Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report - October 25,
Fishing reports are updated once per week on Tuesdays and is subject to change based on the availability of reports and the work schedules of field staff.
Fishing report information comes from creel survey clerks, who work in the lakeshore areas from March through October, and in the tributary rivers seasonally in spring and fall. The report includes a large segment of information pulled from a variety of days, times and locations to reflect current fishing and harvest efforts.
Additional fishing information can be found by contacting local bait shops, charter captains and marinas.
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REMINDER - Anglers must carry a paper copy of their license/stamps while fishing on the waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Wisconsin/Michigan, Wisconsin/Minnesota and Wisconsin/Iowa boundary waters.
Oct. 25, Green Bay Fishing Report
East Shoreline Of Green Bay:
- Water temperatures reported this week ranged from degrees.
- It was a slow weekend for fishing on the east shore most likely due to rough, choppy waters due to the wind.
- Success on yellow perch, northern pike, and smallmouth bass was reported out of Sawyer Harbor at Potawatomi State Park. Those who had success on yellow perch and northern pike reported using minnows. Success on smallmouth bass was reported with green or chartreuse crank baits.
- Some success on yellow perch was also reported out of Little Sturgeon Bay at Robert M. Carmody Boat Launch using minnows.
- Success on yellow perch was also reported at Bayshore and Chaudoir's Dock with minnows. Whitefish and white bass were also reported to be caught over the weekend.
West Shoreline Of Green Bay:
- Geano Beach: Both Longtail Point and Geano Beach were hot spots for duck hunters this week. Otherwise, it was a very quiet week out of these launches.
- Suamico River: Anglers along the shoreline of the Suamico River and out of the Suamico launch had success catching yellow perch using minnows and night crawlers.
- Longtail Point: Both Longtail Point and Geano Beach were hot spots for duck hunters this week. Otherwise, it was a very quiet week out of these launches.
- Duck Creek: Success on yellow perch was also seen out of Duck Creek this past weekend. Minnows was the preferred choice of bait.
- Fox River and the Metro Boat Launch: The Fox River was very active this past week with both boat and shoreline anglers. Water temperatures varied between degrees along with a few windy days and foggy mornings mixed in. Success was reported on walleye, smallmouth bass, and white bass using crank baits and jigs. Freshwater drum, catfish, and white bass were also reported using night crawlers and jigs.
- Peshtigo River boat launches had activity from duck hunters this week as well as the launch at Red Arrow Park. Red Arrow also had a few fishing boats out in the “pocket” trying for perch. The perch bite was reported to be slower than previous weeks. Minnows were the bait of choice. A few salmon and brown trout could still be seen at Little River and the Menominee River. Anglers reported no luck however trying to catch them.
- Activity at area boat launches was light this week with most being used by duck hunters. Fishing activity was mainly seen by shore anglers this week at Oconto County Park II and in the ditches along County Hwy. Y. Perch were biting well with mainly smaller perch caught. Anglers reported to have to sort through many perch to find keepers.
Oct. 25, Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Kenosha Piers and Shoreline: The piers and shorelines in Kenosha continue to see steady angling effort. Most anglers are now being seen fishing with eggs on a slip bobber. Artificial baits are still being used but more infrequently. The anglers that were seen are still hoping to catch salmon or even browns and steelhead now that the water temperature has dropped. Even though anglers continue to fish in the harbor, the fish have been mostly uncooperative. No catches were recorded this week.
- Kenosha Ramps: The Kenosha ramp continues to see few fishing boats due to poor weather on the lake. A few boat trailers were seen towards the end of the week as there was a few days where the lake remained calm caused by favorable wind direction. Even though a few boats went out, fishing was still tough. No catches were recorded.
- Pike River: The Pike River had another slow week. Some anglers were still seen fishing near the mouth of the river. A few scattered anglers were found to be fishing farther upriver as well. The anglers that were out are still targeting salmon using a few different methods. Anglers were seen fishing with bobbers as well as throwing artificial baits. Due to the continued low angling effort on the river, success has also been low. One lucky angler caught a chinook using a spoon near the mouth of the river this week. Water levels on the river remain low, but the water temperature has dropped.
- Racine Piers and Shoreline: The piers and shorelines of Racine had another very slow week. Only a small handful of anglers were seen fishing on the piers or around the harbor. Nicer weather allowed a few more anglers to get out and fish on the south pier. The anglers that were out were targeting any salmon or trout that was willing to bite. They were seen fishing with slip bobbers as well as casting artificial baits. Due to the low number of anglers, success was hard to come by. No catches were recorded.
- Racine Ramp: The ramp in Racine had a slow start to the week but activity picked up at the end of the week due to a light west wind. The few boats that did go out were targeting any salmon or trout species. Even with the increase in fishing boats this week only one brown trout was caught using spoons. The water temperature at the ramp by the end of the week was 56 degrees.
- Root River: The Root River continued to see high levels of angling activity over the past week as salmon numbers in the river remain high. Anglers continue to be spread out all over the river with the highest concentration of anglers being in Lincoln Park once again. Anglers are still targeting salmon using fly fishing tackle with either flies or spawn. Despite the high angling effort, anglers were struggling to catch fish. A mix of chinook and coho were caught using a variety of flies. Water levels on the river remained low as we continue to get no rain. Water temps have dropped due to the cooler fall temperatures. The water temperature near the steelhead facility by the end of the week was 52 degrees.
- Southern Milwaukee County: Grant Park had light fishing activity, but most anglers were fishing upstream of the Oak Creek, where chinook and coho could be caught, mostly on flies. Marshmallows and eggs were also used. Oak Creek Power Plant had light fishing activity, but no fish caught during survey times.
- Northern Milwaukee County: McKinley marina had moderate activity, where chinook were caught. Anglers were using spoons and eggs. Few boats were launched from McKinley ramp, and had no luck fishing in the harbor. Under the Hoan and near Summerfest, there was light fishing activity, but no catches reported as well. Water temperature was degrees.
- Milwaukee River: Anglers at North Ave reported catching chinook, steelhead, and a brook trout using flies and spinners. Some anglers were also targeting smallmouth bass. Chinook were caught at Estabrook Park using eggs and flies. Anglers were fishing Kletzsch Park as well but had no luck during survey times. Anglers could also be seen fishing under Capitol Dr. Popular colors were orange, black/chartreuse, and pink.
- Menomonee River: There were a few anglers fishing the Menomonee this week with most of the activity near Miller Park. One angler reported catching a coho using flies.
- Port Washington: Wednesday evening was cool, cloudy, and windy (E) with some rain. Sauk Creek (61°F) maintained its level and was clear. Anglers focused their efforts at the marina piers and caught a few chinook. The weekend was cold, cloudy, and very windy (W/N). Sauk Creek cooled to 52°F. Anglers fished at all access points, primarily the marina piers and the outflow. Anglers caught coho and chinook throughout, with the most success at the outflow early in the morning using red egg sacs.
- Sheboygan: The week was cold, cloudy, and windy, shifting from an east to west wind. The Pigeon River was colder (54°F°F), clear, and maintained its level. A few anglers focused their efforts at Pigeon River Park, with a couple anglers fishing by boat. No catches were reported.
- Sheboygan River: Friday morning was cold and mostly cloudy. The river (53°F) was slightly up, swift, and clear. Saturday morning was also cold and mostly cloudy, but the river rose slightly and cooled to 50°F. Anglers fished primarily at Esslingen and River Wildlife, with no catches reported.
Oct. 25, Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Two Rivers: A handful of groups had success in the East and West Twin Rivers catching chinook salmon this week. In the East Twin River anglers had success catching chinook salmon using green/silver and chartreuse spoons as well as orange yarn balls. Anglers reported seeing less salmon this week and little to no bait. In the West Twin River anglers had success catching chinook salmon using green twister tail plastics, pink/chartreuse earplugs, orange spawn as well as a pink pompom. Other anglers also had success using a yellow/silver and orange spoons with one salmon weighing lbs. In the Two Rivers Harbor one angler had success catching two northern pike using silver colored cleo’s. Additionally, another harbor angling group caught 2 bullhead using worms. At Two Rivers piers one angling group reported seeing a few chinook salmon jump and some bait. The angler reported seeing a boat catch a northern pike between the Two Rivers piers this week.
- Manitowoc: The Manitowoc River had the most fishing pressure this week. At the Clarks Mill dam one angler had success catching one catfish, one largemouth bass and one white bass using worms. A handful of salmon were seen jumping near the Clarks Mill dam as well. Although no other successful anglers were interviewed, one angling group at the end of Mill Road stated that they saw several rainbow trout, brown trout, and chinook salmon. The same angling group reported catching several salmon and trout earlier in the week near Mill Road. At Silver Creek one kayaker entered Lake Michigan and reported marking many fish at 20 ft however no bait. The kayaker also reported 1 ft waves and a water temperature of 54 degrees. Lastly, at Manitowoc harbor several angling groups reported some fish in the water however had no success. Overall, most anglers reported that the water is lower relative to last year’s conditions. Additionally, there has been a decline in the number of angling groups at all locations compared to prior weeks.
- Algoma: The number of pier anglers that have been fishing has decreased. Salmon have been spotted jumping near the pier. Fishing activity along Stoney creek has decreased. Anglers that were interviewed fishing for salmon reported not catching any salmon. Fishing activity along the Ahnapee River has increased. The anglers that were catching chinook salmon near the Forestville Dam with orange ear plugs and orange spawn sacs.
- Kewaunee: Anglers that were interviewed were catching chinook salmon by Bruemmer County Park with orange spawn sacs, and green flies. Another individual fishing party caught one coho salmon with orange spawn sacs. The number of pier anglers fishing for chinook salmon has decreased one of the few anglers that were interviewed fishing the pier did not catch any salmon.
- The weather this week was cool and partly cloudy. Majority of days the wind kicked up and made it difficult to fish and boat. Waves in some areas peaked over top of fishing piers and docks. Fishing pressure has dropped all around Door County and very few anglers were interviewed.
- Anglers targeting bass fished between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor. However, no bass were reported. Northern pike were caught instead. Most action was prompted with 3 to 4 inch crankbaits of various colors.
Inland Fishing Wisconsin
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
October 25, Steve Suman The forecast for this week indicates somewhat stable temperatures, with daytime highs in the low 50s, nighttime lows in the 30s ‑ and chances for rain Wednesday and Thursday. A slide to cooler weather continues the following week as daily temperatures run about five degrees cooler than this week. On the up sid
Root River Report Update
ROOT RIVER REPORT FISHING WISCONSIN This page contains the latest fishing information for the Root River and the DNR's Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine County. Check back for updates on the number of fish processed at the facility, eggs collected and future processing dates. Pleas
A Pier that's as easy as it gets
By Dick Ellis Like anyone who owns or maintains a pier, Carl Surges faced problems when putting in and taking out his parents ‘ pier in Conover twice each year; damaged framing and deteriorating decking , rusted hardware escalated from outdoor storage, or the time-consuming transportation of pier sections and accessories to and from th
Lake Geneva 10/18/21 through 10/25/21
Hurry, the fall colors are outstanding, which makes the fishing experience all that much more special. Large mouth bass fishing has been up and down, some days there are good catches and the next it’s a struggle. I have been fishing a lot of shallow weeds with a close proximity to hard (sand) bottom. The fish I have been ca
Delavan Lake 10/18/21 through 10/26/21
This week saw fishing very good in the early part of the week but by the weekend the fish shut down. Bluegills and perch have moved slightly deeper. The bite has been sporadic however you can still catch a few nice fish. The best depth seems to be the ft. range. Most of the fish are being caught on leaf worms or wax w
Fishing Report Update
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Reports are now available here. The fall salmon run continues in Lake Michigan tributary rivers. In Sheboygan, the Pigeon River has produced Chinook salmon and a few northern pike. Anglers fishing the Sheboygan River have reported Chinooks caught at the Ko
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
October 11, Steve Suman The forecast calls for a chance of rain and storms Wednesday through Wednesday night, possibly with strong winds and lightning. In addition, temperatures are starting to slide downward. Still some mild, sunny days ahead, but we knew a change was coming eventually. That said, we certainly enjoyed a good run
Root River Report Update
FISHING WISCONSIN This page contains the latest fishing information for the Root River and the DNR's Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine County. Check back for updates on the number of fish processed at the facility, eggs collected and future processing dates. Please note that fish ar
Lake Geneva 10/11/21 thru 10/18/21
The lake still remains awesome for fishing. The lake hasn’t turned over yet. It will probably take another weeks. Smallmouth bass are still in the ft depth range. With the warmer water temperatures, nightcrawlers continue to be a safe bet. Fo
Delavan Lake 10/11/21 through 10/18/21
Delavan continues to be in a transition period between summer and fall. Due to that fact, some days the fishing is really good and others it is quite slow. Earlier in the week, walleye fishing was good on lind
Lake Geneva 10/04/21 through 10/11/21
You will never find a warmer October than we have this year. The fish are in a bit of a funk due to the extended heat wave we are having. The lake temperatures have actually been increasing over the past week. Rock bass can be readily caught in the ft depth range. They are being caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or
Delavan Lake 10/04/21 through 10/11/21
Fishing has been very tough over the last week or so. The warm weather has confused the fish and they aren’t sure whether they should be in their fall or summer patterns. The best bite on the lake remains the walleye. They can be caught off the weedlines. Walleye pike can be caught trolling deep diving crank baits or jiggin
Lake Geneva 9/27/21 through 10/4/21
The yellow perch are everywhere in ft of water. You need to sort through a lot of the small ones to catch quality fish, however you can use the small ones as bait for the bass. The best presentation is a leaf worms or a small piece of nightcrawler. I’ve been straight lining with a single hook and a split shot beneath t
Delavan Lake 9/27/21 through 10/4/21
We had a week of warm, consistent weather that produced some great fishing opportunities. Northern Pike fishing was really good all week, except for Sunday when the cold front moved in. They have again been off the weedline in ft of water. I’ve found that the larger the sucker the better. I’ve been lindy r
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
September 27, Steve Suman The forecast calls for a beautiful week ahead through Thursday (not that they have not tricked us in the past!) with highs in the low 70s to 80s and lows in the low to mids. Chances for showers start Friday evening and run through the (busy) weekend. Plan ahead and do not let the weather deter you from th
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
October 4, Steve Suman Though the forecast for the past busy weekend was not encouraging, Saturday was dry and Sunday had only a few light, spotty showers. This week, the forecast predicts a few foggy mornings and evenings, sunshine through Thursday, lows in the mids, and highs in the low 70s. Nearly perfect fall weather, so get o
Lake Michigan Whitefish Virtual Meeting Sept. 28
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be developing new regulations for the lake whitefish commercial industry. The DNR will host a virtual public meeting to hear from anyone interested in Lake Michigan whitefish, discuss the new permanent commercial whitefish rules package and share informati
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
September 20, Steve Suman This week should offer plenty of sunshine once the heavy rains of Monday night move through the Hayward area. The forecast predicts high temperatures in the 60s and lows in the 40s ‑ except Wednesday’s low of 35 degrees! This is the time for considerable weather changes, so start digging out those flan
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
September 13, Steve Suman The forecast for this week indicates we could see anything from sunshine to rain to thunderstorms at any time. Not sure if the weather or the forecast changes more often! That aside, temperatures are running near the annual September average ‑ high of 73 and low 45 degrees ‑ and fall colors are becoming more
Lake Geneva 9/13/21 through 9/20/21
School is back in session for both kids and the bass. The bass bite has improved dramatically with the cooler water temperature and the decreased fishing pressure. It’s a great time to be able to fish. &n
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 9/13/21 through 9/20/21
With the cooler nights, the water temperature is starting to drop. The fishing remains above average and the boat traffic is below average. Largemouth bass are s
Lake Geneva 8/30/21 through 9/6/21
Northern pike fishing has been all right but nothing like it normally is this time of year. The pike are in ft of water. They are being caught on lindy rigged medium suckers. Look for the fish by Fontana Beach, the north shore in the Narrows or by Linn Pier. You really have to fish for them this year, a good day on the
Delavan Lake 8/30/21 through 9/6/21
Largemouth bass are still on the rocky points. When you find a school, it’s possible to catch fish. They can either be caught drop shotting small 4 inch worms or fishing nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. Look for the fish in ft of water. The best location is by Del Mar or by the Yacht Club. Northern Pike
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
August 30, Steve Suman The forecast says sunshine and cooler temperatures through much of Thursday, and then showers into the weekend. However, heavy rains predicted last week never materialized, so enjoy any sunny days and degree temperatures! “Though it is hard to believe September is almost here,” says Pat
Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report
August 23, Steve Suman The current forecast shows rain and thunderstorms early and late in the week, with Wednesday and Thursday offering sunshine and blue skies. Maybe. The best thing to do is go ahead with you plans, but with a Plan B available just in case. The forecast seems to be in a state of flux even more-so than us
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Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Decent Pike, was 2nd of the day. His brother was bigger but too camera shy to grab a pic. Net is 16=1/2" across
Fishing weeds from shore with hollow popping frog.
