How Did the Booster Club Get Started?

Otter Lake in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, was created by Chippewa County with construction of a dam on Otter Creek in 1969.  The 660+ acre lake was stocked heavily with walleye, northern pike, bass and panfish.  Given the relative shallowness of the lake there was not sufficient dissolved oxygen in the water to sustain the fish population and large winter kills were common.  By the late 1970’s the lake was home only to large numbers of stunted bullheads (bullheads require less oxygen).

The Booster Club worked hard in the 1970’s to convince the DNR, Chippewa County and the Town of Colburn that aerators should be installed to correct the oxygen deficiency.  In late 1979 and early 1980 a formal agreement was finalized whereby the DNR would provide the aerators, the county would maintain them and the town would pay for the electricity to power the aerators.  The Booster Club had made a commitment to reimburse the town for all but $400 per year of the electricity to run the aerators.  Cost to the Booster Club for the electricity has run between $3,500 and $5,000 per year in recent years. In 2015 the Town of Colburn took over payment of the electric bill annually by committing to an annual contribution along with contribution from our booster club, the Stanley Sportsmans club and a major contribution from Chippewa County Facilities & Parks for a 10 year period.

The aerators did the job they were intended to do and, over the years, the County, Town, and the Booster Club have kept their commitments to keep the lake aerated in the winter months.  Otter Lake became an excellent fishing lake with good populations of walleye, northern pike, bass, and panfish making it is a very popular regional fishing destination. Facilities include a county park with overnight camping, a county day use park with a beach and four public boat landings.

In addition, the club has undertaken other projects/activities for the benefit of lake users.  The mission of the Booster Club is to help maintain and enhance Otter Lake and the area around the lake.

The Club built a large pavilion at the County Day Use Park which is available for public use.  Game fish are stocked regularly by the Club.  The Club conducts a free ice fishing contest each year for youths under age 15.  Club members drill the holes, Otter Lake Bait and Camp Store provides waxies, and Club members provide mentoring as needed.   Prizes are donated by local, regional, and national businesses.  In addition to the contest winners, all other contestants also receive modest prizes.  Nearly 200 kids participate each year.

In partnership with the Stanley Sportsman’s Club a fifth public lake access was developed for winter use. Summer shoreline fishing spots are also being developed on Colburn Township owned property.



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