- Bookwood Historical Collection, Star Lake
The Frank Lake Rearing Pond is located adjacent to Frank Lake in the Town of Plum Lake. It has been in existence for many years but for several years stood idle. In 1982 the Town Board of Supervisors of the Town of Plum Lake requested permission from the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources to resume operation of the pond in order that the town could play a role in improving the fish resource on area lakes. Permission was granted and the first walleye fry were delivered to the pond in May of 1982.
Each spring the pond is flooded with water from Frank Lake. Fertilizer is added along with yeast which will create the "bug life" that the walleye fry need for food. The D.N.R. delivers the walleye fry at no direct cost to the town. Once the fry are planted the pond must be checked periodically, often daily, to ensure they survival and growth of the fish. Water flow in and out of the pond has to be regulated. The "bug life" has to be monitored so that an adequate food supply is always available. The work is all done voluntarily by the town supervisors.
The first year yielded approximately 3000 walleye fingerlings. Since that year the town supervisors have become more proficient in operating the rearing pond and this is reflected in the current annual yield. In 1989 approximately 73,000 walleye fingerlings were stocked in lakes within the Town of Plum Lake. For the period 1982 through 1989 the Frank Lake Rearing Pond has produced, and distributed to town lakes, approximately 350,000 walleye fingerlings.
In the spring of 1990, $38,000 in grant money was obtained from the State to do needed repairs to the rearing ponds. $30,000 was spent on the Star Lake ponds [sic] and $8,000 on the Frank Lake pond. The work was completed and in 1992 the Star Lake ponds produced 13,500 walleye fingerlings. In 1993-94 the Wisconsin DNR used all three Plum Lake rearing ponds to raise Musky fingerlings. The Star Lake ponds, in 1995, produced 65,000 walleye fingerlings. Bringing the totals, since 1982, to exceed 600,000 walleye fingerlings!
To purchase these fingerlings from a private hatchery, would cost well over $250,000. It is the goal of the town board to have a significant positive impact on the quality of sport fishing offered in the Town of Plum Lake.