Crappies in First Black Lake

In the last few years some LOFA members have expressed concern about perceived changes in the crappie population in First Black Lake. Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Biologist Zach Lawson listened to us and conducted a project late last year to assess the situation. Once again, we are most appreciative of  Zach’s efforts on behalf of our lakes. Thanks also go to LOFA board member Bill Dalpiaz for his time and effort as the head of the Fishing and Water Quality committee.

The report can be read  here and makes for very interesting reading.

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LOFA-sponsored “Ted Talk” coming soon!

LOFA Board president Jan Tesch has done a great job arranging and promoting this upcoming presentation by local author Ted Rulseh, scheduled for May 18 at the Mercer Community Center. Thanks, Jan! This will be a great way to learn more about the lakes we love.

Here’s  a printable version of the poster for you to hang on your refrigerator or give to your friends.

Mark your calendars

Lakeside CompanionThe Lake of the Falls Association has arranged a presentation by northwoods author Ted Rulseh of his newly published book,  A Lakeside Companion, on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10:30 am at the Community Center in Mercer.  Take a look at this short write up on the author and his book and then plan to join us! It promises to be fun and informative.

Walleyes reconsidered – a conversation with Zach Lawson

On October 23rd several LOFA members met with Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Biologist Zach Lawson to talk about fish species, catch limits, habitat, and the health of Lake of the Falls. It was a good conversation! We’re grateful to Zach for taking the time to come out, and to Bill Dalpiaz for setting it up. You can read my notes from the meeting here, and then take a look at Zach’s handouts.

Edit on November 13: I received some revisions to the meeting notes from Zach today, so am posting the corrected copy here. His changes are in italics. He also sent Survey Reports from 2015 for Lake of the Falls and for Third Black Lake in 2016. Regarding the meeting handout posted above, he asked me to remind everyone that “the historic recruitment/stocking/cpe’s document was compiled data from our files here and does NOT have any dialogue associated. Those figures are a rather complex representation of the data we have in hand, were meant for a meeting setting explaination, and therefore, I ask people who view/interoperate those figures/data, to contact me directly with any questions/concerns before drawing any conclusions.”

Zach’s efforts on behalf or our lake are greatly appreciated and we hope to see him again next season!

Acoustic bat monitoring – two new maps!

We’ve done two acoustic bat monitoring surveys this summer and have discovered that our beautiful lake supports five different species of bats! Check out our maps from July 17 and August 11.

These surveys are done as part of the Wisconsin Bat Program and coordinated locally by the North Lakeland Discovery Center. We conduct the surveys by taking a slow ride around the perimeter of the lake after dark while using a handheld bat detector. Each species of bat has a different high-frequency call which can be heard by the detector. By looking at the frequency, shape and other characteristics of calls, the software in the detector can identify the species of bat that was recorded.

Bats are fascinating animals that are vital to the environment. They eat tons of insects nightly, saving farmers billions of dollars in pest control every year. They benefit our forests by pollinating a variety of flowering plants and spreading seeds that grow new trees. It’s good to know that Lake of the Falls supports such a healthy population of bats! Just one more reason to love our lake.

More information about bats in Wisconsin, including info about our various bat species,  can be found here.