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Lake Winnebago

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      Lake Winnebago is a 137,700-acre (55,700 ha) freshwater lake in eastern Wisconsin. Lake Winnebago is about 30 by 10 miles (48 by 16 km), with 88 miles (142 km) of shoreline, an average depth of 15.5 feet (4.7 m) and a maximum depth of 21 feet (6.4 m). The lake has many shallow reefs along the west shore, and a drop-off type shoreline on the east. There are also several islands along the west shore. Lake Winnebago has two primary tributaries, the Wolf River and the Fox River. It is drained by the Fox River which flows north towards Green Bay and serves as part of the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway. Lake Winnebago is part of a larger system of lakes in Wisconsin known as the Winnebago Pool.


    Lake Winnebago is one of the more heavily fished lakes in the state. Many fishermen consider it one of the nation's top walleye fisheries. Other species present include bluegill, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, perch, burbot, white bass, freshwater drum, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and smallmouth bass.

Ice fishing is popular on Lake Winnebago. It is not uncommon for 10,000 cars to park on Lake Winnebago during the ice fishing season. Expansion cracks on the ice are bridged, and many cities along the east and west shores plow roads on the icy surface. Sauger and walleye predominate, with rare perch and white bass catches.

The spearfishing season for lake sturgeon is in February. The first year of regulated sturgeon spearing was 1903. All sturgeon spearing was banned from 1915 to 1931. The lake had the largest population of sturgeon in the United States in 2003. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulates the number of fish taken each year.

Early spring is dominated by walleye and sauger fishing. Sauger, also known as sand pike, bite the best in cooler water. June fishing is the peak time for white bass, and July for perch. Fishing declines in fall.

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Fishing Hot Spots Topo Maps
Lake Winnebago - Each detailed map provides depth, contours, structure, boat ramps, and updated fishing information. Lake Winnebago fishing maps also include lake info such as gamefish abundance, forage base, water clarity, weedline depth, bottom composition, complete latitude/longitude grid lines and dozens of GPS waypoints. Includes GPS coordinates for specific lake features and structure. » Lake Winnebago Fishing Map


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Lake Winnebago NEWS!

Anglers fish on thin ice in Winnebago County
The ice is thin, but it's enough for some eager anglers to get a jump start on the ice fishing season. Right now a portion of the ice on Lake Butte des Morts is about two inches. Some fishermen say the first ice is the best ice if you're looking for a ...

and more »

Winnebago County aerators in use
Mason City Globe Gazette
FOREST CITY | The Winnebago County Conservation Board has turned on aerators at Thorpe Park's Lake Catherine west of Forest City, the Ambroson Recreation Area south of Leland and the Florence Recreation Area west of Thompson. They will remain in ...

Fond du Lac Reporter

'The Frozen Chosen' wins Midwest Emmy
Fond du Lac Reporter
"THELMA was proud to play a role in the world premiere of The Frozen Chosen, which so eloquently documented the unique spear fishing culture and traditions of Lake Winnebago," Kevin Miller, executive director at THELMA, said in the release. "The fact ...

Chills and thrills
Newnan Times-Herald
The only thing I found remotely appealing was spearing sturgeon on Lake Winnebago. Through a hole in the ice. Speaking of fish, one of the “100 Things to do in Wisconsin in Winter” is visiting Prairie du Chien on New Year's eve for the annual Carp Drop.

and more »

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Plan to bypass Fox River lock prompts concerns over invasive species
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Under state law, Rapide Croche lock near Kaukauna in Outagamie County must remain closed as a precaution to help stop invasive species from Lake Michigan spreading upstream to the prized fishery of the Lake Winnebago system. But the authority aims to ...
Fox River locks group pushing for lift station support; plan opponents stand

all 32 news articles »

Sarley: Just like that, it's ice fishing season
Northwest Herald
As soon as your feet get wet, your ice fishing adventure is over for the day. There is no way you can stay out with damp feet. I like a product called Camp Dry for waterproofing shoes and boots. Don't use this to spray your boots in the house. The odor ...

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