Two ‘Paths’ Divided On
For A Cleaner Lake
Paddock Lake’s Path
Citizen Vigilance And Expert Partners Are Essential For Lake Management Success
WAL Lake Connection – Autumn 2003
The Village of Paddock Lake (Kenosha County) has a lake of 132 acres. A Lake District, formed in 1975, includes the entire village. Village Board members also serve as District Commissioners.
In the 1980’s Paddock Lake became infested with Eurasian watermilfoil and other exotic plants to a point where people could not get beyond their piers, fishing was restricted and swimming was dangerous. Only a small area was usable for recreation.
Some limited programs for chemical treatment and plant harvesting were attempted without much success. District Commissioners found only limited time to devote to lake issues. A DNR representative stated at the time “The Lake Districtis in a state of paralysis.”
In response, about 1985 a few citizens gathered with the goal of improving Paddock Lake. Going door-to-door, these citizens explained their concerns and built local support, forming a Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the lake.
The Citizens’ Advisory Committee began to make an impact as more citizens attended the annual meeting, supporting their agenda. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee prepared a concise annual budget for the Lake District.
Following the efforts of the Citizens’ Committee and with the help of DNR staff and monies from several DNR grants, the District has (1) completed a lake study (2) developed a plant and lake management plan (3) carried out several lake protection projects and (4) purchased a new harvester.
Lake District agendas and budgets prepared by the Advisory Committee have been passed nearly unanimously for the past decade and the Village Board/Lake Commissioners now have such confidence in the Advisory Committee that they rely upon it almost exclusively to run the Lake District. Even though the Commissioners change with elections, the Citizens’ Advisory Committee has remained the one constant over the years.
Tom Arnison, Chair of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee tells us that as a result of this citizen-DNR-Village partnership, today Paddock Lake is very different and much improved from its condition in 1985.
Improvements on Paddock Lake since 1985 include:
1. A surface water area that is almost 100% open, supporting quality swimming, boating and fishing.
2. A ten year old Self-help monitoring database
3. An efficient citizen-supported harvesting program
4. Diminished user conflicts due to passing an ordinance for no-wake hours
5. A water patrol, a pier ordinance reducing lake load and 2 stormceptors to reduce non-point source pollution from a highway.
The message of this success story for everyone is that lakes do not take care of themselves, but require dedicated, active citizens to remain vigilant and continually involved.
In the case of Paddock Lake, and for all lakes, a close partnership with DNR lake experts and local government (village trustees) is also very important.
From Weed Bed to Glistening Waters
Never doubt that a small group of concerned people cannot change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that can. ~Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
The Village of Paddock Lake, poplulation 3,000, has a lake of 132 acres. There is an individual watershed of 265 acres which is 90% developed.
The Lake District was formed in 1975 and includes the entire village. The commissioners of the Lake District also serve as the Village Board.
Paddock Lake was infested with Eurasian milfoil and other exotic aquatic plants to a point where people could not get out of the piers, fishing was restricted and swimming was dangerous. Only a small area was usable for recreational purposes.
At this time, chemical spraying of the aquatic plants was initiated. The decaying weeds sank, used up oxygen needed by the fish population and provided fertile ground for next year’s crop. Each succeeding crop was more bountiful.
The commissioners decided to try a harvesting program. Inefficient management, a sporadic repair and maintenance program and late start of harvesting season contributed to a marginally successful operation. The Commissioners found only limited time to devote to Lake District issues.
In the mid 80’s a few citizens gathered together with a goal of improving Paddock Lake. Going door-to-door to their neighbors, these citizens explained their goals and plans. More residents became interested and willing to support the efforts of this core group.
A DNR representative stated, “The Lake District is in a state of paralysis.” The Citizens’ Advisory Committee needed to make an impact. More citizens attended the annual meeting to support their agenda. The Citizens’ Advisory Committee prepared a concise annual budget for the Lake District.
With the imput and guidance of the DNR the District has:
Today Paddock Lake has a well managed Lake District that
Has a nearly completely usable surface
Operates an efficient harvesting program
All recreational activities have improved, including swimming, boating and fishing
User conflict has diminished due to the reasonable hours of no wake
Pier ordinance to reduce lake load
Two stormceptors were installed to reduce non-point source pollution from a major highway
Agendas and budgets prepared by the Advisory Committee have been passed nearly unanimously for the past decade. The Commissioners have such confidence in the Advisory Committee that they rely upon it almost exclusively to run the Lake District. Even though the Commissioners change with elections, the Citizens’ Advisory Committee has remained the one constant over the years.
