Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#41 Posted : Wednesday, September 5, 2018 5:42:01 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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I'm kinda torn about that dam too.

The big factor is that I think a lot of people visit that lake every year. It's an important local asset to bring people (and their cash) into the area for swimming, hiking, boating and hunting. I can't imagine it would be safe to come in there as it is, unless they fixed it up and cleared the debris.

Jersey Valley dam was built in the 1960s for flood control, but was rebuild awhile back to fix damage and make it more of a recreational lake. If you look closely on the video, you can see grout that was previously applied to cracks in the exposed rock ledge in the washed out cut. Many similar dams in the area have had spillway cuts put in or have been removed entirely, as their effectiveness for flood control is questionable.

I've never fished there (although it was on the bucket list) but I imagine there are (or were) Trout in the lake and beyond, as it's shown as Class I water from it's headwaters all the way down into the lower parts of the West Fork. I always wanted to fish the creek from Hwy P up to the spillway, but could never figure out who to ask for permission to walk the banks on the private land below the park.

From the video you can see the stream below the dam has been inundated with mud and debris, so I doubt Trout fishing will be very good there for awhile. I wonder how much of that washed down through Bloomington and Avalanche? This area has a long and troubled history of flood damage.

It will be a massive and expensive thing to fix that breech. Maybe there's some federal money available to help. It will be a hard choice for Vernon county.

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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