (7.5 to                                                          fish reaching over 20 inches.
                                                                                                 catch rate of four legal size bass per mile)
should be expected at this site.                8.5 inches) as the predominant panfish and       but it is a big improvement. Surveys a year
                                                largemouth bass (greater than 14 inches at       after the fish kill found only five bass per       – Marty Engel, fisheries biologist, Baldwin
– Justine Hasz, senior fisheries biologist,     6.5 per mile) the main game fish. Bluegill       mile overall and a catch rate of two legal
Wisconsin Rapids                                attained sizes larger than eight inches and      fish per mile.
                                                crappie larger than 11 inches. Bass were up                                                         JUNEAU COUNTY
                                                to 20 inches long.                               Handicapped accessible fishing facilities
BUFFALO COUNTY                                                                                   are available or under construction at some        Petenwell and Castle Rock lakes – These lakes,
                                                Lake Arbutus – (Clark County also) A fall        area lakes including Lake Wazee, Black             bordered by Adams, Juneau and Wood
Mississippi River Backwaters – Based on         2009 electrofishing survey assessed walleye      River Flowage and Teal Flowage in Jack-            counties, provide the angler with a wide
recent backwater shocking and netting sur-      and yellow perch numbers here. Total wall-                                                          variety of fishing opportunities. The most
                                                                                                 son County; Mead and Arbutus lakes in
veys, fishing should continue to be good for    eye catch rates were 55 per mile in 2006, 25                                                        common game fish species sought in these
                                                                                                 Clark County; and Second Lake and Arctic
many species here during 2010. Surveys          per mile in 2008, and 53 per mile in 2009.                                                          lakes are walleye, musky, catfish and white
                                                                                                 Springs Pond in Trempealeau County.
found good numbers of bluegill, large-          Catch rates of legal size walleye increased                                                         bass. Bluegill and black crappie are the
mouth bass and northern pike. Many blue-                                                                                                            most commonly found panfish. The musky
                                                from 3.5 per mile in 2006 to 6.5 per mile        – Dan Hatleli, fish biologist, Black River
gill surveyed were in the six- to eight-inch                                                                                                        fishery continues to grow stronger in num-
                                                in 2008 to eight per mile in 2009. Yellow        Falls                                              bers of fish and the number of anglers tar-
range, with a few exceeding nine inches.        perch catch rates increased from two per
Healthy largemouth bass populations con-                                                                                                            geting them. Stocking of musky continued
                                                mile in 2006 to six per mile in 2008 to eight                                                       in 2009 for Petenwell Lake with the addi-
tinue on the Mississippi River, with many
largemouth measuring above and below the                                                         TROUT STREAMS (BUFFALO,                            tion of 1,915 large fingerlings stocked from
                                                                                                                                                    DNR hatcheries and 500 large fingerlings
14-inch size limit. Some largemouth bass                                                         JACKSON AND TREMPEALEAU                            stocked from private hatcheries by the
in the 15- to 17-inch range are available,
while surveys have shown fish to range up
                                                                                                 COUNTIES)                                          Petenwell Musky Challenge tournament.
                                                                                                                                                    Since 2000, the DNR has stocked 31,722
to 20 inches. Good numbers of 24- to 30-                                                         Ongoing surveys of area trout streams found        large fingerlings and 100,000 fry-sized
inch northern pike are available, with some                                                      better reproduction of brook and brown             musky into Petenwell Lake. Local musky
fish taping near 40 inches. Surveys also in-                                                     trout and more 10- to 12-inch brook trout in       groups’ stocking efforts add several thou-
dicate above average numbers of young-of-                                                        2008 than in the previous few years. Over-         sand large fingerling musky to the lake. A
the-year northern pike which suggests even                                                       all, adult trout densities were stable. This       full survey of the Petenwell Lake fishery is
better northern fishing in future years.                                                         reproduction increase was reflected in 2009        scheduled for spring.
                                                                                                 surveys, which found higher adult densities
– Brian Brecka, fisheries biologist, Alma                                                        and stable to higher densities of legal size       New Lisbon Lake – A spring 2009 shocking
                                                                                                 fish – most notably for brook trout. These         survey was conducted on New Lisbon Lake
                                                                                                 increased densities should provide anglers         and captured largemouth bass, grass pick-
CHIPPEWA COUNTY                                                                                  with more legal and larger trout in 2010.
                                                                                                                                                    erel, bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch
                                                                                                                                                    and pumpkinseed. This lake offers a variety
                                                                                                 The Department of Natural Resources and            of fish at average sizes.
Lake Wissota – Anglers targeting wall-                                                           cooperative hatcheries will stock about
eye will notice that many of the fish they                                                       35,000 brook, 37,000 brown and 16,000
catch will be within the 14- to 18-inch no-                                                                                                         Lyndon Creek and Little Lemonweir River – In
                                                                                                 rainbow trout to area waters prior to the          2009 stream surveys were carried out on
harvest slot. Many anglers report that they                                                      2010 season opener.
are catching walleye in the 18- to 20-inch                                                                                                          Lyndon Creek and the Little Lemonweir
range. Fish of this quality have been absent    Fisheries technician, Ben Koski, poses                                                              River. Brook and brown trout were found
                                                                                                 Also waiting for anglers are improved fish-        at several sites along the Little Lemonweir.
from many anglers’ creels, which indicates      with a 29-inch walleye captured during           ing conditions in several streams as a re-
that the slot limit is working as planned.      a walleye tagging study in the lower             sult of habitat restoration projects. Streams      – Justine Hasz, senior fisheries biologist,
Musky anglers should find success in Lit-       Black River in 2009. Photo: Dan Hatleli          receiving restoration efforts in the past          Wisconsin Rapids
tle Lake Wissota, as well as in the Yellow

