Trout Proposal For Springville Pond--1957

Judged by the attendance of more than 100 at the annual Portage County fish and game hearing the first of this week, interest in this field of outdoor activities is increasing. Fewer showed up in recent years. Even so, the response represented only a small percentage of the total number of county residents who enjoy fishing and hunting.  The vast majority left it to others to express opinions and reach decisions.


The hearings, held all over the state, are devoted mainly to proposed changes in rules and regulations. As usual, the subject of deer hunting regulations commanded the most attention.


Among constructive proposals endorsed here was one to give trout lake status to Springville Pond, four miles south of Stevens Point. This would involve removal of the present panfish. It is known that this body of water also harbors at least a few giant northern pike and big German Brown trout, as well as some brook trout and rainbows. Rainbows numbering 1,200 were planted there a week or so before the May 1 opening.


The suggestion for the restoration of  Springville Pond as trout waters must have reminded old time fishermen of conditions there many years ago. It was at one time a fisherman's paradise, containing only brook trout and mostly large ones. It was not uncommon in the early 1900's to catch red-speckled trout in the pond weighing from one to two pounds. Those were in the days when the old Rossier mill stood beside the highway (now Highway 51). The dailybag limit was 45 and it was possible to catch that many trout in a single trip to the Little Plover River, the. source of water for this pond. The stream fish ran much smaller but were more numerous and fishermen had the choice of angling for a numerically larger catch in the Little Plover or fishing for the big ones in the pond. Sometimes they did both. Travel was usually by bicycle.


Quantities of silt have drifted down into the pond in the intervening years on the current of the stream running through it, and considerable weed growth has developed on the far east end. Spring-fed, the Little Plover originates five miles to the east tn the Town of Stockton, in the vicinity of the Okray trout farm. Advice of conservation authorities should be sought as to whether the pond is still suitable for conversion exclusively to trout habitat, in view of the changed conditions. Some years ago bass were planted there experimentally, but did not do well.


The Springville proposal is worth following up. If any semblance of its original productive trout status could be restored, this would improve one more popular fishing spot not far from Stevens Point and Plover.


Stevens Point Daily Journal
May 16, 1957