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Quietly, Antigo Lake Growing Great Fish

January 9, 2018

Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo Daily Journal

Ssssshhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but one of the best fishing holes in the area might be just out the back door.

Quietly, more and more anglers have been dipping a line—especially through the ice—in the three basins that make up Antigo Lake, and they have been increasingly pulling up some very nice fish.

Just last week two Antigo teens pulled out a a plump 30-inch Northern pike and took a photo to prove it. And there have been reports of nice catches of perch and crappies as well.

Trevin Walbeck, 13, and Carter Michalik, 15, of Antigo
spent some time during the holiday break from school
ice fishing on Antigo Lake and pulled this nice-sized pike
out using a tip-up. Walbeck is shown holding the fish that
measured in at 30 inches.

The word is out, Antigo Street Commissioner Bob Piskula, who lives just north of the lake and also controls the Fourth Avenue dam that regulates the levels, said. ‘It’s a good fishing lake and it’s great to see people use it. That’s what it is there for.

There is some debate over whether winter drawdowns, designed to reduce the risk of springtime flooding, helps or hurts fish populations. One thing that is for certain that lower water levels do congregate the fish in deeper pools and when the anglers find them, watch out.

The lake, now ringed by parks, trails and boardwalks, has certainly been discovered by people of all ages interested in all sorts of recreation.

And other things the city has been doing in recent years may also be playing a role, including cutting of cattails and weed control.

The city of Antigo and the Inland Lake District continues to see the value in the Antigo lake basins, Sarah Repp, the city’s park and recreation director, explained. Improving water quality within the basins as well as water flowing to and from the basins has been a high priority. Studies, lake treatments, and follow-up analysis will allow our community to continue to move forward in efforts to capitalize on another community asset.

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