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!

Advertisements

More fishing news

LOFA Fish Czar Bill Dalpiaz has arranged a meeting for LOFA members with WDNR Fisheries Biologist Zach Lawson at 10:00am on Tuesday, October 23rd  at Beaver’s Resort. Find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about fish stocking, the Wisconsin Walleye Project, and the Wisconsin DNR! R.S.V.P. to Bill if you plan to attend, or send a note to lofassociation@gmail.com. Hope to see a lot of people there!

…and a social event: At this year’s picnic we talked about more ways for LOFA members to get together just for fun, so we’re starting out by having a social night at Beaver’s on Sunday, October 7th  starting at 6:30. Stop by for supper or just for drinks, and enjoy the company of your neighbors in a very informal setting. If there is enough interest we’ll try to make it a regular event, so come out if you can!

Fishing News

Bill Dalpiaz of our Fishing and Water Quality committee reports that WDNR Fisheries Biologist Zach Lawson conducted an electrofishing survey on Lake of the Falls last Monday night, looking for natural walleye reproduction prior to the WDNR’s bi-annual stocking of our lake in a couple of weeks. The plan is to stock 5070 large walleye fingerlings sometime around September 24th.

Bill also sent an informative report created by Zach Lawson and Fisheries Biologist Lawrence Eslinger about the history of walleye management on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. It’s full of interesting information about habitat, population estimates, growth and mortality, etc. You can read it here.

Thanks, Bill!

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.

Turtle crossings again

550368511 (2)

She was laying her eggs on the side of the road under our mailbox!

This is a re-post from last year, but it’s worth putting up again. Michael spotted this turtle today on Lake of the Falls Road.

With the breeding season in full swing for our local turtles, the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program is asking for our help. If you observe a turtle crossing a road on her way to a nesting site, find any that have been hit by cars, or just spot a turtle in the wild, you can go to the WTCP’s website to report your sighting. These reports help conservation biologists find problem areas so they can work with road agencies to make crossings safer for motorists and turtles alike; and also help build a database to enable the WDNR to manage and conserve turtles. The website is full of interesting info about turtle species, protecting their nests, and helping them get across the roads safely when we find them.