Meetings at a glance:
- Feb 21, 2019 — Darren Kuhn discusses boating ordinance creation, Gene Weyer discusses lake health.
- April 25, 2019 — John Durbrow presents on the Economic Study results related to water quality. Introduction of the new AIS Coordinator, Samantha Lammers.
- June 26, 2019 — Steve Hogler (DNR Fish Manager )review of last year’s fish survey on Wilke and Shoe Lakes; discussion of DNR’s surveying plans. Samantha Lammers (AIS Coordinator) on the Starry Stonewort.
- August 22, 2019 — no meeting
- September 25, 2019 — Focus on phosphorus and alum treatments with Ron Gerrits from Bullhead Lake and Randy Kleiman, President of the Kewaunee County Lake Association.
- October 18, 2019 — Annual Banquet and Members Meeting
- December 5, 2019 — Samantha Lammers, Gene Weyer
Meeting details and materials:
December 5, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 12-5-2019
Samantha Lammers, Invasive Species Coordinator for Manitowoc and Sheboygan County
October 18, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 10-18-2019
Annual Banquet with guest speaker George Meyer. Held at Meats Opera Haus in St, Nazianz more details
- Read an article about George Meyer’s talk. Mr. Meyer is the former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF).
- John S. Durbrow was presented with the Lake Stewardship award.
September 25, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 9-26-2019
Our program will be on internal phosphorus loading in our lakes with guest speaker Ron Gerrits from Bullhead Lake. Bullhead Lake is in the process of doing a feasibility study to determine if an alum treatment can be conducted to improve water quality conditions. Ron will highlight the findings of the project.
Our second speaker will be the President of the Kewaunee County Lake Association, Randy Kleiman. He will discuss the successful alum treatment conducted on east Alaska lake in Kewaunee County to control the phosphorus internal loading.
Summary: The January 2019 Comprehensive Lake Management Plan for Bullhead Lake (available at Bullheadlake.com) documents a rapidly degrading lake ecosystem in which measures of water quality (e.g. phosphorous and chlorophyll), plant ecology (e.g. plant diversity, floristic quality), dissolved oxygen levels, and water clarity are worsening. The plan identifies the most likely cause of the changes to be internal nutrient loading, in which phosphorous contained in the bottom sediment is being released back into the water column at a high rate. The most obvious result is the tremendous growth of algae and decreased water clarity that the lake is experiencing during summer months. At times, the lake surface is covered with several acres of filamentous algae. These changes to the lake are reducing aesthetic quality, the ability to enjoy recreational activities, and property values.
The Lake Management plan recommended further study to verify that internal nutrient loading is the main culprit of water quality changes and, if that is the case, to pursue an alum (aluminum sulfate) treatment to remove phosphorous from the water column and permanently trap it in the bottom sediment. For 2019, the Bullhead Lake Advancement Association, Inc. (BLAA) received a matching DNR grant to perform an advanced water quality study/alum feasibility study. Data collected to date verifies very high phosphorous levels in the bottom sediment. This data is being used to calculate an alum dose and final cost and is expected to be completed by November 2019. The BLAA is planning to apply for an alum treatment during the 2020 grant cycle, with hopes that an alum treatment would occur in fall of 2020.
June 26, 2019 | meeting minutes not available
DNR Fish Manager Steve Hogler will be reviewing last year’s fish survey findings on Wilke and Shoe lakes in the County and discuss DNR’s plans for surveying lakes this year. He will shed some light on the fish die off of Bullheads on Silver Lake this past month. This will be an opportunity to ask questions regarding the fisheries of the area and discuss the special panfish regulations on Long, Bullhead, English and Harpts lakes.
Samantha Lammers, Invasive Species Coordinator for Manitowoc and Sheboygan County, will present on the Starry Stonewort the next invasive species threatening our County Lakes. Starry Stonewort has been found in a number of lakes in South East Wisconsin and slowly spreading north. This invasive plant forms dense mats of vegetation and can greatly reduce the diversity of aquatic plants in a lake. It can also impede movement of fish and other animals, and can decrease successful spawning activity. Fragments of starry stonewort can easily be spread between lakes by boats, trailers, and anchors holding sediments. Local dispersal occurs by bulbils or fragments being transported by water currents or boats within the lake.
