Friday, January 15, 2016

Overview: Grant Process Milestones, Lake Management Plan and Lake District.

Flowering Rush


Since January of 2015 we have been marching through the milestones for creating a Lake Management Plan that will allow us to apply for various DNR grants. All the steps have been completed once the Draft Plan is accepted and that will be finalized before February 1. This work has been done with a grant through the DNR in partnership with Stantec and Mark Kordus. (Thank you Mark!)

We are in the process of applying for our next DNR grant to assist us in dealing with our Flowering Rush infestation. When the grant application is complete it will posted on the website.

Control of Flowering Rush is a costly matter and out of our reach without the financial help of this grant. As with everything there is a time crunch.  The deadline for the grant is February 1.  The next step is the approval of the LMP by  DNR representative Ted Johnson who is swamped. (Who knew we aren't the only lake he manages!)

At the meeting of January 14th 2016 Mark Kordus of Stantec presented the Draft Lake Management Plan required for the grant. This plan can be found on our website located on the reports page under the name "Weyauwega_Lake_LMP_DRA...2016.pdf" It's a fascinating read full of interesting information,

The report contains a compilation of all previous lake studies along with the plant survey done this past year. The news is good. We have gained diversity. The other high point was that for a lake such as our we are in better than average shape with low phosphorus, exceptional clarity and good O2. We also have thriving fish and wildlife populations.

Feedback on the report is appreciated but there is a deadline due to the nature of the DNR grant process. So Tuesday January 19th 2016 is the deadline for any remarks to be included in the final report.

We asked Mark, what we could expect with the granting process. He felt we would not get entered into this grant cycle, but, we would be ahead of everyone else next cycle by putting the request in now. The lake and the infestation of Flowering Rush would not be any worse for waiting a year.
(We have over a hundred acres of Rush in the lake.) 

Under the heading of 

In a discussion with Mark he disclosed that dealing with a Lake Association, such as we are, is very difficult. Lake Management Districts are taken far more seriously and get the lions share of attention because they are a stable governmental body with a budget. Lake Associations tend to be managed by a few angelic enthusiasts with little outside support funded  by raffles.  Without a Lake District for Weyauwega Lake, we are working at a decided handicap. Nothing new to us.

On the positive side we are moving forward aggressively, to the creation of a Lake Management District. We have the boundaries declared:

[All the area within the corporate limits of the City of Weyauwega as of October 1 2015.
All of the area south and west of the City of Weyauwega lying within sections 5 and 6 T21N R13E of the Town of Weyauwega and bordered on the south by US Highway 10, on the west by Reek Road and on the south by Haire Road]

Stantec helped us along with a Lake awareness and appreciation survey that included questions on the willingness of the public to support a Lake Management District and the response was very positive. The results of that survey can also be found on our website under the name: "Weyauwega Lake Community Survey"

Here is a brief summary of that survey:

132 people took the survey. That’s a very good number and we are tickled.
55% live near the lake and 13% are riparian (own property on the lake), the rest are past residents and fans of the lake. 66% have lived here over 10 years so they are well aquainted with the lake. 
The most common activity on the lake is pure, scenic enjoyment of the lake and the wildlife that is part of it.
98% are aware that there is a problem with plants overgrowing the lake. 88% admit this plant growth has a negative impact on their enjoyment of the lake. 64% recognize the need for the creating of a Lake Management District to preserve the lake. 

What would a Lake District cost the tax payers in Weyauwega. If you own a 100K home it would cost you $25. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Curley Leaf Pond Weed and Testing

Curley Leaf Pondweed and Testing

Curley Leaf Pondweed

The results of the independent invasive species plant study are in. (because it's independent the DNR will not recognize it as viable) We have almost a monoculture of Curley Leaf Pondweed in the lake. How did this happen? According to the DNR native plants should have sprung up in mass after the lake was returned to level. Well, that didn't happen. Evidentially, all our native plant seeds were washed away with the drawdown, something Ted Johnson of the DNR has never seen before. We also have a shoreline invasion of Flowering Rush. The rush is not the primary concern at the moment. We need to address the CLP and that will have to be with some form of spraying. What we hope is that the grant for the spraying will also include remediation for the lack of native plants other than wait and see what floats down the river.

 We kind of had a feeling we would need to plant the lake. We even had a plan drawn up to seed the lake with native species. We are going to have to revisit these plans and seek a grant for the cost. I have included a map of the plan. As you can see we anticipate large beds of Water Lily. As it happens, these proposed beds are where the Flowering Rush have taken over. The advantage of Water Lily is that the leaves shade the bottom of the lake making it difficult for plants like Flowering Rush to be successful.

The good news on grants is that we qualify to receive them. I contacted Gary Hanson at the DNR to make sure all out I's were dotted and the T's were crossed. It seems the confusion came from the DNR's failure to update their records. I have been assured this has been taken care of but I will check again.

