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Fishing Reports For Fox River, Burlington, Rockchester, Waterford, Racine County « Wisconsin Fishing Report Board

Fox River, Burlington, Rockchester, Waterford, Racine County (all postings)

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The-Big-Job
The-Big-Job
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 9:47 PM CST
To be a bit more clear where some of the misconceptions are founded I should share that many of studies have shown that dams have been found to collect sediment, have low oxygen levels, and overall poor stream quality in the impounded area above the dam. At least that's the science behind what's easy to realize when your up in the mountains, up nort, or anywhere that hasn't been significantly altered by the hand of man, no matter if it was done responsibly or ignorantly. Down stream of the dam however there's generally a fairly rich environment that's has high oxygen levels and low amounts of sediment. The studies have found that when a dam is removed the oxygen level stabilizes instead of having both ends of the spectrum divided by the dam. Obviously that's a plus, as with having the sediment washed down along with the free passage of fish. If I were to guess, the oxygen levels above this dam are fine due to the short length of the main channel and canopy of the canal which aids temperature regulation. The amount of oxygen in the water is directly related to temperature in the summer. In the winter I would guess that depth is more of a factor. I understand first hand why some engineers and their practices can catch a bad rap and are more of a liability than an asset. I was also taught to have a GREAT appreciation and respect for Mother Nature at a young age and have pursued that interest to deep depths. I haven't measured the dissolved oxygen in the river or done anything more than keep my eyes open and do some fishing but much like in the mountains or up north you can easily tell that what ever is happening in the river is working, and working well, and this wouldn't be the case if the water levels were to keep drastically changing or if all the water were to perpetually drained. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse or offend anyone, just trying to share some info and get a better understanding myself.

katdaddy620
katdaddy620
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 5:50 PM CST
I hope they do stop the drawdown because it will ruin the fishing. I don't live in waterford I'm from the north west side of Milwaukee but I love this stretch of river for fishing. I have caught many species here and was surprised at the variety there was my first year fishing it about 4 yrs ago. It would be a shame to see it go to waste. I really want to know has anyone been fishing here lately? I'm thinking about going out this weekend or next possibly. I hope the drawdown hasn't ruined the fishing for this up coming season.

Plmlk
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3/26/15 4:54 PM CST
Edward-

I fish above and below the Waterford and Rochester dams.

Both dams were put in place long before my time. My point is that because they exist, the proposed draw down poses a significant risk to every creature that calls this waterway home. During the draw down the deepest spot is 3 feet, many spots are less than 2 feet. If a sustained period of cold temps were to coincide with a draw down, the fish are in big trouble, as they do not have the ability to search out deeper water. This is my concern.

Common sense tells us that drawing down any waterway is tough for the ecosystem. Remember how long it took the Fox River / Lake Tichigan to recover after it underwent a draw down to facilitate dam repairs?

Currently the Fox River / Drainage Canal is an awesome ecosystem. From Eagles, waterfowl, falcons, deer, coons, beavers, Musky, Northern, Walleye, Perch, Crappie, Drum, Catfish, the list goes on. For an ecosystem to thrive to this extent, everything has to be in perfect order. Natures hand is at work here.

Every year the canal is a favorite stop for migrating waterfowl as it is always the last to freeze. The canal provides habitat, food, and a place to rest for these birds. When the waterway is drawn down, the vegetation that the birds feed on dies, as it is no longer beneath the water's surface. This year, due to low levels and no food, the migrating ducks kept on flying and bypassed the canal all together.

The Drainage District by it's own admission stated that they have not dredged the canal in over 50 years and it is still operating properly. By their own admission (and history) they should be able to dredge it once, and be good for the next 50 years. Why on earth are they requesting a yearly draw down?

Also, if they need to dredge, my preference would be in the middle of Summer so there is not a risk to the fishery.

I have a passion for the outdoors, and what the Drainage District is proposing is short sighted, singular in purpose, and has absolutely no regard for the ecosystem or other people who enjoy the river.

I'm not looking for a debate on the merits of man made waterways or dams - my concern rests with the yearly draw down for the reasons I stated above.

The-Big-Job
The-Big-Job
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 1:46 PM CST
You're right that was a simple statement, much as most of your's have been. A rivers purpose as mother nature intended is to disapate the energy of water and displace sediment. The ecosystem of a river is created as a result of this. So now that a dam has been in place for decades and time has taken its course let's think about this. Has the dam in Rochester drastically challened the basic purpose of the river or its ecosystem down stream? No.(Sure, one can't argue with the concept of a fish ladder) Would an annual drawdown or dam removal severely stress all of the lifeforms in the impounded area above the dam. Yes. I don't know this but would guess that the Rochester dam was built because the drainage canals are so straight, which leads to a higher velocity than mother nature intended and can therefore cause unnatural erosion and poor stream quality. The dam is acting as the regulator as it should and has created a healthy reservoir as a result of being built. If it's managed properly and treated as an equalizer instead of a volume knob everyone should get along just fine. This shouldn't be a conversation about being a victim, the business practices of sod farming, or real estate values. If it's in question I don't live on the canal, nor am I an engineer, or do I represent a sod farm I fish. For many of the same reasons as I'm sure you do. So let's keep this on track and talk some fishing.

