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Bass Bros
Bass Bros
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Joined: 9/21/2014
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9/28/14 4:03 PM CST
Anybody having any action at the plant lately?..Wondering if there's some cats out there still

ben1234568
ben1234568
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Joined: 6/23/2014
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6/30/14 4:06 PM CST
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it, I just didn't stick around for long after all my bait died. Next time I will scan the shore more thoroughly for gills.

Sewer-Rat
Sewer-Rat
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Joined: 3/7/2008
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6/30/14 11:58 AM CST
I would say anywhere on the lake is good. Was there right at the bottom of the parking lot couple weeks ago. Caught a 15 pounder last time. Last couple years the bluegills were kinda hard to catch here. Just got to work for them and walk along the shore to try to catch them. I have better luck using wax worms for them. Even using the small gills will catch you some big fish. As for catching the flats, I always throw one pole close to shore. Sometimes I can hear and see them coming up on shore and chasing baitfish around.

ben1234568
ben1234568
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Joined: 6/23/2014
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6/29/14 12:32 PM CST
Should I be on the other side of the parking lot or go where the creek dumps in cause I couldn't catch any gills for bait and if you buy bait it will just die from the shock of the hot water.

ben1234568
ben1234568
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Joined: 6/23/2014
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FISHING REPORT
6/29/14 12:20 PM CST
Conditions: Partly Sunny Air Temp: 81° - 88° F Water Temp: Above 80° F
Went there 06/26/2014 on Saturday with large suckers, and a bullhead for bait to fish off the bank for flathead catfish by the main parking lot. All my bait died almost immediately and I was unable to catch any bait fish in the rocks.

ben1234568
ben1234568
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Joined: 6/23/2014
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6/23/14 5:06 PM CST
I am curious about this lake and wanted to try for some giant flathead catfish. Would anyone have any suggestions during this time or year as I can imagine the water temperature would be very hot. Any specific locations I should go to that I would have access to?

RiverBassHunter
RiverBassHunter
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Joined: 12/28/2012
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4/7/14 5:31 PM CST
Out of curiosity, PM me if you so wish, I have caught some cats by the parking lot a while ago, are there more fish where the water gets warmer and is more current or are they a slower current kind of fish?

DaveI
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Joined: 7/3/2001
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3/24/14 11:20 AM CST
From 2-18-2013

For those of you that weren't around in the 1970's when the Columbia Generating Station was built, here's a few FACTS:

>The power company (WP&L) was told by the Public Service Commission -who was in charge of those type of permits at the time- that they didn't need any permits to build in the wetland because it "wasn't in the floodplain." So the power company started construction of the cooling lake.

>The DNR determined that they were building below the ordinary high water mark on a navigable water (the Wisconsin R), so a permit was needed.

>The Wisconsin R is also a Federal navigable waterway so the US Corps of Engineers also needed to approve the project. Construction of the cooling lake was stopped by DNR in mid-project.

>The original cooling lake plans called for it being twice as large as it is, covering the entire wetland almost to the river. What is now the western (riverward) outer dike was built before construction was stopped. It supposed to be a "training dike" about in the middle of the proposed larger cooling lake to promote circulation of the cooling water, so it does not have the clay core to prevent leakage, that the rest of the outer dike does.

>During DNR investigations, it was determined that the wetland where the cooling lake was supposed to be built was used by Wisconsin R and Lake Wisconsin walleye and sauger for spawning, similar to the Fox R and Wolf R. It was also used for spawning by northern pike, and musky.

>The wetland was found to be home to several threatened or endangered species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. During the DNR public hearings -several weeks worth- regarding the permit, the DNR survey results were presented.

The power company countered with the recreational and economic advantages they would provide:

>They offered to build a walleye hatchery, which DNR turned down because a natural "hatchery" already existed.

>They said they would provide land for a county park with camping, etc. The county didn't want the development or maintenance costs.

>They said that the undeveloped property would be open for public use including hunting. Hunting and public access has become increasingly restricted because of safety concerns.

>They said they would allow sport fishing and recreational boating on the cooling lake. Boating is restricted to carry-in access, and no gas motors because of cooling water quality concerns.

>They talked about the species of fish that THEY WOULD PAY TO STOCK, and DNR told them that most of them wouldn't do well because of projected water temperatures, use of chemicals to maintain cooling water quality, and lack of habitat.

In the end, the permits were issued for a reduced-size operation -the original plans called for up to 5 generating units, the larger cooling lake, and an fly-ash disposal area that would have wiped out most of the wetland (also a spawning marsh) north of the power plant.

