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.