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Blue-Green Algae

In 2016 the Special Projects Committee investigated the levels of harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in several areas of the waterway. The highest level was found in Waterford Lake. Samples were collected three times this summer in order to apply for a grant from the DNR to cover the cost of abatement in that area. The results of the 2017 sampling are summarized below. You can view the full 2017 Water Quality Test Results report for more detail. The report is located on the Special Projects committee page.

Waterford Lake

  • June 21 – 13,700 cells/mL (This is significantly less than last year’s highs of nearly 110,000 cells/mL, but is still in the low end of the moderate risk range of 10,000-100,000 cells/mL.)
  • July 20 – 13,900 cells/mL
  • August 30 – 300,000 cells/mL (This level is extremely high risk. Swimming is not recommended and caution should be exercised to keep pets away from the water.)
  • September 13 – 200,000 cells/mL

Elm Island Bay

  • June 21 – 0 cells/mL
  • July 20 – 0 cells/mL
  • August 30 – 0 cells/mL
  • September 13 – 0 cells/mL

Southeast Bay of Tichigan Lake

  • June 21 – 0 cells/mL
  • July 20 – 0 cells/mL
  • August 30 – 22,200 cells/mL
  • September 13 – 11,800 cells/mL

Northeast Bay of Tichigan Lake

  • June 21 – <40 cells/mL
  • July 20 – <40 cells/mL
  • August 30 – 600 cells/mL
  • September 13 – 33,600 cells/mL

Notice of Public Meeting

The regular meeting of the WWMD Board will be held on Saturday, October 28 at 9:00 am at Waterford Town Hall at 415 N. Milwaukee St.

DNR Release of a New Small Scale Dredging Permit

The DNR has released of a new small scale dredging general permit available for riparian land owners. This is of particular importance to those in the Waterford Waterway Management District and Fox River riparian owners. The permit would allow for the removal of up to 25 cubic yards of material from a waterway for the purposes of navigation. This 25 cubic yard limit is over a 5 year period. For more information, see Senator David Craig’s letter.

7/25/17 Communication From DNR About Fish Kills, Sewer Odor and Surface Scum

High river flows and out-of-bank flooding due to recent storm events are contributing to unusual conditions seen on the Fox River and the Waterford impoundment. Citizens are reporting dead fish in high numbers throughout the waterway. Summer conditions for fish are always stressful, with warm water contributing to lower dissolved oxygen levels. The recent floods washed an enormous amount of sediment and associated nutrients from the landscape into the river, producing oxygen sags (confirmed by recent sampling) as this new material is digested by natural bacteria. These stressful low-oxygen conditions, along with the large influx of warm surface water and other possible pollutants, are likely responsible for the fish kills observed. Additionally, these conditions can be responsible for the septic odors reported by some.

Sampling on the Fox River by DNR Staff did not show a blue-green algae bloom in that area as of Monday July 24th. More tests on the waterway are being run by WWMD. As water levels recede and warm temperatures return, continued vigilance for blooms and common sense are encouraged. Swimmers should avoid paint-like surface scums and ingesting river/lake water, as well as rinse off after exiting the water.

Questions can be directed to the Department of Natural Resources, either by calling 262-884-2357, or by e-mail at craig.helker@wi.gov.