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Paul

Ok Guys I need some help. What the Heck Lake is this anyway?

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I have been seeing people fish a body of water along HWY 34 in betwwen Dunn Villa a Barnesville. It is on the North Sid of the road. It is past Tamarac and before you get to the clay county line. may 3-4 miles past Tamarac. There looks to be a new road going ove it because of high water and people have been launching boats from an off ramp into the ditch and heading towards the larger body of water. today I saw to kids there fishing and one was realeasing a small 13" walleye. I can't find it on my GPS or maps.

Help.

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Hiya -

It's variously known as Hagstrom or Helgeson, or a few other variations, depending on what map you look at and how old the map is. I grew up across the road from it.

It used to be a shallow duck slough (I hunted it growing up), but when the water table came up around there it filled up, and what had actually been a handful of separate ponds all became connected. At one time, it had been used by the DNR as a rearing pond for walleye fry. When it was a 7' deep pond, they all froze out, but once the water came up, they overwintered and actually took off in there pretty well.

Once word got out there were walleyes in there, the hordes of freezer-fillers descended on it and started taking walleyes out of there by the bucket load (literally - 5 gallon pails full) until enough of us called the DNR about it and the local CO started cracking down on it. I saw the worst displays of fish hogging out there I've ever seen in my life frankly. They also weren't terribly considerate of the people who lived around the thing - leaving gates open, driving across private property to get to the lake, parking on private land, blocking the roads so farm equipment couldn't get through, launching right off the highway, which meant blocking the highway right between two close hills... It got pretty ugly there for a while. Some of the landowners still haven't gotten over it.

Now, there are still some walleyes in there but it's been pretty fished down from what it was, and a lot of the year classes have died out (some spawn success in there but not a lot.) Plus someone dumped bass in there, so there's a few of them. Hard to get into it now too. Some guys still park on the road and dump in off the highway, but they put barriers and guard rails up when they built up the highway to keep people from launching right off the road, mainly for safety reasons. After their past experiences with anglers, you can pretty much forget getting permission to go through anyone's property to get on there. Which is too bad...

So that's he story...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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