14             Fish Wisconsin!
MISSISSIPPI RIVER                               congregate in backwater areas with no or
                                                little flow to overwinter. Typical baits in-
                                                                                                 greater, and channel catfish were all greater
                                                                                                 than 16 inches. Walleye fingerling catch
                                                                                                                                                      anglers may be surprised by the number of
                                                                                                                                                      quality fish found upstream of Highway 10,
BACKWATERS                                      clude small minnows and jigs.                    below Dubay Dam increased from 19 fish               especially in areas that have been restored
(from page 1)                                                                                    per hour to 40 and below Rothschild from             through instream habitat improvement
                                                Catfish – Fishing for catfish should be good     seven fish per hour to 14. This places Wis-          work.
Yellow perch – Look for yellow perch fish-      again during 2010. During the last three         consin River walleye recruitment numbers
ing to continue to improve during 2010 and      years, summer catfish surveys showed con-        more in line with past years but still slightly      – Marty Engel, fisheries biologist, Baldwin
over the next several years. Recent surveys     sistent numbers of channel catfish larger        lower.
have shown an 11-fold increase in perch         than 15 inches. Channel catfish larger than
abundance. Most of this increase was from       31 inches and flathead catfish larger than 43    Stevens Point Flowage – After the contro-            ST. CROIX COUNTY
small fish, although perch larger than seven    inches lurk in the deep waters of the Mis-       versial 10-foot drawdown in summer 2008,
inches increased as well. With the increas-     sissippi River. After 2010, anglers may see      a survey of the Stevens Point Flowage in             Cedar Lake – Local anglers supported a 14-
ing number of harvestable perch and high        fewer large fish because of a recent decline     2009 proved that the drawdown did not                to 18-inch walleye protected slot-size limit
abundance of small fish, yellow perch fish-     in small fish. This decline may be due to        adversely affect the fishery in this flow-           rule change, which went into effect during
ing should be excellent in 2010 and beyond.     extreme floods during the summers of 2007        age. The most common species caught was              spring 2008. With several years in a row
Size structure will improve, with some fish     and 2008. Anglers can find channel catfish       bluegill (37 fish per net-night), followed by        of strong natural reproduction, many wall-
reaching 15 inches. It is suspected that        during the summer using worms, night             black crappie (seven per net-night), walleye         eye have reached the slot and catch rates
greatly increased water clarity over the last   crawlers, minnows and stink baits fished         (6.8), northern pike (five), and largemouth          are getting exciting. Surveys show the
few years has favored perch growth and re-      in deep, flowing water, often around snag        bass (0.7). Bluegill ranged from four to             adult walleye population increased from
production. The highest catch rates for large   piles in side channels. Flatheads or mud         10.5 inches and averaged 6.4; black crappie          two per acre in spring of 2004 to 5.3 per
perch were found in upper Pool 6, followed      cats are frequently fished using large fish,     ranged from 5.5 to 15 inches and averaged            acre in spring of 2009. The average size
by upper Pool 5, lower Pool 4, the Big Lake     often bluegills, at night just upstream of       9.5; walleye ranged from seven to 30 inch-           walleye was 14 to 17 inches with fish up to
area near Lansing in Pool 9 and Lake Onal-      snag piles. During 2001, the state record        es and average 15.5; northern pike ranged            27.5 inches. During the 2010 season there
aska in Pool 7. Perch can be found in vari-     53-inch flathead catfish, weighing more          from 10 to 38 inches and averaged 24; and            will be many walleye still in the protected
ous locations in early spring. During April,                                                     largemouth bass ranged from nine to 20               slot, which should provide great catch-and-
soon after ice-out, look for them near their                                                     inches and averaged 14 inches. Forty-eight           release action; however, many fish will
spawning beds in shallow, weedy water.                                                           percent of the walleye were greater than             reach lengths greater than 18 inches and be
During summer, they frequent clear, weedy                                                        15 inches and 35 percent of the total catch          available for harvest. Cedar Lake is located
backwaters. As with many other backwater                                                         was of harvestable size at 15 to 20 inches.          in northwest St. Croix County near the Vil-
fish, perch overwinter in backwater areas                                                        Of the 592 northern pike captured, about             lage of Star Prairie.
with no or little flow. Typical baits include                                                    nine percent were at or above the minimum
small minnows, worms, night crawlers and                                                         harvest size of 32 inches. Anglers should            Lake St. Croix – The secret is out on beauti-
small artificial baits.                                                                          enjoy good catches of most of these species          ful 4,668-acre Lake St. Croix, which is part
                                                                                                 for the next several years based upon these          of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Largemouth bass – Bass anglers can look                                                          favorable survey results.                            located near Hudson. The Wisconsin/Min-
for continued good fishing on the Missis-                                                                                                             nesota boundary water took top honors in
sippi River. Catch rates from surveys of                                                         Trout streams – Trout were surveyed in               the 2009 Professional Musky Tournament
large and small fish have remained steady                                                        2009 on local streams. On the Tomorrow               Trail (PMTT). According to PMTT editor
over the last three years. The greatest num-                                                     River in east central Portage County above           Duane Landmeier, “The results were phe-
bers of large fish were found upstream of                                                        Nelsonville, brook trout numbers (about              nomenal and it turned out to be the best
the Prairie du Chien area in Pool 10, fol-                                                       150 per mile) were similar to 2008, but              event that the PMTT has ever had for the
