Best Walleye fishing lake in northern Wisconsin?
From my understanding, LM bass prey on walleye fry, which leads me to believe that LM bass inhabit the same areas as fry throughout spring and summer. For whatever reason, SM bass have not been shown to significantly impact walleye reproductive success. In lakes nearby the Chip area, LM bass populations have exploded to the point where their growth rates have plummeted resulting in some fish never to even reach 14" in length which compounds the problem as fishermen kept few bass. Smallmouth growth rates have shown slight decreases in these lakes, but not nearly what LM bass have experienced. Walleye growth rates appear to be mostly unaffected although numbers have decreased noticeably. I was also told that oligotrophic lakes in the area would almost be unnoticable for aging in a person's lifetime to a more eutrophic lake. I would suspect that the flowage would be somewhat different, but being the Chip has stained water and a lot of rock and sand to begin with, I don't know if we could notice a significant change during the span of our lifetimes. I would suspect too high of LM bass populations is the problem on the Chip as well. Just a guess.
I don't know how spawning competition and growth rates effect the populations. I don't know either how the aging of the flowage plays in.
I like catching the smallmouth, and am not complaining. I think the flowage is healthy. I do think they should stop protecting the bass population with the CR-only early season and 14 inch limits. The population just doesn't require it.
The spots where a smallmouth was a rarity went to a 50-50 mix for a few years and have now gone to where the walleye is rare.
My senses could be a bit off, because I know that over the years my rigs and presentations have changed more toward the smallmouth as I learned what they wanted.
Chippewa really has to come off the list. Smallmouth have been squeezing them out for 15 years now. I think the process is about complete. Walleye are getting to be a surprise.