The work is not finished. A DNR retention basin will have to be installed by the developer before farmland can be developed in Paddock Lake. The Adopt-A-Lake program has yet to be implemented. The volunteer seechi disk programs will continue as well as sampling for temperatures, phosphorus and chlorophyll. An updated aquatic plant management program is in process. The committee is committed to remaining vigilant to insure the quality of Paddock Lake.
Eagle Lake’s Path
Press Release from the Town of Dover, WI
Economic survey to zero in on how Eagle Lake benefits all of Dover
The Town of Dover is undertaking efforts to help solve some of Eagle Lake’s root problems such as silt runoff from the surrounding watershed. An economic impact survey recently mailed to lakeshore property owners is a first step in those efforts.
The town will be applying for grant monies to fund possible projects such as silt retention ponds and wetland restorations. Because economic justification is a requirement of most grant applications, the Dover plan commission and board unanimously voted to hire the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Fiscal
and Economic Research Center to administer this economic survey.
In January, UW-Whitewater’s Associate Professor of Economics Russ Kashian mailed the 3-page survey to 230 people around Eagle Lake. It amounts to 23 questions; 10-15 minutes is the estimated completion time. Results will detail the economic impact the lake has on the local and regional economies. Kashian said, “Some questions in the survey are designed to focus on how changes in lake quality affect property values on the lake relative to other lakes in the region.”
For example, there are approximately 1,900 property owners in the town of Dover, yet the 230 people with lakeshore property pay more than half of the property taxes. Similar economic studies Kashian has conducted in other lake communities such as Paddock Lake, Delevan and Geneva show that a healthy lake is a “win-win” situation for everyone: people on the lake benefit from higher property values and people off the lake enjoy a lesser tax burden. If valuation drops on the lake, people off the lake see their taxes go up to cover the difference.
Dover Plan Commissioner Jim Celano, who has worked with Kashian in other communities, concurred, “It’s been proven throughout the state that there’s a higher revenue stream to local government as a result of higher property values along waterfronts. Plus, the lake does attract tourist dollars — through fishing and
other recreation — that trickle down to area businesses.
“If properly maintained and protected, there is a significant economic value to Eagle Lake. It can actually be the diamond in the crown of Dover and if treated as such, it will respond in kind,” Celano said. Celano continued along another vein: “But trumping all of that is that Eagle Lake has a direct effect on the area’s aquifer. There needs to be a coordinated effort to ensure that best management practices in all land use activities are put into place to ensure the health and vitality of the watershed and the lake so we don’t destroy our own source of natural clean drinking water.
“What I see happening now (with this survey and Dover’s focus on Eagle Lake),” said Celano, “is a small community taking charge of its major natural feature.”
Town Chairman Ray Gromacki shared a similar viewpoint: “Eagle Lake and its watershed are natural resources that are of tremendous importance to the area. They have to be protected even from the standpoint of just being a good citizen.”
Gromacki said he hopes to clarify the relationship between Eagle Lake and the community with the survey. “We don’t want to invite tremendous development to the area, but people here, especially around the lake, pay a lot in property taxes,” said Gromacki. “The town has a responsibility to improve and maintain the lake for its people and its local business owners. We see our efforts as an investment in the whole community.
“Racine County thinks enough of this lake to have a beautiful park here and public access,” Gromacki pointed out. “We, too, want to make Eagle Lake a nice place to be utilized by more of Dover’s population…by everyone.”
After taking office last year, Gromacki formed a lake restoration committee, appointing 5th-generation Dover farmer, Barney Lavin, as its leader.
Lavin pointed out that Eagle Lake has the benefit of two healthy organizations working hard on its restoration: Eagle Lake Management District (ELMD) and Eagle Lake Property Owners Improvement Association (ELPOIA). The town will be working in conjunction with ELMD’s 7-year lake plan but in 2008, will focus on silt retention in the Eagle Lake Watershed.
According to Lavin, the town committee will be working with landowners in the watershed to stop the flow of silt into the lake. Projects being considered include wetland restorations, retention ponds and storm water treatment vaults. The committee will also investigate the possibility of a new, modern dam to replace the
existing one and lake dredging.
