The Petenwell Flowage offers some of the Wisconsin River’s best fishing. Locally known fishing “HOT SPOTS” includes Devil’s Elbow, the mouth of Fourteen-Mile Creek, Barnum Bay, and Strongs Prairie. These areas provide abundant underwater structure and harbor good concentrations of fish. The fishery consists of Musky, Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Crappies, Bluegills, Catfish and White Bass.
The Petenwell Flowage is located south of Wisconsin Rapids near Nekoosa. At 23,043 acres it is the second largest inland body of water in Wisconsin. It was built in the late 1940s for hydroelectric generation and flood control. The flowage is on Wisconsin’s Central Plain or Central Sand, the ancient bed of Glacial Lake Wisconsin that was a prehistoric, one-million-acre body of water.
This sprawling flowage of the Wisconsin River is rapidly achieving premier status in the midwestern fishing world. Long known for a superb walleye and white bass population, other species are coming on to steal a little of the limelight. A growing muskie resource that offers a trophy component joins crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, northern pike, and bullhead as quality fisheries. Fishing begins in the spring as soon as weather permits, as the river remains open to walleye throughout the year. This is big water at 23,000 plus acres and a maximum depth of 45 feet, but a reservoir that offers the best of both worlds – reservoir and river. Located south of Wisconsin Rapids and Nekoosa, the flowage begins in the tailwater and river environment below the Nekoosa Dam and flows southward to the main part of the reservoir.
Towns: Wisconsin Rapids, Nekoosa
Body of Water: Petenwell Flowage