lowed by upper Pool 5A, upper Pool 6,                                                            brown trout numbers (about 670 per mile)             amount of large fish caught and released.”
south of Prairie du Chien, and the back-                                                         were down, by about 150 fish per mile. Be-           The 2009 September catch-and-release
waters opposite Lansing, Iowa in Pool                                                            low Amherst, brown trout numbers were                tournament registered 33 musky with 29
9. A number of bass over 20 inches have                                                          similar to past years (110 per mile), but as         of those fish being between the 40- to 50-
been caught in the Goose Island area in                                                          usual, numbers were significantly less than          inch class. At least 15 musky were greater
Pool 8 and in waters surrounding the City                                                        above Nelsonville. Brook trout are absent            than 45 inches and two reached the 50-inch
of Prairie du Chien. Largemouth bass can                                                         from the Tomorrow River below Amherst.               mark. Musky fishing on Lake St. Croix
be caught in the spring in various locations                                                     On Flume Creek in northeastern Portage               should prove every bit as good this year.
including the main channel and in backwa-                                                        County, the brook trout numbers were
ters. During fall, these fish congregate into    A proud boy after bluegill fishing on the       similar to past years at about 800 per mile.         – Marty Engel, fisheries biologist, Baldwin
over-wintering areas and by ice-over can be      Mississippi River. Photo: Dave Heath            It appears that more fish are available for
caught on jigs and minnows using a pole or                                                       harvest. Fishing pressure along with num-
tip-up. They can be more difficult to catch                                                      bers of brown trout have increased since             WOOD COUNTY
later in winter.                                than 74 pounds was caught in the Missis-         new trout habitat was installed on Emmons
                                                sippi River.                                     Creek in southeastern Portage County.                Biron Flowage – Spring netting and shock-
Bluegill- Mississippi River bluegill anglers                                                     Brown trout numbers increased by about               ing and fall shocking surveys were carried
can expect average to below average fish-       – David Heath, fisheries biologist, La Crosse    100 fish per mile, but harvestable fish num-         out on Biron Flowage in 2009. Walleye
ing in 2010. Not only have larger bluegills                                                      bers stayed about the same. On the Plover            remain the most sought after fish on the
declined, there also are fewer smaller ones.                                                     River in eastern Marathon County, brook              flowage and during the spring fyke netting
The number of fish between three and            LA CROSSE, MONROE, VERNON                        trout and brown trout numbers were up
                                                                                                 significantly. Brown trout increased from
                                                                                                                                                      survey a total of 242 walleye ranging in
seven inches in 2008 and 2009 declined 35                                                                                                             size from 6.7 to 27 inches were captured.
percent. Additional declines in small fish in
                                                AND CRAWFORD COUNTIES                            583 to 953 fish per mile and brook trout in-         Catfish numbers were impressive from the
the next two years are expected because of                                                       creased from 213 to 586 fish per mile. In            spring survey with 609 caught ranging in
                                                Anglers fishing coulee region trout streams      general, anglers will find all of these rivers
an apparent poor 2009 spawn blamed on                                                                                                                 size from 16.8 to 26.8 inches. Northern
                                                should experience great fishing in 2010.         easily accessible with lots of public access
cool June 2009 weather. Although there                                                                                                                pike also are an important predator fish in
                                                Above average reproduction in 2007 and           and many fishing easements.
are now fewer bluegills in the backwaters                                                                                                             the system and 97 were captured during the
                                                2008 produced two huge year classes of
of the Mississippi River, 2009 did show the                                                                                                           survey with sizes ranging from 9.5 to 32.4
                                                trout. While these fish are still relatively     – Tom Meronek, fisheries biologist, Wausau
largest proportion of fish over seven inches                                                                                                          inches. Musky were captured for the first
                                                small, they should provide opportunities
(8.4 percent). Fall surveys indicate average                                                                                                          time in the 2009 netting survey with eight
                                                for anglers looking to catch some fish or
catch rates of bluegills over seven inches                                                                                                            fish captured ranging in size from 29.87 to
was greatest in upper Pool 5A , followed
                                                just wet a line. Fisheries survey crews
                                                captured brown and brook trout up to 27
                                                                                                 PIERCE COUNTY                                        35.1 inches. Other game fish sampled in-
by the northeast portion of Pool 9, upper                                                                                                             cluded smallmouth bass, largemouth bass
                                                and 17 inches, respectively. Also, one lo-       Plum Creek – Plum Creek in southeastern
Pool 5, the Trempealeau Lakes area in                                                                                                                 and white bass. The panfish fishery is sup-
                                                cal angler caught a 28.5-inch brown trout        Pierce County near Plum City contains ap-
Pool 7, upper Pool 6 and the Lawrence and                                                                                                             ported by healthy bluegill and black crappie
                                                from an area stream. In addition to healthy      proximately 12 miles of tremendous Class
