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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 maps

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!

What's the story with scum in the channel at Lakeside Park?
Fond du Lac Reporter
When the water is relatively clear, many fishermen swear that this is a great spot to catch fish. For that ... "We work very hard with our wastewater and storm water systems to decrease the suspended solids, phosphorus and other nutrients in the water ...

Moose Fest to take place at Riverside Park
Appleton Post Crescent
It features a carnival, food and retail vendors, professional fishermen providing free, one- hour fishing trips for children on Lake Winnebago and free fishing seminars. In additioin, signed jerseys from professional fishermen like Tommy Skarlis and ...

Hunting season nears, but anglers still active
Lake Winnebago is the most profound example of the predator/prey relationship's impact on sport fishing. When prey species representation is low on Winnebago, the fishing is great. When there is abundant bait in the water, fishing tends to be tough ...

DNR: Impact of gizzard shad on the Winnebago System studied
Appleton Post Crescent
This is the case on the Winnebago System, where shad are an important forage item for a multitude of fish including walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, and largemouth bass. Lake sturgeon also opportunistically feed on dead or dying gizzard shad during ...

Outdoors almanac: West shore rivers prime for bites
Green Bay Press Gazette
A free download of the DNR's new "Healthy Dishes with Wisconsin Fishes" is available in a flip-book format for easier viewing at The book contains 25 recipes from anglers and chefs, as ...

Dates set for 'Fishing Has No Boundaries' event
Fond du Lac Reporter
Boats will depart from Oven Island each morning, allowing fishermen and women the opportunity to enjoy picturesque Lake Winnebago. Fishing Has No Boundaries serves those who have physical or mental challenges. This annual event includes fishing, ...

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