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If you are a Titanic (the movie) fan, you might remember Jack Dawson saying that he grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He also mentioned that he used to fish on Lake Wissota when he was young. The problem with that statement is that the Titanic sank in 1912, and construction didn't begin on Lake Wissota until 1915. Maybe those fact checkers should have done their jobs a little better!
Visitors from all over the Wisconsin-Minnesota area come to Lake Wissota to join in the fun. The 6,300 acre lake is a man-made reservoir, named Wissota (Wis- for Wisconson, and -sota for Minnesota) by one of the engineers who worked on it. It was built by the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company, who dammed the Chippewa River for hydroelectric purposes. It was the largest dam in the world at that time, and was generating electricity within its first year of operation. Today, the dam is owned by Xcel Energy, formerly known as Northern States Power Company.
The northeastern coast of the lake is dominated by the beautiful Lake Wissota State Park. Summertime activities in the Park include fishing, swimming along a 285-foot beach, camping, picnicking, biking and hiking. There are literally miles and miles of trails within the park, and another that leads out of the park for over 19 miles to the nearby town of Cornell (Old Abe State Trail). The campground has some 80-odd campsites, and is filled nearly every weekend throughout the season (April-October). The Park requires an entrance fee (hourly, daily, weekly or monthly, depending on your requirements).
With 6,300 acres of water, you will find plenty of boats, jet-skis and swimmers when you visit beautiful Lake Wissota. The lake is a haven for anglers, whether you launch your boat from the State Park, or you use one of the five other free launches around the lake. Abundant smallmouth bass are the primary draw for anglers. Other species include walleye, muskie, northern pike, catfish, sturgeon, largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, and bluegill. Fishing is allowed from the shore, on the water, and is especially good on the 25 foot pier in Lake Wissota State Park.
Little towns around the lake offer a variety of accommodations for overnight or weekly visits. Chippewa Falls is only a few minutes away. On the lake you will find Lafayette to the south, Eagle Point in the west, and Anson to the north. And don't forget Lake Wissota, the village. It's located on a peninsula that extends between the two portions of the lake, dubbed "Little Lake Wissota" and "Big Lake Wissota" by the locals.
In Wisconsin lake activities are not just relegated to summer, now are they? In the colder months, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are all allowed in the Park area. There are so many things to do here year round that it is a perfect vacation destination.
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