Target lakes area of Pool 8. Bluegill can                                                                                                             populations. The bluegills surveyed ranged
                                                trout populations, nearly one mile of trout      I brook and brown trout waters. Monitoring
be found in various locations in the early                                                                                                            from 4.7 to 8.4 inches and the black crap-
                                                stream improvement work was done this            surveys conducted from 1999-2009 reveal
spring after ice-out. During late May and                                                                                                             pie ranged 5.2 to 10.6 inches. Both species
                                                past year.                                       Plum Creek brook trout populations range
early June, look for them on their spawn-                                                                                                             were caught in good numbers during the
ing beds in backwater lakes. Local anglers                                                       from 1,500 to 6,000 per mile with an ad-             netting survey. The fall shocking survey
                                                Anglers are used to hearing about how trout      ditional 500 to 1,250 brown trout to boot.
often use a fly rod rigged with poppers to                                                                                                            produced evidence of successful natural
                                                fishing in the Driftless Area will be on the     While six- to 10-inch brook trout are most
catch spawning fish. When the weather                                                                                                                 walleye reproduction with 37 walleye tap-
                                                opener, but there are other area fisheries       common, a few trophy (14-plus inch) brook
gets hot and spring flows subside, larger                                                                                                             ing at under 10 inches in length. Anglers are
                                                that beg some attention. The Lower La            trout are present. The brown trout popu-
bluegills migrate to the main channel and                                                                                                             now beginning to focus on this new fishery
                                                Crosse River (below Lake Neshonoc) is a          lation averages larger (eight to 15 inches)
side channels, and are often caught on wing                                                                                                           on the flowage. In 2009 a total of 931 large
                                                consistent catfish, smallmouth bass, north-      with fish topping 20 inches. The Class I
dams and in woody snags in or near flow-                                                                                                              fingerling musky were stocked from private
                                                ern pike and walleye producer for shoreline      portion of Plum Creek begins just down-
ing water. As with largemouth bass, in the                                                                                                            hatcheries by the 12 Apostles Musky Club
                                                and small boat anglers. The Lower Black          stream of Nugget Lake County Park Dam
fall bluegills congregate in backwater areas                                                                                                          and Consolidated Musky Club.
                                                River (downstream of North Bend) holds           and continues south to the Pierce/Pepin
with no or little flow to overwinter. Typical
                                                many walleye and smallmouth bass along           county line. For a cheap thrill, check out
baits include worms, night crawlers, wax                                                                                                              A spring netting and shocking survey on
                                                with an occasional musky.                        the trout pond (closed to fishing) in the
worms, small minnows and jigs.                                                                                                                        Nepco Lake captured a variety of species. A
                                                                                                 town park within the Village of Plum City.           total of 83 walleye were surveyed ranging
                                                – Jordan Weeks, fisheries biologist, La Crosse   You will be amazed by the size and girth of
Crappie – Mississippi River crappie anglers                                                                                                           in size from 6.5 to 26.9 inches, 55 northern
can expect below average fishing in 2010.                                                        the brown and rainbow trout there.                   pike ranging from 9.5 to 37.4 inches and 12
The greatest catch rates of large fish were                                                                                                           largemouth bass ranging in size from 12.5
found upstream of Prairie du Chien in Pool      MARATHON AND PORTAGE                             Trimbelle River – The Trimbelle is an ex-            to 19.9 inches. The panfish captured showed
10, followed by the Harpers Slough area                                                          ceptional brown trout stream located just            large numbers of yellow perch, bluegill and
near Harpers Ferry, Iowa in Pool 10, upper      COUNTIES                                         west of the town of Ellsworth. It is a mod-          black crappies and fewer pumpkinseed
Pool 5A, the northeast portion of Pool 9, the                                                    erate size Class II brown trout stream for           with good size ranges of each species. Nep-
Goose Island and Stoddard area in Pool 8,       Wisconsin River – Wisconsin River (from          more than 20 miles and originates south-             co Lake provides the angler a nice species
and upper Pool 5. Crappies can be found in      Wausau to Stevens Point) summer survey           east of River Falls, entering the Mississippi        variety with the chance to catch some good
various locations in the early spring. Dur-     results were consistent with past years.         River near the village of Diamond Bluff.             sized game and panfish.
ing May, look for them for a brief period on    Smallmouth bass made up 62 percent of            Annual surveys show Trimbelle holds 500
their spawning beds in shallow water. Af-       the total catch, then walleye (17 percent),      to 2,400 trout per mile. The most common             – Justine Hasz, senior fisheries biologist,
ter spawning, crappies migrate to the main      followed by channel catfish (11 percent).        sizes range from eight to 15 inches with an          Wisconsin Rapids.
channel and side channels, and are often        Musky comprised about four percent of the        occasional fish exceeding 20 inches. The
caught in woody snags in flowing water. As      catch. About 92 percent of the smallmouth        best trout water is found between Highway
with many other backwater fish, crappies        bass were greater than 12 inches, but only       35 (South) and Highway 10. However,
                                                10 percent of the walleye were 15 inches or

