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Little Lake Butte des Morts Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Public Use Enhancement
Midwest Region, September 18, 2019
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Fish sticks at Little Lake Butte des Morts  and a net full of fish sampled during spring bass/panfish electrofishing.
Fish sticks at Little Lake Butte des Morts and a net full of fish sampled during spring bass/panfish electrofishing. - Photo Credit: WI-DNR
A great egret, threatened in Wisconsin, rests on a fish stick complex at Herb and Dolly Smith Park
A great egret, threatened in Wisconsin, rests on a fish stick complex at Herb and Dolly Smith Park - Photo Credit: WI-DNR
New fishing pier at Asylum Bay
New fishing pier at Asylum Bay - Photo Credit: WI-DNR

Shoreline development, urbanization, and navigation on Little Lake Butte des Morts have led to the removal of shoreline trees and vegetation, resulting in less woody habitat available for fish and wildlife populations. This project, supported by the Fox River Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees, entailed working with various groups to carry out a fish sticks project at Little Lake Butte des Morts  on the lower Fox River.

The project included constructing 10 fish stick complexes located within Herb and Dolly Smith Park and Arrowhead Park and another 15 fish sticks complexes on Wisconsin DNR property in Asylum Bay. The parks are City of Neenah property and open to public fishing and other recreation opportunities. The City of Neenah was a project partner, and students from the Neenah Fishing Club also assisted with site work. Each fish stick complex consisted of three to five medium-to-large sized trees which were anchored into the bottom substrate. The DNR Wild Rose habitat crew and Oshkosh field staff completed project construction in December of 2017. The overall benefit of adding woody habitat to the lake and the impact on the fish community are being evaluated by conducting pre- and post-electrofishing assessments.


In addition to increasing woody habitat for fish and wildlife species, the project also improved public shoreline fishing opportunities. As this is an extremely popular fishing spot, the Fox River trustees supported the installation of two new accessible fishing piers. The Asylum Bay area is known for good panfish angling opportunities throughout the open water season, which provides good fishing action for families and youth anglers from shore. Both new piers are designed so that they are able to be removed before winter and put back out in spring after the ice is off the lake to eliminate the chance of ice damage. Signage is also being posted near the pier promoting the fish sticks habitat project that was installed adjacent.

 

Information provided by Adam Nickel, WI-DNR


Contact Info: Trina Soyk, 920-866-1737, trina_soyk@fws.gov
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