Now for the testing. Going to the DNR website for Lake Weyauwega
 ( ) you will find that the only document on the lake is a 1966 Bathymetric map. When I asked Ted Johnson, he reported there has never been any complete testing on the lake by the DNR. The DNR has used the reports paid for by the various lake associations, but these are not considered "official". The plant survey that was to be done by the DNR on the lake since it has been at level, has not been done - again. The upshot of this is that as far as grants go there is little data the DNR finds acceptable to back up the grant request. This could be problematic for the lake. We have taken action to correct this. So that we have testing the DNR will accept Jim Tolfa has volunteered to be the DNR trained civilian tester for the lake. The testing will begin in the Spring of 2015. Jim will be testing for clarity, O2 content, nitrates, phosphates and other components of the water in the lake. We hope we can get the website to reflect the new values.

I find it depressing that the DNR choses to make recommendations about lake management off the top of their head without any data. As our invasion of CLP demonstrates, each body of water is unique and one rule can't be applied to all bodies of water.

That's where we stand so far.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fish Fish Fish - We are repopulating Weyauwega Lake

Last year we had a great spawning season. This year we have augmented the fish population by stocking the following:
5,100 Northern
6,250 Largemouth Bass
2,352 Perch

Fishing this year is not recommended because the fish will still be establishing. Next year is when we anticipate seeing anglers on the lake.

Plant Survey Completed! It's all good news.

Weyauwega Lake is now in it's second year of being at level. Last year we dealt with the non-aquadic plants in the process of drowning in the deeper water. We also noticed flowering rush, an invasive species that greatly concerned us. To that end we began to develop a replanting plan to introduce desirable aquatics in sufficient number to outpace the invasive species. We needed further research and a plant survey before moving forward. We now have that survey. "

Lake Survey:

Lake Weyauwega Site Visit

On June 17th Ted Johnson and Eric Evensen with the Wisconsin DNR visited Lake Weyauwega to investigate reports of large Eurasian water milfoil beds.  Upon inspection no Eurasian water milfoil was found in the lake.  Algae covered coontail and common waterweed may have been mistaken for EWM.  However, two other invasive species were seen in large numbers; Curly leaf pondweed and Flowering rush.  Curly leaf pondweed was found throughout the lake and in most cases was topped out at the surface.  No turions were observed on the CLP.
Flowering rush colonized the exposed lake bed from mid-lake to the upper end during the recent drawdown and can still be found in large numbers on the upper end of the lake.  The main channel on the upper end of the lake is free of vegetation and easily navigable.  The channel was lined with uprooted, dying flowering rush.  The rest of the upper end is colonized by the flowering rush.  Most of the flowering rush is growing in 3.5 – 5.0 feet of water which is outside of its preferred habitat.  The Flowering rush was easily pulled from the lake bed and had a very shallow, small root system.  It is hard to determine how long the flowering rush will persist but the plants exhibit very evident signs of stress.

A full species list of plants observed:
1.     Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)
2.     Common waterweed (Elodea canadensis)
3.     Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)
4.     Curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
5.     Flat-stem pondweed (Potamogeton zosteriformis)
6.     Long-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus)
7.     Water stargrass (Heteranthera dubia)
8.     Small duckweed (Lemna minor)

9.     Large duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza)

This is all very good news for the lake. Before Weyauwega Lake was drained there were only three species found in the lake. We now have nine. We anticipate this will improve. We are moving forward with our plans to keep the lake healthy. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Update: Lake Weyauwega Project Lake Filling


Swim Beach. Grasses from the drawdown stick above the
waterline. They will soon decay and be gone. 

It's been a long winter but as of April 1 2013 the lake has begun to fill. All but 1 of the three gates at the bottom of the dam are closed. This will allow the lake to rise at a rate of 6 inches per day.  We anticipate the Lake to be at level by the end of April.

With the filling, we can call the project a tentative success. We will know more after several surveys have been completed.
Of the three gates at the bottom of the dam, only this one is left
 open to prevent the lake from filling too quickly.  This rush
of water is still moving silt and sand out of the lake and
down the water system. 

We are encouraged that we have gained significant depth in the lake and that we moved much of the goo that filled the lake bottom out and down the river. (In a future post we will address the issues of where the goo went, and how Gills Landing is doing) The one gate that is open at the bottom of the dam is shooting water at a fast rate.  It is hoped that this will help to move the sediment further down the river. What we need is several strong spring rain storms to speed this process along.

Peterson Park next to the Hydro Dam. 

The weeds we expected to rise when we refilled the lake, never materialized as you can see in the picture at left.  Just a few stalks are all that is left of the plant material that grew in the lakebed while the lake was down.  This is great. It means we will not have to spend extra monies to remove the debris. This one worry has become a non-issue.
A good sign is the clear water filling the lake.
Nothing could be better.


There was some concern (I have received many questions on this subject) about cement dumped along highway 110 north of the bridge over the lake. This was requested by the DOT to stabilize the sidewalk. The DOT wants to prevent the sidewalk from washing into the lake as the lake rises. The cement was dumped by the Waupaca County crew and is not quite an eyesore but it could have been done with a little more care.  The DNR has a complaint with the cement, as the lake shore is their responsibility. This has caused some consternation among the Weyauwega Lake Restoration members, the DOT, county and DNR. Patrick Wetzel, the Weyauwega City Administrator, is working with the DNR, the DOT and the county to resolve the issue.
The Boat Landing at Lake Street. The lake is filling nicely.