                                                                                                                                                   Wisconsin Fishing Report - 2010                  15
                                                Wisconsin Outdoor Education Expo                Please contact Theresa Stabo, aquatic        after-school programs, summer camps,
                                                Event organizers are gearing up for an-         resources education director for ques-       or other places that have the ability to
                                                other expo to be held May 13 and 14,            tions about these programs and oppor-        provide an angling field trip. We en-
                                                2010 at the Dodge County Fairgrounds            tunities,   Theresa.Stabo@wisconsin.         courage instructors to work together to
                                                near Beaver Dam. The fairgrounds are            gov, (608) 266-2272.                         give their students the full Hook, Line,
                                                divided into “camps,” each with a focus                                                      & Thinker experience.
                                                on a different outdoor skill such as fish-
                                                ing, shooting sports, archery, and more.        Publication Updates
                                                If you’d like to help at the fishing camp,      The Angler Education program Hook,
                                                contact DNR Fisheries Technician Mark           Line, & Thinker, designed for upper
Free Fishing Weekend                                                                            middle school and high school students,
Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for           Baldock in Horicon at 920/387-7868,
                                                           is now available on-line at
June 5 and 6, 2010. It’s a great way to                                                         fish/kidsparents/anglereducation/teach-
launch long-term, community-based                                                               ing.html. The program is divided into
fishing programs. Start planning now            If you would like to take a class to the
                                                event, contact the Expo Planning Of-            two sections; the Science Guide is
and see our website for an event plan-                                                          aimed primarily at life sciences stu-
ning form,         fice in Middleton at (877) 947-3976, or
                                                email Heidi Hubble, heidi.hubble@tds.           dents while the Field Guide is aimed at
freefishingweekend.html                                                                         physical education students or those in

