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Like all the Winnebago Pool lakes, Lake Butte des Morts is a fantastic place to fish and boat. Add all the amenities of the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin located between Lake Butte des Morts and Lake Winnebago, and there is sure to be something to please everyone.
The Winnebago Pool consists of Lake Winnebago and the upriver lakes, Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Poygan, and Lake Winneconne. The lakes are fed by both the Wolf and Fox Rivers. Outflow from Lake Winnebago goes from Little Lake Butte des Morts to the Fox River and on to Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Little Lake Butte des Morts and Lake Butte des Morts are near each other, but are not directly connected. They sit on either side of Lake Winnebago. Lake Butte des Morts was named by French settlers "Hill of the Dead" because of a nearby Indian burial mound. Used by the Menominee, Saulk, and Fox Indians, the burial mound was not the result of a massacre but rather an ongoing internment site. Little Lake Butte des Morts on the other hand was named for a burial mound created after two French massacres.
Much of Lake Butte des Morts was originally marshland that was flooded by the construction of a dam on the Fox River in Menasha. The dam, built in the 1800's, is responsible for the lake's flat, shallow characteristics. Lake Butte des Morts has a maximum depth of only nine feet. There is a marked navigation channel across the lake to the inflow of the Wolf River and Lake Winneconne and there are ample opportunities for boating on the lake.
Lake Butte des Morts along with the other lakes in the Winnebago Pool has plenty of fish to challenge anglers of all skill levels. There are healthy populations of drum, carp, and channel catfish, along with large mouth, small mouth, and white bass. The lake is also popular with walleye fishermen including winter ice fishing. Lake Butte des Morts and the Winnebago Pool has exceptional populations of lake sturgeon. The sturgeon, living fossils from the Cretaceous Period a 100 million years ago, can live to be 100 years old and often grow to weigh over 100 pounds. Because female sturgeon don't spawn until they are around 20 years old and then only every 3 to 5 years, spear fishing is strictly regulated. The season which starts in February is open every year on Lake Winnebago and every fifth year on the other Winnebago Pool lakes including Lake Butte des Morts.
With all the fishing and boating opportunities on Lake Butte des Morts and the 170,000 acres of water in the Winnebago Pool lakes, along with the shopping, cultural opportunities and amenities of nearby Oshkosh, there is something to delight everyone at this Wisconsin destination.
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