Friday, August 10, 2012

WLR Regular Meeting August 9, 2012



Thursday, August 9, 2012 6:00 PM

Attending: Kent Gerard, Howard Quimby, Ron Wiesman, Bob Van Epps, Jim Tolfa, Don Morgan, Doug Nelsen, Holly Martin, Carl Kohl

1. Call to order (Bob Van Epps (BP)) 6:00 PM

2. Approval of July Minutes Motion Wiesman second Gerard approved (Joy Van Epps sent a complaint about the minutes, Jim Tolfa reported that she would like the time of the meeting start and the time of the adjournment on the minutes. )

3. Financial Report: (Ron Wiesman (BM))

M&I Opening Bal 7-12-2012 686.50

deposit: 6,357.00

expenses: (53.50)

M&I Closing Bal 8-9-2012 6,990.00

First National Bank 29,008.38

Total Cash on Hand 35,998.38

We are $250 short on break even for raffle.

Motion Gerard second Tolfa - Approved


4. Presidents Project Overview Report: (Bob Van Epps (BM)) Project is going well. Bob Reports a Fox Valley Tech source for lake burn. The details and cost are to be worked out later. Van Epps cautioned this is in the planning stages and open for discussion. Members brought up using the local fire department. Quimby had already approached local fire fighters for their willingness to handle the burn for a training class. Bob will follow up with the Weyauwega Volunteer Fire Chief. The sediment on the lake is baked hard. The plants in the lake will either be burned off or will drown. Van Epps reported NAH has not gotten back on the drawdown extension. All requested documentation has been delivered to NAH.

5. Rules Committee: A committee has been formed to define the rules that will apply to the use of the lake. The committee tentatively consists of: Jim Tolfa(Chair) - Kent Gerard and Ron Wiesman.

6. Fundraising Committee: (Jim Tolfa (BM) – Bob Radtke) Bob Van Epps reporting for Bob Radtke Please get the tickets back to Bob now so he can try to sell them from the bar. Jim Tolfa reported he would like the raffle moved to a date later in the year – after the Horse and Buggy days maybe the first week in October. He gave the reasons of the number of events that offer opportunities to sell tickets in the surrounding communities. This will be given another look next year. Bob Van Epps, tickets are now beginning to sell well. The drawing is this Sunday, August 13th.

7. Education Committee: (Bob Van Epps (BM) Lynn Ponto – Connie Abert) No report

8. Grant Committee: (Holly Martin (BM) – Caroline Zemple(BM)) No report

9. Lake Reclamation Committee: (Holly Martin (BM)Justin Sipiorski – Doug Nelson – Kaycie Stushek) A conference call was held with Martin and Nelson, (Sipiorski, Stushek and Johnson were unable to attend and sent regrets, the have been updated on the results of the call) to nail down a plan for pro-active planting. Troubled areas of the lake were identified and appropriate plantings were determined giving thought to future partial drawdowns and cost to plant. A Shoreline and Emergent planting recommendations were completed for home owners that would stabilize the shore and be esthetically pleasing while surviving the future partial drawdowns. The plan will now go to Ted Johnson and Justin Sipiorski for approval with attention to improving habitat for endangered species and fish populations.

10. City Projects Steering Committee: (Howard Quimby) Reported he had a meeting with Bill Forest on Aug 7th to determine the standing of the the permits needed to complete the rip rap project and the boat launches. The rip rap permit was approved by the DNR on August 3rd and is now in the hands of the City for 300 feet of shoreline along Peterson Park. Both boat ramp permits were approved August6th and are in the mail. Quimby reports and Bill Forest is in touch with the Bass club who are to assist the city with the financial costs of the boat launch repairs. Gerard brought to the attention of the group the need to take pictures before, after and during the repairs for documentation purposes.

11. Other Don Morgan brought his concerns relating to the people down river want to be made whole. What do they mean by that? He cautioned against any efforts other than that of the DNR to address this issue actively.

Don Morgan: Is there any merit in having a picture of the new river channel? He has a pilot that will take the picture for $100. Bob Van Epps already has pictures from the county that are high resolution satellite pictures and the club has aerial pictures given to them that were taken 6 month apart during the drawdown.


12. Next Meeting September 13th Library

13. Adjourn Meeting : motion Gerard at 6:40 pm

WLR Special Meeting July 23, 2012

Special Meeting Weyauwega Lake Restoration Inc.

July 23, 2012

Weyauwega Library Meeting Room

6:30 pm

Attending: Wiesman, Quimby, Zemple, C. Zemple, Tolfa, Werth, Van Epps, Martin, Morgan

Call to order – Van Epps

Motion to approve the Minutes of the July 12, 2012 Meeting Werth, Second Zemple – Approved

Meeting adjourned Martin