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.

Come to our annual picnic on Sunday, August 4!

The LOFA annual general membership meeting and picnic will be held on Sunday, August 4 at Beaver’s Resort on Lake of the Falls Road. The meeting will start at 11:00 am with the picnic immediately following.

We’ll vote for new officers (Vice President, Treasurer, and three at-large directors), talk about  our new Fish Count Forms, and anything else lake-related that you’d like to discuss. Questions? Concerns? This is a great time to bring them up!

Please feel free to bring family members and houseguests. Our menu will include brats, burgers, and beverages; if you would like to bring a dish to pass, please feel free to do so, and bring your lawn chairs if you have them. If you haven’t already paid your membership dues, you can pay them at the picnic, and if you would like to participate in the 50/50 raffle, don’t forget to bring some cash! And we’ll have our beautiful LOFA membership signs on sale for $25 each.

Tent set-up will be Saturday, July 28 at about 10:00 am. Volunteers are always needed, so please help out if you can.

Come on out! It’s a great way to meet your neighbors around the lake. Hope to see you there.

Turtle crossings and meeting minutes

Please remember to report your turtle sightings to the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program! Let’s help them make life better for our little hard-shelled buddies.  Here is the link to do so.  This page also links to information about natural history, species identification, how to protect turtle nests, and much more.

And, completely unrelated, here are the minutes from the LOFA Board’s May 26 meeting at Beaver’s.

Conservation on Tap and the spring LOFA board meeting

Here is the schedule for this year’s Conservation on Tap programs, sponsored by the Iron County Land and Waters Conservation Department, the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, and hosted by The Pines restaurant. These are always interesting programs!

And, the spring meeting of the Lake of the Falls board of trustees will be this Sunday, May 26, at 10:00 am at Beaver’s Resort. All are welcome to attend. Hope to see you there!

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!