                                                soul of those who fish and love what the
                                                rivers, streams, and lakes of Wisconsin           I fish (my friend) because…                  because I suspect that men are go-
                                                mean to those who make them part of                                                            ing along this way
                                                their lives.                                       I love to                                   for the last time
                                                                                                  because I love the environs where            and I for one don’t want to miss the
                                                Since fish and fishing have entered so            trout are found                              trip
                                                prominently in where we settled and               which are invariably beautiful
                                                why, Virgil Vogel’s Indian Names on               and hate the environs where crowds           because, mercifully, there are no
                                                Wisconsin’s Map offers insight and un-            of people are found                          telephones on trout water
                                                derstanding.                                      which are invariably ugly…                   because only in the woods

Hook, Line and                                  And my personal favorite is from Rob-             because of all the television com-
                                                                                                                                               may I find solitude, without loneli-

Bookmark                                        ert Traver, the pen name of Judge John
                                                Voelker, author of Trout Magic, Trout
                                                Madness and Traver on Fishing. If you
                                                                                                  cocktail parties
                                                                                                  and assorted social posturing which
                                                                                                                                               because bourbon out of an old tin
                                                                                                                                               cup always tastes better out there
It’s raining. Or maybe that cold wind           have ever chased brooks, browns, rain-            I thus escape                                because maybe one day I will catch
has whipped up a few too many white-            bows, or steelhead, these writings will           because in a world where most men            a mermaid
caps for comfort. When you can’t actu-          resonate with you.                                seem to spend their lives                    and finally…..
ally physically fish, you can still enjoy                                                         doing things they hate
some excellent fishing experiences by           You can’t always fish, but much of the            my fishing is at once an endless             Not because I regard fishing as be-
opening some classic works.                     tradition and essence of fishing lives in         source of delight                            ing so terribly important
                                                the works of these outstanding regional           And an act of small rebellion
Some of the best and most genuine of-           anglers.                                                                                       But because
ferings come from regional authors. My                                                            because trout do not lie or cheat            I suspect that so many of the other
three favorite regional fishing authors         Enjoy !                                           and cannot be bought or bribed               concerns of men are equally unim-
are George Vukelich (North Country                                                                or impressed by power                        portant and not nearly so much fun
Notebook, Vol’s I and II), Mel Ellis            -- Kurt Welke, fisheries biologist, Fitchburg     but respond only to quietude and
(Notes from Little Lakes) and Gordon                                                              humility, and endless patience
                                                                                                                                               -- from Trout Magic by Robert
MacQuarrie (Sporting Treasury). Any
of these musings get to the heart and

