2018 Aquatic Plant Committee News

Navigational Treatment – August 8th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water on August 8th to treat navigational lanes. The map showing the areas treated is below.

Navigational Treatment – July 12th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water on July 12th to treat navigational lanes. The map showing the areas treated is below.

Navigational Treatment – June 6th and 8th

Our treatment provider, Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources, was out on the water in early June. The map showing the areas treated is below.

APM Position on Drawdown

An over winter drawdown was approved for our waterway by the WDNR for the 2017-18 season. The permit was approved on the basis of controlling the growth of Invasive Species in our waterway. This was stopped in April of 2017 due to concerns that it may interfere with plans for the dredging project.

Since that time there has continued to be interest in a drawdown. Our consultant, Onterra, who is preparing our new Lake Management Plan, and assisting us with our Aquatic Plant Management approach, has made it clear that a drawdown is a POSSIBLE technique that could be used.

There are multiple reasons for doing a drawdown, these include;
– Invasive Species Control
– Improved access for shoreline repair
– Silt compaction in shallow areas
– Improved access for personal dredging

Not all of these require an overwinter drawdown.

The Board will be working with Onterra over the winter to determine the risks and benefits of a drawdown as well as other Aquatic Plant Management techniques.

Along with the input from Onterra, the Board will consider the opinion of the Riparian owners. This is why we need a Referendum on this issue.

Once the Board has all this information, it will make a decision on applying for the appropriate type of drawdown permit. We expect to have all of this by March of 2019. IF the decision is to apply for an overwinter drawdown, this should be sufficient time to complete it in the 2019-20 season.

One point to remember – doing a drawdown is NOT a Board decision. The Board decision is if we should apply for a permit. The WDNR can approve or reject this permit application.

Over Winter Drawdown – Current State and Next Steps

A drawdown was recommended to us two years ago by our treatment provider Stantec (now a part of Wisconsin Lake and Ponds Resources – WLPR) as an effective plant management technique. I immediately took this recommendation to the WDNR to get their input, and they were enthusiastic about it. Since then, there have been many ‘facts’ brought to light about possible impacts, positive and negative, with a drawdown and this has caused much discussion and, at times, contention. One thing I think we can all agree on, the waterway has a problem with weed growth and water depth in many areas. I believe a drawdown can help with both of these. I repeat – help. It does not permanently solve either. We currently spent well over $100,000 of your money each season on treating the weeds. We have been doing this for many years and have made no appreciable difference to the weed problem. Some areas improve, others get worse. As far as water depth, a drawdown can assist with this in 2 ways, temporary compaction of the muck, and ability for homeowners to easily complete personal dredging (with a permit). It is clear to me, the benefits, and minimal financial outlay; make the drawdown an obvious choice. And now to the risks of this approach. Potential fish kill, impact on spawning areas, possible increase of some weed growth. These are areas I am continuing to investigate.
There has been some recent discussion about the fall report from Onterra. This was received the night before the annual meeting and was too late to present at the meeting. The report references the occurrences of EWM in the waterway, as well as the impact of a drawdown on coontail and on sediment compaction. The report is posted here and will be used in our discussions with Onterra over the next few weeks.
To be clear, we are NOT considering, and never have considered, doing a drawdown during the summer months. We are still looking at an over winter drawdown and will be working with Onterra to assess the benefits, risks and timing. We will include the data we have from Onterra, as well as from our provider WLPR. The fall report from WLPR is posted here. The first step in this process is scheduled for December when we meet with Onterra. If the results of the conversations with these experts, as well as with the WDNR, show that an over winter drawdown makes sense for our water way, we will proceed with the permit process. This process includes Board approval and public meetings. If the information shows that a drawdown comes with risks that outweigh the potential benefits and cost savings we will stop or postpone the plans.
I urge anyone who has questions, concerns or additional information on the drawdown to contact me directly. There are a number of external conversations on message forums that continue to have miss-leading and incorrect information.
Thank you
Mike Waghorn
Commissioner and APM Chair
312 952 1959

Draw Down Information

Based on discussions at the Annual Meeting, FAQs and other information on the possible draw down is being re-posted.
Information Provided for Board Vote in April
Draw Down FAQs

Proposed 2017-2018 Over Winter Drawdown

At the WWMD Monthly meeting on 4/27/17 the Board decided to stop the implementation of the over-winter draw down for the 2017-18 season. In a close vote (4-3), concerns over the impact on the EcoSystem Restoration project and resolutions from the Town, Village and SEWFRC outweighed the potential benefits and cost savings of this technique.