Hit the lake today for some big gills and I ended up catching trout for the smoker. Fair trade off
Details: in. Largemouth Bass with a topwater yellow duck
Sitting on the west side of the bridge pylon. Hit the jig hard almost immediately after hitting the water, and put up a great fight. Quick photo and released back more into the water.
- Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes wholly within the borders of the United States; the
- Lake Geneva
Special Features- Located in southeast Wisconsin near many major metropolitan areas, Lake Geneva is a popular fishing lake. Summer pleasure boat traffic becomes extremely heavy during summer. Many l
- Delavan Lake
Special Features- Delavan Lake underwent a chemical treatment in to control both the excessive rough fish population and the high levels of phosphorous. During this treatment, the lake was close
- Lake Wisconsin
Special Features- Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River are popular with both recreational boaters and anglers. Resorts, campgrounds and tourist attractions are present throughout the area. A car f
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Wisconsin fishing report
There was a lot of uncertainty in the world last year, but one thing was very clear. People headed outside to escape some of the madness of Fishing participation increased considerably in Wisconsin. The fishing season is underway. Getting back outdoors can be beneficial both mentally and physically if done safely. Fishing can be a great social distancing activity. It's time to review the Wisconsin Fishing Report - a detailed newspaper of fishing in Wisconsin waters and fishing forecasts for the coming year. Use the information to plan your next fishing trip. The water is open to everyone.
The Wisconsin Fishing Report is available for download here in digital format and will be available in newsprint form at your local DNR service center and select stores.
Download the entire Wisconsin fishing report [PDF]
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Species fishing forecasts
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East Fork Chippewa River - There are approximately plus miles of the East Fork Chippewa River going east to west across the lower half of Ashland County. The river varies in size and depth providing fishing opportunities from wading, kayaking to all other types of watercraft. There are several access points throughout Ashland County most of them being carry in access only. Lots of trees and brush are overhanging and crossing the river make navigation difficult at times. In electrofishing surveys were conducted on various sections of the river throughout Ashland County. Survey results suggest that anglers can expect low to moderate density of Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and moderate densities of Walleye. Of those three species, Walleye were found throughout the entire system with the best size structure and relative abundance. Walleye were captured up to plus inches, with a fair number of them being in the harvestable range. The Walleye regulation follows the Ceded Territory bag limit of three walleye, ranging from 15” – 20” may be kept, except one fish may be over 24”.
Red Cedar Lake - 1, acres. Red Cedar Lake is consistently one of the best walleye lakes in Barron County and is maintained through good natural reproduction. During the last walleye population estimate survey, we found adults/acre with the majority ranging from inches. The Red Cedar Lake walleye fishery is managed with a in minimum length limit, but walleye inches may not be harvested, and only 1 walleye longer than 24 inches may be harvested, 3 fish daily bag limit. There are three public boat landings on Red Cedar Lake. The boat landing at Waldo Carlson Park and Campground is the best option for handling larger boats. Balsam Lake and Hemlock Lake are connected to Red Cedar Lake and a navigable channel allows for boat passage through all the lakes.
CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA, and WINNEBAGO COUNTIES
The Winnebago System includes the four lakes (Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan) along with all their tributaries from their mouths upstream to the first dam including the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers. , acres for the lakes and roughly river miles. The Winnebago System is home to a healthy self-sustaining walleye population that offers some of the best walleye fishing opportunities in the Midwest. The annual Lake Winnebago trawling survey revealed a measurable walleye hatch for with a catch rate of young of year (YOY)/trawl, just below the long-term average of /trawl. Measurable walleye year classes were also produced in (/trawl), (/trawl), and (/trawl). Although these aren’t considered strong year classes they should help contribute to the adult population. The strong , , , and year classes continue to dominate the adult walleye population. For , anglers will likely find themselves hooking into walleyes from the year class ranging from inches. The trawling survey also revealed a weak year class of gizzard shad (/YOY trawl). Gizzard shad can often drive walleye fishing success on the system and this year’s weak hatch could set up for a productive walleye bite on the system. The system is open year round for walleye and sauger. There is a combined daily bag limit of 3 fish, of which only 1 may be a sauger. There is no minimum length limit for either species. There are numerous access points around the Winnebago system. Consult a map of the system to see what access is near where you want to launch, or go to the DNR’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access website to search for access information (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lan/boataccess). DNR fisheries staff has tagged walleye on the Winnebago System since The program relies on anglers to report any tagged fish they catch by mailing them to the Oshkosh DNR office ( East County Road Y, Oshkosh WI ) or emailing them to [email protected] Anglers are encouraged to check their walleye catch for tags and report them properly. Anglers that return tags can expect a mailed certificate that provides information about the tagged fish they caught. -Adam Nickel, Fisheries biologist, Oshkosh
CRAWFORD, GRANT AND VERNON COUNTIES
Mississippi River Pools 9, 10, 11 and Upper 12 - 74, acres and 97 miles of open water . In mid-October , a DNR electrofishing crew collected walleye and sauger by electrofishing at night in the near-shore areas around wing dams in Pool 9. In our sample, adult walleyes were between inches with the largest measuring inches and catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) was approximately 28 adult walleye per mile. Adult sauger were between inches with the largest measuring inches and CPUE was 40 adult sauger per mile. Our fall young-of-year (YOY) survey results in Pool 10 showed excellent reproduction during the spring of with a catch rate of 65 YOY walleye per mile and YOY sauger per mile. YOY walleye and sauger reproduction in was very good which will help maintain the fishery for years to come. Current regulation in Pools The Mississippi River is open year-round for walleye and sauger. New regulations were promulgated for walleye with a minimum length limit of 15 inches for walleye, walleye between inches must be released, and 1 walleye over 27 inches is allowed. The bag limit is 6 fish combined walleye and sauger and there is no minimum length limit on sauger. Access information: There are many boat and shore fishing access locations along the Mississippi River. The waters of Pool 9 are part of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The refuge is located in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois along the Mississippi River and was established in as a refuge for fish, wildlife and plants. The refuge encompasses one of the largest blocks of floodplain habitat in the lower 48 states and covers just over , acres which extends river miles from the Chippewa River in Wisconsin to near Rock Island, Illinois.
Madison Chain of Lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa) – Wisconsin Walleye Initiative stocking began in and each lake has responded to increased stocking rates and larger fish. Each lake is surveyed regularly and share some general characteristics of the walleye fishery: the population is around 2 fish per acre, typical of a high angling pressure stocked lake, some natural reproduction is occurring, but not enough to sustain the fishery on its own, and anglers are readily harvesting legal fish. Monona isn’t stocked with walleye but gets migration of walleye from other stocked lakes both upstream and downstream. Wingra doesn’t have a walleye population. Landing a fish for the frying pan isn’t a guarantee but anglers have found success at the steep rocky breaks along the thermocline or weedy edges. The Madison Chain has several public boat launches and many miles of public shore fishing opportunities. Mendota has an 18” minimum, 1 daily bag limit, all other lakes have a 15”, 5 daily bag limit. - Dan Oele, Fisheries biologist, Madison
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Stevens and Range Line Lakes. Stevens ( acres), Range Line (83 acres). Population information: These two waters are some of the best stocked walleye waters in Forest County. The last survey conducted on these lakes estimated a walleye population of adults/acre in Stevens Lake, and adults/acre in Range Line Lake. Stocked waters typically give an angler a good chance at larger walleye, because the density of walleye is generally lower than those naturally reproducing populations. Stevens is a great example of a place that gives you a good chance at a large walleye. During the last survey of Stevens % of the walleye captured were over the legal length of 15 inches, with a whopping % being over 20 inches. While walleye size structure in Range Line was not as good as Stevens Lake, it is still a great place to catch quality walleye with % of the walleye captured being over 15 inches. Current Regulation: inch minimum length limit, inch protective slot, 3 fish bag (1 > 24”) Access Information: There are two dirt launches on Range Line Lake with limited parking. Stevens Lake has a USFS landing. Interesting Points: Both of these lakes are quite shallow. Range Line Lake does have some natural reproduction of walleye. - Greg Matzke, Fisheries biologist -Florence
JACKSON, MONROE, LA CROSSE, AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES
Lower Black River (below the Black River Falls dam) Catch rates are based on electrofishing results (expressed as number of fish captured per mile of lake shoreline or river surveyed). Black River, Lower: Total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 15”+ fish was /mile, catch rate of 25”+ was /mile, and maximum size captured was 28”. In , total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 15”+ size fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was 24”. Regulation: Black River upstream of CTH OO (T26NR2W Sections 20 and 21 – Clark County); 15” minimum length, 20” – 24” no harvest slot, daily bag limit of 3 fish, only 1 can be over 24” (Ceded Territory standard walleye regulation). For the Black River downstream of CTH OO, Clark County, and Arbutus Lake; 15” minimum length, daily bag limit of 5 fish. Access Information: Upper Black River – Halls Creek Canoe Landing and Black River State Forest unimproved landings off Palm and Brickyard Roads (Jackson County), and DNR boat landing off Opelt Avenue (Clark County). Lower Black River – 3rd Street Canoe Landing (City of Black River Falls), Perry Creek Landing, Mason’s Landing, Irving Township Canoe Landing, Highway Landing near Melrose, WI, North Bend Landing off CTH VV, and Highway 35 landing in Van Loon Bottoms. The lower Black River (downstream of the Black River Falls dam) has a continuous (year-round) fishing season for walleyes.
Lake Koshkonong/Rock River - 10, lake acres and 27+ river miles. fall electrofishing surveys yielded an average catch rate of young-of-the-year (YOY) walleye/mile in the Rock-Koshkonong system. The five year average () is YOY walleye/mile. miles of Lake Koshkonong and 10 miles of the Rock River were sampled. Current regulation: There is a year-round open season on the Rock River and Lake Koshkonong for all gamefish except muskellunge. A new inch minimum length and 3 fish daily bag limit on walleye and sauger was applied to the system in April Access: Royce Dallman County Park, Groeler Road, Klement Park, City of Jefferson below Jefferson Dam, City of Fort Atkinson (shorefishing in town and city launch off Mechanic St.), Rock River Road (Town of Koshkonong - shorefishing). Because of COVID restrictions, no Department walleye stocking occurred in Of the total walleye sampled in fall electrofishing, % (/) were above the new inch minimum length limit regulation.
Archibald Lake - acres - Population information: In , adult walleye density was adults per acre. This was a significant improvement over what was observed in ( adults/acre). Walleye ranged from to inches and averaged inches. Compared to other lakes in the area, walleye abundance was high. Large fingerling walleye stocking began in at the rate of 15/acre. These fish are now starting to enter the fishery.Current Regulation: inch minimum length / 3 fish per day Access information: Boat landing on west side of the lake. Of interest: East side of lake relatively undeveloped because the shoreline is owned by the U.S. Forest Service: Fish sticks – trees were placed at 46 locations in ; Walleye spawning reefs were constructed in (’) , (’) and (2 reefs – ’ each). Water levels have increased approximately 3 to 4 feet since
Bearskin Lake – acres, miles of shoreline, 26 feet maximum depth. Recent survey results documented a healthy and abundant Walleye population with a density of just under 10 adults per acre. This is a high-density action fishery sustained by natural reproduction. The Walleye regulation allows Walleye of any length to be kept but only one fish can be over 14 inches with a daily bag limit of 3. A concrete public boat launch with good access and ample parking is located off Lakewood Road. Zach Woiak, Fisheries biologist, Rhinelander
PORTAGE, WOOD, ADAMS AND JUNEAU COUNTIES
Wisconsin River (Stevens Point Flowage; Petenwell Lake) - acres; 23, acres. Since , we have been monitoring walleye spawning success for multiple flowages, including the Stevens Point Flowage and Petenwell Lake, of the Wisconsin River using fall electrofishing surveys at established transects. We calculate the relative abundance (catch per mile) of walleyes born that spring (Age-0) and those born the previous spring (Age-1+, they’re about 1 ½ years old). We can track overtime the variability in spawning success and track a year class of walleye for two years. We see consistent walleye spawning success in the Stevens Point Flowage, where relative abundance of Age-0 walleye ranges from per mile. was a strong year class with per mile. This consistent recruitment is seen in our consistent relative abundance of Age-1+ walleye, per mile. We saw the strong year class in (Age-1+) with 38 per mile. We see more variability in spawning success on Petenwell Lake, Age-0 relative abundance in , , , and ranged from per mile, while a couple poor year classes were apparent in and (20 and 29 per mile). Age-1+ relative abundance has been consistent with per mile. The poor year class of was observed in the survey where Age-1+ relative abundance was 7 per mile. While the relative abundance of the year class was not exceptionally high, like we observed in the Stevens Point Flowage, the survival of those fish to Age-1+ was very good, 65 per mile. In the fall of , we used fyke nets to do a limited survey in the Stevens Point Flowage and Petenwell Lake, our objective was two fold 1) collect fish for contaminant analysis and 2) explore the use of this sampling, as surveys in the spring are a challenge if mother nature doesn’t cooperate. Our catch for walleye was decent for how little effort was put into the surveys, so we plan to continue to investigate the use of this sampling for monitoring walleyes on large flowages. For Stevens Point flowage, 99 walleyes were caught, and they ranged from ”. 32% of walleyes were less than 15”, 30% were ” and 37% were ”. For Petenwell Lake, walleyes were caught, and they ranged in length from ”. 66% of walleyes caught were less than 15”, 26% were ” and 8% were ”. Anglers should notice the poor year class in , as males enter the fishery (15”) at age-5 and are fully vulnerable at age Anglers will also notice the strong year class as these fish will be ”. There are ample public boat launch and shore fishing access opportunities for both flowages. Popular boat launches for the Stevens Point Flowage includes: Old Hwy 10/ Hwy 66 launch, Buckholt Park, and the Hwy 10 launch. Popular boat launches for Petenwell Lake include Jim Freeman Memorial Launch (aka Nekoosa City Launch), Plank Hill boat launch, and Chester Creek. Checkout the Department’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access website for more information: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/boataccess.html
Unfortunately, the pandemic postponed our planned spring netting and electrofishing surveys that provide anglers useful information on the size and abundance of sport fish populations. But with several precautions in place to keep staff healthy, electrofishing crews from DNR, U.S. Forest Service, and Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) completed fall surveys to evaluate recruitment in 14 of our important walleye populations. “Recruitment” refers to the rate at which a fish population adds new recruits to replace the adults that die to harvest and natural causes. We use our catch rates of fingerlings per mile of shoreline in fall electrofishing surveys as our standard measure of walleye recruitment for comparisons among lakes and years. Highlights from last fall include the walleye year class that hatched in Lake of the Pines in spring , grew over summer, and were captured at a rate of 10 fingerlings/mile. The walleye year class produced in Lake of the Pines was the strongest among 8 surveys there since —a promising sign that walleye stocked biennially since at 15 large fingerlings/acre are maturing and reproducing. GLIFWC’s crew also documented the walleye year class in nearby Connors Lake as one of the highest produced there since Overall, the “big-picture” forecast for walleye is not as favorable. The long-term survey history reveals declining patterns in natural walleye recruitment in many waters where walleye populations once consistently produced strong year classes. The diminishing trend is apparent even in our best-producing and our most-studied walleye populations, prompting DNR to consider a change to fishing regulations. Specifically, we would rescind the special harvest regulation on walleye and replace it with the standard walleye harvest regulation that has been in effect across Wisconsin’s Ceded Territory since Currently, three walleye of any length may be kept, but only one fish may be over 14”. Under the proposed regulation walleye 15–20” may be kept with one over 24” in a daily bag limit of 3 in total. The proposed change is necessary because the current harvest regulation is no longer suitable for these walleye populations amid the declining trends in natural recruitment that they have exhibited in the last 15 – 20 years. The no minimum, 1 over 14” regulation was once appropriate to offer liberal harvest opportunity for small- and intermediate-size walleye in the s and early s when recruitment was strong or excessive. Then, anglers could focus on keeping the abundant, slow-growing fish while the 1 over 14” component protected some that might live long enough to reach quality-size ≥ 15” and preferred-size ≥ 20”. Now however, fishing regulations that allow anglers to keep walleye of any size are not the proper fit for populations with dwindling recruitment. Young walleye in low to moderate abundance should not be immediately available for harvest in ailing or recovering populations. The proposed regulation would apply to the Flambeau River and its eight impoundments between Turtle-Flambeau Dam and Thornapple Dam, Solberg Lake, the entire Elk River, including the Phillips Chain of Lakes, Soo Lake, and Grassy Lake, the Pike Lake Chain of Lakes, and the entire South Fork Flambeau River. The 22 lakes, impoundments and river segments affected by this proposal lie in six counties. Our proposal would simplify fishing rules by removing special regulations on walleye angling harvest from nearly all waters in Price and Rusk counties. Within years after applying the standard walleye harvest regulation for the Ceded Territory, we seek to increase adult walleye population density toward the objective ranges outlined in the fishery management plans that stakeholders helped us develop for these waters. The proposed regulation should promote our goals by protecting young walleye until they mature and allowing some adults to grow larger. However, the proposed change would also limit anglers’ harvest opportunity beyond what they have been accustomed to when these waters had no minimum length limits. That’s precisely our intent. The purpose of the proposed rule change is to take preemptive action to protect the young walleyes that most of these populations are still producing, but at much lower rates than they historically did, before their natural recruitment fades too far to sustain a viable fishery. If walleye recruitment rebounds to satisfactory measures and adult population density returns within our objective ranges for these waters, someday we may be able to reinstate a liberalized harvest regulation to again direct angling harvest toward small fish in high abundance. The rule-change proposal will appear in the questionnaire published for the spring hearings and county meetings that will be hosted by DNR and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress on April 12, –Jeff Scheirer, Fishery biologist, Park Falls
SAUK AND COLUMBIA COUNTIES
Lower Wisconsin River - miles.Population Information: The Lower Wisconsin River supports a healthy walleye fishery from the Prairie du Sac Dam to the Mississippi River. Anglers can expect to see many walleye in the 14 to inch range with some over 23 inches present in the population. Electrofishing surveys during October and November of sampled a fair adult population with an average size of inches. Nine percent of the adults were 18 inches or greater. Current regulation: inch minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 3. Access information: Public boat launch and accessible bank fishing opportunities are located thru out the Lower Wisconsin River way. There is a public boat launch close to the dam at Veterans Memorial Park. A daily or annual fee is required to use the launch at this park. Boaters should use caution near the dam as many rock bars, wing dams, and shallow sand breaks are present in the river channel.
