MADISON – The fishing season on Little Muskego Lake will close Nov. 1, 2017, due to a water level drawdown aimed at stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“Our goal is to help the fishery survive the draw down,” says Ben Heussner, Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist for Waukesha County.
Water has been drawn down in Little Muskego Lake so that part of the lake bottom is exposed to freeze out starry stonewort, an invasive plant that can harm fish populations. The drawdown is concentrating fish in the southern part of the lake, making them more vulnerable to angler harvest over the winter.
The current water level is about 74 inches below the normal high water mark. At this level, the lake has about 34 percent less water by volume and 50 percent less by surface acreage.
“Closing the season will conserve the game fish supply until water levels are restored and insure continued opportunities for good fishing,” Heussner says. The season will revert to normal fishing regulations on March 5, 2018. For more information on Wisconsin fishing regulations, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “fishing regulations.”
DNR held a public meeting on the planned closure earlier this month and the meeting was well attended, with the majority of people favoring season closure, Heussner says.
Starry stonewort is a submerged invasive plant that invades lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and slow moving rivers. It is native to Europe and western Asia and forms dense mats in lakes and can significantly reduce the diversity of other aquatic plants. Dense mats of vegetation can also impede movement of fish, fish spawning activity, water flow, and recreational activities.