Lake Wissota is a reservoir in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, USA, just east of the city of Chippewa Falls. It covers an area of 6,024 acres (24.38 km2) and has a maximum depth of 72 feet (22 m). The lake was formed by the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Chippewa River, completed in 1917. The dam was built by the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company. An engineer on the project, Louis G. Arnold, named the lake by combining the beginning of "Wisconsin" and the ending of "Minnesota".
Lake Wissota is surrounded on the south by the town of Lafayette, on the north and east by the town of Anson, and on the west by the town of Eagle Point.
The lake is divided into two parts by a peninsula upon which is the center of Lake Wissota Village. The smaller southern portion of the lake, the flooded portion of the valley formed by Paint Creek, is often called "Little Lake Wissota". The larger portion of the lake, lying to the north of Lake Wissota Village, is usually just called "Lake Wissota", although it is sometimes also called "Big Lake Wissota". The lake is fed by several other rivers and streams besides the Chippewa River, which enters the lake from the northwest and exits to the southwest, and Paint Creek which enters Little Lake Wissota from the east, respectively. These include Stillson Creek, which enters Little Lake Wissota from the southwest, the Yellow River which enters from the east at Moon Bay, and O'Neil Creek, which enters in the northwest, near the entrance of the Chippewa River.
The lake is a popular recreation destination in northwestern Wisconsin, in the summer for boating, canoeing, fishing, water skiing and swimming, and in the winter for ice fishing. On the northeastern shore lies Lake Wissota State Park, popular with campers, hikers, swimmers and anglers.
Popular culture[edit | edit source]
In the 1997 film Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio's character Jack Dawson mentions that he went ice fishing on the frozen waters of Lake Wissota as a boy. This would have been impossible, as the Titanic sank in 1912, three years before construction on the dam that formed Lake Wissota began.