Interesting Points: In the fall of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources marked walleye with plastic floy tags. These tags will be located near the dorsal fin of the fish and have a phone number on one side and 4 digit number unique to that fish on the other side. If a tagged fish is caught, record the date, location, total length, the 4 digit tag number, and if the fish was kept or released. If the fish is to be released, please leave the tag in the fish. Information can be texted to the phone number or anglers may leave a voice mail. Bradd Sims, Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
Big Arbor Vitae Lake - 1, acres. Big Arbor Vitae Lake supports a good walleye population that provides excellent angling opportunities. In , a walleye population estimate survey was conducted by DNR. Based on that survey, Big Arbor Vitae was estimated to contain 4, adult walleye or per acre. The majority of walleye captured were over 15 inches with the largest measuring inches. Current regulation: 3 bag; no minimum length limit, but only one fish over 14” Access information: There are two landings located along the shores of Big Arbor Vitae. One landing is located on the north shore just off Buckhorn Rd and the other on the south shore off Hwy The walleye population in Big Arbor Vitae Lake is supported by natural reproduction. - Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries Biologist – Vilas County
Lac LaBelle - surface acres. Species population information: Average length – 16 inches. Population estimate – adults per acre. Current regulation: 28 inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 1. Access information: Shore fishing opportunities near the Oconomowoc River inlet can provide fast action. The public boat launch is located on south end of Lac LaBelle near the public beach area on Wisconsin Avenue. A healthy adult walleye population continues to support natural reproduction of walleye in Lac LaBelle, as revealed by continued fall electrofishing surveys. Walleyes on Lac LaBelle provide excellent angler opportunities for those looking to catch and release good numbers of fish.
Nemahbin Lakes - surface acres. Species population information: Average length – 17 inches. Population estimate – adults per acre. Current regulation: inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 3. Access information: The public boat launch is located in between Upper and Lower Nemahbin Lakes off of Delafield Road. Fall electrofishing surveys have revealed consistent walleye recruitment and growth.
Day Lake Flowage - This acre, stained-water impoundment on the Chippewa River within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in western Ashland County presents anglers with a couple unique opportunities. Day Lake is teaming with muskies giving anglers a realistic chance of catching a fish each time out. However, while anglers can experience some fast-action, the average size musky will be around 30”. You also could harvest a smaller-sized musky, if you so desire, because of a inch minimum length limit. In addition to a high abundance of Muskies, the most recent electrofishing survey showed good numbers of Black Crappie, Bluegill and Largemouth Bass. With the variety of species Day Lake has to offer this gives fishing opportunities for all. There is a boat launch located just off Highway M just west of Clam Lake, along with a USFS campground located right on the flowage.
Red Cedar River - The Red Cedar River from CTH W to the Barron-Dunn County line (~ river miles) has a respectable muskellunge fishery that is often overlooked by anglers. Based on recent electrofishing surveys, the Red Cedar River has a fair number of muskellunge over 40 inches, with some fish surpassing 45 inches. The muskellunge population is managed with the statewide inch minimum length limit and one fish daily bag limit. Barron County has several well-marked and maintained river accesses. These would include the accesses at County Highways W, OO, D, I, and AI. Anglers will likely have the best luck by floating a canoe, kayak, or small boat and targeting any deeper pool habitats. The Red Cedar River is stocked with muskellunge at a low level, gets muskellunge from upstream sources, and a low level of natural reproduction also occurs. Musky do well in the Red Cedar River with the abundant sucker and redhorse populations.
CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA, and WINNEBAGO COUNTIES
The Winnebago System includes the four lakes (Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan) along with all their tributaries from their mouths upstream to the first dam including the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers. , acres for the lakes and roughly river miles. Great Lakes spotted strain muskellunge were stocked throughout the Winnebago System during the years During this time span, , fish were stocked (, fry; 1, small fingerlings; 22, large fingerlings; 40 yearlings; and 6 adults). As a result, the system currently supports a low density muskellunge population that provides trophy (>50 inches) opportunities for anglers. To help bolster the population, 2, yearling Great Lakes spotted muskellunge have been stocked in the Upriver Lakes since This included fish with an average length of inches that were stocked near Omro on the upper Fox River in These stockings should provide a boost to the population and provide additional angling opportunities. All fish stocked received right ventral fin clips to indicate that the fish was stocked. Anglers who catch a muskellunge on the Winnebago System can help with management efforts by checking their fish for fin clips and reporting it to the Oshkosh DNR office. All fish were also tagged with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags, which are small radio transponders that contain a specific identification code for each fish. This will allow DNR staff to assess stocking location and growth of PIT tagged muskellunge that are captured during future surveys. Current Regulations: The open season for muskellunge is May 1, – December 31, with a daily bag limit of 1 fish and a minimum length limit of 50”. Access Information: There are numerous access points around the Winnebago system. Consult a system map or the DNR’s Boat Access Website to search for launch information near where you want to fish (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess). With the help of local fishing and conservation clubs 46 acoustic tags were purchased and surgically implanted in yearling muskellunge in and There are currently 29 acoustic receivers located throughout the Winnebago System that are programmed to pick up the signal from acoustic tagged fish that swim by the receiver. Because each tag has a unique signal, individual fish can be tracked as they move by receivers. Conducting this acoustic tag study has allowed for muskellunge movement and stocking strategies to be evaluated. The battery life of these tags is 5 years and has already provided valuable information. Fisheries staff will continue to collect information during the final and study years. -Adam Nickel, Fisheries biologist, Oshkosh
Chippewa River - The reservoirs on the lower Chippewa River are well known for their musky populations and trophy potential, but the riverine portions do not get the credit they deserve for producing big musky. In particular, the 10 miles stretch from the NSP Dam in Chippewa Falls to the Eau Claire County line consistently produces nice musky. The forage base in this portion of river is excellent with numerous species of redhorse sucker readily abundant, so it is no surprise that musky stocking efforts have paid off. This stretch of river does not see a lot of pressure and is generally shallow, so a fishing trip is best done as a float trip in a canoe, kayak, small aluminum boat or drift boat. Check the river level prior to embarking to ensure it is at a safe level. There is a boat landing in Chippewa Falls to put in and a few to choose from closer to Eau Claire to take out. The daily bag limit is one fish and it must be at least 40”. - Joseph Gerbyshak, Fisheries biologist, Eau Claire
Lake Wingra - This acre lake is in the heart of Madison, Dane County and offers a unique urban fishing experience. and surveys showed a robust musky fishery, well above average densities with most fish in the ” range, offering anglers a good chance at hooking into a fish on any given day. However, anglers shouldn’t expect a harvest opportunity due to the 50” minimum length limit. In addition to a high abundance of muskies, the netting and electrofishing survey showed high abundance of bluegill and an improving largemouth bass fishery. A newcomer to the fishery, northern pike are also present. Boat parking is difficult within the city limits, but shore and ice anglers can park near the Zoo and surrounding neighborhoods.
Lake of the Falls - At acres, Lake of the Falls located upriver of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage is often overlooked as a destination to musky fish. Relative to its size this waterbody has the potential to produce some big muskies. In , muskellunge up to ” inches were netted. Overall, the lake is shallow with stained water and a high density of weeds. There are three inlets entering this body of water providing a wide variety of lake and riverine habitats to try. This lake has relatively high densities of adult muskies with a balanced size structure, which will provide good action and the occasional chance at a wall mounter. There is a nonpaved public boat landing located on the westside of the lake. Current regulations allow for a daily bag limit of 1 fish that must be at least 40”.
JACKSON, MONROE, LA CROSSE, AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES
Lower Black River (below the Black River Falls dam), Jackson, Monroe, La Crosse, and Trempealeau Counties. Catch rates are based on electrofishing results (expressed as number of fish captured per mile of river surveyed). Black River, lower: Total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 40”+ fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was ”. In , total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 40”+ size fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was 49”. Regulation: 40” minimum length limit / 1 fish daily bag limit. Access Information: Lower Black River – 3rd Street Canoe Landing (City of Black River Falls), Perry Creek Landing, Mason’s Landing, Irving Township Canoe Landing, Highway Landing near Melrose, WI, North Bend Landing off CTH VV, and Highway 35 landing in Van Loon Bottoms. Other Information: The 4 mile stretch of the Black River downstream of the Black River Falls Dam consistently yields one of the highest densities of 40”+ muskellunge found in annual surveys.
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Wisconsin River system in Marathon County including all flowages (Lake DuBay, Mosinee Flowage/Halfmoon Lake, Lake Wausau, and Wausau Dam Lake). Flowages ranging from acres in size along 52 miles of river from the Dubay Dam upstream to the Merrill Dam. Muskellunge angling records from the Muskies, Inc. “Lunge Log” and local leagues have shown strong increases in musky size structure in the Wisconsin River in the last 10 years. In particular the percentage of 45” or larger musky reported increased from 1% to 15%. Fyke netting and electrofishing survey data from these systems indicate that maximum length on average is ” and ranges ”–53” among systems. Similarly, growth data trajectories from tagged musky that have been recaptured have indicated that on average muskellunge ultimate length is ” which ranges from ” to ” depending on the flowage. All this data indicates that this portions of the Wisconsin River provides trophy muskellunge fishery. And although the relative abundance information is variable, anglers indicate that chances of catching a musky on Wisconsin River is more probable than most low-density trophy populations in lakes. Upstream of the DuBay Dam, the Wisconsin River muskellunge regulation follows the statewide 40” minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 1. Numerous Landings can be found at each Marathon County flowage in the Wisconsin River. Popular landings include Oak Island Park Landing on Lake Wausau, Riverside Park Landing in the Mosinee Floage, and Chucks Landing downstream of the Mosinee Dam (tailwater upstream of Lake DuBay). Muskellunge are entirely supported by natural reproduction above Wausau Dam, but the flowages downstream of the dam it is unknown how much natural reproduction occurs. Currently, the DNR is working with several musky clubs and leagues on a PIT tagging project to better understand musky natural reproduction, stock survival and contribution, and flowage retention and loss of fish via downstream emigration. Club members assist with the tagging of both stocked musky fingerlings and fish surveyed in the field. Volunteer anglers outfitted with PIT tag scanners participate in weekly leagues and solo fishing efforts to actively monitor for PIT tagged individuals. So far, this project has been fairly popular among participants and the recapture data gained from both anglers and DNR surveys has provided justification to propose changes to the minimum length limits on the Wisconsin River upstream of the DuBay Dam.
Caldron Falls Reservoir (1, acres) and High Falls Reservoir (1, acres) The musky fisheries are maintained through a combination of stocking and natural reproduction. The density (fish /acre) of musky is higher in Caldron Falls than in High Falls but large fish are present in both flowages. Current regulation: inch minimum length / 1 fish per day Access information: There are 5 boat landings on Caldron Falls and 6 on High Falls. Shore fishing opportunities are excellent. Musky were stocked in High Falls for the first time in A inch minimum length limit went into effect in
George Lake – acres, miles of shoreline, 26 feet maximum depth. George is home to a thriving action musky fishery which is sustained through stocking every other year. Most fish range between the mids to mids. There is a wide variety of structure to fish so between that and the abundance of muskies, anglers keep busy. The regulation is the statewide 1 fish over 40”. A concrete public boat launch with good access and ample parking is located off Nostalgia Lane on the east side of the lake. - Zach Woiak, Fisheries biologist, Rhinelander
SAUK AND COLUMBIA COUNTIES
Lower Wisconsin River - miles.The Lower Wisconsin River supports a healthy musky fishery from the Prairie du Sac Dam to Mazomanie. Anglers can expect to see musky 35 to 42 inches with some in the upper 40’s present in the population. Electrofishing surveys during October & November of sampled 83 individual musky that ranged from to inches total length. Average size was inches. Musky ≥ 40 inches made up % of the sample while musky ≥ 35 inches made up % of the sample. Current regulation: inch minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 1 upstream of Hwy. 12 to Prairie du Sac dam in Dane, Sauk, and Columbia Counties. Downstream of Hwy. 12 there is a inch minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 1. Access information: Public boat launch and accessible bank fishing opportunities are located thru out the Lower Wisconsin River way. There is a public boat launch close to the dam at Veterans Memorial Park. A daily or annual fee is required to use the launch at this park. Boaters should use caution near the dam as many rock bars, wing dams, and shallow sand breaks are present in the river channel. In the fall of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources marked 83 musky with a plastic floy tag. These tags will be located near the dorsal fin of the fish and have a phone number on one side and 4 digit number unique to that fish on the other side. If a tagged fish is caught, record the date, location, size, the 4 digit tag number, and if the fish was kept or released. If the fish is to be released, please leave the tag in the fish. Information can be texted to the phone number or anglers may leave a voice mail. - Bradd Sims, Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
North and South Twin lakes - Lake size: 3, acres. North and South Twin lakes support a low density, trophy muskellunge population that provides excellent angling opportunity for more experienced and patient musky anglers. Fyke net surveys were conducted on the Twin Chain in and to estimate muskellunge abundance. The population estimate for the two lakes was adult muskellunge ( per acre). During the surveys 36% of the muskellunge encountered were 40” or larger with the largest being ”. Although no fish over 50” were captured during these surveys, there are reports of musky greater than 50” being caught out there relatively regularly. Current Regulation: 1 bag; 50” minimum length. Access information: There are multiple boat access sites located on North and South Twin lakes. North Twin has landings located on the northwest shore (off Lakota Rd.) and southeast shore (off Hwy 17). There is also a boat landing located on the north shore of South Twin off Twin Lake Rd. One of the largest muskellunge ever caught in Vilas County was caught on North Twin Lake in September by Myrl “Ozark” McFaul. The fish measured ”, weighed 53lbs., 12oz. and sat atop the leaderboard of that year’s Vilas County Musky Marathon contest. - Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries biologist – Vilas County
Pewaukee Lake - surface acres. Species population information: Average length – 36 inches, population estimate – adults per acre. Pewaukee lake is the largest muskellunge lake in Waukesha County and has experienced recent increases in northern pike and walleye abundance, improved panfish size structure, trophy smallmouth bass and trophy muskellunge potential making Pewaukee an exciting angling destination for all anglers. Current regulation: inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 1. Access information: There are two boat launches found on Pewaukee Lake; the Nagawaukee County park boat launch on the west side and Smokey’s Muskie Shop on the east side. Shore fishing can also be found at Nagawaukee County Park and the public fishing pier in downtown Pewaukee.
