History of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage


The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage was created in 1926 when the Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company built a dam on the Flambeau River downstream from its confluence with the Turtle River. The dam flooded 16 natural lakes and formed an impoundment of approximately 14,000 acres.

The flowage was constructed as a reservoir to augment river flows and sustain hydroelectric plants operated downstream by electric utilities and paper mills. The dam also provided flood protection and created a unique recreational resource.

In 1990, the Stewardship Fund, Warren Knowles/Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program and gubernatorial support allowed the 22,343 acres of flowage bottom and adjacent shoreland from Chippewa and Flambeau…. With additional acquisitions, the Turtle Flambeau Scenic Waters Area now comprises 37,560 acres.

The flowage is managed by the Department of Natural Resources using a master plan developed with citizens advice. Management practices aim to perpetuate the natural character of the shoreline, preserve its scenic qualities and protect its plant and animal communities. Managers strive to preserve the quality and wealth of outdoor recreation on the flowage including fishing, hunting, camping, nature observation, trapping, boating, and canoeing.