View Full Version : Day Lake Flowage

09-17-2009, 02:50 PM
I had heard that they where planing to draw down the Day Lake Flowage in September sometime, does anyone have a upate on this?

Steve Heiting
09-17-2009, 03:08 PM

Day Lake has a soft spot in my heart, so I Googled it. Here's what I found:

On the bottom of Page 2 it describes the project as beginning on September 20 to "Conduct one or more winter drawdowns of Day Lake to reduce excessive vegetation to improve the fishery and drop trees along the shoreline to provide fish structure."

Back when Day was first flooded, it was loaded with timber and the fishing was outstanding.

Steve Heiting


09-17-2009, 03:33 PM
Thanks Steve! I did the same but I guess I did not look far enough. Went there early this summer and caught 7 that day, nothing big but fun anyhow. Buddy is going up this weekend and wanted to know if it had started yet or not. Don't sound like anyone is in favor of the draw down, not surprised.

09-18-2009, 06:14 AM
Ah yes, Day Lake.

Very sweet little lake, lots of fish for sure. Campgrounds not to bad either.

I really have enjoyed that little gem. Do you think long run what they are doing will be bad for the fishing?


09-18-2009, 06:24 AM
It always seemed to be to be loaded with stunted muskies, you could catch many, but seldom a fish over 32 inches. Fun lake to take a kid musky fishing.

Steve Heiting
09-18-2009, 07:45 AM

Back when the DNR was looking to implement a 28-inch size limit on Day I looked at my catch records for that lake and really couldn't argue that it was loaded with small fish. Day was my go-to lake when I lived in Ashland and had somebody with me who needed to catch a musky.

When I reviewed my records for Day, I'd had something like 188 muskies of all sizes visit my boat, but only four over 40 inches -- 46 1/2 (25 pounds), 44, 41 and 40 inches. The 46 1/2 and 40 were kept, but that's kind of the way things were with better fish only 20 years ago.

I did lose an absolute giant, a big black fish with a giant head and a pretty skinny body, likely an old river fish that was a holdover when the lake was initially dammed up.

Beautiful lake, awesome campground, but one I haven't fished in over 15 years.

Steve Heiting


Matt DV
09-18-2009, 08:43 AM
Day Lake has a soft spot for me also. It's where I initially caught the muskie bug 20 some years ago. Beautiful body of water.

I've had some correspondence with the WDNR biologist over the years about the musky population in the lake, and I've looked at the raw data from the fish survey/netting results. Very poor size structure. Can't remember the exact details off-hand, but it's something like <5% of the population even exceeding 32".

I've heard from lots of folks who are opposed the draw-down. Personally, I think a step in any direction away from the status-quo is step in the right direction. From what I understand, the rationale for the draw down is that reducing the weed densities will allow for easier musky predation on panfish, which will potentially improve musky growth rates, while also improving panfish growth rates by thinning out what is also an over-abundant, stunted population of panfish. Also, a potential consequence is that there could be a loss of some musky due to competition and cannabalism as they are confined to a smaller lake pool over fall and winter - which would potentially thin out the overcrowded musky population and thereby increase growth rates.

Hopefully, it works. I haven't been on Day Lake in many years, but would love to go back there if size structures improve.

09-18-2009, 09:15 AM
The only drawback is that it almost seems anything the DNR does to improve something usually backfires.

09-19-2009, 08:00 PM
I was just up there about a week ago. A business client wanted to go Muskie fishing. He fishes for walleyes and had not caught a Muskie in about 15 years. I suggested Day Lake since it was within about 30 minutes from his house and figured that his odds of catching a muskie from that lake would be good.

I had not fished the lake for about 8 years but had always liked fishing it. It was a lake that I fished alot in the late 80's early 90's when I first got the bug.

Pulled into the landing and remembered why I liked it so much. There was not a vehicle there. We fished for about 4 hours that day, never another boat on the water, in fact there were no boats by the campground, we saw no other activity that late afternoon. We ended up catching a 29" and 33" and had about a dozen follows. At the end of day as we sat in parking lot My client was happy about catching his Muskie and I was happy because it reminded me why I started to Muskie fish.

Bottom line - its a beautiful lake to fish, and I hope they get it right if they do this drawdown.

09-20-2009, 01:18 PM
Buddy of mine was there yesterday. Looks like the water is down about 2 feet so far. They had a couple of follows from mid 30" fish, followed long on fig 8's but no hook up. Had also caught a couple of bass and a bunch of small gills. I hope they dont screw this lake up.

09-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Was up there 2 weeks ago.Took 2 kids and their dad.In the end the kids were tired of reeling in the fish and wanted to leave.We had 12 in the boat up to 32"s and 8 large mouth up to 3#s.Love the lake.
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