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Updated January 19, 2023

  • We have lots of snow this winter.  Most snowmobile and cross country trails are open.  However, we had heavy snow in December which brought down many tree limbs, and so some trails are closed.  You should check with other sources to confirm the status of individual trails.  The photo below is the driveway going down from our mailboxes and towards the lake, December 15, 2022. (Jan 19, 2023)
    Our driveway heading down towards the lake.  December 15, 2022.
  • With all of the snow, the lakes have only modest amounts of ice.  On the lakes I've fished, I've seen about 5-8 inches of good ice, with slush and snow on top of this in places.  The ice is safe for foot traffic (on many lakes) but I've seen almost no trucks on any lake.  Snowmobiles are using some lakes.  Be very careful if you are venturing out on the lakes this winter.  The Wisconsin DNR says that no ice is 100% safe. (Jan. 19, 2023)
  • I have ice fished a few times this winter and had some success with bluegills, bass, and pike on a nearby lake.  I've released a couple of nicer pike and donated smaller ones to a retired veterinarian in Spooner who feeds them to bald eagles that she is rehabilitating from injuries. (Jan. 19, 2023)
    Catch from a Burnett County Lake, December 28, 2022.
    Jake and I caught and released this pike from a Burnett County lake, December 28, 2022.
    Bryan A. and I caught these fish on a Burnett County lake, January 14, 2023.
  • Summer is flying past!  We've had a nice spring and summer, with mostly comfortable temperatures, enough rain to keep the grass green, and some solid fishing.
  • I continue to volunteer for the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network.  One thing I monitor is water clarity using a Secchi disk.  On August 16, I could see this disk at 11.0 feet.  Benoit Lake has greater clarity in spring.  I also measure water temperature and the amount of dissolved oxygen from the surface to the bottom.  Below about 20-feet deep, the oxygen level was too low to sustain most fish.  As the water cools in fall, the lake will turn over and the water will again be oxygen-rich at all depths. (August 17, 2022)

  • I finally got out fishing on Benoit last week with my friend Bryan.  We caught some good bass in water that was 9 to 14 feet deep using plastic baits.  We also caught some eater gills in water that was 13-15 feet deep. (August 17, 2022)
  • Haiden W. is only slightly bigger than the 35.5-inch pike his Uncle Mark caught on Benoit Lake in late-July.  Good job guys! (July 27, 2022)
    Mark C. with nephew Haiden W.  Mark caught this nice 35.5-inch pike on Benoit Lake, July 2022.
  • Haiden W. caught his first fish on Benoit Lake!  He caught a trophy crappie on a minnow.  Great work Haiden!  May you enjoy a lifetime of fishing! (July 26, 2022)
  • Joey W. caught this 21.5 inch bass on Benoit Lake.  He released this fish after the photo.  The bass weighed 4.5 pounds.  Great Job Joey! (July 26, 2022)
  • I am a "Citizens Lake Monitoring Network" volunteer and collect data on the temperature and oxygen profile of Benoit Lake several times during the summer.  The water contained ample oxygen to support fish to depths of about 18 feet. (July 18, 2022)
  • Benoit Lake produced lots of bass in June.  My cousins Marion and Pat have some eater sized bass that we used for our fish fry during my family reunion.  To be clear, they are giving the thumbs up!  (June 2022)
  • As usual, there was some good bluegill action in early-June.  Tom and Rich kept eater-sized gills for our family fish fry.  It is hard to beat fresh bluegill fillets dipped in beer batter and deep fried. (June 2022)
  • The crappie bite was terrific in May, perhaps as good as any spring since we moved here in 1999.  Mostly they were smallish crappies, but some were nice fish in the mix too.  Jackie got this one on a minnow in the shallows.  And Stein also caught his on a minnow.  (May 2022)

  • The snow has left the landscape and ice is melting from area lakes.  Our first robin appeared on March 17.  It seems like it will be about an average timing for spring.   I'm guessing that the lake will become totally ice-free around April 21.   (April 10, 2022)
  • Fishing has been fair to good for panfish on a nearby lake where there is 22 inches of ice.  We got 6 inches, maybe more, of snow yesterday and the snowmobile and cross country trails are in good shape. (February 23, 2022)
    I caught these eater-sized bluegills on a Burnett County lake, February, 2022.
    I caught these eater-sized bluegills on a Burnett County lake, February 20, 2022.
  • We have 11-14 inches of ice on the lakes I typically fish.  We also have about 4 inches of snow on the lakes, and about 8 inches of snow in the woods. Snowmobile trails are open, but they need some fresh snow.  (January 22, 2022)
  • I observed NO zebra mussels on the sampling device I had suspended under one of our docks for the summer of 2022.  This is welcome news.  Thank you to those who have been careful about cleaning their boat before launching it into Benoit Lake. (October 2021)
  • Zebra mussels were discovered in Big McKenzie Lake in October, 2016 and then in Middle McKenzie in 2017.  Both of these lakes are only a few miles from Benoit Lake but are not directly connected to Benoit Lake.  Zebra mussels are an invasive species that can harm lake ecosystems.  We are concerned that these invaders are so close to our lake.  We encourage all boaters and anglers to be cautious when trailering boats between waters.  These boaters should always completely drain live wells, bait buckets, and lower units when departing a lake to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.  It is typically impossible to rid a lake of an invasive species once it becomes established.  The DNR will continue to monitor Big McKenzie and Middle McKenzie lakes for zebra mussels in 2018.
    I have hung a sampling device from our main dock in the summers of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.  The device is a series of flat plates layered horizontally.  Larval zebra mussels are free floating and will attach to a hard surface.  When I pull the dock ashore in fall, I inspect the device for evidence of zebra mussels.  I'm told that they would feel gritty on the undersurface of the plates.  Fortunately, I've observed no evidence of zebra mussels in Benoit Lake so far.
    If you take your boat to other lakes, especially Middle McKenzie and Big McKenzie, please be especially careful before launching your boat into Benoit Lake.  Thank you in advance for being extra careful!
  • State law prohibits smoking in motel and tourism rooms statewide.  The law went into effect on July 5, 2010.  Smoking is still permitted outside.  We ask that our guests please respect this new law and also properly dispose of their butts.