Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Perch are common to Lake Metonga. Panfish, Largemouth Bass, and Northern Pike are also present. Follow the link below for complete fishing regulations on Lake Metonga.
Note: WDNR Regulation NR20.20 prohibits underwater spearfishing in Forest County waters including Lake Metonga. It is illegal to take fish using spears and spear guns by skin or scuba diving.
For specific fishing and boating information from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, please click the links below:
10-Year Lake Management Plan Finalized
Over the past several years, the Lake Metonga Association in cooperation with their lake management consultnant, Onterra, LLC, and the DNR, the Association undertook a comprehensive survey of Lake Metonga shareholders' interest and concerns. With the resulting survey data, and extensive other input resources provided by Onterra and the DNR, an overview of the finalized 10-Year Lake Management Plan for Lake Metonga was presented at a public forum on May 8th.
The management plan provides comprehensive information on lake water quality, watershed issues, shore land conditions, aquatic plants, invasive species, fisheries data, as well as an thorough outline of the association's strategies and initiatives to address problems facing the lake and support best practices conservation and control strategies as necessary.
In the past, it has been proven on Lake Metonga that when there is an overabundance of bullheads, it negatively impacts the walleye and perch populations. In 2021, the Lake Metonga Fisheries Committee along with Mole Lake Fisheries and the DNR implemented a bullhead removal program.
2021 was a successful year for bullhead removal. We are hoping with your help and the support Lake Metonga friends and property owners, 2022 will be equally successful. Read the volunteer instructions below to participate.
Why the Need: The overabundance of black bullheads that thrive in Lake Metonga has a negative effect on the walleye and perch populations. When the stomach contents of bullheads have been examined, they are full of small perch, bass, walleye, and crayfish. Bullheads also invade the nests of game fish and consume the eggs. Juvenile bullheads feed on the common invertebrates, midges, worms, copepods, etc., which are also the food source for juvenile perch, bass and other game fish.
Since 2008, the Lake Metonga Association has worked with the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community's Mike Preul (Mole Lake Fisheries Biologist) and Greg Matzke (DNR Fisheries Biologist – Forest and Florence Counties) in an effort to decrease the number of bullheads in the lake.
Partnering with the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community, the Association sponsors an annual bullhead harvest conducted under the supervision of Mike Preul. This harvest of several tons of bullheads is typically donated to the Raptors Educational Group, Inc. in Antigo to feed the bald eagles and other birds being cared for at their facility.
Want to learn more about bullheads impact on walleye population in Lake Metonga? Watch the first fifteen minutes of this Greg Matzke presentation on Lake Metonga and the next ten minutes about the Patten Lake Project to get a clear understanding of why the LMA Bullhead Removal Project is so important: The Fight to Maintain Quality Walleye Fisheries
Continuing the Status Quo is No Longer Enough: The recent diminishment of Rusty Crayfish population is the latest canary in the coal mine indicator that the bullhead population is getting out of control. Additional measures are going to be required, additional measures that necessitate that lake shore owners and lake users step up and and help out.
Here's Two Ways You Can Help:
- If you catch a bullhead and chose not to keep it for eating, please don’t throw it back into the water! Please dispose of it in the trash or bury it on land.
- Even better, what we really are counting on is for you to become a volunteer bullhead harvester in the Association's new bullhead harvesting project. This new program under the direction of the newly formed Fisheries and Habitat Committee is looking to sign up as many volunteers as possible to net as many schools of adolescent bullheads as possible. If you are interested in participating, it is important that you read and follow the instructions in the project overview linked below for complete information. The more volunteer harvesters we can get to participate, the sooner we can bring the lake's nuisance bullhead population under control and allow the walleye and perch populations to prosper.
Bullhead Removal Project Overview
Bullhead Removal Project Volunteer Agreement Form
Your feedback is critical to help us monitor how the project is working: The most important part in this on-going, long-term volunteer effort is that we need to keep a tab on what impact we are having on the bullhead population over time. More than anything else, this requires volunteers to report their bullhead harvesting results as best as possible: as a volunteer under item 2 above by filling out their harvest log; or by contacting anyone on the Fisheries and Habitat Committee (contact info on page 2 of the Removal Project Overview above); or simply use the "Contact" menu on the top right corner of this Lake Metonga Association website.
Crayfish Trapping on Metonga
Rusty crayfish traps have become more and more common in recent years on the lake. Please review the DNR regulations brochure (shown at right) for complete rules and regulations. Main points include:
- Must possess a valid fishing license or small game license, except persons under the age of 16 (who do not need a license).
- The entrance of the crayfish trap cannot exceed 2-1/2 inches at the greatest diagonal measurement.
- Traps must bear the name and address of the owner and must be raised and emptied at least once each day following the day set.
- Parts of fish and fish by-products including fish meal or prepared parts of such fish may not be used for bait unless: the fish were caught from the water being trapped, are minnows obtained from a bait dealer, or are used with written authorization from the WDNR. Other meats (e.g., chicken and beef livers) may be used for bait for crayfish.
- Floats or markers used to locate traps 1) may not exceed 5 inches in size, 2) may not extend more than 4 inches above the water surface, 3) must clearly display the name and address (in English) of the owner/operator, and 4) must not be orange or any other fluorescent color.