Muskie Marks Wisconsin Fishing Musky Guide Service for Lake Redstone, Castle Rock Flowage, Lake Petenwell Flowage and the Wisconsin River. Fishing reports, musky fishing articles, muskie fishing tips and musky fishing news with professional Wisconsin fishing guide Mark Saemisch.

Fishing Tips & Articles
by Fishing Guide Mark Saemisch aka "Muskie Mark"

Increase your conservation effort and you'll increase your catch rate, whether it's catching fish, catching rays or catching customers.
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Increase your conservation effort and you'll increase your catch rate, whether it's catching fish, catching rays or catching customers.


Every year I hear people complain about what they are not catching on certain lakes, or the condition of these lakes. We've all heard that the squeaky wheel wheel gets the grease, but somebody needs to be holding the grease gun and there also needs to be an ample supply of grease. If you've ever heard someone complain about something like this or you yourself may catch yourself doing it. It's easy to do, and totally understandable when you see your favorite lake or river going down hill, it's a bummer! I urge you to not get caught up in the negativity of it. Most of the problems that we see on lakes and rivers aren't quick fixes and negativity just sucks up valuable time. In the rest of this article I will tell you how you can get involved or do somethings about the problems that you have with your bodies of water. So I hope that this gets some of your wheels turning.


Ask yourself why do I want to get involved?

Maybe you own a business on or near this body of water. When I say near I mean with in ten miles of. Ever since civilization began we have needed water to survive and it has become part of our culture along the way. I don't know if any of you have noticed but certain places like Hayward WI, Lake Geneva or Lake Tahoe have done well in the world. I looks like water is not only important for drinking and farming and bathing and so on, but it is equally important for conducting business. A body of water that is well taken care of is a huge attraction to area businesses.

Maybe you own a house on a lake. If you do, I'm sure that you probably use the lake in many different ways from fishing to water skiing to swimming. You may do this your selves or you may invite guests. The quality of this lake may have a lot to do with the quality of time you or your guests spend on this lake. It will for sure make a difference in the value of your home on the lake.

Maybe you are a guide like me. It could be that you are a fisherman or just a local that likes to take his or her family on a body of water. The quality that this body of water is kept in will have leverage on whether or not your future fun or endeavors turn out to be good or bad.

I now ask you, why wouldn't you want to get involved in your local water conservation?


Can I afford to get involved?

The real question hear is can you afford not to? In this economy a lake can help you or hurt you. I mean this if you are in business, and I mean this if you are dirt poor. First of all if your in business and you've read this article this far the picture should be clear to you. However if you're dirt poor your next meal might be a plate of bluegills. There are two ways to afford getting involved. Time and effort is one way. If you're like me you may give a lot of time. I'm constantly doing something for Muskies Matter of Sauk and Juneau counties. There are many clubs and organizations that you may get involved in locally. If you are busy with a business and you don't have much time, you can always help out by donating to one of these local organizations. If your poor and have no time, send your kids to get involved. Most of these groups have great mentoring programs and kid days to help share in what they do. Most of these events are very fun filled with nothing but the kids enjoyment in mind. Your kids may be the future presidents of any organizations. Not to mention a few scholarships are given out by some of these clubs. Now that we've went over the fact that most all of us are in direct effect of how our lakes are taken care of and the fact that most of us can get involved, I will get into lake quality problems and possible fixes. By the time I'm done with ya, you will be able to notice the problems and without complaining about them you can get involved in helping to fix them before it's too late.


Let's say you are new to musky fishing or you just aren't as good at it as you want to be. You can combat this situation by hitting waters that have more muskies in them. Until you get used to catching them you won't find out their quirks unless it is second hand. So by hitting lakes and rivers that have more muskies you will gain insite and hands on experiance. Say that you have no lakes with big numbers of muskies in them but they are there. The simple solution to this is get involved in a local muskie club and help to do somthing about it. There are many ways to help up the numbers of these fish. Stocking efforts come from tournaments, raffles and many forms of fund raisers. I've been known to sit in a dunk tank every year at the Elroy fair to help raise stocking efforts. I was dunked over 400 times one year. Feel free to join in the fun next year if you want. Another thing that we have done as a organization is help the DNR with their stocking effort. When they stock these fish they often have to leave and go to another lake right away. This makes the fish very vulnerable to blue herions. The fish take about 3 hour to become orientated to the new water and they are all just sitting in one spot like a smorgasboard for the birds.We take some of the fish out to other parts of the lake and spread them out to get rid of the smorgasboard effect. The rest of them we will stay there and baby sit until we can step on the bank and they dart off. If this happens we know that they are ready for the rest of nature. One has no reason to complain about not catching. These are some of the ways you can improve your situation.


