Lake Winona

Lake Winona

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“Lake Winona needs some attention by the village authorities. The water is very low now and the sand along the shores is more or less filled with decaying organic matter which will produce disease. The slaughter houses somewhat affect the water when it is low. If some scheme could be devised to drain lake Mary into Winona as Mary is said to be higher, and then take the surplus water to Darling, through Agnes, it would make thousands of dollars difference in the future of the village. The longer the matter is left the worse it will get. The outlet to Winona should be closed at least. The canal from Lake Mary would of necessity be but three miles long. If Latoka should prove high enough to give water to Winona it would be almost no expense to get it from there. If Winona is attended to it will be one of the most beautiful lakes here, if not it will be the worst cesspool. Take your choice.”

— Alexandria Post News, August 2, 1889, Page 4

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There are quite a number of people in town that have no idea how many fish in Lake Winona are being killed every winter. Of course the exact number cannot be known, hut if anyone had walked along the shore soon after the ice was out of the lake, they would have seen perhaps thousands of small fish such as sunfish, perch and minnows, and every here and there a sucker a pickerel or bass. Between 5th and 8th avenues could be counted at least 30 black bass that would average 3 pounds. And we understand from others who have walked the entire shore that it is the same all along. Among the fish we saw a dead eel which measured 43 inches long by about 7 in circumference, which goes to show that Winona is a good home for the eel. The cause of this great slaughter of fish is presumably the shallowness of the lake, so that when the lake freezes, the ice reaches to the mud all over the lake and the fish are deprived of their supply of air. Unless the lake rises or is dredged, this will happen every winter and the town will have to employ men to carry away the fish as they did this year in order to guard against sickness.”

— Alexandria Post News, Article No. 1, May 1, 1880:

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Source: Barb Grover, Douglas County Historical Society