Part of the permit gave fisheries survey and management authority to the UW-Madison for several years. The researchers established the first "refuge areas" where fishing wasn't allowed because the fish concentrated there. Some of those areas were expanded by the power company because perceived trespass and safety problems.

When the DNR got full management authority, the fisheries manager from Poynette was in charge. Over time, several predictions made by DNR during the permitting hearings were fulfilled:

>The largemouth bass that were originally stocked failed to reproduce adequately or survive well due to high water temperatures and poor habitat.

>Flathead and channel catfish became the dominant gamefish. They were stocked by DNR, came in through the "make-up water" channel that connects to the Wisconsin R, and stocked illegally by the public.

>Gizzard shad that came in through the "make-up water" channel that connects to the Wisconsin R and/or were stocked illegally by the public became the primary forage fish.

>Illegal stocking accounts for all of the exotic fish species found there including the pacu (misidentified as a piranha) and the "Amazon catfish", and several of the sport fish.

The striped bass-white bass hybrid -Wipers- was introduced into Lake Columbia by the DNR fisheries manager from Poynette, in cooperation with the power company. The power company initially paid for the fingerlings that were stocked, which had to be hauled up from private fish farms in Arkansas. Wipers are difficult and expensive fish to propagate.

Later the power company reduced their financial support, and would only pay for fry which had to be reared to at least fingerling size to survive stocking. DNR tried to raise the fry to fingerling size at a DNR hatchery with very limited success. To my knowledge, the power company refuses to pay for any more stocking.

My guess is that DNR won't/can't put much money into a limited use specialty fishery such as Lake Columbia. The viable alternatives might include:

>Put public pressure on the power company to live up to their verbal commitment to stock fish.

>Get local funding from fishing clubs, etc.

[This post was last edited on 3/24/14 at 11:37 AM]
denesox
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3/23/14 7:23 PM CST
gills are the best bait for cats. Both live and cut.

Since there is really no cover or structure with a virtually clean sand/silt bottom all the fish are forced into a palegic lifestyle chasing the shad, which leaves typical ambush predators like LMB, SMB and flatheads, to do ok, but never get fat as a result....I'm sure competing with beastly feeding schools of wipers didn't help.

Not sure of the current shad situation, but generally if there is a huge die off, the one fish that benefits quickly tend to be the clean up crew...the cats. Makes me wonder if the shad population has totally crashed as well. Anyone know if the gills were effected. Last I was there they were still very strong.

[This post was last edited on 3/23/14 at 7:27 PM]
RiverBassHunter
RiverBassHunter
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Joined: 12/28/2012
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FISHING REPORT
3/23/14 4:51 PM CST
All i get is small bluegills to use for bait. There are still flatheads in here, i got a decent one friday night. tons of channel cats, everything is wicked skinny. maybe not enough food per population?

denesox
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3/23/14 4:43 PM CST
cats are about whats left. If I went there now, its all I would fish for.

eyecatfish
eyecatfish
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Joined: 3/8/2014
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3/23/14 4:34 PM CST
Maybe they need to increase the size to accommodate higher power usage. Is the flathead fishing there still worth trying?

[This post was last edited on 3/23/14 at 4:38 PM]
denesox
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3/23/14 4:27 PM CST
yes, but I think the main stipulation is that its open for public fishing, which it is. I believe the stocking was a good faith issue, but I could be wrong.

If water quality prevents stocked fish from surviving, whats the point. Well, I think the point you are making is that they should be forced to correct the issue...which I agree with, but its hard to do without disrupting the plants ability to create the power that so many rely on.

eyecatfish
eyecatfish
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3/23/14 3:59 PM CST
I may be mistaken but I believe there was a stipulation in the agreement between the plant and DNR that they would grant permission to build the cooling lake if the plant maintained it as a public fishery.

denesox
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3/23/14 3:37 PM CST
The output for the plant has exceeded the size of the lake, so to speak. The issue lies with water quality issues. The start of the end was when one year the water quality got so bad (don't recall exactly, but I believe it was a PH issue), they started pumping in water from the river nearby to dilute the problem, but it was too little, too late...Its due to the now poor water quality that has them holding off on current stocking. with the plant ever expanding, I don't know if there will ever be much of a fishery again unless a lot changes within the plant. The fishery was just a side note to the real reason the lake is here, and that's plant cooling.

Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 1,333


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