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Project Proposal:

Shue’s Pond – A Fishing Playground in the Heart of the Fishing Capital


Prepared by Max Wolter – DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist


Shue’s Pond is a 1-acre manmade pond that sites one block off of Main Street in Hayward, Wisconsin (between Kansas and California and 3 rd and 4 th streets). The land surrounding the pond is owned and managed by the City of Hayward. Shue’s Pond supports a variety of recreational and leisure activities and existing features include a playground, gazebo, picnic tables, benches, and a native shoreline vegetation demonstration site. Fishing is a popular activity at Shue’s Pond. Anglers fish from the shoreline around the pond. The fish population in the pond is heavily supplemented by DNR stocking of panfish, which occurs annually in June.
Project Statement Shue’s Pond has potential to be a “Fishing Playground” for all to enjoy and to spread the love of fishing to anyone who visits Hayward, Wisconsin.

Project Goals

1. Make Shue’s Pond a more appealing and accessible place to fish.
2. Increase foot traffic in downtown Hayward that will benefit local businesses.
3. Increase water quality in Shue’s Pond, which drains to the Wild and Scenic Namekagon River.
4. Promote conservation ethics and commemorate great area anglers and conservationists, like Hayward’s Terry Peterson.

Expected Benefits to City of Hayward

  • A higher quality fishing experience that is accessible to all.

  • Increased tourism and foot traffic in downtown Hayward.

  • Water quality improvements for Shue’s Pond and downstream waters (Namekagon River).

  • Reduced or fully eliminated issues with geese defecation in and around Shue’s Pond.

  • Increased safety and refurbishment of aging structures.

  • Better retention of stocked fish, increasing return on stocking investment funding.

Primary source of project funding would be the Terry Peterson Foundation (name to be finalized), which will be raising funds annually to support this project and others in the future. Other local organizations can be approached about partnership, including but not limited to: Wild Rivers Conservancy, Hayward Lakes Chapter of Muskies Inc., Sawyer County Outdoor Projects and Education (SCOPE), Fishing Has No Boundaries, local businesses, and others. There is no expected cost for the City of Hayward beyond minimal time commitments for staff to approve and facilitate project plans.

Project Components

Fishing platforms – Raised wooden platforms that will put anglers on a clean, level surface right at the water’s edge (example Photo 1). At least one, but ideally all platforms should be ADA accessible. Platforms may vary in size, and some could include railings, benches, or other features. A larger platform or “deck” with a railing could be built adjacent to the playground as a picnic area. This feature may reduce safety issues that currently exist with the playground being located very close to the water’s edge. Potential location for platforms and other features are shown in Map 1.

Vegetative buffer – A strip of native plants, trees, and shrubs that would replace the current lawn along most of the shoreline. A small strip has already been installed on the NE portion of the pond. Vegetative strips increase water quality, deter geese, and may provide numerous other environmental and aesthetic benefits (e.g. pollinators). There will be some work associated with establishing the buffer, but it will be relatively low maintenance afterwards. Access paths – Paths will likely be needed to provide access to fishing platforms. These can be paved or consist of crushed granite or similar ADA compliant material.

Flagpole structure – Public Works Director John McCue stated that the flagpole structure that currently exists at Shue’s Pond could be updated. That could be done as a part of this project while maintaining the memorial that is present on the structure.

Outflow screen – Currently, fish stocked into Shue’s Pond can leave through the outflow structure, reducing the quality of the stocked fishery. A slightly modified outflow screen could prevent fish loss, making stocking more successful and appealing. This may make it possible to stock more often and include other species of fish.

Fish habitat features – Fishing is more fun when anglers have fish-holding structure to target with their efforts. Fish cribs and whole trees could be added to provide such structure. These would also create educational opportunities for people to learn about fish habitats and healthy lakes.


Signage – Educational signage about fishing and fish habitat could be added. Signage and other memorializing features may also be added to commemorate those involved with project funding.


Miscellaneous structures – Benches, picnic tables, other play structures, and more could be purchased and added to Shue’s Pond.

Project Design and Strategy

This project would likely need to be completed in phases to accommodate fundraising limitations and workload. Each phase outlined in Table 1 could likely be completed in a year, for a total work plan of three years. The map below shows the project area and a design concept (flexible).

Fishing Platform (Added Summer of 2023!)

Table 1. Project Design & Strategy

shues table.webp

Map 1. Proposed layout of features and structures for an updated Shue’s Pond “Fishing Playground”.

shues pond playground.webp
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