Robbollio
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3/26/15 10:54 AM CST
Im not arguing the fact of the dams as a whole. Take them out and what happens. Cds is right. Im arguing your definition of mother nature.... just because we can modify the world around us as humans doesn't mean we should. Just because we can lower the river doesn't mean we should... In your eyes its our right to. Because we can.... that's a junk way to look at it.

The-Big-Job
The-Big-Job
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 10:29 AM CST
Well let's not stop there, let's tear up all the asphalt and concrete and go back to cave dwelling. The field mice could really use all that habitat the roads are covering, and those darn game fish are decimating the minnow populations.

cds
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3/26/15 10:27 AM CST
Felco - The proposed annual drawdown is to "empty" the drainage canals (over 50 miles-worth in this drainage district alone) in anticipation of spring runoff....in part because Wind Lake no longer does a drawdown. That water's got to go somewhere...

The canals were built to drain marshland and make it suitable for agriculture. Some believe the proposed annual drawdown is primarily to protect the sod farms (a handfull of businesses) from spring flooding....sure,remove the dams,abandon the canals and let the farmland return to marshland...

How many area lake levels are artificially high and controlled by dams? Nagawicka,Pewaukee,Oconomowoc,Okauchee,LaBelle,Fowler,School Section,Big Muskego,Little Muskego,Tichigan,Wind,The Phantoms,Beulah,Eagle Spring......

Where would the money come from to compensate landowners for the loss of value?

[This post was last edited on 3/26/15 at 11:37 AM]
Robbollio
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3/26/15 10:12 AM CST
My common sense says beavers don't use concrete and bulldozers....

The-Big-Job
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 9:42 AM CST
There's a great Nature documentary on the benefits that beavers and their dams bring to streams you should take a look at if you have time. This isn't a situation like on the west coast where the dam is impeding the natural spawn of Salmon. When we think about this stuff we gotta use some degree common sense.

katdaddy620
katdaddy620
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 9:27 AM CST
I agree that the dams have done nothing but ruin the natural habitat for fish. The fish can't migrate how they used to now. I know there's still fish obviously but what Edward is saying is true. They need to at least build fish passageways like they did in Thiensville so the fish can properly migrate then everyone's happy. Then you still have your dam and the fish can go up river and not have to worry about running into a dam because the fish passageway goes around the dam with a series of ladders almost like steps. Win win

Robbollio
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3/26/15 9:21 AM CST
What other creature modifies rivers with concrete dams? Edward technically is right...

The-Big-Job
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FISHING REPORT
3/26/15 7:11 AM CST
Mr hands that's a rather selfish comment. I understand that you would be gaining more real estate under that bridge that your living, but I think your missing the big picture. With that logic should we also remove all dams on lakes and hey while were at it maybe all levees too? Humans are part of the eco system as well and we have just as much right to modify it as any other creature does. The impoundment above the dam is not a typical impoundment.

Edward Felcohands
Edward Felcohands
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3/26/15 6:30 AM CST
I definitely feel your pain as a property owner, but in all fairness, the right thing to do for Mother Nature would be to remove the dam completely and return the river to its original condition

Plmlk
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3/25/15 9:06 PM CST
I've mentioned this before cds, every door I knocked on the people were mad as all get out!

They just didn't know where to go with their concerns.

*Racine County owns the dam, but other than to maintain the structural stability of the dam, they have nothing to do with it.

*The Drainage District opens and closes the dam to maintain water levels

*The DNR mandates what the level should be maintained at. If the the Drainage District wants to deviate from the agreed upon water level, they need the DNR's blessing

*The Village of Waterford has nothing to do with the process, but it's residents were showing up at the Village Hall mad as heck about having no water.

It is a convoluted mess! Once the public understood what they had to do to solve the problem, they showed up in numbers.

I'm not saying we are going to win, but we're going to do our best. If we win, I'll be thrilled for mother nature, if we lose, we gave it our best effort.

[This post was last edited on 3/26/15 at 5:55 AM]
cds
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3/25/15 8:21 PM CST
Plum's too modest. He's a born rabble-rouser. lol

If the older woman who sat next to me was any indication,he's stirred a hornet's nest...It hadn't occurred to her before that it might actually SOMEONE'S FAULT that there was no water along her shoreline.

She was mad.

Great job so far,Plum

Displaying Posts 1 through 15 of 1,388


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