Sandstone Flowage Association Overview

Fish Stocking

FishFishThis flowage has a wide range of fish from pan fish to muskies, however, recently there has been a decrease in walleyes. To compensate for this our Association has worked with the DNR to have additional Walleyes stocked. The first stocking was achieved in 2006 when 8,000 finger length walleyes were released. Since the DNR usually releases stocked fish from shore at a boat landing, we had volunteers in a boat release them near weed beds and our sunken fish cribs. More stocking is anticipated.

Fish Habitat

Improving fish habitat is one of our Association's priorities. As of 2007, we placed 23 fish cribs in the flowage. We obtained permits from the DNR and also followed all their specific requirements. This included using green oak logs resulting in an 8' x 8' x 4' high structure placed in deep water. Holes are drilled near theend of each log with metal rebar going up through these logs to hold them together. Logs were also tied together with heavy aluminum wire, as were the tree limbs within this structure and the many cement blocks that were also used. All work was some by volunteers and many of the materials were donated by area businesses. We are exploring a range of other means to further improve the fish habitat in this flowage.

Excerpts from four page preliminary DNR report on the survey they conducted in the Sandstone Flowage in 2003 and comparing it to one done in 1990; expect that the DNR will provide the full final report for our fall meeting. - T. Ver Haagh May 28,2004

  By Net By Shocking
  1990 2003 1990 2003
  # size # size # size # size
Walleye 128 8-28.4 16 10.5-24 17 9.5-18.4 6 6.5-15.4
L Bass 45 6.5-12.9 99 7.5-21.4 23 4.5-15.9 27 2.9-17.4
S Bass 65 9- 18.4 1 17.2 5 11.5-12.9 31 6.0-19.9
N Pike 286 8.5-36.4 285 8.5-36.4 3 18.5-21.9 16 8.5-25.4
Musky 4 10.6-40 3 11 - 42 0   4 9 - 21.9

FishPer Greg Kornely DNR......Essentially Sandstone Flowage has a good and diversified fishery...the numbers do not suggest a great deal of change with the exception of the walleyes. The bass populations, both largemouth and smallmouth should provide quality fishery in Sandstone. The northern pike population appears almost identical to what it was back in 1990, as does the muskellunge. There are a few muskellunge around but not that many. They should be viewed as adding to the variety in the flowage and not as a threat to any other species......Although I did not include any specific data on the panfish populations, the bluegills captured this year (2003) looked much better than in 1990. The size structure also looked better.

The most significant change is to the walleye population. Back in 1990 I found that there were strong and weak year classes of walleyes in the flowage. This suggests that reproductive success was variable. This could be because of spring water temperatures and flows. This is probably the same thing that is happening now except that poor year classes have been strung together for a few years. This year the increased flow regimes may have a positive effect on the walleye year class.

FishWithout getting much deeper into the data I think that stocking walleyes may be necessary to give Sandstone Flowage a shot in the arm so to speak. I will propose to do this in the near future. I hope that my short letter does not suggest that things are not good. Everyone who lives on Sandstone Flowage is very fortunate. It is a beautiful resource to look at, to navigate and to fish. Please don't take it for granted.

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