June 2020 Lake Reports

Despite the cancellation of our spring and summer 2020 membership meetings, MCLA continues to monitor lake conditions in the county through the reports of lake directors.

In June, reports were submitted for Cedar, Bullhead, Hartlaub, Silver and Pigeon Lakes.

Cedar Lake: 

  • A jonboat with 3 boaters capsized this spring. The three were rescued but the boat and motor has yet to be recovered. Skin Divers were used in an attempt to recover it. It should be noted that skin diving during fast boating hours on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays is unlawful by Town Ordinance on Wilke and Cedar Lake.
  • Weekend boat traffic is up and fines for illegal trailer parking are being enforced. Lighting has been added to the parking and ramp areas. A Rain Garden is anticipated to be planted by the Parking Area.
  • Cold water temperatures had delayed the spawn.
  • Unlike in previous years, the DNR did not request that water quality samples be taken this year. Secchi disk readings have dropped from 14.9 feet May 1st to 7.8 feet on May 14th. We have seen dramatic drops like this in the past only to improve with a couple of weeks.
  • Eurasian Water Milfoil herbicide treatment is anticipated again in spots this summer.
  • USCG annual boat inspections have been canceled by the USCG.

 

Bullhead Lake: 

  • We continue with our alum feasibility study grant, although our consulting firm is not recommending an alum treatment at this time. Watershed modeling indicated it could be the record precipitation contributing most of the growing season phosphorous and not internal loading. Data collection will continue for about 3 more years and then modeling can be completed again. Unfortunately we could not collect early spring data because of the DNR moratorium on sample processing.
  • Lake is already experiencing significant algae growth and we have a tremendous number of snails as well. Boat cleaning station is stocked with bleach sprayer and brushes to hopefully prevent spread of snails to other lakes.

 

Hartlaub Lake Report:

a man in a kayak with fishing gear paddles away from the camera

Kayaks reduce the risk of transferring invasives when transported on the top of vehicles instead of trailers. Photo by Jols/Pixabay.

  • Manitowoc County Fish and Game stocked over 100 eight inch walleyes in late 2019.   The forage base in Hartlaub is made up of small bluegills.  While bluegills might not be a preferred food source for walleyes, the walleyes should grow nicely and hit the size limit in a couple of years.
  • The percentage of fisherman that use kayaks continues to grow.  They now outnumber traditional boats on Hartlaub.   Putting the kayaks on the top of a car or in the back of the pickup, makes it much easier to control invasives since there is no trailer involved.
  • A loosely formed kayak club is targeting bass for catch and release.  The same bass are caught multiple times.  One fisherman is even punching a small hole in one of the fins each time he catches it.
  • Water quality remains about the same as it was 10 years ago.  No better.  No worse.  Invasive species continue to be present, but not prevalent.

 

Pigeon Lake: 

  • An example of Eurasian Water Milfoil

    Pigeon Lake had a whole lake chemical treatment the spring of 2017 to help eliminate 6 acres of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) in the lake.  Lake surveys showed no EWM in 2017 after the treatment, none 2018 and 1 clump in 2019 that was promptly removed by skin divers.  Pigeon Lake is starting the 2020 summer season EWM free for the 4th year.  We plan 3 lake surveys this summer, 2 with our volunteers and 1 by Onterra in early August.  If any colonies of EWM are detected from the surveys we’ll hire the skin divers again in September to remove.

  • Lake water quality averages for the summer 2019:
    • Secchi Depth =  8.2 (10.0 high – 4.5 low)
    • Chlorophyll = 8.3 (17.8 high – 3.48 low)
    • Total Phosphorus = 16.7 (24.4 high – 14.1 low)
  • We have been taking lake water quality readings since 1994
  • Stocking 2,000 walleye this fall from the public boat landing
  • Holding a fishing derby for 2 age groups Sunday, September 27th at Camp Sinawa – is always well attended
  • We will again be promoting the DNR’s Clean Boats Clean Water program at the public boat landing this summer.   We have over 70 volunteers who participate and have been doing this since our lake treatment in 2017.

 

Silver Lake: 

  • A 6 ½ inch rain caused an overflow from Silver Creek into the lake over the dike.  Lake was pretty high but is coming down, water is clearing up.
  • Some fishing, lots of pike and bass.
  • Some of the old or damaged trees will be taken down in the Park.
Updated: August 16, 2020 — 8:52 am

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