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Near Kewaunee in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Old Mill

 
 
The Old Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
1. The Old Mill Marker
Inscription.
As you look across the Kewaunee River, it is hard to imagine that a small, thriving community existed on the opposite bank. The center of the community was the imposing flour and gristmill, which drew so many customers from miles around that it operated year round, often 24 hours a day.

Grist, flour and sawmills were in operation along the Kewaunee River from the mid-1800's until 1936 when the West Kewaunee Mill was dismantled. Mill owners such as Volk, Stransky, Breummer and Seyk made Footbridge well known.

Around the turn of the last century, the annual sucker run drew thousands of people. Entire families would converge on Footbridge from near and far. On the designated day, the mill dam was closed trapping the suckers on their annual spring spawning run upstream. As the water receded, the riverbed became a sea of suckers.

People rushed into the river armed with spears, pitchforks, nets or just their bare hands and tossed the fish to family members or friends on the riverbank who gathered them up and put them into burlap bags. Tons of suckers were loaded on wagons to be taken home and pickled or smoked. Sucker Day was over for another year.
 
Erected 2000 by the Kewaunee County Historical Society.
 
Location.
Fish Out of <i>Native</i> Water image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
2. Fish Out of Native Water
Welcome Exotics In their native ranges, salmon swim from the ocean up rivers to spawn. In those cold tributaries, the young develop. Most Wisconsin tributaries of Lake Michigan get too warm for the young to survive and do not provide enough long stretches of clean gravel for successful spawning. Limited natural reproduction occurs in some streams, but not enough to sustain the popular put-grow-take sport fishery.
Salmon Stamps to the Rescue About $1 million in Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp sales funded the construction of the Besadny Fisheries Facility. The Salmon Stamp Fund, as it's known, continues to support salmon propagation here and at state fish hatcheries. Nearly five million trout and salmon are stocked each year with a respectable ten percent returned to the creel.
44° 27.759′ N, 87° 33.554′ W. Marker is near Kewaunee, Wisconsin, in Kewaunee County. Marker can be reached from Ransom Moore Lane 0.4 miles north of County Highway F, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at the C.D. "Buzz" Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility. There is no parking near the marker – a parking area is located at the end of Ransom Moore Lane. Marker is at or near this postal address: N3884 Ransom Moore Lane, Kewaunee WI 54216, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Kewaunee County Lime Kilns (approx. half a mile away); Kewaunee Marsh Arsenic Spill Area (approx. 2.2 miles away); Dikeman (approx. 2.4 miles away); Courthouse Square (approx. 2.7 miles away); Civil War and Cuban Veterans Monument (approx. 2.7 miles away); The Great Kewaunee Fire (approx. 2.8 miles away); Early History of Kewaunee (approx. 2.9 miles away); Barge "Emerald" (approx. 2.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Kewaunee.
 
More about this marker. photo captions:
West Kewaunee Mills and Dam
Annual Sucker Run
 
Also see . . .
1. C.D. "Buzz" Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (Submitted on September 28, 2014.) 

2. C.D. "Buzz" Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility
The Short-Lived Traveler image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
3. The Short-Lived Traveler
Salmon have not always been present in the Great Lakes. They were introduced by stocking in the late 1960s and have been stocked ever since. Migrating fish, such as Great Lakes Salmon, return to spawn in the streams in which they were originally stocked. After spawning, whether artificially or naturally, the salmon die. (Hatchery reared salmon life cycle diagram.)
. Kewaunee Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted on September 28, 2014.) 

3. Salmon Jump Up The Ladder. YouTube. (Submitted on September 28, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Interpretive Signs and The Old Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
4. Interpretive Signs and The Old Mill Marker
Kewaunee River Dam image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
5. Kewaunee River Dam
The Old Mill Marker can be seen to the right.
Bypass Channel and Kewaunee River image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
6. Bypass Channel and Kewaunee River
left foreground sign: A Brief Diversion
A Brief Diversion image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
7. A Brief Diversion
When trout and salmon mature, instinct draws them back to their home streams to spawn. On the Kewaunee River, artificial barriers and structures divert them into the Besadny Fisheries Facility where they are artificially spawned.
The first barrier fish meet here is the dam. An apron in front of the dam eliminates the plunge pool that normally would provide fish with a "running start" to jump the dam.
An apron behind the dam and spillway allows fish that have been passed through the facility or stocked upstream to travel downstream.
Words to Know
ANADROMOUS Fish that swim up-river from the ocean, and certain lakes, to spawn in their home streams.
IMPRINT A behavior pattern established early in life. With fish, it involves the sense of smell. The unique scent of each body of water guides fish to their home streams to spawn.
The Bypass Channel and Ladder image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
8. The Bypass Channel and Ladder
Screens on the bypass channel direct fish to the ladder leading into the facility.
Steps of the fish ladder create a series of small waterfalls that lead fish into the ponds and egg collection building.
In natural systems, flowing water, riffles and small waterfalls entice fish to migrate upstream in their drive to reach spawning beds.
Screens on the bypass channel can be removed when northern pike, white suckers, smallmouth bass and other links in the food chain are present to allow them to pass upstream. Likewise, the screens can be kept in to keep undesirable fish like carp and sea lamprey from expanding their ranges.
The Bypass Channel and Ladder image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
9. The Bypass Channel and Ladder
The channel is packed with fish.
Going Up? image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
10. Going Up?
Once up the ladder, fish swim into the ponds. Spawning crew members use screens to crowd fish through holes in the pond walls into the crowding channel. There, a mesh basket lifts them into the building. Once inside, broodstock are anesthetized, weighed, measured, sexed, checked for fin clips, and finally, spawned. Non-target fish are placed in the recovery tank, then slipped through a tube leading back to the river upstream of the dam.
Words to Know
ANESTHETIZE To put fish to sleep in a carbon dioxide (CO2) waterbath.
BROODSTOCK Wild or captive adult fish from which eggs and sperm are taken.
FIN CLIPS A marking method to identify strains and special study fish.
Observation Window image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
11. Observation Window
<i>Coarse</i> Encounters image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
12. Coarse Encounters
Trout and salmon are aggressive during spawning. Males bite each other and bash into rocks as they battle for dominance, rubbing off their protective slime coating. Females scrape their skin when excavating nests (redds) on the gravel bottom. Wounds and exposed skin can get infected with a white fungus that you might see as fish pass by the window. The stress of spawning also makes fish more susceptible to disease.
C.D. "Buzz" Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, September 18, 2014
13. C.D. "Buzz" Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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