Alright, this is emphatically not a whitewater site. Lake Columbia (or Columbia Lake, I've seen it referenced each way) is a 500-acre cooling pond for a power plant near Portage. The lake is approximately 1.8 miles long and up to a half-mile wide, with an average depth of only 7-8 feet. A dike extends from the powerplant (north end) most of the way down the center (suggesting there is likely some minor flow, down one side and up the other). Water temperatures stays around 80 degrees (obviously may vary with distance from power plant discharge and other factors), making it a popular place for paddlers during the winter months. Where else do you have an opportunity to practice your roll (or flatwater tricks) outdoors in winter in the Midwest?In the cold of winter, expect fog to cover much of the lake. Also, expect to share your day with many fishermen, as the lake is stocked by Wisconsin DNR.
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