Lavin said, “We are offering our energies and resources to move forward lake improvement initiatives. Residents are asking us to do something, to become involved. The couple hundred households on the lake (the memberships of ELMD and ELPOIA) can’t do it themselves. The town, carrying the clout of 2,000 households, needs to work with them to help solve the lake’s problems.
“Eagle Lake belongs to everyone and town residents have the right to voice their opinions on issues affecting them,” added Lavin.
The economic impact survey also delves into public policy, feelings about development on the lake, and the expansion of municipalities into undeveloped rural and agricultural areas.
Kashian said, “The survey will help determine the positive and negative effects that pressures from continued urban development might have on the value of the lake, too.”
To provide maximum information on how to safeguard the character of the Eagle Lake area, Kashian said it is imperative that as many property owners as possible complete and return their surveys by Feb. 28. As of the last week in January, he has gotten back a quarter of the 230; reminder postcards will go out in a week. Results are expected in April.
As of June 26, 2008
Draw Down, Rotenone Treatment and Re-Stocking
Douglas Welch – DNR
Current date October 20, 2008 (depending on precipitation and unforeseen circumstances)
Ponds – November 6,7. Watershed – November 10. Lake – November 11
2009 After ice-out
Quotas for largemouth bass fry, northern pike fry – small and large fingerlings.
Transfer adult largemouth bass and northern pike
Quotas for Northern pike yearling
(Bass from Eagle Lake because of disease will not be stocked back in lake. Walleyes will not be stocked)
Adult bass and northern pike would be quite expensive. Those wanting to purchase adult bass or northern pike would need to contact Mr. Welch on stocking application. Forage minnows will probably have to be purchased from private hatcheries. Folks interested in doing this would need stocking application. Minnows would need to be stocked in early 2009 after ice-out.
Prior to kill-off, Eagle Lake has used 2,4-D.
Lake Treatment 2, 4-D
Click on the link below for more information
Town Chairman Ray Gromacki – (cell) 414-651-4659, (home) 262-534-6402
Lake Restoration Committee Chairman Barney Lavin – (home) 262-878-1702, email@example.com
Plan Commissioner Jim Celano – (cell) 262-210-6556, firstname.lastname@example.org
UW-Whitewater Associate Professor of Economics Russ Kashian – (office) 262-472-5584
When was the project started? Fall 2006.
How much sediment was removed? About 3,000 cubic yards.
When was the project finished? Winter 2006.
What is it? The Mound Road sedimentation area is a 140-acre wetland that includes two sedimentation ponds and a gauging station, where the U.S. Geological Survey conducts water testing.
The 4- to 5-foot-deep ponds were constructed in 1992 to slow the flow of water to the lake and filter sediment from the water. By 2002, the ponds were more than 40 percent filled with sediment and no longer functional. To renew the ponds, they needed to be dredged and deepened to 10 feet.
The gauging station also needs to be dredged.
When was the project started? Fall 2006. How much sediment has been removed?About 2,900 cubic yards from the North Pond and 5,250 from the East Pond. But below the sediment lay native clay and rock, which prevented hydraulic dredging from continuing. About 23,650 cubic yards of clay and rock need to be mechanically removed from the perimeter of each pond, creating a baffle to slow the water and more evenly distribute sediment.The revised project began in February. Work on the North Pond is finished, but work on the East Pond was halted by mid-March because the site was too muddy for the heavy machinery.When will the project be finished?
Work on the East Pond is more than half done and should resume as soon as the site is dry enough. Removal of the remaining clay and rock should take about a week.
Work on the gauging station should begin at the end of June, when divers will use specialized vacuum-like equipment to remove 1,700 cubic yards of sediment.
The entire project, including the planting of native flowers and grasses at the disposal sites, should be finished by fall.
Dredging of the Inlet
What is it? The Inlet is a 210-acre wetland designed to filter sediment from the water that flows into the lake. It’s the “last line of defense” against sediment.
The Inlet was dredged in 1992 but has collected so much sediment that it no longer acts as a filter. To again be effective, the Inlet needs to be dredged.
When will the project start? Summer 2009.
How much sediment must be removed? About 74,000 cubic yards to create an area nine times larger than the Mound Road sedimentation ponds, according to a 2004 study.
When will the project be finished? Fall 2009.