Curly Leaf Pondweed threatens Lake of the Falls: how you can help

LOFA members, please read this letter from Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance secretary Dick Thiede which updates us on the efforts being made by the Rice Lake Association to get their infestation of Curly Leaf Pondweed (an aquatic invasive species) under control. After hitting lots of roadblocks in the last couple of years, they have a grant application submitted to the DNR that could provide critical funding in their effort, but have hit another snag in that they need a public boat launch on their lake in order for the grant to be considered for approval. The Mercer town board is meeting tomorrow (February 4th) at 5:30 to consider committing to the construction of a boat launch on Rice Lake. It’s necessary that they vote in favor of this for the grant to even be considered. The last paragraph of Dick’s letter has the contact information needed for us to either attend the meeting via Zoom or send an email in support of the landing.

Several patches of CLP were discovered in the Turtle River and in Pike Lake, just downriver from Rice Lake, last year and were hand-pulled by volunteers. Try to image just how much Curly Leaf Pondweed will enjoy living in Lake of the Falls if it manages to get downriver to us. Once it gains a toehold, it will be with us forever. We can support the Rice Lake Association in their efforts to get it under control before this happens!

Please do what you can to support Rice Lake.

Turtle River Watershed Management Plan

In response to concern about environmental threats to our waterways in Iron County, the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance (of which LOFA is a member) has been working with the State of Wisconsin to create a new model for assessing and improving the health of our lakes and rivers. ICLRA secretary Dick Thiede’s letter, sent by LOFA treasurer Jack Schuett to LOFA members last Tuesday, goes into a lot of detail about the reasons for this effort and is worth the time it takes to read. The upshot is the creation of the Turtle River Watershed Management Plan, a cooperative effort to address specific problems in the river system that can potentially affect everyone, such as the aquatic invasive species which are already present in some upriver lakes. The ICLRA is hosting a “kickoff” conference on Wednesday, January 29 to start the ball rolling on this important initiative. Time and place are still TBD and will be posted here. As Jack stated in his email to LOFA members on Tuesday,

While this is not an ideal time for many of you to attend, it is imperative to get the “ball rolling” as to have something in place ASAP. We know the the problem will not resolve itself. There will be committees and studies to be done so there will be plenty of chances to get involved.

We’ll keep everyone posted on the progress of this initiative.

To read Dick Thiede’s email, click here, and here to see a map of the Turtle River Watershed.

Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community

On October 18th at 6:30 pm at the Oma Town Hall the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance and the Iron County Citizens’ Forum are co-sponsoring a program titled “Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community”.  The speaker will be Kyle Magyera – Local Government Outreach Specialist for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Sounds interesting! For more information, visit http://ironcitizensforum.blogspot.com/

In case you missed it

We’re very grateful to Wendy Thiede for recording Zach Wilson’s excellent presentation about shoreline buffer zones at The Pines last Wednesday night. In case you weren’t able to attend,  you can watch it here.

 

Two things to do this week

Thing one: Buffer zones and the critters that inhabit them with Zach Wilson at The Pines
Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance (ICLRA) will present their next educational program on Wednesday, August 31st at 6:00 PM at The Pines Beer Garden in Mercer. Our own Iron County Conservation Specialist, Zach Wilson, will speak to the group.

Leopard frogZach’s program will be on buffer zones and the lesser-known critters that live in and around them. Riparian owners are required to leave buffer zones along the lake shore, but what is a buffer zone and why is it important for habitat? In discussions of the health of our lakes, we often talk about fish and large mammals, but turtles, frogs, dragon flies and other inhabitants also influence the delicate balance in our watersheds. These will be the focus of Zach’s presentation.

Thing two: Fill out this quick survey from the Wisconsin DNR, and tell them what you think!

Are you interested in outdoor recreation in Wisconsin? Do you have thoughts about what is currently available and what’s most needed?  Complete a recently released survey (link expired) on outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

Information generated from the survey will be used to develop the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).  SCORPs are intended to evaluate outdoor recreation trends and issues and set forth ideas about recreation’s future role in the state. Put simply, they are the blueprint for outdoor recreation in the state and provide broad guidance to governments at all levels, communities, businesses and organizations on recreation needs and opportunities.