  2010 Wisconsin Fishing Report
     Wisconsin Department of                                                                                                                 Send your photos to:
        Natural Resources
          P.O. Box 7921                                                                                                              
     Madison, WI 53707-7921

      Designer: Karl Scheidegger                                                                                                             Your email should include:

                                                                                                                                             g	 the photo (the higher the resolution,
      Editors: Alisa Santiesteban
                                                                                                                                                  the better),
        and Natasha Kassulke
                                                                                                                                             g	   the species (if known), date of
                                                                                                                                                  catch, and location of catch,

                                                                                                                                             g	   if at all possible, a length and/or
                                                                                                                                                  weight of the fish,

                                                                                                                                             g	   photographers name, and

                                                                  DNR Photos                                                                 g	   a short description of the photo -
                                                                                                                                                  one or two sentences is fine.

     The Wisconsin Department of Natural                                                                                                     Please be aware that by submitting a
                                                                                                                                             fishing photograph, you are granting

                                                Catching smiles
     Resources provides equal opportunity
                                                                                                                                             the Wisconsin Department of Natural
    in its employment, programs, services,                                                                                                   Resources a non-exclusive license to
      and functions under an Affirmative                                                                                                     use and reproduce the photograph for
    Action Plan. If you have any questions,                                                     photos, dogs and fish photos, and fish       all such purposes as the department may
                                                Wisconsin Fishing Photo Gallery:                and fish photos, Get the picture? All        deem appropriate
   please write to Equal Opportunity Office,    look for it in 2010                             things fish. Or if the fish didn’t cooper-
           Department of the Interior,                                                          ate, beautiful fishing scenery would be
            Washington, D.C. 20240              You know the fish are there. You’ve             just as good. We all know that we’ve
                                                caught them. Now, be a proud angler             got a great state to fish. Let’s show it.
   This publication is available in alternate   and let everyone know it. Submit your
                                                fishing photos to our soon-to-be online         A few things to consider - Your fish
   format (large print, Braille, audio tape,                                                    should be legally caught in Wisconsin
    etc.) upon request. Call 608-267-7498       photo gallery and they will be displayed
                                                proudly on the fisheries website.               waters in 2010. Not all photos submit-
            for more information.                                                               ted may be selected for inclusion and
                                                What kind of photos should you send?            only those photos appropriate for all age
             Printed on Recycled Paper                                                          groups will be considered.
                                                How about big fish photos, little fish                                                                PUB-FH-506-rev2010
                                                photos, lots of fish photos, kids and fish

16            Fish Wisconsin!

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