Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let We Energies be part of your outdoor excursions

One of We Energies’ guiding principles is to practice responsible environmental stewardship of all properties and natural resources entrusted to our management. When possible, we provide access to outdoor recreation in these areas so that others in the community may enjoy them.

Wilderness Shores recreation area

Enjoy a variety of summertime activities including hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, canoeing and kayaking at Wilderness Shores recreation area, 23,000 acres surrounding our 12 hydroelectric plants in northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was developed by Wisconsin Electric Power Co. (part of We Energies) in conjunction with state and federal natural resource agencies to preserve the high biodiversity and geographical treasures along the Brule, Menominee, Michigamme, Paint and Pine rivers, where hydroelectric dams provide reliable, renewable energy.

The area includes more than 30 recreation spots and over two dozen boat launches, as well as numerous points for fishing access. More than 90 wilderness camping sites, open from late spring to early fall, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunting, ice fishing and cross‑country skiing are options in the off-season. And because half the area is land and half is water – both essential habitat requirements for eagles and their young – Wilderness Shores currently is home to about two dozen bald eagle pairs.

For more information, including camping rules, call 906-779-2519 or visit our website:

Wilderness Shores recreation area

Oak Creek Power Plant pier

In the southeastern part of the state, the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier is available for anglers looking to cast their lines. It’s a good spot to catch coho and chinook salmon, and brown, rainbow and lake trout, among other types of fish. It’s believed they are attracted to the change in water current and slight increase in water temperature there.

While on private We Energies property, the pier extends into Lake Michigan and is open to the public during daylight hours March 15 to Nov. 15, weather permitting. Picnic tables, trash bins and access to a nearby public beach also are available. Swimming, boat launching and fires are not allowed, but walkers and their dogs may enjoy the beach.

Because the pier is subject to closure at any time due to poor weather conditions, Lake-Link is a good resource to check before taking up your tackle. The plant’s maintenance planner uses Lake-Link’s Oak Creek Power Plant pier forum to update fishing enthusiasts on the pier’s status and closures.

To access the pier, take East Oakwood Road from South Howell Avenue, turn onto Fishing Pier Road and then take North Bowl Road to park.


rd said...

Regarding Wilderness Shores ... the road leading down to the launch at Site 17 is in pretty rough shape. I was curious if there were any plans to grade it this year.

We Energies said...

We will look into that and get back.

We Energies said...

Most roads leading into our recreation sites go through state property, and we don’t maintain those. However, we do minor repairs on roads that are on our property. We have not yet visited this particular site this year, so we can’t speak to its condition, but we will be out there within the next couple of weeks to take a look.

Ricki Steigerwald said...

We went to site 20 to launch our boat and noticed the water levels were significantly lower. I assume the dams have been opened more. Is there a time of the year that you keep the water levels higher?


We Energies said...

Our operation of Michigamme Reservoir / Way Dam, at which Site 20 is located, is strictly regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The terms of the FERC license provide for a 15-foot reservoir drawdown in the winter to allow for the capture and storage of snow melt and spring rains. The license also provides for a summer drawdown of 5 feet to make room for the heavier rain that is typically received in October and November. The headwater elevation experienced on September 30 was just over 4 feet down. In a typical year (one that is not so wet), we would’ve been 5 feet down at the end of September.

If you want to recreate on Michigamme Reservoir at full pool, the best time to do so is May and June.