One Heckuva (True) Fish Tale

Protected Land, Healthy Water, Happy Fish….

Each year Wisconsin’s Northern Pike begin an annual migration to reach their spawning grounds in temporary shallow wetlands. This fascinating pilgrimage is not new, but the challenges pike face along the way certainly are.

Our partners at Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust are helping pike get to prime spawning areas as wetlands are drained and converted to other uses.

As wetlands are being drained and converted for other uses and streams are bisected by road crossings–sometimes blocking this migration–Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust (NEWLT) is ensuring that these amazing creatures reach their spawning grounds. Last year, NEWLT purchased 34 acres of ephemeral wetland property along Green Bay’s west shore that plays a critical role in the area’s pike migration.

Now when adult pike leave the waters of Green Bay, they swim up these and other tributary streams to find places to lay and fertilize eggs. Once hatched, pike fry also spend time in these wetlands growing strong before beginning their journey back to Green Bay. Pike spawning is a short-lived, almost magical, event to witness.

This new preserve is now open to the public and thanks to NEWLT and partners that include The Nature Conservancy, public agencies, foundations, and local residents, we can all enjoy the magic of pike spawning–and the benefits it provides our  communities– for years to come.

This fish tale is just one of the inspiring stories that will be featured in our Fall edition of our newsletter, Crosscurrents, highlighting the important work land trusts are doing throughout the state, fulfilling needs and enriching their communities! Keep your eyes open for the newsletter, coming this November.