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Gary Engberg - River Currents - Clements Fishing Barge for Fall Action and Their Possible Demise
Many of you have put your boats away for the year, but there still is good fishing left on many of Wisconsin's waters including both lakes and rivers. Lakes freeze up quicker than
rivers in Wisconsin and most of the Midwest mainly because rivers have a flow or currents and keep moving which makes freezing up more difficult and colder weather. Plus, some rivers
such as the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers have seasons for certain species (walleye, sauger) that never close. There are still many options for those who still would like to fish,
if only for a day or two. Plus, this is a good time to catch some tasty fish for a fresh meal or some for a winter night's meal.
If you haven't put your boat away for the year, do some research and call a few bait shops and see what is biting in the area. Another alternative would be to put on a good and
thick pair of waders (4ML thick) and wade some of the area's lakes and rivers. The Wisconsin River is very wadable this time of the year as are many other local rivers like the
Yahara, Rock, Crayfish, Fox, Pecatonica, and Wolf Rivers. The main fall species that are going to be active are walleyes, saugers, northern pike, and now even muskies with the
season open till the end of December in the southern part of the state. Last year was the first year with the new late season, but the lakes froze early and prevented any
late angling for muskies.
There also is some wading and shore fishing on the Madison Chain of Lakes that can be very good and productive. Good locations in the Madison area are; all along the University
shoreline from James Madison Park to Picnic Point, the Tenney Park break wall, the Yahara River between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, casting from shore in front of Lake Monona's
Convention Center, and near the Madison Gas and Electric outlet on Lake Monona.
If you'd like to go fishing where all you have to do is drive a few hours then going to Genoa, Wisconsin and Clement's Fishing Barge is the answer this time of the year. Clements is
about a two hour drive from Madison and you don't have to trailer your boat and hassle with launching and hoping everything is running well to fish. By going to Clement's Fishing Barge,
you'll most likely catch fish and they even have the equipment to rent for catching some fish. They also have built a cabin with all the amenities, so you can now stay with them right on
the Mississippi River with all the comforts of home. The Clement's are celebrating their 75th year on the Mississippi River, but there may be problems with the Army Corps of Engineers and
the future is in doubt. The fishing is very good till closing which is usually around the end of November. Walleyes, saugers, northern pike, and panfish are abundant and often some of
the biggest walleyes of the year are caught as many fish feed heavily for the cold months of winter.
The Clement family began operating on the Mississippi River in the fall of 1937. The barge or float is the largest on the river and is located in a prime fishing location for spring and fall fishing. But, now Mark Clement and his family need help to save the family business and also much of the Mississippi River fishing and its traditions. A company, Symbiotics, wants to put hydro power at Lock # 8 at Genoa,
Wisconsin. According to owner Mark Clements, "this proposal would be catastrophic for Clements Fishing Barge and our fishing industry. Symbiotics wants to put turbines across
all the tainer gates, resulting in blocking half the river ... This would eliminate fishing floats, hinder migration of fish by over 50% resulting in lower hatchings, it would also
further restrict fishing below the dam, and what would be left of this prime fishing area, due to a submerged dike that they want to put in, would be a silted in area with a much
lower river flow. These proposals would be economic suicide to all our small towns along the river not to mention decimating our fishing in some areas of the Mississippi River."
Too many species are all ready in danger of extinction and much lower reproduction numbers. "Please contact your local Senator or Representative and ask them to put a stop to this.
More importantly, you need to contact the federal government at the following address to lodge a comment and complaint. Once you log on find the document number that will show up
a P-13010-000. Or do a search if you don't see it right away. Here is the address, www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp
Click on the ecomment ! If you have any questions email me (Mark Clements). Thanks for helping save this part of the river. Please pass this on to all your friends.
Also send in a comment to Congressman Ron Kind at his web site www.kind.house.gov."
It would be a shame to lose an institution like Clement's Fishing Barge and the economic well-being of so many people that have made their livings on the Mississippi River.
Many thousands of people come to this area to fish, boat, and enjoy the outdoors along the Mississippi River. We don't need another dam to affect the natural flow of the
Mississippi River and its surrounding area. What is needed here in Wisconsin and throughout the country is fewer dams not more!
But, if you have ever been to Clements and the many small businesses up and down the river support them in this time of crisis. This is a wonderful place to go
to in the next month to fish and watch the thousands of migrating waterfowl and birds. There still are days when the sun will be out and shining, the temperatures
can be in the 50's and 60's, and most of all the fish will likely be biting. Besides the rental cabin at Clements, there are numerous "ma and pa" motels in the area
reasonably priced with everything you need for a day or two of fishing. With the existence of the fishing barge in question, why not try visiting Clements Fishing
Barge for the first time and hopefully not the last time. Where else can you have good fishing with guides to help for $16.00 a day ($5.00 for children) which includes
your short boat ride from the Wisconsin side of the river to the barges location across to the Minnesota side. Food, tackle, and accessories are all available on the
float with the exception of live bait which may be purchased at Captain Hook's Tackle which is located by Clements boat. Go to their web site at
www.clementsfishing.com for all the information
you may need in equipment, gear, and an up to date fishing report. Support this institution and have a day of good fishing!
For more fishing articles visit www.garyengbergoutdoors.com
Gary Engberg Outdoors
P.O. Box 92
Sauk City, WI 53583
Host of Outdoor Horizons on 1670-WTDY, Saturday's 8:00am-8:30am