No fishing on Pigeon Lake during dam repairs

Drawdown of lake began last week
By: 

Leader Staff


Photo by Grace Kirchner Evidence of the draw down of the Pigeon Pond is evident from the boat landing at Pickeral Point. 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. Sept. 19 in rooms 102 and 103 of the Clintonville Community Center at 30 S. Main St.

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. 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 Sept. 4. The drawdown, which is necessary to make repairs to the dam, is expected to take about 20 days and will lower the lake by approximately 10 feet.

Biologists expect a sizable 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. Fish that remain in the river channel or move upstream may get concentrated into 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:

• The entire lake and Pigeon River, including bays and channels from the dam in Clintonville upstream to where the Pigeon River splits to form the North Branch Pigeon River and South Branch Pigeon River.

• The North Branch Pigeon River from its confluence with the Pigeon River upstream to Knitt Road.

• The South Branch Pigeon River from its confluence with the Pigeon River upstream to U.S. Highway 45.

Fishing will be closed starting Sept. 21 after signs are posted and will remain closed until further notice.

For information about the closure, contact Jason Breeggemann, DNR senior fisheries biologist, at 715-526-4227 or Jason.Breeggemann@wisconsin.gov.

Mayor Richard Beggs said at Monday’s Clintonville Common Council meeting that for the past several months there has been some uneasiness in the area concerning repairs to the dam and the impact on the water level in the pond.

The city has determined that the most economically feasible option is a complete draw down of the lake, and this decision will provide for a quicker project, Beggs said.

“We wish to be responsive to any issues that arise, but the city has determined this is the best approach for our community,” Beggs said.