Tidbits Regarding Local Lakes

Posted 6/29/22

Otter Lake Recently, I had reports from a couple of people who claim they have caught walleyes at Otter Lake in the 8-10 inch category. A number of people are still under the impression that walleyes …

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Tidbits Regarding Local Lakes

Posted

Otter Lake

Recently, I had reports from a couple of people who claim they have caught walleyes at Otter Lake in the 8-10 inch category. A number of people are still under the impression that walleyes are reproducing naturally at Otter Lake.

Studies throughout the past few years indicate no evidence of natural walleye reproduction at Otter Lake. Every uneven or odd year the DNR stocks approximately 6,000 fingerling walleyes or 10 per acre in Otter Lake. When stocked, these walleyes range from 6-8 inches in length. The last stocking took place in September of 2021. Walleyes in the 8-10 inch range currently caught are likely results from this past September’s stocking. Since 2013, approximately 30,000 fingerling walleyes have been stocked at Otter Lake. Not all stocked walleye fingerlings make it to adulthood, but survivability is much more successful than stocking of walleye fry which had taken place throughout a period of previous years.

Designated as an experimental lake under former Governor Walker’s Walleye Initiative Plan,OtterLakehasflourished. Suchattributes as an abundance of lake structure with stained water and a plentiful forage base have helped maintain a stable population. It is being described by DNR officials as one of the most successful stocked walleye lakes in the state of Wisconsin.

The DNR has scheduled an electro-shocking survey of Otter Lakes shoreline this coming September. Thesurveywilldeterminewalleye health, growth and population statistics. Other than observation, the survey does not take into account other fish species within the lake.

During the spring of 2023, DNR fisheries staff will perform a comprehensive fish population survey on Otter Lake. This survey will take into account health, size, age and population statistics of all lake fish species. The survey will likely take place during the month of April after ice out. A number of fyke nets will be placed throughout the lake for the process of capturing and studying fish.

Chapman Lake

During a recent conversation, Chippewa County DNR Fish Biologist Joe Gerbyshak said he was sorry to inform me that the DNR will not be providing their annual stocking of northern pike at Chapman Lake this year. He explained that the DNR northern pike hatchery rearing pond, used for stocking, contacted a form of genetic disease. Therefore, fingerlings cannot be used for stocking purposes this year.

All fish reared for stocking purposes by the DNR have to be tested for various diseases before being released in Wisconsin lakes and waters.

During prior discussions with Gerbyshak, I requested that DNR fisheries staff do an electro- shocking shoreline survey at Chapman. The survey would provide insight as to the status of Chapman’s fish population, particularly thebassandnorthernpikepopulations. Gerbyshak said he will attempt to run a short electro shocking shoreline survey this fall.

Pike Lake

Due to a stunted growth bass population, the DNR continues to encourage anglers fishing Pike Lake to harvest bass under 14 inches in length. Currently under a slot size limit rule, anglers can harvest 5 bass but cannot keep fish 14-18incheslong. Ofthe5bassharvestlimit per day, anglers may keep one bass over 18 inches in length.

DNR fishery officials will continue to monitor the bass population at Pike Lake.