Contact(s): Jason Breeggemann, DNR fisheries biologist, Shawano, 715-526-4227, Jason.Breeggemann@wisconsin.gov; Ed Culhane, DNR communications, Appleton, 715-781-1683
CLINTONVILLE - The state Department of Natural Resources plans to temporarily close fishing on Pigeon Lake to protect fish populations while the lake is drawn down for dam repairs.
The fishing closure will extend upstream to portions of the north and south branches of the Pigeon River. A public meeting to discuss the closure is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in rooms 102 and 103 of the Clintonville Community Center at 30 S Main St.
The drawdown of Pigeon Lake, a 170-acre impoundment of the Pigeon River, began on Sept. 4. The drawdown is necessary to make repairs to the dam. The gradual drawdown is expected to take about 20 days and will lower the lake by approximately 10 feet.
Biologists expect a sizeable number of fish will be flushed downstream. However, some fish will stay in the remaining river channel or move upstream into the Pigeon River, the North Branch Pigeon River and the South Branch Pigeon River. All popular sport fish species including largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, black crappie and yellow perch have been captured in recent surveys of the north and south branches. Habitat conditions in these rivers are suitable for the survival of those fish that move upstream.
Fish that remain in the river channel or move upstream may get concentrated in pools or other areas that make them easily susceptible to angler harvest. Protecting these fish from harvest will allow them to recolonize Pigeon Lake after it is refilled and speed up the recovery of the fishery.
Area of closure will include:
Time Frame: Fishing will be closed starting September 21, 2018, after signs are posted and will remain closed until further notice.
Anyone with comments or questions about the closure is encouraged to contact Jason Breeggemann, DNR senior fisheries biologist at 715-526-4227 or at Jason.Breeggemann@wisconsin.gov