Manual removal of starry stonewort is difficult and may be impractical on a large scale. Abundant bulbils on the rhizoids can dislodge if disturbed, and will sprout new individuals. Chemicals have not been very effective in controlling this invasive. Starry Stonewort favors our highly alkaline lakes in eastern Wisconsin. Immediate identification-detection and action is necessary to prevent its spread once it enters a water body. Samantha will also report on the boat inspection progress and AIS programming in the Counties.
- View Samantha Lammers’ presentation on the Starry Stonewort as a PDF or view as slide show
- Read more about the Starry Stonewort on the Wisconsin DNR’s website.
April 25, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 4-25-2019
The cost of poor water quality to property values, an analysis commissioned by Manitowoc County Lakes Association, and conducted by Drs. Wolf and Kemp of UW-Eau Claire, will be presented by MCLA past president John Durbrow. The study, which analyzed 8,372 property transactions between 2013 and 2016 in Manitowoc and adjacent counties, has demonstrated that lake water clarity directly impacts the property value of residences on that water body. The report concludes “…that a 1 meter increase in water clarity will result in a 10.5% increase in home values for properties located within 250 meters of a lake.” Conversely, the more water clarity is degraded, the more property values are reduced.
Lake Michigan water levels high and rising
Record snow depths and rainfall this past year in the Lake Michigan drainage basin has some concerned about lake levels in 2019. Lake Michigan does not respond immediately like inland lakes from flooding and runoff but generally peaks in August or late summer. Ron Schaper, a long time resident and property owner on the bluff of Lake Michigan in Manitowoc County has been an astute observer of lake levels and its impacts on the shoreline will present a history of lake level dynamics and what we may expect in the future.
Newly hired AIS Coordinator for Manitowoc and Sheboygan County will be in attendance to personally meet our lake representatives. Samantha Lammers Olsen has accepted the position and will be hiring boat inspectors for both counties and conducting Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitor training. Samantha was a Natural Resource Specialist with the Wisconsin DNR and was a Deputy Conservation Warden. She has extensive experience in aquatic invasive species programming, and leading the Wisconsin Water Guard Team that oversaw education and enforcement of invasive species in the state. She trained and supported water guards and DNR Wardens across the state on invasive species identification. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Planning from UW – Green Bay, as well as an Associates Degrees in Applied Science – Criminal Justice from Lakeshore Technical College, completing the 520-hour Police Academy program there.
- Read a summary of the issue of the Impact of Water Quality on Home Prices
- View John Durbrow’s PowerPoint presentation The Impact of Water Quality on Home Prices in Manitowoc County.
- Lake reports followed the presentation and are available in the meeting minutes.
February 21, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 2-21-2019
Our guest speaker was Darren Kuhn, DNR Conservation Warden currently assigned to the Recreation Warden Team, which is responsible for the training of the municipal boat, snowmobile and ATV patrols and plays an active role in training field wardens. Warden Kuhn fielded questions regarding local boating ordinances, mirrors on ski boats and PFD use. He addressed legal issues, the boating ordinance process, and getting State approval to boating ordinances.
A DNR boating ordinance creation manual is available at https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/le/LE0317.pdf
to assist in the ordinance process.
Warden Kuhn has worked in enforcement for 21 years, a majority of that time was spent working out of the Green Bay office. He is also the point of contact for all things recreational vehicles in 7 counties in NE WI. In his spare time he patrols in high recreational vehicle use areas and responds to serious injury accidents.
In the second half of our program, Gene Weyer, past MCLA President and leader of MCLA’s lake water quality testing program for the past decade, presented the water test results from this past summer and reviewed water quality trends for each of the sixteen lakes in our testing program. We now have enough data to start to identify long-term water quality trends in our lakes.
- Read an article in The Valders Journal about Darren Kuhn’s presentation
- Read an article in The Valders Journal about Gene Weyer’s presentation
- Read the Feb 21, 2019 meeting summary by MCLA president Tom Ward