LOFA, Inc.

The Lake Of The Falls Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of nature.

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Curly Leaf Pondweed and Rice Lake’s DNR grant, part 1

LOFA members, please take a look at this letter from Bob Kary of the Rice Lake Association with an update on the status of their DNR grant, which is in support of their effort to control the Curly Leaf Pondweed infestation that has taken over Rice Lake. The grant is in jeopardy because of a SNAFU over the DNR’s requirement of a public boat landing on the lake. For further clarification of the problem, this letter written by Dick Thiede outlines what has happened, and the current status of the grant.

 

The gist of all this is that the Rice Lake Association’s DNR grant is dependent on putting a public boat ramp on their lake. They have an existing space for public access, but it was previously not titled to the Town of Mercer, who is supposed to be responsible for public boat landings.  Now it is, though, and last February the town board committed to improving the ramp. But the latest is that someone from the DNR  has decided that there is no suitable place on Rice Lake for a public boat ramp, and now they want their grant money back from 2021. It was a lot of money. The RLA is currently seeking a waiver from the boat ramp requirement in order to continue with the work, keep the already-spent money from last year, and continue to receive grant support for the next two years. (Continued below)

Curly Leaf Pondweed and Rice Lake’s DNR grant, part 2

It bears repeating that the presence of Curly Leaf Pondweed upriver is a direct threat to our way of life and our property values on Lake of the Falls. Take a look at this video that was taken last summer in Rice Lake. We do NOT want this happening in our lake!

 

The members of the Rice Lake Association are requesting financial assistance and volunteer help from the other lake associations in the Turtle River watershed. We did send 2 volunteers last year to pull weeds in the river, and we have several more people committed to volunteering in 2022. In the Spring we will post volunteer information here on the website for those who want to help out.

 

The folks on Rice Lake have put a huge amount of time and effort into trying to get this problem under control. If they fail, it’s going to be our problem in another few years. We can’t let this happen! They need our help.

 

Science on Tap and the ICLRA

Science on Tap Minacqua is hosting a presentation called, “Using Science to Wrangle Aquatic Invasive Species,” featuring Michelle Nault of the Wisconsin DNR. It’s tomorrow night (Wednesday, January 5) at 6:30 pm, but will also be available live on YouTube. Here is all the info about it, including the YouTube link, for anyone who is interested.

 

The announcement about this came in an email from the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance (ICLRA, of which LOFA is a member), in which association secretary Dick Thiede also said, “We desperately need people to take on leadership roles. Please contact us if you can serve as any of our officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer). We also need help with things like our email list.” The ICLRA does a lot of good things for our lakes! Anyone with a few spare minutes to help out can contact him at ironcountylakesandrivers@gmail.com. Thanks!

 

 

Waiting out the winter – 2 things to do

Happy New Year! Only a few more months until ice-off, so here are some things to do while we’re waiting. Coming next week is an online seminar presented by Wisconsin Lakes (LOFA is a member) titled, “Understanding the Aquatic Plant Management Rulemaking: A Webinar.” They always make their webinar titles sound so exciting (not). But if the state of Wisconsin is changing the state regulations “related to chemical and mechanical/manual management of aquatic plants,” and since we put in a lot of time and effort over the last 2 years pulling Curly Leaf Pondweed out of the Turtle River in an effort to keep it out of Lake of the Falls, maybe we should pay attention to this. The webinar is next Tuesday, January 4 at 4:30 pm and will be presented over Zoom. Registration is required and you can follow this link to sign up.

 

Next is Wisconsin Water Week, coming the first week in April.The annual Lakes and Rivers Conference is expected to be an in-person event this year and is scheduled for April 6-8 in Stevens Point. For people who would rather not attend in person, there is also an online option. Registration will open in January and all the info for the whole week is at this link. Last year’s conference turned out to be really interesting, so take a look at what’s being offered for this year. There might be something that will change your life!

 

 

Curly leaf pondweed wrap-up, Fall meeting minutes, and some swans

Thanks to the Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department and our friends upriver on Pike Lake, the aquatic invasive plant Curly Leaf Pondweed has been kept out of Lake of the Falls  for another year. These links go to the Pike Lake Neighbors, Inc. website and  include a detailed overview of the problem and what Zach Wilson, his summer crew, and volunteers from Pike Lake (and a few from Lake of the Falls) have done to keep it under control in 2021. It has been a huge effort and we all owe a big thank you to the folks around Pike for the dedication and hard work they have put in to try and keep CLP contained. Here is a map showing where the largest patches CLP were found in Pike Lake this summer. A large patch very close to the Turtle River was cleared in July and more patches were pulled through the end of August.

 

This problem isn’t going to go away and we will need more volunteers to help pull weeds next summer! Details will be available when we start to organize again in the spring.

 

And here are the minutes from the September 5 Board meeting. And also a photo of a couple of lovely migratory swans who came visiting on their way south today! These autumn days have been especially beautiful, even for here. If anyone has some good photos to share I know everyone would love to see them. Send them to our gmail address and I’ll post them here, or upload them to our Facebook page.

Our final board meeting of 2021

The final LOFA board meeting of 2021 is scheduled for this Sunday, September 5 at 10:00 at Beavers. Anyone interested is welcome to attend!

 

It’s hard to believe that autumn is upon us already. If anyone gets some good photos of fall color around the lake send them to lofassociation@gmail.com and we’ll post them in our gallery – or upload them to our Lake of the Falls Facebook page!

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