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The Winneconne Chamber of Commerce describes its town as a "hidden treasure," and the same can be said of Lake Winneconne. The excellent fishing and access to the 170,000 acres of water in the Winnebago Pool make Lake Winneconne truly one of Wisconsin's treasures.
The historical range of spellings for Lake Winneconne can mean anything from "Land of Skull and Bones" to "Land of Dirty Water." Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Fed by the Wolf River, Lake Winneconne is part of the Winnebago Pool which includes Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Poygan, and Lake Winnebago. The lake is a fantastic spot for recreation including boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and showboat cruises.
Anglers will find healthy populations of large mouth, small mouth and white bass, along with catfish, northern pike and walleye. There is great ice fishing in the winter and every five years, anglers can try their luck against the prehistoric lake sturgeon. Spear fishing for sturgeon starts in February every year on Lake Winnebago and every fifth year on the other Winnebago Pool lakes. It's not uncommon for these living fossils of the Cretaceous Period to reach a hundred years old and grow to over a hundred pounds.
With a maximum depth of only nine feet, Lake Winneconne is a fairly shallow lake. It's big on fun, however, as evidenced by the people of Winneconne. In 1967 Winneconne was omitted from the official Wisconsin Highway Map. Taking the revelation in stride, the people of Winneconne made a plan to secede from the state of Wisconsin. The plan included promoting the Village's president, James Coughlin, to "King Kong," and on July 21, 1967 Winneconne declared itself a sovereign territory. Wisconsin Governor Knowles asked the village to reconsider and promised additional highway signs and brochures. The village accepted and at 12:01 p.m. they were back in Wisconsin again. They've been parting ever since celebrating "Sovereign State Day" every year.
The playful spirit of the people of Winneconne is just a part of the area's charm. Add the abundant fishing and the beautiful waters of Lake Winneconne and the Winnebago Pool and you are sure to discover a true Wisconsin treasure.
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