Re-stablish Walleyes in Okauchee Lake, WI

2/27/16 @ 10:58 AM
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badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11
addendum from 3 yrs ago.I am trying to get walleyes re-established again. After speaking with the DNR, Chief of Police, Town of Ocon, Lake Assoc, I have found out some info. Basically the cheapest solution would be putting some kind of barrier/screen on dam to prevent the fish from going over. The most expensive would be putting in a fish ladder like the Jefferson Dam has done. The Ocon Police are in charge of the dam between Okauchee & Ocon. The DNR would need to approve. The DNR did stock like 40,000 fingerlings in fall 2014. Very few walleyes found in last DNR report a couple yrs ago (10,000 extended length walleyes were stocked in mid 2000's by walleyes for tmrw which has now shut down in the area. Okauchee has too great of a structure to ignore. It gets 100 feet deep with a natural cisco population & loads of underwater humps, islands,etc) The problem is preventing the fish from swimming out of the lake (and probably to a lesser degree, the northern pike abundance. The musky population has also dropped way off (from DNR report) and muskies weren't even stocked last yr d/t a die off at a fish hatchery & muskies inc stocking Labelle instead. Would people support a barrier? North, Ocon, Fowler, La Belle all stock walleyes so they shouldn't care. Now that they started stocking Muskies in La Belle, they could split that with Ocon b/c they swim down to LaBelle eventually anyways. Let me know your guys thoughts, etc. If they would support a barrier, then I would try to re-establish local walleye chapter again to help with mobile hatchery & spawning improvements. Thx Badge. Will Move to forum area for further discussion.
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9/5/17 @ 12:50 PM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11

Hi Shawn,

Great news, a 10 per acre large fingerling walleye quota has been approved for Okauchee in 2018.

Thanks for your support, have a great weekend!

Benjamin Heussner

Fisheries Biologist

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

S91W39091 Hwy 59

Eagle Wisconsin, 53119

414-303-0109

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9/5/17 @ 12:41 PM
Publiclandhunter
Publiclandhunter
USER since 8/31/11

I applaud your efforts, second the comment about getting your lake association on board.  I hope that 10,000 extended fingerling you mentioned for 2018 is a fact and has already been approved.  Has Ben H chimed in on fish cribs?  I can't see these doing any good on Okauchee with ice fisherman.

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9/4/17 @ 7:24 PM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03

The thought process that went into stocking northern pike into Pewaukee was this...

1) Pike will give the ice fisherman another species to legally target.

2) Pike will eat the smaller gills/panfish in the weeds and hopefully lead to increased size in said panfish.

I'm about as anti-pike as you can get.  But, on these two counts I have to say the DNR succeeded.

Here's what they didn't count on...pike reproduced like crazy in 07 and 08 in the floods.  Add those years along with the stocking and now you have good sized pike in Pewaukee.

I still think that you are trying to turn Okauchee into something that it isn't anymore.  But, I applaud the effort.  Just remember, you put them in, the DNR will manage them.  You won't get a 15 inch size limit.  18 is realistic.  Just like Pewaukee.  

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9/3/17 @ 9:11 AM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11

So I have to admit Pewaukee has done an awesome job re-establishing walleyes the last few yrs.  I do have a question for the DNR however.  They told me Okauchee has way to many hammer handle pike right now which has hurt the walleyes and we are trying to add a slot to remove some smaller pike.  So why would Pewaukee stock northern pike the last 3 yrs along with the walleye.  Once those northern grow they are going to eat those walleyes?


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8/28/17 @ 9:42 PM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11

Ok guys, some of you are telling me if I want walleyes I can go to Lac La Belle and catch all I want, or drive to Winnebago (3 hrs roundtrip, so much for a spur of the moment quick get a way.). Or fish Pine, Ocon, Nags, Pewaukee.  Well, I have fished them all and I don't see too many Walleyes over 18 caught and kept (except Pewaukee ice fishing - not by me, I don't ice fish Pewaukee).  Yeah, you get 1 here and there. La Belle, forget about it, (1 over 28). 

Plus you are paying a $10 launch fee or so, EVERY single time you fish. Let that sink in.

