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Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company built a dam
on the Flambeau River downstream from its confluence with
the Turtle River. The dam flooded 16 natural lakes and formed
an impoundment of approximately 19,000 acres. The flowage
was constructed as a reservoir to augment river flows and sustain hydroelectric plants
operated downstream by electric utilities and paper mills. The dam also provided flood
protection and created a unique recreational resource.
chose higher ground, others left the area. As compensation for property lost when the
flowage was built, property owners were offered money or adjacent land. Most chose a
cash settlement and the shoreline today remains sparsely developed.
The flowage, in turn, attracted more tourists. What had been good fishing before
became even better, and more people came to test the waters. New resorts opened to
service the reinvigorated tourist trade.
Over the years these resorts have had many visitors, some of them notorious. John
Dillinger frequented the area. Al Capone, the Chicago gangster, fished the flowage many
times, especially in the years after his release from prison. Charlie Comiskey, founder of
the White Sox baseball team, used Jerome's Hunting and Fishing Club on Trude Lake
as a place for rest and relaxation for himself and his team.
In 1990 , the Stewardship Fund and gubernatorial support allowed the state to acquire
22,343 acres from Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company, including lands
submerged by the flowage -- about 90 percent of the shoreline and adjacent lands. With
additional acquisitions, state ownership now comprises approximately 27,000 acres
including over 212 miles of shoreline and 195 islands.
The flowage is managed by the Department of Natural Resources using a master plan
developed with citizen advice. Management practices aim to perpetuate the natural
character of the shoreline, preserve its scenic qualities and protect its plant and animal
communities. Managers strive to preserve the quality and wealth of outdoor recreation
on the flowage including fishing, hunting, camping, nature observation, trapping,
boating and canoeing.
|About the Turtle Flambeau Flowage
|*** Nearly 19,000 Acres of Water *** 212 Miles of Shoreline *** 66 Remote
Campsites *** 90% State Owned *** 195 Islands *** Top Walleye Population per
Acre of Water in the State *** Excellent Small Mouth Bass, Crappie, & Bluegill
Fishing *** Top Producer of Monster Musky *** 6 Public Boat Landings ***