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Mississippi River – Pool 6. Population information: The fall electrofishing survey showed good numbers above and below the inch length limit. Overall, adult and juvenile largemouth bass were captured per hour of electrofishing. Forty six percent of surveyed largemouth bass were greater than 12 inches, while nearly one in three largemouth were greater than the inch length limit. Surveyed fish topped out just over 18 inches. Current regulation: inch minimum length; 5 in total with smallmouth bass. Access information: Check DNR website for access locations. The population of largemouth bass has been trending upward for many years. Our survey showed another good year for survival of young largemouth bass and signals good fishing into the foreseeable future.
Mississippi River Pool 10 - 10, acres and 34 miles of open water . The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources surveyed backwater lakes, sloughs, and side channels in the fall of near Prairie du Chien, WI to determine the health of the game fishery. Largemouth bass were abundant in this survey with catch-per unit effort at 39 fish per hour and size ranged from 12 to 15 inches. The average size for largemouth bass was inches. Larger bass in the 4 to 5-pound range are not uncommon and each year a handful of 6-pound-plus fish are caught by tournament anglers. Current regulation: Continuous Open Season, 14” minimum length with a 5-fish daily bag limit. Access information: There are many boat and shore fishing access locations along the Mississippi River. Check out the following websites for more details.
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Upper_Pool_pdf. https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Lower_Pool_pdf. The waters of Pool 10 are part of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The refuge is located in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois along the Mississippi River and was established in in as a refuge for fish, wildlife and plants. The refuge encompasses one of the largest blocks of floodplain habitat in the lower 48 states. Bordered by steep wooded bluffs the Mississippi River corridor and refuge offer scenic beauty and productive fish and wildlife habitat unmatched in the heart of America. The refuge covers just over , acres and extends river miles from north to south at the confluence of the Chippewa River in Wisconsin to near Rock Island, Illinois and has been designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar) and a Globally Important Bird Area.
Lower Eau Claire Lake - acres. During a recent spring survey conducted on Lower Eau Claire Lake, largemouth bass were sampled at a high rate of fish/mile placing it above the 75th percentile for similar Wisconsin lakes. A total of largemouth bass were collected, which ranged in length from inches and averaged inches. Currently there is no minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Lower Eau Claire (5 daily bag limit – aggregate with smallmouth), offering a quality harvest opportunity for anglers. There is good access at a County Park on the southwest side of the lake off County Highway Y.
Cox Hollow Lake - 81 Acres. The Largemouth Bass fishery in Cox Hollow Lake provides fishing opportunities of all kinds and the chance to catch trophy fish! Spring electrofishing surveys in yielded a catch rate of Largemouth Bass per mile (compared to a median of Largemouth Bass per mile in similar lakes statewide) with fish ranging from to inches and a mean length of 12 inches. Harvest opportunities are also present as there is no length limit for bass, daily bag limit of 5. Current Regulation: No minimum length limit, daily bag limit of 5. Access information: Cox Hollow Lake is located in Governor Dodge state park. A state park sticker or daily pass is required, and one public boat launch is available. Only electric trolling motors are permitted on Cox Hollow Lake. Governor Dodge is the third largest state park in Wisconsin. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and horseback riding are permitted within the state park and a public beach and picnic area are provided. - Justin Haglund, Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
Multiple lakes – Do you like finding good fishing lakes you can have mostly to yourself? Do you like to combine exploring, scouting for hunting spots and finding hidden fishing gems? Langlade County has hundreds of mostly smaller largemouth bass and bluegill type lakes, many of which are on the publicly accessible County Forest. It shouldn’t take many trips to find some really good bass and panfish fishing on small lakes that don’t see many fishing rods and hooks. 14” length limit, 5 daily, and the harvest season opens the first Saturday in May.
Multiple lakes – Do you like finding good fishing lakes you can have mostly to yourself? Do you like to combine exploring, scouting for hunting spots, and finding hidden fishing gems? Lincoln County has hundreds of mostly smaller largemouth bass and bluegill type lakes, many of which are on the publicly accessible County Forest. It shouldn’t take many trips to find some really good bass and panfish fishing on small lakes that don’t see many fishing rods and hooks. 14” length limit, 5 daily, and the harvest season opens the first Saturday in May. - Dave Seibel, Fisheries biologist, Antigo
Reservoir Pond - acres. Previous surveys showed that Reservoir Pond has a respectable largemouth bass population. The average length of bass collected during the last survey was 14 inches and fish up to 20 inches were collected. Sixty percent of largemouth bass collected were over the inch minimum length limit. Since Reservoir Pond is relatively shallow (average depth = 5 ft.) and there is a lot of aquatic vegetation and flooded timber, bass can hide and feed just about anywhere around the lake. Current regulation: inch minimum / 5 fish per day. Access information: There are 2 well developed boat landings and several undeveloped access points available for smaller boats/canoes. There is no early catch-and-release season for largemouth bass on Reservoir Pond even though it is within the northern bass zone. Anglers can access Horn Lake, Little Horn Lake and Explosion Lake from Reservoir Pond.
Balsam Lake - 1, acres. Balsam Lake currently has a high density, moderate-size-structure largemouth bass population. Catch rates of largemouth bass during recent electrofishing surveys have been high, with few fish over 15 inches. Balsam Lake bass are managed with a no minimum length limit and 5 fish daily bag limit which makes it a great option for anglers interested in a sustainable harvest opportunity. Anglers are encouraged to harvest small (<14 in) largemouth bass. By thinning the population of largemouth bass in Balsam Lake, their size structure should improve. There are six boat landings on Balsam Lake. In addition to the high-density bass fishery, Balsam Lake also has lower density, high size structure walleye and northern pike populations.
Runge Hollow Lake - 39 acres (maximum depth: 15 feet). Runge Hollow Lake is a small impoundment in the South Fork Bad Axe River watershed. A spring electrofishing survey produced good numbers of largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie. Largemouth bass up to 16 inches were captured in the survey. Current regulations: General inland waters regulations apply. Access information: Boat landing located on Boat Landing Road off County Road Y. Brown, brook and rainbow trout can also be caught in the lake during the spring before water temperatures warm.
Eagle Spring Lake - surface acres. Species population information: Average Length – 9 inches. Current regulation: No minimum length limit - largemouth bass and smallmouth bass from 14 inches to 18 inches may not be kept, and only 1 fish over 18 inches is allowed. The daily bag limit is 5. Access information: The public launch is located on the lakes’ east side off of county Highway E, near Eagle Spring Pub. This lake has an abundant population of largemouth, so anglers are encouraged to harvest bass less than 14” to help reduce the population and improve growth rates.
Okauchee Lake - surface acres. Species population information: Average length – 15 inches with above average abundance. Current regulation: inch minimum length, daily bag limit of 5. Access information: There are two boat launches found on Okauchee Lake; the DNR boat launch on upper Oconomowoc Lake and The Golden Mast Restaurant on the west basin of Okauchee. Okauchee Lake has a maximum depth of 94 feet and has a very diverse and abundant aquatic plant community.
Little Hills Lake - 81 acre seepage lake. Largemouth Bass population information: The DNR conducted an electrofishing survey on Little Hills Lake in the spring of to evaluate the status of the bass and panfish populations. Catch rates of largemouth bass in Little Hills lake ranked out in the 96th percentiles for lakes in Wisconsin, indicating high densities of largemouth bass can be found. The length limit on bass was removed in to reduce bass numbers and enhance the panfish fishery. Numbers have been reduced, but there is still some room for reduction. Anglers have the opportunity to catch some nice bass also as fish up to inches were caught. Current regulation: Daily bag limit of 5 bass, with no minimum length. Access information: Boat launch with limited parking is on the southeast side off 21st Avenue. High water on area lakes has resulted in some lakes being designated slow no wake.
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ASHLAND AND BAYFIELD COUNTIES
Chequamegon Bay - Chequamegon Bay deserves its reputation as a trophy Smallmouth Bass fishery. Compared to all other lakes in Wisconsin, Chequamegon Bay Smallmouth Bass consistently fall around the 95th percentile in terms of size structure and abundance, meaning there are large fish and a lot of them. The average size of Smallmouth Bass landed by anglers in the spring in the Bay is about inches and around one of every ten fish landed break the inch mark. Most fishing effort for Smallmouth occurs in June, but good fishing also occurs throughout the summer and fall. Most Smallmouth Bass congregate in the shallow areas of Kakagon and Sandcut sloughs in the eastern portion of the Bay in spring to spawn, but then they disperse throughout the Bay as water temperatures warm to establish their own home ranges and feeding areas. In the DNR established a conservative inch minimum length limit for Smallmouth Bass in Lake Superior with the support of local anglers. This regulation has been a large success and helped transform the fishery into the high-abundance, high-size structure population it is now. Since , no legal harvest of Smallmouth Bass has been detected by our annual Lake Superior creel survey. The low exploitation has led to an increased average lifespan (or more older fish) of these bass in Chequamegon Bay. The age of an average-sized Smallmouth Bass caught in this fishery is likely years old, but anglers occasionally find themselves tangling with a trophy of 20 years or even older. Current regulation: May 1 through June 19 is catch-and-release only. From June 20 to March 6, one fish over 22 inches can be harvested. Access information: Popular public access points for this fishery include Second Landing and Kreher Park in Ashland. Public Boat Landings can be found at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Beaches/documents/BeachBoatLaunches.pdf - Dray Carl, Fisheries biologist, Lake Superior
Silver Lake - acres. Silver Lake has a respectable smallmouth bass fishery. Roughly half of the smallmouth bass handled in a recent survey were 14 inches or larger, with smallmouth bass over 18 inches present. The Silver Lake smallmouth bass fishery is managed with the statewide bass regulation- 14 inch minimum length limit and five fish daily bag limit. There is one public boat landing at Grant County Park on the south end of Silver Lake off CTH B. The park is maintained by Barron County and includes a restroom, picnic shelter, and swimming beach. Smallmouth bass do well in Silver Lake due to the abundance of rock and gravel which are habitats that smallmouth prefer. In addition to smallmouth bass, bass anglers will also find a largemouth bass population with moderate size structure.
BURNETT, SAWYER AND WASHBURN COUNTIES
Namekagon River. The Namekagon River flows through Sawyer, Washburn, and Burnett Counties. Smallmouth bass mostly are found from Hayward to the St Croix River confluence. The Namekagon River offers great fishing for smallmouth bass. Smallmouth bass are the most abundant gamefish in the river and can be found in most holes, eddies, or chutes. surveys show an overall average length of inches with bass up to inches. Thirty-five percent of the fish collected were over 14 inches. Current regulation: inch minimum length limit, 5 fish bag limitAccess: There are multiple canoe access points between Hayward and the St Croix River confluence. The best way to plan a fishing trip is using the National Park Service website: https://www.nps.gov/sacn/planyourvisit/maps.htm
Green Bay waters. The smallmouth bass fishery along the Green Bay waters of Door County is well known for its outstanding abundance and robust size structure. Although the creel data are not yet available, smallmouth bass sport fishing catch per effort declined substantially between and Angler catch rates decreased between and from to smallmouth caught per hour fished; a level just slightly below the previous year average of The most recent netting surveys of the spawning populations in the Sturgeon Bay area in indicate mixed trends in catch per effort (measure of relative abundance). Recruitment, measured as first or second year spawning fish, was good in the Sawyer Harbor/Sturgeon Bay area, while the Little Sturgeon Bay population continued to struggle compared to several years previous. Overall, the Door County smallmouth meta-population is in relatively good condition in both numbers and size structure. Current regulation: The rules vary by location and date; anglers should check the smallmouth fishing rules in the Tributary Streams to Green Bay and Lake Michigan and the Lake Michigan sections of the regulation pamphlet for season and harvest rules. Anglers should also note that a new rule implemented in created a Fish Refuge in the Mink River beginning with the normal March gamefish closure until June Access information: There are many boat launches in the area including several in Sturgeon Bay and Little Sturgeon Bay; Peninsula State Park is one of the sites that provide access to areas in northern Door County. Anglers can refer to a map of the area for boat launch sites or go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess for a listing of some of the launches in the area. One of the better shore fishing sites is the George K. Pinney County Park (formerly the Olde Stone Quarry Park) that is located at the north side of the mouth of Sturgeon Bay.
JACKSON, CLARK, MONROE, LA CROSSE AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES
Lower Black River (below the Black River Falls dam, Jackson, Monroe, La Crosse, and Trempealeau Counties) and upper Black River (above the Black River Falls dam, Clark and Jackson Counties). Catch rates are based on electrofishing results (expressed as average number of fish captured per mile of lake shoreline or river surveyed). Black River, Lower: Total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 14”+ fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was ”. In , total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 14”+ size fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was 18”. Black River, Upper: Total catch rate was /mile, catch rate of 14”+ fish was /mile, catch rate of 18+” fish was /mile, and maximum size captured was ”. Regulation: 14” minimum length limit, daily bag limit of 5. Access Information: Upper Black River – Halls Creek Canoe Landing and Black River State Forest unimproved landings off Palm and Brickyard Roads (Jackson County), and DNR boat landing off Opelt Avenue (Clark County). Lower Black River – 3rd Street Canoe Landing (City of Black River Falls), Perry Creek Landing, Mason’s Landing, Irving Township Canoe Landing, Highway Landing near Melrose, WI, North Bend Landing off CTH VV, and Highway 35 landing in Van Loon Bottoms. Other Information: The lower Black River (downstream of the Black River Falls dam) has a continuous (year-round) fishing season for smallmouth bass.
Chalk Hills Flowage - acres. Population information: Data collected in demonstrated an average length of bass collected was 15 inches and fish up to 20 inches were measured. There are scattered areas of rock and aquatic vegetation that provide good smallmouth bass habitat. Current regulation: inch minimum / 5 fish per day. Access information: Anglers can choose from 4 boat landings from Pemene Falls to the Chalk Hills dam. This section of the Menominee River supports diverse habitat with shallow river water (less than 5 feet) above Chalk Hills. The impoundment has a maximum depth of 30 ft and 80% of the impoundment is greater than 3 ft.
Sand Lake ( acres) sits just east of Stone Lake in Sawyer County. Sand is known primarily as a walleye and muskellunge fishery, but it also has a nice population of smallmouth bass. Some of the other clear-sandy lakes in the same drainage (Round, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Grindstone) are well known for smallmouth fishing. Sand has similar habitat characteristics and produces bass of the same quality as those larger waters. A fall survey in found smallmouth up to 21 inches, with many in the 14 to inch range. There is a public boat launch on the northeast part of the lake off County Hwy F.
Plum Lake - 1, acres. Plum Lake supports an excellent, trophy smallmouth bass population that provides tremendous angling opportunities. The most recent population estimate survey was conducted in and estimated a density of smallmouth bass ≥ 8” per acre. Most smallmouth bass in Plum Lake are ” but fish over 20” are not uncommon. During the survey, 26% of the fish captured were 18” or larger with the largest measuring ”. Current Regulation: 1 bag; 18” minimum length limit. Access information: There are two boat landings on Plum Lake, one on the north shore off Razorback Road and another on the south shore off Plum Lake Drive. There is a Northern Highland American Legion State Forest campground located along the southwest shore of Plum Lake with 18 campsites. - Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries biologist – Vilas County
WAUKESHA AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES
Oconomowoc River - approximately 17 river miles. Species population information: Average length – 14 inches.
Current regulation: 14” minimum length, daily bag limit of 5. Access information: Access sites include numerous highway and road crossings where right of way public access rules apply including South Concord Road, Hwy BB, Morgan Road, Hwy F and West River Drive. The Oconomowoc River provides excellent opportunities for paddlers and in some reaches wading can be productive. Clear water and abundant woody structure provide excellent habitat for smallmouth bass.
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Bear Lake - 1, acres. Bear Lake has an abundant northern pike population that gives anglers plenty of action, while also providing the opportunity for larger fish. Most of the pike collected from Bear Lake during recent fisheries surveys ranged from inches; however, pike up to 35 inches were also handled. Bear Lake pike are managed with the no minimum length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit. There are five public boat landings. The landing off 28 ¾ Ave is the best option for larger boats. Bear Lake has great habitat for northern pike because it has a diverse aquatic plant community and cool water. Also, Bear Lake has a robust cisco population, which are an important prey species for predator fish like northern pike.
Amnicon Lake - During a recent fall electrofishing survey conducted on Amnicon Lake ( acres), crews documented a high abundance of northern pike. While most of the pike observed in the survey were under 25 inches, the high densities and expansive vegetation provide anglers with a quality pike action opportunity. Currently there is no minimum length limit for northern pike in Amnicon Lake (5/day bag limit), and anglers are encouraged to harvest pike to improve the fishery. There is good access just off County Highway A on the northwest corner of the lake.
