Argument over start date of Lake Wausau drawdown - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Argument over start date of Lake Wausau drawdown

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

The start date for the Lake Wausau drawdown has sparked an argument in the area.

Domtar plans to start lowering the water level on September 12 so they can repair the dam. Crews will lower the level by a total of five feet.

But Domtar says many people have been reaching out to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, trying to push that date back to next summer. 

September lines up with duck hunting season, and Lake Wausau is a popular spot.

"I know hunters that have hunted here for the last 20, 30 years," said Phil Binkley, who owns and operates Drake Dropper Calls. "And this is the primary place where they hunt."

Less water means fewer ducks, as well as fewer places for hunters to post up.

"If it's drawn down to that point," said Binkley. "Most of the accessible points where we're used to hunting won't be accessible anymore."

People who live on the lake and go to the Wausau Country Club are pushing to keep next month's start date.

"That affects the club in a negative way," said Sam Zimmerman, the club's membership coordinator. "Because we have so many members that use the lake for personal use."

He called the decision a numbers game.

"There's people who want to use it for fall recreation," he said. "But the people who use it for summer recreation far out way those numbers."

Unless the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission steps in, the drawdown will begin on September 12 as planned. 

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