Okauchee is a FREE launch.  It was not included in the 3 over 18 inch regulations. Lets make it a destination to actually be able to keep some fish (over 15).  Take 2 of your yearly launch fees from a different lake & donate to the Walleye Fund each yr (1 t-shirt) and we will have what most of us want.  A local walleye fish fry.  Lets make it happen.

Edited on 8/28/17 9:59 PM
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8/28/17 @ 6:25 AM
badgermickey
badgermickey
USER since 6/13/16

Badge - great work and information reagrding re-establishing walleye on the lake.  Since I only visit the launch twice a year (launch and pick up) - where can I contribute to this fund? Is there anything at Musky Mike's?

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8/25/17 @ 6:48 PM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11

Who Is Bill Binkelman?

Of Binkelman, Ron Lindner once wrote, "If Perry fired the first shot in the modern angling revolution, Bill Binkelman was its relentless Paul Revere, and together with Carl Lowrance, they changed the ways that people fished."

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8/25/17 @ 2:36 PM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11

Some of the articles from the 60's from legendary fisherman Bill Binkelman.  The full articles are at Musky Mike's.  A customer found and dropped them off in the spring.

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8/25/17 @ 12:27 AM
badgerfishman
badgerfishman
USER since 7/14/11
with all due respect, I have to disagree.  I have found newspaper articles (you can view 3 of the full articles at Musky Mike's bait shop if you like & have talked to many other fisherman that have told me that they caught 5-10 lb walleyes on a regular basis.  I even had a fishing guide tell me 2 days ago that he used to catch walleyes on topwater 20 yrs ago - a jitterbug (he grew up on Okauchee).  From what they have said, is that most people didn't fish them or "know" how to fish them so this led to people thinking there weren't any. Most people fish the bays or weed edges for bass.  People didn't fish suspended fish in deep basins (the fish chasing the cisco).  Plus stocking in Okauchee benefits all of the surrounding lakes.

The lake over the yrs has benefited the Largemouth & the stunted Northern Pike for sure, but that is because NO ONE has managed the Okauchee fishery for decades.  I agree that it will take some work. If we were allowed to harvest small pike, add fish cribs & sticks and improve some spawning areas, then things would improve greatly.  If we could place a barrier on the dam, then it would be GAME ON. (Don't worry musky guys, they could divide that up between lakes based on size).

I want someone, anyone, to tell me or name ONE thing that has been done to improve Okauchee Lake fishing in the past 50 yrs?  Walleye were caught routinely back in the day, but the DNR stopped stocking for 15 yrs (1999-2014).

And Nihsif, this sentence from Ben doesn't sound like he disagrees with me "Good Morning Shawn, I am in the process of submitting a stocking quota for large fingerling walleyes on Okauchee Lake in 2018.  I am not certain the stocking quota will be approved as funding is tight, so we will have to keep our fingers crossed."

Pewaukee has received 36,000 of extended length walleyes 2 of the last 3 yrs, + frye from the DNR, plus all that Walleyes for Tomorrow has done and they have not shown any natural reproduction.  But there are plenty of fish to catch already. The same goes with Lac La Belle, Ocon, Nagawicka, the Nemahbins. etc.  At least, if you stock Okauchee then it will benefit surrounding lakes and hopefully a few stay in Okauchee.  I see the main way of getting to the holy grail of "natural reproduction" is through improving spawning habitat.  The draw to me is that Okauchee will be able to produce Monsters (which the past has proven) vs the other lakes around.  If everyone that fishes Okauchee (a free launch) would donate $1/month for the next 5 yrs (or buy 1 T-shirt a yr), I trully believe that we would reach our goal.

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8/24/17 @ 4:51 PM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01

not  a big fan of Ben H., but he may be correct here... no offense, but I did go thru the whole history of Okauchee in this thread a while back, and it was shown that this impoundment  isn't suited to natural walleye production, same for muskies... so, unless the lake association votes to pay for annual stockings in addition to any the DNR may do... it's an attempt to force something that just doesn't fit the environment ??

that being said, I really do appreciate your desires and goals

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