MARINETTE, OCONTO, BROWN AND DOOR COUNTIES
Green Bay and tributaries. Northern pike inhabiting the productive waters of Green Bay have a wide variety of forage to grow quickly. It is not uncommon for anglers to report catching fish in the upper 30 to low inch size range. Because the vast size of the bay reduces competition between top predators and because it hosts an abundance of prey fish such as yellow perch, gizzard shad, and round gobies, we do not see stunted populations of northerns as is commonly seen in many inland lakes. Current regulation for Green Bay and major tributaries: Open all year. Daily limit is 5. No minimum length. Current regulation for all other Green Bay tributaries: Open 1st Saturday in May to 1st Sunday in March. Daily limit is 5. No minimum length. Access information: There are numerous boat access and tributary access locations along Green Bay. See the following websites for detailed information. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. In early spring, adult northern pike migrate from Green Bay in tributaries and ditches to spawn in shallow wetlands, often travelling dozens of miles. Culverts that are undersized or improperly set can prevent adult pike from accessing prime wetland habitats. Many partner agencies (federal, county, tribal) have been working to identify and replace poor culverts in streams connected to Green Bay.
Townsend Flowage. The last survey indicated an abundant pike population with fish averaging 22 inches. Pike over 30 inches were collected. This is a popular winter fishing spot because it’s one of the first local lakes to freeze.
Current Regulation: no minimum length /5 fish per day. Access information: There are 3 public boat landings (and several private landings) around the flowage
OUTAGAMIE AND WINNEBAGO COUNTIES
Little Lake Butte des Morts includes from Neenah-Menasha dams downstream to Appleton Lock 1. 1, acres Little Lake Butte des Morts provides multi-species angling opportunities and is known for its northern pike fishery. In the spring of DNR fisheries crews set fyke nets on Little Lake Butte des Morts to assess the northern pike population. There were northern pike captured with an average size of inches for females and inches for males. The presence of quality- sized northern pike was also observed with 30 fish surpassing 32 inches and the largest fish measuring inches. Good opportunities exist for quality-trophy sized fish, particularly during the ice fishing season. Anglers should make note of the recently implemented northern pike regulation and be sure to check ice conditions prior to venturing out. Current regulations: The current open season on northern pike is May 1, to March 6, Only two northern pike may be kept, and pike between ” must be released. Access Information: There are numerous accesses around Little Lake Butte des Morts. Consult a system map or the DNR’s Boat Access Website to search for launch information near where you want to fish (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess). -Adam Nickel, Fisheries biologist, Oshkosh
Wilson Lake - 20 acres. Northern Pike population information: In spring , the DNR conducted a fyke netting survey on Wilson Lake to evaluate the current status of the northern pike fishery. Despite being a small lake, northern pike were captured in the fyke netting survey. While the majority of the northern pike captured in were between 14–20 inches, five northern pike over 27 inches were captured including three over 32 inches. Wilson Lake provides a great action northern pike fishery with the opportunity to catch a high-quality northern pike as well. Current regulation: Daily bag limit of five and no minimum length limit. Access information: One public boat landing is available in Wilson Lake County Park on the east side on Wilson Lake off Oak Road. The DNR partners with Shawano County to operate an aerator every winter on Wilson Lake to prevent winterkills. Good numbers and sizes of yellow perch were also captured in the netting survey, giving anglers some panfish species to target along with northern pike.
Okauchee Lake - surface acresNorthern pike are abundant in Okauchee Lake having a population estimate of 5 adults per surface acre. New regulations in for pike on Okauchee Lake provide anglers with a harvest opportunity to promote the reduction of pike abundance and improved size structure. Average Length – 20 inches
Current regulation: New in – northern pike slot size. No minimum length limit, fish between 25 and 35 inches may not be kept, daily bag limit of two. Access information: There are two public launches on Okauchee Lake found at the Golden Mast Restaurant and the DNR launch. The DNR boat launch is located just east of the Okauchee Lake dam on Road T, north of Wisconsin Avenue. The Golden Mast boat launch is located off of Lacy Lane north of East Wisconsin Avenue.
Mississippi River– Pool 5A. fall electrofishing surveys showed a healthy bluegill fishery. Overall, nearly 70 adult and juvenile bluegill were captured per hour. Forty percent of surveyed bluegill were greater than six inches, while nearly one in five were greater than seven inches. Surveyed bluegill topped out just shy of 8 inches. Current regulation: Daily limit Access information: Check DNR website for access locations. Pool 5A and its floodplain encompass approximately 17, acres. Merrick State Park is located on Pool 5A north of Fountain City. Check DNR website for park information.
CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA, and WINNEBAGO COUNTIES
The Lake Winnebago System includes four lakes (Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan) and two main river systems (upper Fox and Wolf Rivers) and associated tributaries upstream to the first dam. Acres and River Length: , acres for the lakes and roughly river miles. The Lake Winnebago System provides anglers with diverse fishing opportunities. Quality fishing for panfish species is generally seasonal with anglers having the best luck for bluegill and black crappie during the month of May while fish are in the shallows getting ready to spawn. Yellow perch can also be patterned in shallow vegetation while spawning in late March–early April, but peak yellow perch effort and harvest typically occurs between July and September. The annual bottom trawl assessment on Lake Winnebago dates to and results from the assessment suggest a bright future for panfish species. For starters, a record year class of young of year yellow perch was observed during the assessment. This year class will not be recruited to the fishery in , but fish from the relatively strong year classes in and should provide anglers with harvestable yellow perch for table fare. The year class of black crappie was also very strong, registering as the 2nd largest year class observed on record. The catch rate of adult black crappie observed during the trawl assessment was relatively low, but there are still some slab sized crappies remaining in the system from the record year class in Bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are not commonly captured during the bottom trawl assessment. However, recent survey results indicate that quality-size bluegill and sunfish reside within the Lake Winnebago System and that fishing for these species can be good to exceptional at times, particularly when fish are concentrated during spawning periods and early ice. Current Regulations: The season is open year-round for panfish with an aggregate daily bag limit of 25 fish and no minimum length limit on any species. Access information: There are numerous access points around the Lake Winnebago system ranging from multi-lane launch facilities with ample parking to small unpaved town access at road ends. Many of the larger, more developed sites require a daily or seasonal launch fee. Consult a map of the system to see what access is near where you want to launch or go to the DNR’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access Website to search for access information (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess).
Otter Lake - acres. Otter Lake, an impoundment of Otter Creek, is a productive system that has been known to produce quality panfish for decades. Otter Lake’s complex habitat is one reason why it consistently has a quality fishery. Otter Lake has an intricate shoreline, many islands, bays, points, stump fields, and stretches of aquatic vegetation where fish can feed, seek refuge and spawn. A spring fisheries survey found good numbers of quality-sized panfish. Bluegill catch rates were high and 35% of the bluegill caught were over 7”. Survey data showed a large year class of black crappie present and they should be around 10” by If you plan on ice fishing Otter Lake, be aware of two aerators that keep portions of the lake open to prevent a winterkill, but don’t worry the open areas are barricaded off. Current Regulations: 25 fish bag limit, no minimum length limit. Access information: Four boat landings. Joseph Gerbyshak – Fisheries biologist, Eau Claire
Mississippi River Pool 10 - 10, acres and 34 Miles of open water. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources surveyed backwater lakes, sloughs, and side channels in early fall of in McGregor Lake area near Prairie du Chien, WI to determine the health of the fishery. Bluegill was the dominate game species in our survey with catch-per unit effort for bluegill at fish 50 per hour. The size of bluegill ranged from 3 to 8 inches with the largest bluegill being inches. Many bluegills were in the 6 to 8”-inch range and it not uncommon to catch larger bluegill in Pool Current regulation: Continuous open season, no minimum length with a daily bag limit for sunfish (bluegill and pumpkinseed). Access information: There are many boat and shore fishing access locations along the Mississippi River. Check out the following websites for more details. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/
The waters of Pool 10 are part of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and FishRefuge. The refuge is located in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois along the Mississippi River and was established in in as a refuge for fish, wildlife and plants. The refuge encompasses one of the largest blocks of floodplain habitat in the lower 48 states. Bordered by steep wooded bluffs the Mississippi River corridor and refuge offer scenic beauty and productive fish and wildlife habitat unmatched in the heart of America. The refuge covers just over , acres and extends river miles from north to south at the confluence of the Chippewa River in Wisconsin to near Rock Island, Illinois and has been designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar) and a Globally Important Bird Area.
Cox Hollow Lake - 81 acres. Population Information: Cox Hollow Lake in Iowa County contains an excellent Bluegill fishery. Bluegill dominate the panfish fishery; however, Black Crappie, Green Sunfish, Pumpkinseed, and Yellow Perch are also present. surveys yielded a catch rate of Bluegill per mile, surpassing the statewide median of fish per mile when comparing to other similar lakes. Bluegill ranged from inches and an average length of 7 inches. Current Regulation: 10 Panfish in total. Access information: Cox Hollow Lake is located in Governor Dodge state park. A state park sticker or daily pass is required, and one public boat launch is available. Only electric trolling motors are permitted on Cox Hollow Lake. Governor Dodge is the third largest state park in Wisconsin. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and horseback riding are permitted within the state park and a public beach and picnic area are provided. - Justin Haglund, Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
MARINETTE, OCONTO, BROWN AND DOOR COUNTIES
Green Bay - In summary, yellow perch recruitment has been relatively steady for the last fifteen years, with the exception of the poor and year classes. A population model estimates that the adult yellow perch (age 1 and older) abundance was around million fish in In recent years, high water levels on Lake Michigan means more habitat for fish. This has led to improved perch angling in nearshore, protected areas such as Duck Creek, Oconto Park II, and Seagull Bar. The open water harvest estimates for yellow perch will be available by spring of Current regulation: Open May 20 to March Daily limit is 15 yellow perch. No minimum length. Access information: There are dozens of boat and shore access locations to fish for yellow perch on Green Bay. Check out the following websites for more details and maps. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. Although the majority of yellow perch harvested from Green Bay are 2 and 3 years old, there are a few old perch that still survive. The oldest yellow perch from Green Bay that we’ve seen in recent years was a 15¼-inch fish that was aged at 12 years old.
Big Newton Lake - 69 acres. Big bluegill can be found in Newton Lake located just north of Crivitz. In , 36% of the bluegill collected were over 8 inches. The lake is relatively clear but weed growth and some undeveloped shoreline provide good habitat for panfish. Most of the bigger panfish move of into 8 to 10 feet of water post-spawn. Current Regulation: 25 panfish in total (bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, crappie). Access information: Newton Lake can be accessed from a boat ramp located on the west side of the lake on Newton Lake Rd.
Kilby Lake - 46 acre seepage lake. Bluegill population information: The DNR conducted an electrofishing survey on Kilby Lake in the spring of to evaluate the status of the bass and panfish populations. Catch rates of bluegill in Kilby lake ranked in the 83rd percentiles for lakes in Wisconsin, indicating moderately high densities of bluegill can be found. Anglers have the opportunity to catch some nice bluegills as 39% of the bluegills captured were at least 7 inches. The largest bluegill captured in Kilby Lake was inches. Good numbers of pumpkinseeds were also captured with moderate size structure (43% were over 6 inches). Current regulation: Daily bag limit of 25 panfish, with no minimum length. Access information: Boat launch with limited parking is on the south side off Kilby Lake Road.
Squaw Lake – acres, 9 miles of shoreline, 21 feet maximum depth. Recent survey results documented a healthy Black Crappie population with solid size structure and multiple year classes. The largest fish handled was just over 12 inches with the majority between to 11 inches. Squaw Lake has a panfish regulation that allows 15 panfish to be kept, but no more than 5 of any one species. This panfish regulation differs from the statewide panfish regulation. A concrete public boat launch with good access and ample parking is located off West Squaw Lake Road. - Zach Woiak, Fisheries biologist, Rhinelander
PORTAGE, WOOD, ADAMS AND JUNEAU COUNTIES
Wisconsin River (Stevens Point Flowage; Petenwell Lake)- acres; 23, acres. In the fall of , we used fyke nets to do a limited survey in the Stevens Point Flowage and Petenwell Lake, our objective was twofold 1) collect fish for contaminant analysis and 2) explore the use of this sampling, as surveys in the spring are a challenge if mother nature doesn’t cooperate. Our catch for crappies and walleye was decent for how little effort was put into the surveys, so we plan to continue to investigate the use of this sampling for monitoring on large flowages. Crappie recruitment is variable, and for both flowages we see a good yearclass for For Stevens Point flowage, crappies were caught, they ranged from ”. 84% of the crappies that were at least 5” were 8” or greater, 63% were 10” or greater, and 11% were 12” or greater. For Petenwell Lake, crappies were caught, they ranged from ”. 76% of the crappies that were at least 5” were 8” or greater, 57% were 10” or greater, and 44% were 12” or greater. Anglers should enjoy a good crappie fishery in for both flowages. In addition, age-0 crappie catch was very high for both flowages and will reach the fisheries in and as 8” and 10” fish, respectively. Access information: There are ample public boat launch and shore fishing access opportunities for both flowages. Popular boat launches for the Stevens Point Flowage includes: Old Hwy 10/ Hwy 66 launch, Buckholt Park, and the Hwy 10 launch. Popular boat launches for Petenwell Lake include Jim Freeman Memorial Launch (aka Nekoosa City Launch), Plank Hill boat launch, and Chester Creek. Checkout the Department’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access website for more information: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/boataccess.html
Wapogasset and Bear Trap lakes - 1, acres (both lakes combined). Wapogasset and Bear Trap lakes have an abundant and diverse panfish community. In a recent survey, good numbers of bluegill, black crappie, and yellow perch were captured. All species had good size distribution. In addition to the typical panfish species, there is also a white bass population with high size structure. Panfish are managed with the fish bag limit, no minimum length limit. There are two public boat landings on Wapogasset and one on Bear Trap. The southernmost boat landing on Wapogasset Lake is operated by the town of Garfield and is the best option for handling larger boats. In addition to desirable panfish populations, these lakes also contain good walleye and musky populations.
White Mound Lake - Acres. High predator densities in White Mound Lake keep panfish numbers in check and contribute to good panfish growth. A survey saw bluegills collected with the largest measuring over 10 inches, and 5% of the total catch exceeding 8 inches. Yellow Perch were less abundant with a total of collected. Size structure was good, with 71% exceeding 8 inches and 16% exceeding 10 inches and a maximum size of inches. Black and White Crappies were rare, but Black Crappies in excess of 13 inches and White Crappies in excess of 15 inches were collected.Current Regulation: General statewide regulation; no minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of 25 fish. Access information: White Mound Lake is in White Mound County Park managed by Sauk County. A seasonal or daily pass is required, and one public boat launch is available. Gas motors are allowed, but speed is limited to slow-no wake. Interesting Points: White Mound Lake was formed in as a flood relief reservoir. - Nathan Nye, Fisheries biologist – Poynette
Allen Lake and Hartman Lake – Hartman Creek State Park. Water size: Allen Lake is 18 acres and Hartman Lake is 24 acres. Bluegill population information: The DNR conducted electrofishing surveys on both Allen Lake and Hartman Lake in the spring of to evaluate the status of the panfish populations. Catch rates of bluegill in both lakes ranked out between the 49th and 51st percentiles for lakes in Wisconsin, indicating moderate densities of bluegill can be found in both lakes. Anglers have the opportunity to catch some nice bluegills in both lakes as 26% of the bluegills captured in Allen Lake and 38% of the bluegills captured in Hartman Lake were ≥7 inches. The biggest bluegill captured in Allen Lake was inches whereas the biggest bluegill captured in Hartman Lake was inches. Current regulation: Daily bag limit of 15 panfish, with no more than 5 of any one species of panfish. Access information: Both Allen Lake and Hartman Lake are located entirely in Hartman Creek State Park, providing opportunities for anglers to fish all the way around both lakes. Allen Lake has a fishing pier and canoe access located on the east side of the lake near the dam as well as trails going around the shoreline of the lake. Hartman Lake has trails going around that lake that anglers can use to access various fishing locations. The DNR completed “fish sticks” and tree drops habitat projects on both Allen Lake and Hartman Lake in with the goal of improving nearshore fish habitat in both lakes. Pumpkinseed and yellow perch were also captured in both lakes, providing additional species for panfish anglers to target.
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Rock River (downstream from Watertown) - river miles. The Rock River from the Hwy 26 bypass bridge at Watertown downstream to Hahn’s Lake was sampled for channel and flathead catfish during the summer of The day hoop net survey documented channel catfish and 30 flathead catfish. The average length of channel catfish was inches and the average length of flathead catfish was inches. The largest channel catfish was inches and lbs. Seventy-four percent of the channel catfish measured were over 16 inches. The largest flathead catfish was inches and lbs. All of the flathead catfish measured were over 20 inches with 10 percent over the trophy size of 40 inches. A low-pulse electrofishing survey to identify young of year (YOY) recruitment in this stretch of river was conducted two weeks after the hoop net survey. A total of YOY channel catfish were sampled in 7 miles for a catch rate of per mile. Current regulation: No length limit. 10 in total. Access information: Boat ramps exist just below the Hwy 26 bridge (Cappies Landing) south of Watertown and at Rock River Park on Hwy B just west of Johnson Creek. Although they are in low density, there is the potential for trophy size flathead catfish in the Rock River. Channel catfish produced a very successful spawn in this stretch of the Rock River with great habitat and multiple bends.
