It’s a lake AND a river. Lake Onalaska can be legally defined as both bodies of water, depending on law enforcement needs.
The La Crosse County Board took action on Thursday, clearing up an ordinance on who has jurisdiction over the lake, which is part of the Mississippi River.
County board chair Monica Kruse says the county can enforce fishing rules there.
“For purposes of fishing, Lake Onalaska is a river,” says Kruse, “and therefore falls under the authority of the county.”
“I think a lot of people assumed that the county had that authority, but based on state statutes, the county does not. It actually falls to the municipalities that are around the lake,” Kruse said.