Another problem that you may confront on your local lake is a algae bloom every year. Algae blooms have gotton worse in the area that I'm in so I'm planning to become more active about it. One way is by educating people about the situation. What causes algae blooms? Answer nutrients in the water. What is the major nutrient? Phospherous is the major cause of algae bloom. What can we do about this? The first thing that you need to do is understand how phospherous works. It is an element. It can not be destroyed and there for it just keeps cycling through our existance. It may have been in the ground naturally from decaying vegitaion like falling leaves, or animals craping on the ground. It then gets eaten up by growing plant matter or runs of to lakes and rivers due to rain. These that I mentioned are non point sources. Then there are point sources. I work at one of these for my day job. I work at a waste water plant for the city of Elroy. All point sources are regulated to very low phosphorus out put to streams. It is said that 80% of phosphorouse run off is from non point sources. So trying to control run of is a good thing. But then there are those point sources that are located right next to the lakes. Like bad septic systems of houses that are locate on the lakes. It is imortant that we try to keep our septic systems up to par. Now for the real deal on phosphorous. The 80% that I mentioned is only 80% of the run off. Remmember me telling you that phospherous is an element and that it is not destroyed? When it goes into the lake it pretty much stays there and keeps getting recycled by the plant life that is in the lake. Algae has a short life span and it reproduces fast. Part way through the summer with all the dying algae starting to decay, the oxygen levels get destroyed in the lake. This is part of the problem. The other part is water clairity affected by the algae doesn't let the sunlight get to good oxygen producing weeds. And the water clarity problem also creates other problems like less sight prededation on certain fish like gizard shad, and this creates population explosions in a few years. Holy cow what a ball of problems. This is all caused by the phosphorus that just keeps getting recycled over and over. And this amount that stays in the lake makes the 80% run off look minuscule in comparison. Many people have been complaining on local lakes by where I live. Everythiong from bluegreen algae on Castle Rock and Petenwell to gizzard shad on lake Redstone. Now many of you in these area may be reading this and are wondering how can we fix these problem? Well here we go. We can try to look at point and non point sources and make sure that we are doing what we can to keep less nutreints from going into the lakes and rivers. However our state has went overkill on this because recent legislation is going to cause waste water plants which are the least of our worries to have to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to do very little while ignoring the real problem that has already been in the lakes from many years ago. This is because they have control over the point sources. Don't you just love polotics? Anyway we can attack the phosphorous in the lakes by removeing it naturally. Letting weeds grow and removing them by cutting before they die helps. This is much like cutting your grass and bagging it. The element is now in the plant life that you are removing. You don't remove the whole plant, because you still want it to keep growing and using phosphorous throughout the summer. Some plants use lots and lots of phospherous. Many reed type plants like bullrushes are good things to have growing next to your lake front. These use aot of nutreints and they grow all summer, then you can clip them off put them in a bundle and give them to a farmer to put on his field and the nutreint will release there. The whole trick to this is to cut them before they die. Another thing you can do is float barley straw at the end of your dock in each bay. This makes H2 o2 and kills the algae. This doesn't hurt any fish and will let the nutrients get used by good plants instead of blooming algae. Then these weeds get cut later and you remove more phospherous. Wow we are on a role now. Finally in the phospherous removal program there is dreadging. There is lots of phospherous on the bottom of the lake and if it is removed by dreadging, you will be removing tons of these nutreints. But this should only have to be done near the end of a man made lake's life cycle which is around 100 years. Then after dreadging you are starting over again. This is all simple and common sense, but you should get involve with your local lake protection district, and water regulations person for proper permiting.

Castle Rock And Petenwell are different as they are controlled by the power companies. There are weed beds that get killed every year or they don't get good growth until late in the year due to the water levels getting dropped when the ice is still on the lake. The ice is dropped down on the weedbeds and they are killed. Then the bluegreen algae starts to bloom early in the summer, because there is not enough weeds to take up the phospherous at the time the algae starts to bloom. There is a simple fix here. Stop dropping the water levels when the ice is on the water and stop dropping them so low. This year and other years of recent I have seen many Dead catfish on Castle Rock and many dead waleye on Redstone during the summer. And I've seen this earlier now than ever before. This got really bad after the 2008 floods. I would say that this just magnafied our problems. That being said we as conservationist have some work to do.


Let's move on to another topic, habitat. We can be breif on this wether you are a fisherman or a weekend worrior with your jet ski. You should care about habitat. Obviously if you fish for muskies you want good habitat for all fish not just muskies and not just fish. Every thing that is involved in the cycle of life by any given body of water should be there. Including frogs and ducks, you name it. Even if you own a house on the lake and don't fish you should still care. Your kid may be the next fisherman in the family or the next guy you try to sell your house to may be looking for the perfect lake to fish on. When you have all things in harmony on a beutiful body of water it is truly breathtaking. And when I say all things I mean with us included. A couple ways of haveing this harmony is for all of us to try and get along, because if we can't then we can't acomplish the other things mentioned on habitat. I think the best way to do this is not to create ordinances that cause people to get mad at each other, but to just educate and show what can be done, by leading by example. Some people like to cut the grass all the way down to a lake. I will agree that his does look nice, but it is not good for a lake. So I urge those of you who might want to lead by example to just go a little out of your way and create something more natural and beutiful that will benifit your water front for the health of your lake. There is no push or shove here, just the showcasing of good ideas and how it can still be a nice looking property. If you do this maybe someone else will take notice and do the same.

What we just talked about here was habitat on water front but there is also other forms like the making of good spawning areas for certain fish and also things like fish cribs can be benificial.


Now for the wrap up of all of this. We have nothing to complain about in the fact that life is what we make it. We must realize that our lakes and river can be very good to us if we are good to them. We must take charge and make something happen, and all that I mentioned can be useful, but there may be other answers out there as well. So I ask each and every one of you to look at what you can do to help. It may be a little or alot. What ever you can do, just do it and it will be better and you'll feel better having known you did it. So what ever you do on or near a body of water I hope you enjoy your time with many others and if you are fishing I hope you catch a big one. Then I want you to look around and realize that there was some sort of effort put in by someone to help you enjoy what you are expierancing. Then pay it forward.


Thank you for reading

Mark saemisch

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© Muskie Marks Wisconsin Fishing Musky Guide Service for Lake Redstone, Castle Rock Flowage, Lake Petenwell Flowage and the Wisconsin River. Fishing reports, musky fishing articles, muskie fishing tips and musky fishing news with professional Wisconsin fishing guide Mark Saemisch.