Fox River - From the Fox River County Park Boat Landing downstream miles to the Illinois boarder. During the hoop netting survey a total of channel catfish and 6 flathead catfish were captured. Channel catfish lengths ranged from 10 to 27 inches with an average size of inches. Flathead catfish lengths ranged from 17 to 43 inches with an average size of inches. Current regulation: There is a year-round open season on the Fox River for all gamefish except muskellunge, lake sturgeon, trout, paddlefish and threatened or endangered species. No minimum length limit and 10 fish total daily bag limit on catfish. Access information: There is a public boat launch and shorefishing at the Fox River County Park on Silver Lake Road near Silver Lake, WI.
LAFAYETTE AND GREEN COUNTIES
Pecatonica River - 58 miles. The Pecatonica River supports a fishable population of channel catfish and flathead catfish. Hoop net surveys during August of sampled yearling, and adult channel catfish from to inches with an average size of inches. Thirty percent of the sample was 16 inches or greater. Six percent of the sample was 20 inches or greater. The same surveys sampled 18 flathead catfish from to inches with an average size of inches. Current Regulation: No length limit with a daily bag limit of Access information: Public boat launch and accessible bank fishing opportunities are located at State Highway 11, near Gratiot, and Darlington. Walk in anglers may also have access to the river via road crossings or permission from private landowners. Most of the River in Lafayette and Green Counties is navigable by boat. Seasonal log jams determine the number of stream miles open for boating. The Pecatonica River is a tributary of the Rock River. It is approximately miles flowing from southern Wisconsin into northern Illinois. The word Pecatonica is believed to be Algonquian meaning “ slow water”. - Bradd Sims
Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
MARATHON, PORTAGE AND WOOD COUNTIES
Wisconsin River Flowages (Lake Wausau, Lake DuBay, and Wisconsin Rapids Flowage) Lake Wausau = 1, acres, from the Wausau Dam downstream to the Rothschild Dam, and includes part of the confluence with the Big Rib River which is all water west of I bridge. Lake Dubay = 4, acres, from the Mosinee Dam downstream to the Dubay Dam. Wisconsin Rapids Flowage = acres, from the Biron Dam downstream to the Wisconsin Rapids Dam. Hoop netting surveys were conducted in late, summer of in all 3 Wisconsin River flowages. Lake Wausau: We observed a relative abundance of fish/net-night, which would be considered to be a low-density channel catfish population when compared to Wisconsin River benchmarks. The average length of catfish was ” and individuals ranged from ”. Approximately 56% of the population were 24” and larger, and over 29% of catfish were 28” and larger. The channel catfish size structure of this population is considerably above average and suggests that Lake Wausau has the potential to produce trophy catfish. Lake Dubay: The catch rate of channel catfish was fish/net-night in Lake Dubay, which is greater than average, yet considered a moderate-density for the Wisconsin River Flowages. The fish length varied from ” and the average length was ”. Of all fish sampled, 97% were 16” or larger, 9% were 24” or larger. Wisconsin Rapids Flowage: The channel catfish catch rate was fish/net-night, which is considered a moderate-density. The catch varied from and the average length was ”. Although the lengths of the fish were fairly diverse, quality-sized or greater (≥ 16”) catfish represented 90% of the catch and only 2% represented fish 24” or larger. Current regulation: No minimum length limit and the daily bag limit is 10, for all flowages. Lake Wausau has multiple public shorefishing opportunities at including Memorial Park, Oak Island Park, Riverside Park, DC Everest County Park, Bluegill Bay County Park, and Radtke Park. Boat Launches are located at most of these except for Riverside Park and Radtke Park which are limited to launching small watercraft only. Lake Dubay has boat launches spread out through the entire flowage and tailwater. The more popular launches include the launchs at Beans Eddy, Chuck’s Landing, Moon Dam, Seagull Drive, Dubay Drive, CTH C, CTH E, and Lake Dubay Park. The best shoreline opportunities can be found near Moon Dam, Beans Eddy, Riverwoods Trail, Lake Dubay Park, CTH DB, STH 34, and Seagull Drive. Wisconsin Rapids Flowage – Fish off of South Biron Drive for shoreline access and then there is a fishing pier (near Strawberry Lane) and two boat launches including one off of Reddin Road and the other off of South Biron Drive. Lake Wausau’s population of channel catfish represents the upstream extent of channel catfish distribution in the Wisconsin River. Very few channel catfish are found upstream of Wausau Dam. Lake Alice used to be the most upstream population of channel catfish, but the status and viability of this introduced catfish population is currently unknown. Although the Lake Dubay channel catfish population is a high-density population known for harvest opportunities, anglers can still find opportunities to catch some larger-size fish that are approaching 30”. The productive capacity of this population is largely due to the amount of habitat volume found in the flowage, backwaters and extensive tailwaters of the Wisconsin River, and also because Lake Dubay is the fertile product of the Wisconsin, Big Eau Pleine, and Little Eau Pleine rivers. The Wisconsin Rapids Flowage is a smaller impoundment on the Wisconsin River, yet it produces ample harvest opportunities for channel catfish, similar the higher density populations found in other larger Wisconsin River impoundments in central Wisconsin.
ST CROIX AND POLK COUNTIES
St. Croix River (Taylor’s Falls to Lake St. Croix - 30 river miles). The St. Croix River from Taylor’s Falls downstream to Lake St. Croix was sampled for flathead and channel catfish. Flatheads up to 47 inches and channel catfish up to 34 inches were captured. Both channel and flathead catfish were in low densities with a high potential for trophy- sized fish. Average length of channel catfish was 24 inches while average length of flathead catfish was 34 inches. Multiple trophy sized flathead catfish were captured during the survey with fish larger than 40 inches making up 32% of the sample. Current regulation: 10 in total. Boat ramps exist at Hudson, WI, Stillwater, MN, Somerset, WI, Osceola, Wi and Interstate State Park. Much of the shoreline is owned by the National Park Service providing ample shorefishing and camping opportunities. There is the potential for trophy size flatheads and channel catfish in this stretch of the St. Croix River with great habitat a very scenic float along the bluffs of the river.
Upper Fox River. - The story of Grandpa Flathead. The fish measured slightly longer than our 48 inch measuring board. This is the largest fish we have sampled in almost 20 years of surveying flatheads on the Fox River. No scale was available for this large of fish, but there is little doubt he was well over 50 pounds. Grandpa was still proudly wearing his original green floy tag alongside his dorsal fin, which he was given May 20, He was inches at the time and a pectoral spine was removed for aging. We estimated he was 22 years old and with what we now know about using the pectoral spine, we likely underaged him by a year or two. On July 11, he was caught during our hoop netting adult survey. Grandpa was inches long and weighed 35 pounds. On August 27, he was caught again during our electrofishing survey which typically targets juvenile fish. He was inches and weighed pounds. He would be at least 29 years old at the time. Grandpa disappeared for 10 years but on August 13, he was caught again during our juvenile August shocking survey. We have no idea how long these critters live and in the past speculated around 25 years. We have recently had fish in the low 30 year old range, but he is at least 39 years old and likely in the 40 year old range. He looked relatively healthy and no telling how many more years he has in him.
Upper St. Croix River - Upper St. Croix River-between Confluence with Namekagon River and St. Croix Falls (Burnett County and WI/MN border). Lake Sturgeon sampled in ranged from to inches in length. The average length was inches. 97% of the sturgeon sampled in were juvenile sturgeon (less than 45 inches). The Upper St. Croix River offers a good opportunity to catch lake sturgeon. Most fish are 20 to 30 inches, but large adults over 60 inches are present. Anglers who fish during the sturgeon catch and release season should take special care while handling a fish once landed. Land the fish, photograph it (if you choose to), and release it quickly to reduce stress and ensure survival. Lift sturgeon horizontally (not by the tail or gill covers) under the belly to avoid damaging these living dinosaurs. Current Regulation and Season: catch and release only. June 16 – March 1. Access: There are several boat and canoes launches on the Upper St. Croix River. Visit the National Park Service website for more information: http://www.nps.gov/sacn/planyourvisit/maps.html. Wisconsin DNR and Minnesota DNR both use yellow dangler tags on the Upper St. Croix River (to mark fish that have been sampled. These marked fish allow DNR staff to track fish movement and growth. Wisconsin anglers are encouraged to report tagged Upper St. Croix River sturgeon to Wisconsin DNR in Spooner. Please report the 5 digit dangler tag number, total length of the fish, approximate location caught, and date caught to Craig Roberts- Wisconsin DNR Fisheries biologist: or [email protected] .
CHIPPEWA, EAU CLAIRE, DUNN AND PEPIN COUNTIES
Lower Chippewa River - The Lower Chippewa River (Lake Holcombe downstream to the Mississippi River) offers anglers an opportunity to harvest a lake sturgeon greater than 60 inches during the hook-and-line season, which runs from the first Saturday in September though the end of the month. If an angler intends to harvest a fish, they must first purchase a harvest tag and, if successful, register their catch. Fifteen lake sturgeon were harvested in the season, which is slightly above the long-term average of 12 since the 60” minimum has been in place. The majority of the harvest occurred downstream of the last two dams on the lower Chippewa River. Anglers also reported catching numerous sublegal fish. Night crawlers or cut bait presented in deep holes of the river is a good combination for a successful sturgeon fishing trip. Anglers are asked to report tagged sturgeon, which helps biologists better manage this population. - Joseph Gerbyshak – Fisheries biologist, Eau Claire
Lower Wisconsin River - miles; Prairie du Sac Dam to US Highway 12 bridge. The lower Wisconsin River is home to a healthy population of Lake Sturgeon. Abundance of adult Lake Sturgeon (≥ 50 inches) in the tailwater below the Prairie du Sac Dam has averaged fish since (range ) based on annual fall population surveys. Angler harvest of Lake Sturgeon from the lower Wisconsin River has averaged 8 fish annually since (range ). Anglers also catch and release a lot of sub-legal sturgeon, and angler catch rates at times exceed 2 fish per hour based on a hook and line survey conducted in The minimum length limit is 60 inches and the bag limit is one fish per season. The hook and line fishing season runs from the first Saturday in September through September Access information: Several public boat landings exist in the Prairie du Sac area including the VFW Park which has two launching lanes and a floating pier. Shore fishing is available at VFW Park as well as the Alliant Energy property below the Prairie du Sac Dam and August Derleth Park in Sauk City. - Nathan Nye, Fisheries Biologist – Poynette
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Turtle Creek. - There is an 8-mile stretch of Turtle Creek that is class II trout water, but some of the best trout water is from CTH D to the Silver Creek confluence. The brook trout population in Turtle Creek is typically trout per mile during electrofishing surveys. With this moderate density of trout, the population is comprised of 6 to inch brook trout, with the occasional fish up to 15 inches. Trout are managed with a five fish daily bag limit. Anglers can access the stream from the parking areas off CTY D, 6th St, and 5 ½ St. There are fishing piers off CTY D and 6th St. This area is part of the Barron County forest. Extensive instream habitat work was conducted on Turtle Creek between CTH D and 5 ½ St, and also upstream and downstream of the fishing pier off 6th St. Catchable-sized brown trout are also stocked through this stretch before the fishing opener.
BUFFALO, JACKSON AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES
Area Trout Streams – Species population information: based on results from 25 trout stream survey sites that were electrofished in summer of Reproduction: 64% of surveyed streams showed an increasing level of brook trout reproduction. Brown trout reproduction was stable to increasing in % of surveyed streams. Adults: 64% of surveyed streams showed decreasing catch rates of adult brook trout. Brown trout adult catch rate was stable to increasing in 76% of surveyed streams. Brook Trout ≥ 10 inches: 80% of surveyed streams showed an increasing level of catchable sized brook trout. Brown Trout ≥ 12 inches: 88% of surveyed streams showed an increasing level of catchable sized brown trout.
Other Information: Area adult trout populations were generally in good shape in with plenty of catchable sized fish heading into the season. Survey results indicate stable to increasing numbers of larger, catchable- sized brook and brown trout heading into the spawning season. Supplemental trout stocking from DNR and Cooperative hatcheries continues to bolster trout populations throughout the area. A habitat restoration project on Elk Creek, Trempealeau County was continued this past year. Many thanks to our partners in the Cooperative Trout Rearing program and Habitat Restoration program for providing more stocked fish, fishing access, and better habitat for our area streams! Regulation: Please see the Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations for applicable length and bag limit restrictions for the streams you fish.
North Fork of the Clam River. - Approximately 17 miles of Class 1–3 trout water. This stream supports good natural reproduction for both brook and brown trout. and surveys found a 6-inch brook trout average with 63% above five inches (max length: inch) and a 7-inch brown trout average with 19% above 9 inches (max length: inch). Current Regulation: no minimum length limit, 5 fish bag limit. Access: A large portion of the river is within the Clam River Fishery Area in Southeastern Burnett County and provides public access via parking spots, trails, and at bridge crossings. This link provides maps of the area: http://devlwww.dnr.state.wi.us/topic/Lands/
COLUMBIA AND SAUK COUNTIES
Baraboo Hills area streams are an ancient mountain range and home to several small streams with self-sustaining brook trout populations. Many of the Baraboo Hills streams have unique habitats composed of series of high gradient riffles interspersed with numerous step pools and cobble and boulder substrates. By contrast, a few of the streams drain sandy lowland areas with cover provided by undercut banks, overhanging grass and occasional deep bends. Fishery surveys of these streams by DNR in found the highest Brook Trout abundances in Boulder Creek (2, fish/mile), Manley Creek (1, fish/mile), and Prentice Creek (1, fish/mile). The highest abundances of Brook Trout larger than 10 inches were found in Manley Creek (97 fish/mile), Leech Creek (32 fish/mile), and Otter Creek (15 fish/mile). Current Regulation: Varies by stream; see Wisconsin Guide to Trout Fishing Regulations for full details Access information: Public access to Baraboo Hills streams is offered via streambank easements (Leech Creek, Rowley Creek), State Natural Areas (Parfrey’s Glen Creek, Otter Creek), the Baraboo Hills Recreation Area (Boulder Creek), Devils Lake State Park (Clark Creek, Manley Creek), The Riverland Conservancy (Manley Creek), and The Nature Conservancy (Otter Creek). - Nathan Nye, Fisheries biologist – Poynette
Black Earth Creek. - For an inland trout angler looking for a fishing opportunity with lots of variety to offer, Black Earth Creek has over 27 miles of trout water located in Dane County stretching from Middleton to Mazomanie. In stream assessments were conducted showing brown trout populations from low to moderate densities ranging from 12”” in the lower parts of the river and much higher density, generally lower sizes found in the headwater areas in and around Cross Plains. With many road crossings and Fishery Areas to access to the stream, anglers can find a variety of places to fish from groomed parks to wild and wooly stretches of river to cast a fly or drag a worm or spinner. US HWY 14 upstream to South Valley Road is 1 daily limit and trout must be 18”, all other classified water is county base regulations of 8” minimum, 3 daily bag limit.
Balsam, Little Balsam, and Empire Creeks. Balsam Creek – Class 1, 2, and 3 – miles; Little Balsam Creek – miles, Class 1; Empire Creek - miles, Class 1. Recent surveys on all three streams at multiple sites: Balsam Creek brook trout densities ranged from 6 to per mile, Little Balsam Creek brook trout densities ranged from 20 to per mile, and Empire Creek brook trout densities ranged from to per mile. Current regulation: Open season: First Saturday in May to September 30th. Daily bag limit: 5 trout in total, only 2 of which may be Brown trout over 15” and only 1 of which may be a Rainbow trout. Minimum length limit: Brook trout 8”, Brown trout 10”, and Rainbow trout 26”. Access to these streams can be found at road-streams crossings on town or county roads and ATV trails, anglers willing to bush-whack can find access to these streams through Douglas County Forest lands. Anglers searching for brook trout and some solitude in a wooded stream setting can try Balsam, Little Balsam and Empire Creeks all located south of the City of Superior. All three streams are relatively small, low to moderate density brook trout streams that offer a variety of fishing opportunities. Empire Creek is the smallest of these streams and is better suited for anglers accustomed to fishing tight quarters with spinning gear. Balsam and Little Balsam Creeks are larger and offer opportunities for spin fishing or fly fishing with a short 2 to 4-weight fly rod. In addition to brook trout, anglers fishing Balsam and Little Balsam Creeks might also catch rainbow trout that are the offspring of wild spring run steelhead as well as an occasional brown trout that has strayed from other Nemadji River tributaries in Minnesota.
