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.

Board meeting and Lake Tides

This is just a reminder that the fall board meeting, originally scheduled for this Sunday, September 6, has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Our next board  meeting will (hopefully) be at the usual time next spring on May 30.

At the last meeting on June 14, the board voted to enroll the Lake of the Falls Association in Wisconsin Lakes, an advocacy organization made up of lake associations and lake districts from all over the state. As a benefit of membership we receive the quarterly Lake Tides journal, which you can read here. This issue includes an interesting discussion of the Public Trust Doctrine from a 21st century perspective, information about aquatic invasive species, and more.

And another reminder – if you haven’t yet  paid your annual dues, there is still plenty of time. Visit our Pay your dues page and get it done! Thanks.

Board meeting and Fish Count Form

The LOFA board meeting, scheduled for September 6, has been cancelled by unanimous consent of the board members. Hopefully by next spring things will be returning to something close to normal, and we can pick up where we left off in 2019.

But there are still plenty of folks out there fishing on Lake of the Falls and First Black Lake! So don’t forget to fill out a Fish Count Form, either on paper or electronically, each time you get back so we can get a better picture of the numbers and health of our fish populations. Paper forms can be printed by you, or there are usually some available at the public boat landing. We appreciate it!

We’re still monitoring LOTF and First Black for water quality, and this year we’ve been invited to monitor water chemistry (phosphorus and chlorophyll), too. Water test results can be seen any time by following this link.

Don’t forget to vote and pay your dues!

If you haven’t already, please follow this link right now and cast your votes to approve (or not, it’s up to you) the proposed LOFA budget for 2020-21 and the proposed changes to our bylaws. And, since there won’t be an annual meeting and picnic this year due  to the Covid-19 pandemic, let me take this opportunity to remind you to pay your dues! Many people pay at the picnic, but you can take care of it easily by visiting our Pay Your Dues page right here on this website. Pay online with Paypal or print out the form and mail it in with your check.

The deadline for voting is Thursday, July 30 and results will be posted here on August 2. I hope everyone is having a fun, and a safe, summer!

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.