Bob Haase’s Another Can of Worms

The Economic Impact of People Not Fishing

We have a cottage in northern Wisconsin that we try to spend as much time at as possible.  I have fished in this area since the early 1970’s and know the area lakes quite well. The one thing I have noticed especially during the last 10 years is less and less people fishing the area lakes. I used to try to get out on some of the lakes very early in the morning just so that I could get a parking spot at some of boat landings. There used to be so many people traveling to northern Wisconsin to fish that I sometimes had to fish another lake because there was no place to park at the landings where I wanted to fish. I don’t have that problem anymore. 

During Memorial Day weekend this year I could find plenty of places to park at any of the landing I wanted to.  It is not just this year as there seems to be less and less people at the landings every year.  I do not see the same problem around Fond du Lac as the boat landings fill up fast.  I think this is because we have some of the best fishing in Wisconsin, if not the Midwest, right here on the Winnebago system.  I think many people take the great fishing we have for granted but it was not always this good.

The great fishing we have right now has a lot to do with the great working relationship between area fishing clubs and the WDNR staff out of the Oshkosh office.  When people work together a lot can be accomplished and the Winnebago fishery is a good example of that.  Walleyes for Tomorrow is one of the clubs that has worked hard to improve the walleye fishery and the money raised by members and other fishermen and women attending the banquets made this possible.

Those that fish the Winnebago system are aware of the great fishery, but I don’t think the general public is aware of the economic impact this brings to the area.  In northern Wisconsin I see resorts closing along with many other businesses having tough times.  When the fishing was good up north and people traveled there to fish things were a lot different. It is not all doom and gloom, but there seems to be a correlation between the number of cars and boat trailers at the landings and the economics of area businesses. People come to northern Wisconsin for other things besides fishing but I believe that the quality of fishing and the number of people fishing play a greater role than most people would expect.

Fishing on the Winnebago system is great and getting even better.  If you have never fished before you might want to give it a try to find out how much fun it is.  If you used to fish and haven’t fished lately you might want to give it another try.  It is a Win Win situation in that you have a lot of fun, you relieve some of your stresses, you catch some tasty fish to eat, and you contribute to the economics of the Fond du Lac area.  If you don’t have a boat, you will have one of the largest shore fishing opportunities in the state right in Lakeside Park once the dredging is done and the habitat improvements are in place.  It’s time to go fishing!!!

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” at 9:10 a.m. each Thursday on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.