Rock Branch. - miles. Rock Branch in Iowa County has a productive Brown Trout fishery and is the only classified (class 2) trout water in the Brewery Creek sub-watershed. Recent stream surveys upstream of Suthers road and STH 23 produced a mean relative abundance of Brown Trout per mile (above the Driftless Area median of Brown Trout per mile). Fish over 8 inches also averaged per mile, also greater than the Driftless Area median of per mile. Average length was inches with a maximum of inches. Streambank easement access is publicly accessible for miles upstream of Suthers Rd. Current Regulation: 3 trout in total over 8 inches. Access information: Streambank easement access along miles of Rock Branch at Suthers Rd. - Justin Haglund, Fisheries biologist – Dodgeville
East Fork Chippewa River. - For an inland trout angler looking for a remote fishing opportunity, the East Fork of the Chippewa River provides a little over 5 miles of trout water located in the southwestern portion of the Iron County forest. In stream assessments were conducted showing brook trout populations from low to moderate densities ranging from 5”-8”. With road crossings limited, access to the stream will be a difficult at best but will provide trout fishing in an area very few have traveled. There is no gear restrictions and the daily bag is 5 with no length limit.
South Branch Pike River. - Population information: Approximately 3, yearling brown trout (8-inch average) are stocked across 3 locations. Stream bank brushing and maintenance of existing foot paths is being considered.
Total stream length = miles; Class 1 – miles; Class 2 – miles; Class 3 – miles. Current regulation: First Saturday in May to October 15 = 3-fish/bag: 8-inch minimum length limit. Access information: Almost all of the South Branch Pike River is within public ownership (County and State). Numerous road/stream crossings provide good access.
PORTAGE AND WAUPACA COUNTIES
Emmons Creek. - miles, which originates in Portage County and flows into the Chain O’ Lakes. Trend and rotation surveys performed in Emmons Creek in , yielded brown trout ranging from ” and averaged ”. Around % of the adult population were 9” or larger depending on location in the stream. Generally, the stream reaches with greater percentages of smaller brown trout are primarily found in upstream areas and in small tributaries, since these habitats tend be most suitable for juvenile brown trout. The relative abundances of 6” or larger brown trout were fish/mile, which ranks at the 55thth percentiles and considered moderate- to high-density populations when compared to Wisconsin trout classification standards. Current regulation: No minimum length limit with a 5-daily bag limit (Green Harvest Regulation) Access information: Emmons Creek Fishery Area covers more than half of the length of Emmons Creek and provides some of the best access opportunities for anglers. This is particularly so in the upstream locations. Numerous parking areas can be found throughout the Fishery Area along Emmons Creek Road, Fountain Lake Avenue, Stratton Lake Road, and 3rd Ave. Access opportunities become less available as you move downstream toward Long Lake. When no public land is available, road crossings become the primary means for access in these lower reaches. Emmons Creek has a naturalized brown trout population. The population entirely sustained via natural reproduction and supplemental stocking is performed. Emmons Creek offers both a high-density brown trout fishery in the upstream habitats and it also supports a unique potadramous (lake-run) brown trout fishery in the Waupaca Chain of Lakes. Few inland lake-run browns occur that we know of in Wisconsin. Fish that used the two-story habitat of the Chain O’ Lakes will spawn every Fall. Resident brown trout in the upstream populations are not nearly as large as the lake-run browns. In the past, Emmons Creek migrating brown trout population was well-studied in past and historically a weir was setup measure the migrations to and from the lake for spawning purposes. Additionally, there are considerable groundwater inputs into Emmons Creek and it has one of the more stable baseflows in the Central Sand Hills. Beyond the typical groundwater inflows that are typically occurring along the bottom of the stream, there are also numerous connected springs and spring ponds contributing to Emmons Creek.
PRICE, RUSK AND TAYLOR COUNTIES
Catchable-trout waters. - Each year the DNR stocks catchable-size yearling trout and larger brood trout retired from their role in hatchery production to offer put-and-take fishing opportunity in many lakes and streams scattered across our 3-county management area. Located just off State Highway about 15 miles east of Park Falls, Patterson Lake is a popular destination for local and visiting anglers who hope to hook some of the 3, yearling (9”) and brood-size (12” and 18”) brook trout or the brood-size (11” and 18”) rainbow trout stocked each spring and fall. Nearby, Camp Four Springs and Twin Lakes receive and 1, yearling brook trout each spring with more 12” brook trout delivered to Twin Lakes in fall. The state-owned Niebauer Springs Fishery Area, 8 miles northwest of Phillips, gets yearling brook trout in spring. Anglers eagerly await safe ice conditions to fish for the brown trout (18”) and rainbow trout (14 and 19”) brought to Bass Lake west of Weyerhaeuser each fall. The 2-acre pond adjacent to Fire Lane Road in the Rusk County Forest that is locally called Devils Creek Trout Pond receives rainbow trout (9”) in spring. We temporarily suspended trout stocked into Corbett Lake in downtown Ladysmith until local groups can complete planned water quality and habitat improvements. In Taylor County Camp Eight Flowage, 7 miles east of Rib Lake, receives yearling rainbow trout and Spruce Lake, 18 miles west of Medford, gets yearling brook trout in spring. Spruce Lake and Camp Eight Flowage each receive large rainbow trout (11” and 18”) in fall. A decline in trout fishing popularity resulted in fewer trout stocked in fewer streams, but DNR continues to annually stock yearling brown trout into Butternut Creek (), Douglas Creek (), and Spirit River () and yearling brook trout into Smith Creek in Price County. In Taylor County DNR stocks brook trout yearlings in Mink Creek, tributary to Mondeaux Flowage, and the Taylor County Sportsman’s Association usually stocks a mix of brook, brown, and rainbow trout into the Black River below the millpond in downtown Medford for the fishing season opener.
Wild trout waters. - Anglers seeking wild trout can find excellent opportunity in Wood Creek and the Big Rib River in Taylor County and in South Fork Main Creek in Rusk County—perhaps our top-rated streams for both the size and the number of trout they produce. Each has native brook trout and introduced brown trout sustained by natural reproduction. Our late summer electrofishing surveys found brook trout in low population abundance in Douglas Creek, Newman Creek, and North Fork Spirit River in Price County and Deer Creek in Rusk County. The U.S. Forest Service has installed brush bundles to decrease channel width and increase its depth and velocity to improve trout habitat and trout production in Newman Creek. Most trout waters in Price, Rusk and Taylor counties are under the “green” category of harvest regulations where anglers may keep 5 trout in total of any length. Special regulations apply to South Fork Main Creek, Wood Creek, Big Rib River, Bass Lake, and a handful of other waters—check the current Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations for details. In lakes and ponds the open season runs from a.m. on May 1, through March 6, The trout fishing season for streams opens at the same time, and it closes on October All waters are accessible from public boat landings, public lands, or the public road right-of-way. —Jeff Scheirer, Fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Namekagon River. - Elsewhere in this forecast you can read about smallmouth bass fishing opportunities on the Namekagon River, but don’t overlook the trout fishery that exists there too! The best portions of the Namekagon to catch brown trout are between Hayward and Cable, with numerous access points on Hwy 63 and offshoot roads. The river has been producing strong year classes of brown trout since , including a class that was about 4x larger than the 10 year average, meaning catch rates in the river right now have been great. Top end size for browns is around inches, with 12 to inch fish being relatively common. Anglers can target trout effectively with fly fishing or spinning gear, but the there is an “artificials only” regulation in place. The early catch and release season (January-April) can be a great time to fish the Namekagon, particularly with nymphs. The minimum length limit is 14 inches and the daily bag limit is 1 during the regular season.
VERNON, LA CROSSE AND MONROE COUNTIES
Coon Creek and its tributaries. - Coon Creek, Bohemian Valley Creek, Rulland’s Coulee Creek, Spring Coulee Creek, and Timber Coulee Creek. The Coon Creek watershed is well known for the long history of DNR trout habitat restoration and an abundance of trout. Since the historic flood of , trout habitat in the watershed has continued to recover. Natural recovery of trout habitat has occurred rapidly over the past two years throughout the watershed, particularly in reaches where livestock grazing has been light. In the past year, the DNR Habitat crew has also worked to speed up trout habitat recovery on Bohemian Valley Creek, completing over one mile of trout habitat restoration on the stream alone. Anglers continue to report excellent brown trout fishing on Coon Creek and its many excellent tributaries, which is also reflected by high-densities and good sizes of brown trout captured in annual electrofishing surveys on the stream. Current regulation: Varies by waterbody, see the trout regulation pamphlet Access information: The upper Coon Creek Watershed has many miles of angler streambank easement, which provide fantastic access to most of the streams in the watershed. Streambank easements are purchased by the DNR from private landowners and provide angler access along the stream banks and the DNR access to complete trout stream habitat restoration. To view the locations of public streambank easements in Wisconsin go to dnr.wi.gov and search “Public Access Lands Map” or “TROUT tool”. A variety of angling regulations are in place in the Coon Creek Watershed. These regulations are aimed at providing a variety of trout angling opportunities and gives the DNR the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of various trout regulations. In , the DNR enacted an experimental regulation on Bohemian Valley Creek (10 bag, no minimum length limit) to evaluate whether anglers could reduce densities and improve growth rates of trout.
West Fork Kickapoo River and its tributaries. - West Fork Kickapoo River, Knapp Creek, Seas Branch, Maple Dale, Harrison Creek, and Unnamed Tributaries. With nearly 70 miles of classified trout water, the West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed contains an abundance of trout fishing opportunities. Thanks to improvements in agricultural practices coupled with increased annual precipitation over the past 75 years, groundwater levels have increased and continue to increase throughout the watershed. Improved groundwater discharge into streams, along with habitat restoration and wild trout stocking efforts, have allowed naturally reproducing populations of brown and brook trout to expand throughout the watershed. For example, multiple headwater streams, which ran dry less than 10 years ago, now have stable flows and support excellent populations of naturally reproduced brook and brown trout. In a recent watershed-wide survey, where 35 sites were sampled between and , 78% of sites had naturally reproduced brown trout densities exceeding the statewide median, reflecting the excellent fishing opportunities throughout the watershed. Although uncommon, trophy brook (>14”) and brown trout (>20”) are also present in the watershed and are caught every year by anglers. Current regulation: Varies by waterbody, see the trout regulation pamphlet Access information: The DNR holds several miles of streambank easement as well as state owned properties in the West Fork Kickapoo River watershed. To view access points and locations of public lands go to dnr.wi.gov and search “Public Access Lands Map”. Brown trout removal efforts continue on Maple Dale Creek, a small headwater stream in the West Fork Kickapoo Watershed, in hopes of restoring brook trout populations there. Abundance of catchable-size brook trout in Maple Dale Creek has increased six-fold since , when removals began, with some brook trout exceeding 13”. All brook trout caught in the stream must be released.
WAUPACA AND PORTAGE COUNTIES
Radley Creek - miles of Class I trout water. Brown trout population information: Radley Creek supports a high-density brown trout population that provides a great action fishery for interested anglers. The DNR conducts an annual survey of Radley Creek just upstream from WI HWY Over the last 10 years, brown trout catch rates in this survey have averaged brown trout per mile of electrofishing. The majority of the brown trout captured in most years are between 5–10 inches, but brown trout >12 inches have been captured in each of the last 10 years, with brown trout >15 inches being captured in 4 of the last 10 years. Current regulation: Yellow stream with a daily bag limit of 3 trout in total and a minimum length limit of 8 inches. Access information: Anglers can access the majority of Radley Creek via one of the parcels of Radley Creek Fishery Area. Radley Creek Fishery Area consists of 1,+ acres of state-owned land with parcels that start near the confluence with the Crystal River and extend all the way to the headwaters in Portage County. Please visit the DNR Public Access Lands Publication for maps of all of the parcels that make up Radley Creek Fishery Area. Significant trout habitat enhancements have been completed along Radley Creek over the last 10 years including fishability brushing and invasive plant removal along the stream banks, repositioning fallen trees in the stream to allow for better stream flow and sediment transport as well as help to stabilize stream banks, adding brush bundles to provide juvenile trout habitat and stabilize stream banks and creating overhead cover for adult trout. Radley Creek also supports a low-density brook trout fishery. Anglers interested in catching brook trout should fish in the upper sections of Radley Creek.
Willow Creek. - miles of trout water (Class 1 = miles, Class 2 = miles) Brown trout population information: Willow Creek supports a good-density brown trout population that can provide action with the chance of a trophy fish. The DNR conducts an annual survey of Willow Creek just downstream of Blackhawk Road. Over the last 10 years, brown trout catch rates in this survey have averaged brown trout per mile of electrofishing. The majority of the brown trout captured in most years are between 6–12 inches, but the catch rate of brown trout over 15 inches is in the 84th percentile over the last 5 years . Current regulation: Yellow stream with a daily bag limit of 3 trout in total and a minimum length limit of 8 inches. Access information: Anglers can access the majority of Willow Creek via one of the many parcels of the Willow Creek Fishery Area. Willow Creek Fishery Area consists of 2, acres of state-owned land. Please visit the DNR Public Access Lands Publication for maps of all the parcels that make up the Willow Creek Fishery Area.
Interesting fact: Significant trout habitat enhancements have been completed along Willow Creek over the years including fishability brushing and invasive plant removal along the stream banks, repositioning fallen trees in the stream to allow for better stream flow and sediment transport as well as help to stabilize stream banks. Brush bundles have been added to provide juvenile trout habitat and stabilize stream banks. Willow Creek also supports a low-density brook trout fishery. Anglers interested in catching brook trout should fish in the upper sections of Willow Creek or in the lower sections near the confluence of Bruce and Cedar Springs Creeks.
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Jersey City Flowage – acres with miles of shoreline. Want to catch a hard-fighting, toothy native predator that is often misunderstood? Give bowfin (dogfish) in the Jersey City Flowage a try. We did a comprehensive survey there in and found a high density and high-size-quality population. Almost all of the bowfin we caught were over 20” (98%) and 32% were over 25” with 2% over 30”! While I realize that this survey data is six years old, bowfin have been known to live to 30 years! Therefore, I feel confident that the Jersey Flowage still has plenty of dogfish to pursue! The dam to form this flowage on the Tomahawk River was built in to supply power for a tannery. What I couldn’t find with a computer search, was how this flowage/area got its name. If anyone has the story on how this area and flowage got the name “Jersey City”, please contact the Fisheries Biologist in Antigo. Thanks.
Big Chetac Lake. - Are you mostly a catch and release angler? Do you like catching big, hard-fighting fish? Then maybe it’s time to buck some norms, get over whatever bad press you’ve heard, and start fishing for bowfin. It’s shocking that this armor-plated prehistoric species doesn’t get more respect. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of wrangling with these Triassic torpedos, Big Chetac in Sawyer County is a good place to start. Chetac is well-known for many other species, deservedly so, but it also has a great bowfin population. A survey in found bowfin up to 28 inches, with many on the 20 to inch range. Bowfin can be found in Chetac’s shallow weedy bays all summer long and can be targeted with most traditional bass or pike lures. There are no harvest restrictions on bowfin, but they are not known to be great table fare. Chetac has a public boat launch off of Old Hayes Road.
ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON AND DOUGLAS COUNTIES
Lake Superior. - In recent years, anglers have been harvesting more Lake Whitefish in Lake Superior than ever recorded. The increasing popularity of the shallow-water ice fishery and open-water whitefish jigging has resulted in a high level of angler effort targeting this species, and therefore, higher levels of harvest. Most anglers target Lake Whitefish in Chequamegon Bay, but these fish are also very abundant in the Apostle Islands region where they can be targeted when conditions allow. The average length of Lake Whitefish harvested in Lake Superior is generally around 19 inches, with several measuring over 25 inches each year. Lake Whitefish that primarily reside within Chequamegon Bay actually grow faster than those that primarily live in the Apostle Islands. The average-sized Lake Whitefish caught in Chequamegon Bay is likely 10 years of age or older, and whitefish up to 25 years old are often observed in the area. Abundance of Lake Whitefish is currently much higher in Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior than in the ’s and ’s. Abundance increased throughout the ’s to a peak in and has slightly declined or stabilized since. There is a large harvestable surplus of Lake Whitefish in the Apostle Islands region for both sport and commercial fishing. Growth rates of Lake Whitefish have decreased since the peak in abundance in , and ongoing research may help us learn more about this important fishery. Ice conditions on Lake Superior are often variable and can change in the blink of an eye. So, we recommend a cautious approach to your ice fishing trips or including an angler who is knowledgeable about local ice conditions in your fishing party. Current regulation: Lake Whitefish in Lake Superior have a daily bag limit of 10 and no length limit, and the season is open all year. Access information: Popular public access points for this fishery include Second Landing and Kreher Park in Ashland; Washburn Coal Dock and Washburn Marina; Bayfield Municipal Boat Landing, and Legendary Waters Boat Ramp in Red Cliff. Public Boat Landings can be found at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Beaches/documents/BeachBoatLaunches.pd
DOOR, KEWAUNEE AND BROWN COUNTIES
Green Bay waters. - Lake whitefish continue to provide much of the action for ice anglers on Green Bay since their major entry into the sport fishery over 10 years ago. The bulk of the fishing takes place along the east shore at locations between Dyckesville and Sturgeon Bay; although areas along the west shore provide action as well. Angler harvest has dropped considerably during the last two ice seasons, although the harvest was the highest on record; estimated at nearly , fish. Anglers will likely see fish from the record high year class begin to enter the sport fishery this season. Current regulation: The bag limit for lake whitefish is 10 fish with no length limit. Access information: There are a number of access points between Dyckesville and Sturgeon Bay. Anglers can refer to a map of the area for boat launch sites or go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess for a listing of some of the launches in the area. Anglers are advised to check ahead locally for ice conditions before venturing out. In and more than 8, whitefish from several stocks were tagged during the November spawning season in the Fox and Menominee Rivers, North/Moonlight Bays areas on the Lake Michigan side of Door County, and Big Bay de Noc in northern Green Bay. Tag recovery data to date indicate that most river-tagged whitefish do not leave Green Bay. In fact, few Fox River-tagged fish stray north of Chambers Island. While fish tagged in the North/Moonlight Bay area mainly stay in Lake Michigan, though a small proportion move into northern Green Bay. To date all tagged fish recovered during the November spawning period were recaptured in the same location that they were tagged, suggesting high spawning site fidelity.
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GREAT LAKES TROUT AND SALMON
ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON AND DOUGLAS COUNTIES
Lake Superior. - Lake Trout is the most popular species that anglers target in the Apostle Islands and Western Arm regions of Lake Superior. Results from our annual Lake Superior creel survey showed that anglers had a great year catching and harvesting Lake Trout, and we anticipate the same in Total Lake Trout harvest in management unit WI-2 (Apostle Islands region) increased from and ended above the average total harvest since Lake Superior charter captains and clientele caught more “lakers” in than any year in the past two decades in the Apostle Islands. Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior support the most productive fisheries in the entire lake. However, Lake Trout roaming these waters are long-lived (some trout documented over 50 years old!) and slow-growing, which means they require a little more protection than most fisheries to prevent overharvest. So, we use the best data and science available to our team to set harvest limits for the fishery. The Lake Trout quota in WI-2 will be slightly reduced from to help maintain a stable population size, but the WI-1 (Western Arm) quota will remain the same as the previous season. The average length of harvested Lake Trout in Lake Superior is generally around 22 inches due to size regulations outlined below, but 35 and inch trophy Lake Trout are often caught and released in Lake Superior. July and August are the most popular months to troll for Lake Trout, and several “sport-fishing only” zones exist to help anglers avoid commercial fishing nets. As ice thickens into deeper areas of the Apostle Islands, anglers enjoy great Lake Trout ice fishing, or deep-water “bobbing”, in mid-late winter months. Our team continues to tag thousands of Lake Trout each year during assessments. So, if you ever come across a tagged Lake Trout in Lake Superior, be sure to relay the tag number to the Bayfield DNR Office to learn the often-fascinating history about the fish you just caught. Current regulation: The Lake Trout season is open from December 1 through September inch minimum length limit, but only 1 over 25 inches. West of Bark Point (WI-1): bag limit of 3; East of Bark Point (WI-2): bag limit of 2. The Lake Trout season may be closed early if the annual quota is reached prior to the regular season closure date. Access information: Main access locations can be found in Superior, Port Wing, Cornucopia, Little Sand Bay, Red Cliff, Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland, and Saxon, WI. Saxon Harbor was fully renovated and was operational for the fishing season. Public Boat Landings can be found at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Beaches/documents/BeachBoatLaunches.pdf. - Dray Carl, Fisheries biologist, Lake Superior
Bois Brule River. - 44 miles total, miles downstream of U.S. Highway 2. 7, wild Steelhead were counted passing the Brule River Sea Lamprey Barrier/Fishway from Fall through Spring The fall migration makes up the majority of the steelhead run and peak steelhead migration occurred in early-October of Seventy-seven percent of the total ranged from 20 to 25 inches and weighed three to five pounds. 6% exceeded the minimum length limit of 26 inches. Current regulation: Season is different for lower and upper river. Lower River: Downstream from U.S. Highway 2; Season: Open March 27 through November 15; Minimum length: 26 inches; Daily bag: 5 trout and salmon in total, only one may be a rainbow trout. Upper River: Upstream from U.S. Highway 2; Season: Open May 1 to September Go to http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/StateForests/bruleriver/ and click on the “Maps and Pubs” tab. All access points only at designated areas in the Brule River State Forest. Easy access at many points, especially U.S. Highway 2, High Landing angler lot, Copper Range Campground, Pine Tree Canoe Landing, and State Highway Steelhead runs on the Bois Brule, in fact on many Great Lakes tributary streams, are largely dependent on conditions on the lake and streams and these factors can greatly influence angler success. Surface water temperature on the lake influences when steelhead enter tributary streams in both spring and fall. Once steelhead enter tributary streams, precipitation or run-off from snow melt can increase water flow and reduce water clarity. Water temperature will influence steelhead behavior and where fish stage in the river from the point when they enter the river until they complete spawning and head back to the lake. Anglers can monitor these conditions to determine when and where to fish and what type of presentations might be more effective. Steelhead anglers fishing the Bois Brule River during the fall run had slightly higher than average river flows but found relatively clear conditions through the duration of the fall steelhead run due to the lack of rainfall. Knowledgeable steelhead anglers found success this past fall by employing finesse tactics to fool steelhead holding in clear water. For fly anglers it meant drifting smaller trout-sized nymphs or soft hackle wet flies on indicator rigs while spin anglers used smaller, subdued spinning lures or live bait. - Aaron Nelson, Fisheries technician, Superior.
MARINETTE, OCONTO AND DOOR COUNTIES
Green Bay and tributaries. - Fall fall shocking surveys in the lower Menominee River resulted in higher numbers of brown trout compared to recent years, with 38% being 29 inches or more. Those fish are probably 3 to 6 years old, while a Green Bay brown trout around 23 inches would likely be 2 years old. Brown trout stocked into the productive waters of Green Bay grow quickly. Lake Michigan harvest estimates for will be available in early Current regulation: Open all year. Daily limit is 5 trout/salmon in total. Minimum length is 10 inches. Access information: Anglers can troll for browns in the spring and summer months. There are numerous boat access locations along the shores of Green Bay. Check out this website for details. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. Brown trout make fall migratory runs into the Menominee, Peshtigo, and Oconto Rivers. From late September into the winter months, shore anglers may have luck catching browns in these major tributaries. Here is the website to find detailed tributary access information. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. From to , DNR used the RV Coregonus to stock yearling brown trout offshore in Green Bay. In April , due to COVID issues, DNR did not stock brown trout offshore but instead fish were stocked directly into tributaries or harbors. Plans are to resume offshore stocking in spring , pending resolution to the current pandemic. The goal is to increase survival of stocked brown trout, which are typically stocked in April when walleye are making their annual spawning runs into the large tributaries of the Bay. Since offshore stocking began, harvest rate has generally improved compared to the previous 8 years. Two exceptions are and , which were late ice-out springs that prevented early season nearshore trolling for brown trout.
LAKE MICHIGAN AND TRIBUTARIES
Chinook salmon provide fantastic fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan, recently with prospects for big fish. Chinook or king salmon are among the biggest of Lake Michigan’s salmonids. The average weight of age-3 female Chinooks at the Strawberry Creek spawning facility in Sturgeon Bay reached a record high of pounds in , and remained high but decreased slightly to pounds in These are impressively big fish, especially considering low and variable weights from , with record lows in ( pounds) and ( pounds). During at the Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility in Kewaunee, weights of all Chinook were to pounds (avg ) and lengths were to inches (avg ). Recent increases in fish size can be attributed partly to stocking adjustments, which improved the balance of predators/prey, and allowed for fewer but bigger Chinooks. Looking ahead, Chinook stocking increased in from , in to million (), and it’ll be informative for anglers and biologists alike to see if Chinook size remains big. There’s one good way to find out – and that’s to get out there and catch some fish! So whether fishing by boat or pier for silver Chinooks, or from shore during fall spawning runs on one of Wisconsin’s many tributary streams, should provide outstanding opportunity for Chinook salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. Current regulation: Open all year. Five fish daily bag limit (total trout and salmon). Ten-inch minimum length limit. Access information: Many boat and shore access locations are available (https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/, https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html).
The Coho salmon fishing season typically starts in the warmer southern waters of Lake Michigan and then progresses northward all the way to Sheboygan waters. Coho fishing was below average in when anglers harvested an estimated 32, coho (year average harvest of 81,). In , coho were quality size with reports of several large fish. Weather patterns caused coho to be in deeper water than normal during their migration north which played a role in decreased catches. In , there were no creel surveys prior to Memorial day and limited creel surveys that began in July. Many of the large coho catches occur earlier in the year so it is difficult to judge the harvest. Coho salmon are spawned at both the Root River Steelhead Facility (RRSF) in Racine and the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility (BAFF) in Kewaunee. In , approximately 1, coho were captured at the RRSF and 1, were captured at BAFF. Between the 2 facilities, over million eggs were taken to help achieve the goal of stocking , coho in Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan. Current regulation: Open all year. Five fish daily bag limit (total trout and salmon). Ten-inch minimum length limit. Access information: Many boat and shore access locations are available https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/fallfishing.html. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/sites/default/files/topic/Fishing/LM_StockingSummarypdf
Lake Michigan provides fantastic fishing opportunities for salmon and trout, including lake trout, supported by stocking and natural reproduction. A total of 34, lake trout were harvested in lake-wide, which was 35% over the ten-year average harvest. Anglers from Kenosha to Sheboygan reported high catches of lake trout, accounting for 83% of the total lake trout harvest for Wisconsin in Lake Michigan for The average size of lake trout harvested in was inches and pounds. Current regulation: Starting January 1, the season and bag limit will revert to previous regulations. The season will be open from March 1, through October 31, , with a daily bag limit of 2 lake trout and a minimum length of 10 inches. The Mid-Lake Reef Complex is a refuge for lake trout. No lake trout may be targeted or possessed within the boundaries of the Mid-Lake Reef Complex. We are currently working on lake trout regulations that will hopefully be changed back to 5 fish per day and a continuous open season sometime in early summer. Access information: There are numerous boat and shore access locations to fish.
https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html. In Fall and , anglers had success catching lake trout in the Milwaukee and Sheboygan Rivers. In , lake trout that were intended to be stocked on offshore spawning reefs were stocked nearshore due to high wind conditions on the lake. These fish were marked with a fin-clip, which has allowed biologists to determine that anglers catching lake trout in the river in the fall are catching this year-class of lake trout. These fish are now 15 years old, and will likely continue to return to Lake Michigan tributaries in the fall under high water.
Steelhead are a rainbow trout that locally reside in Lake Michigan but run upstream into tributaries for spawning, and while we know some about steelhead biology and fisheries already, we’ll learn much more in coming years thanks to the Great Lakes Mass Marking Program. Management strategies to enhance steelhead fishing in Wisconsin include stocking different genetic strains (Chambers Creek, Ganaraska, and Skamania), stocking over 20 tributaries along the lakeshore (including big and little rivers), and stocking different regions (north, south, and Green Bay). DNR stocks many steelhead, including , in and , annually for But what strains of stocked steelhead do anglers catch most? Do big or little river stocking events contribute better to the fishery? Are there regional differences in stocking effectiveness? Also, what age are steelhead when caught, do they swim throughout the lake, and how many are wild? These are all questions we hope to answer very soon, because all yearling steelhead stocked in , , and were fin clipped (adipose fin removed) and tagged internally with a tiny (1 mm) coded wire tag by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. So will be an exciting year for steelhead – many lake and stream fishing prospects await, along with new opportunity to catch steelhead that will now be years old with coded wire tags. Collections of data and tags from steelhead by anglers, USFWS, and DNR will greatly enhance our knowledge of steelhead, an important species and contributor to Lake Michigan’s valuable and diverse fishery. Current regulation: Open all year. Five fish daily bag limit (total trout and salmon). Ten-inch minimum length limit. Access information: Many boat and shore access locations are available (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/boataccess/, https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/TributaryAccess.html).
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KENOSHA, MILWAUKEE, OUTAGAMIE, OZAUKEE, RACINE, ROCK, SHEBOYGAN, WALWORTH, WASHINGTON AND WAUKESHA COUNTIES
Urban Fishing WatersLake size: Urban fishing waters are small lakes and ponds under 25 acres. Ponds are stocked annually with rainbow trout from the state hatchery system. The average length is about 8 inches. Normal stocking partnerships and collaborations will resume once the public health emergency has subsided. Current regulation: Designated urban waters have a year-round season, no length limits, and a special season (March 13 through April 23, ; March 12 through April 29, ) for juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers. They also have a daily bag limit of three (3) trout, one (1) gamefish (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, and northern pike), and ten (10) panfish (bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and bullhead) Access information: Shore fishing opportunities are found at all urban ponds. Stocking information is available seasonally on the Urban Waters Fishing Hotline at or toll free at Kids Clinics: Urban fishing waters are a great place to take kids fishing and many host free kids fishing clinics for both ice fishing and open water. For clinic information, visit the angler education page on the DNR website (https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Fishing/AnglerEducation/). - Laura Schmidt, fisheries biologist, Milwaukee
Remington Pond – City of Antigo – 5 acres. Only juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers may fish. Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and brook trout in the fall. The Antigo Chapter of Trout Unlimited periodically stocks trout also for the kids to enjoy. Open year around – no length limit, 3 trout per day, 1 bass or northern pike per day, 10 panfish (bluegill, sunfish, crappie, perch, bullhead) per day. Fishing dock.
Mirror Lake – City of Tomahawk – 4 acres. Only juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers may fish. Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and brook trout in the fall. Open year around – no length limit, 3 trout per day, 1 bass or northern pike per day, 10 panfish (bluegill, sunfish, crappie, perch, bullhead) per day. Fishing dock.
Thousands of people visit Hayward, Wisconsin each summer. Many are serious anglers, but some may be beginners or just curious about fishing. Shue’s Pond is in a small park located adjacent to downtown Hayward on 3rd and Kansas Street. There are picnic tables, a gazebo, and plenty of fishing access to the pond. Shue’s Pond is connected to Smith Lake Creek and Lake Hayward and it’s always full of panfish that are willing to bite. Shue’s is a great location for kids or families that want to try fishing in an easily accessible spot with good odds of catching some fish. There are several bait shops within a few blocks of the pond. Kids under 16 can fish for free, anyone 16 and older needs a license to fish.
Regner Park Pond - 2 acres. The pond is stocked annually with rainbow trout from the state hatchery system. The City of West Bend also regularly stocks other species. Current regulation: Year-round season, no length limits, and a special season (March 13 through April 23, ; March 12 through April 29, )) for juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers. There is also a daily bag limit of three (3) trout, one (1) gamefish (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, and northern pike), and ten (10) panfish (bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and bullhead). Access information: (best access point(s), shorefishing opportunities, etc.) Regner Park, N Main Street, West Bend, WI Regner Park Pond was recently dredged and fish habitat was added to improve the angling experience. Other park amenities include trails, sports facilities and play areas, plus a summer swimming pond and winter ice rink.
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2021 reports wisconsin fishing
This feeling choked me, it became hard to breathe. "Your friend is too persistent," I whispered in Victor's ear, in response he only smiled. My palm lay on his trousers and my fingers frantically began to search for a zipper.Minx, was Victor's answer to my actions, finally I groped the. Dog from The zipper, squeezing it tighter with my fingertips, I pulled it down from me.Wisconsin Fishing Report 10-1-21
They accelerated and jerked off his penis faster and faster, simultaneously changing places. Nastya is from below, waving to the top and vice versa. Just a few minutes later, Anton shot a powerful fountain of sperm. Sperm flooded both from head to toe, and then began to drain over their bodies and faces, falling to the floor.
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At least this time it was cold and tasteless. - You know our rules, Lena said to the boys, giving each of them two bottles, We will not put on pants. Until we all have drunk.