Contact(s): Adam Nickel, DNR fisheries biologist, 920-424-3059; Michael Kading, director of Neenah Parks and Recreation, 920-886-6062; Ed Culhane, DNR communications, 715-781-1683
The Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the City of Neenah, has launched a "fish sticks" project to improve habitat and fishing on Little Lake Butte des Morts.
The project involves constructing fish-stick complexes along Herb and Dolly Smith Park and Arrowhead Park. Each fish stick complex will consist of three to five medium-to-large trees which will be anchored to the bottom substrate.
"This project will provide better fish and wildlife habitat, increase awareness of habitat projects and create better fishing for anglers of all ages," said DNR fisheries biologist Adam Nickel.
The parks are City of Neenah property and are open to public fishing and other recreation opportunities. Students from the Neenah Fishing Club plan to assist with site work. Shoreline fishing locations are included, and the city is exploring ways to expand fishing access in the future.
Due to shoreline development, there is less woody habitat available for fish and wildlife. Restoring this habitat will benefit many fish species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, panfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish. It will provide valuable fish spawning habitat as well as refuges for juvenile fish.
Partially submerged wood will also provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species - such as snapping turtles, wood turtles and soft shelled turtles -- that use exposed logs for sunning and resting areas.
The project is being funded by the Lower Fox River/Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment program, which uses money paid by businesses and other entities responsible for pollution, apart from cleanup costs, to compensate the public for lost use of natural resources. For more information, see http://www.foxrivernrda.org/.