Driftless Trout Anglers

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shebs  
#1 Posted : Monday, March 23, 2015 5:02:32 PM(UTC)
shebs
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Willow River lake to be drained

Thoughts on how this would impact the fishery? As I understand it, dams slow flow and raise temps, although tailwaters are also a source of cold water for trout. Yay or nay?
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NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 23, 2015 5:26:03 PM(UTC)
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shebs wrote:
Willow River lake to be drained

Thoughts on how this would impact the fishery? As I understand it, dams slow flow and raise temps, although tailwaters are also a source of cold water for trout. Yay or nay?

This should help the fishery throughout the park this summer, and could pay huge dividends if they choose to remove it altogether. That said, for the fishery to reach it's potential, the impoundments up towards New Richmond must be removed as well. I hope the Willow comes back
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
TreArrow  
#3 Posted : Monday, March 23, 2015 7:15:44 PM(UTC)
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To my knowledge there are no bottom draw dams in Wisconsin or Minnesota. So dams in the driftless don't form tailwater fisheries like they do in the South and the West. The water that is held back by our dams heats up otherwise cool water to temps that are sometimes lethal to trout and then flows over the top of the dam or through penstocks. Even where dams form tailwater fisheries they often impede the movement of native fish. Some dams make sense, but most in the Midwest are pretty useless in terms of energy generation. Currently there is no proposal to remove any more dams on the willow. I think the current work is basically dam maintenance.
NE IA Drifter  
#4 Posted : Monday, March 23, 2015 8:52:23 PM(UTC)
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The one potential positive about dams is they also impede non natives from moving up steam. Something to think about if it's connected to the Mississippi
Mark Dahlquist  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 4:27:10 AM(UTC)
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Does anybody know if there are springs on the lower end? I was told there are a few brutes to be found but there are far and few between. If you look at your Humphrey & Shogren book you will find a 13 pounder that was electroshocked. I have a work colleague who told me years a go the lower end was a fantastic fishery but that all changed after the dam was removed. Although I found the race to be scenic ans only dabbled a few times years back my hunch is the lower end is a lost cause. The only reason they want to drain is to see if that dam can be repaired or removed? If it failed I'm guessing those houses behind scenic drive would wash away :-/
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NBrevitz  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 7:03:43 AM(UTC)
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Mark Dahlquist wrote:
Does anybody know if there are springs on the lower end? I was told there are a few brutes to be found but there are far and few between. If you look at your Humphrey & Shogren book you will find a 13 pounder that was electroshocked. I have a work colleague who told me years a go the lower end was a fantastic fishery but that all changed after the dam was removed. Although I found the race to be scenic ans only dabbled a few times years back my hunch is the lower end is a lost cause. The only reason they want to drain is to see if that dam can be repaired or removed? If it failed I'm guessing those houses behind scenic drive would wash away :-/

I've heard there are a few springs. Rehab work on Ten Mile Creek would be beneficial as well, trapping all those beavers and blowing those dams out just before spring melt... Trapper, get up to St. Croix County, we need youThumpUp Could lower the creek temp 10+ degrees in the summer, and lower the temps in the lower river as well. In some ways I think you just need to remove all dams on rivers like the Willow. They warm the water up too much and lead to siltation problems. Maybe it's a lost cause, maybe it isn't. I think all trout water is worth attempted restoration if nothing else.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
B-Mac  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 8:32:10 AM(UTC)
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Regardless, it will be pretty cool to see what the lake looks looks like after the drawdown. I've been out there a few times in my kayak and caught some decent largemouth and seen some carp in the 10+ pound range. I know last winter they had a number of cribs on the ice before the spring melt. Wonder what those will look like.

I'll set the over under on dead bodies at 2. Any takers
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redneckdan  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 10:22:35 AM(UTC)
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I would love it if a bottom draw was installed on island lake. I hear rumors of occasional browns on the lower cloquet, I think cold water would help.
Dullyouth  
#9 Posted : Friday, March 27, 2015 8:07:20 AM(UTC)
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bummer: This is what theyre draining, from the WIDNR:

Little Falls Flowage - 172 acres. Our 2012 fisheries survey found largemouth bass to be abundant in
Little Falls with exceptional size structure. A one night electrofishing survey produced 320
bass ranging up to 20 inches. Fourteen to 17-inch fish were common. Fifty-three percent
of the sample were over 14 inches and seven percent were 18 inches and larger. This lake truly produces
trophy size largemouth bass with several fish approaching 6 pounds. Smallmouth bass are also present in
low densities. 14-inch length limit, bag limit is 5 bass in total. It has one boat ramp found within Willow
River State Park near Hudson, Wisconsin. In addition, there are a series of handicapped shore fishing
platforms available to anglers. The flowage lies within a scenic wooded valley with an undeveloped
shoreline. Gas or electric motors are prohibited on the lake. Camping and trout fishing is also available
in the park.
EddieRivard  
#10 Posted : Friday, March 27, 2015 9:37:40 AM(UTC)
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You are not the only one who is sad about this Dullyouth.

WildSmallie.com/MiddleDam

My personal opinion over the dam going away is one of happiness as I'll take a free flowing river over and impoundment any day of the week. But the pill would be easier to swallow if the lake was total crapola.

-Eddie Rivard
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