Meetings & Speaker Series

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Mark your calendar with these dates and look forward to an exciting year! Members should plan to attend. Meetings are held at the County Office building on Expo Drive unless noted elsewhere. Public and guests are more than welcome to attend our events unless otherwise noted. MCLA is working to protect and enhance the quality of area lakes and watersheds for the benefit of all in our community.

Manitowoc County Office Complex, Room 300
4319 Expo Drive, Manitowoc
Meetings are at 6:30pm

2019 Meetings & Speakers:

Feb 21, 2019 — Darren Kuhn will discuss boating ordinance creation, Gene Weyer will discuss lake health.
April 25, 2019 — John Durbrow will present the Economic Study results related to Water quality. Meet the new AIS Coordinator.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 — DNR Fish Manager Steve Hogler will review last year’s fish survey on Wilke and Shoe Lakes and discuss DNR’s surveying plans. Samantha Lammers, AIS Coordinator for Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, will present 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 — TBA

The next meeting is Thursday, September 25, 2019

Please mark your calendars and join us
at the Manitowoc County Office building @ 4319 Expo Drive,
Room 300, at 6:30pm.
Public and Guests are encouraged to attend.

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.

The MCLA business meeting will follow.

Previous meetings

June 26, 2019 | meeting minutes to come

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.


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.

February 21, 2019 | View meeting minutes from 2-21-2019

Darren Kuhn ©2019 The Valders Journal

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
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.



Dec 6, 2018View meeting minutes from 12-06-2018

Guest Speaker: Ted Rulseh, author

Our guest speaker was Ted Rulseh, a former resident of Manitowoc County and author, editor and publisher of several books on the Great Lakes region, he is the author of On the Pond: Lake Michigan Reflections. He recently released a book called Lakeside Companion which presents the science of lakes in an enjoyable way, with real world examples. He explains how little things that shore residents do on their property can have a large impact on the lake’s ecology. Ted J. Rulseh writes the newspaper column “The Lake Where You Live” and is active in lake-advocacy organizations, including the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. He lives in the lake-rich region of northeastern Wisconsin.



Friday, Oct 12, 2018

Annual MCLA Banquet

Guest Speaker: Jim Knickelbine; Naturalist, Writer, and Director of Woodland Dunes Nature Center.

Jim is an experienced birder with years of experience observing and writing about the natural world. Jim shared his knowledge about our migratory feathered friends that inhabit and visit our County Lakes and wetlands, leaving us with a deeper appreciation and awareness of our favorite lakes. Lake Stewardship Awards were presented following the program. Tickets were $15.00 per person and reservations were due by October 5th to Chuck Kiehn. The banquet was held at The Gill’s in Whitelaw on Hwy 10





Sept 20, 2018View meeting minutes from 9-20-2018

Presentation: Manitowoc County Shoreland Zoning Ordinance
Pete Tarnowski, Senior Planner Manitowoc County Planning & Zoning Department
Reed Gaedtke, Code Administrator

Our guests delivered a presentation on 2016 changes to the Manitowoc County Shoreland Zoning Ordinance with specific requirements on impervious surfaces, non-conforming structures, and mitigation and discussed some planned upgrades to the county lake accesses. If you live within 1000 ft. of a lake or 300 ft. from a stream you are subject to Shoreland Zoning and County or Town zoning. This presentation will help you better understand the conditions that apply to your property.  Shoreland Zoning is also intended to protect water bodies’ water quality and shoreline from development. The public should know if these legislative changes are protecting your public waters.

Location change: Meat’s in St. Nazianz on County Hwy A. The meeting location was moved from the Manitowoc County Office Complex to encourage more lake residents and members of the public to attend. MCLA business meeting followed.




July 19, 2018View meeting minutes from 07-19-18
Presentation: Have We Made Progress Protecting the Environment as Agriculture Grows?
Scott Gunderson, Manitowoc County UW Extension Agriculture Agent
Jerry Halverson, Manitowoc County Soil & Water Conservation Dept. Director

61% of Manitowoc County land base is used to produce agriculture products. Manitowoc County has many beautiful lakes used for recreation and for fish and wildlife habitat. What is being done to improve and protect our natural resources, including lakes, and what can be done in the future as agriculture continues to grow and prosper in the county? The MCLA regular business meeting followed the presentation.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not!”

~~~ Dr. Seuss~~~


Steve Hogler gives a talk on fishing


May 17, 2018 | View meeting minutes from 05-17-18

Guest Speaker: Steve Hogler, DNR Fish Manager

Steve presented the results of Fish surveys conducted last year on Bullhead and Long Lake. Steve discussed surveys planned for this year and answered questions regarding fish management in on County Lakes.


March 22, 2018View meeting minutes from 03-22-18

Special event: Meet the Candidates



ERIC SITKIEWITZ, a Manitowoc alderman, challenges Manitowoc County Executive BOB ZIEGELBAUER for the county executive seat in the spring 2018 election.

The Manitowoc County Executive arguably has the highest ability to affect the conditions and quality of the area’s waters. On March 22, candidates for the Manitowoc County Executive position will conduct a listening session, answer questions, and state their respective qualifications for that position. Each will focus on proposals that would support the Manitowoc County Lakes Association mission, to protect and enhance the quality of area lakes and watersheds. This is a great opportunity to meet and to take your measure of the projected policies of these two individuals. Public invited and encouraged to attend. No registration.

Regular MCLA business followed.







Jan 25, 2018View meeting minutes 01-25-18.pdf

Guest Speaker: Clint Ward, Ice Fishing Enthusiast

Ice Fishing Manitowoc County Lakes was featured at the Manitowoc County Lakes Association’s January 25th meeting.

Clint Ward discussed the latest trend in technology and ice fishing methods that has occurred in recent years. A life long resident of Manitowoc County and avid fisherman, Clint reviewed ice fishing opportunities on area lakes.


Meetings & Speaker Series Archive:

2017 meetings  /  2016 meetings  /  2015 meetings



Updated: September 18, 2019 — 12:23 pm