Dodge County Healthy Soil - Heathly Water Workshop...
The workshop programs focused on farmer education. A seminar was held on Wednesday evening to update lake property owners and the community on conservative programs being implemented by Dodge County Farmers to reduce runoff of sediment and nutrients into Dodge County lakes and rivers.
Ray Archuleta, a nationally recognized soil health expert, addressed the workshop and the seminar and built on his presentation last year regarding the importance of soil health. The foundation of conservation in agriculture is understanding that soil is alive, it breathes, it is self-healing, self-regulating. It is like our bodies, if mistreated too much, we can kill it. Ray showed various examples of how healthy soil can absorb rainfall to the extent we have less runoff of sediment and nutrients.
The highlight of the workshops and the seminars were the presentations done by over 8 area farmers who showed and talked about how they are changing their farming practices to help improve their soils health through proper and less tillage, as well as implementation of cover crops. The sunlight interacting with these cover crops and the root systems impact on the soil has a tremendous positive effect on soil. The farmers along with UW Ext. reports showed that yield results where cover crops were inter-seeded with grain crops either no negative effect on yields or yields increased. We are learning that the more we emulate nature we will have better results. For more information on the new Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil - Healthy Water, go to dodgecountyfarmers.com
Formation of Lake District
The committee overseeing the development of a Beaver Dam Lake District continues the background work. The process involves the drafting of a petition that persons in the proposed district will be given an opportunity to sign. This petition, in addition to listing the need for the district, must also include a map and description of the properties to be included.
The committee is recommending that all properties touching Beaver Dam Lake be included in the Lake District.
Discussions are now taking place with the county to secure maps and to determine what the county will require as to written descriptions of the boundaries.
Once these requirements are
determined, petitions will be printed and meetings will be scheduled to inform persons, answer questions and secure signatures for the petition. When more than 51% of the property owners signatures are secured, the petition goes to the Dodge County Board of Supervisors, who schedule a hearing regarding the proposed district. BDLIA members will be kept informed regarding this process and dates for meetings on this proposal. You can also go to bdlia.org for updated information as it becomes available.
Commercial Fishing on Beaver Dam Lake
The commercial fishing company, Monsoor, removed a record number of rough fish from Beaver Dam Lake in 2017. A total of 1,707,600 pounds were removed; 1.1 M pounds of carp and 0.6 M of buffalo. That was about 4,000 lbs. more than in 2014 and beat out any year since carp removal records were kept beginning in 1996.
Discussion in 2016 was that the carp population was down in Beaver Dam Lake after it had been commercially fished for 20 years. After last year’s record catch, that conclusion is challenged. The association has approached the DNR requesting a carp bio-mass study again in 2018 to help with carp management decisions.
The association is currently working with the DNR on the installation of carp gates at Rakes Bay. The ability to keep carp out of spawning areas is another tool used in carp management. Carp produce great amounts of phosphorus through excrement, stirring up the bottom by foraging and spawning, and through death. The management of this population is very important in improving water quality.
BDLIA was again offered a great end of season price on bluegills by one of BDLIA’s suppliers. The committee took advantage of the offer, as bluegills are a favorite of the pan fish anglers on the lake and bluegills are an excellent predator of carp eggs.
This fall’s fish stocking continued BDLIA’s very aggressive fish stocking program. In the fall of 2106, similar numbers of the same species were stocked. “This program combined with our work with providing more fish habitat has helped in producing some good fishing on Beaver Dam Lake this summer and early fall. The perch and walleye fishing were particularly good,” stated Randy Schade, Chair of the Fish Program Committee.
The BDLIA fish stocking programs are supported with funds from contributions, donations, the fundraising banquet and fish tournaments. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have been able to invest over $40,000 in our stocking programs over the past two years,” stated Bill Boettge, President of BDLIA. “Funds donated to BDLIA are invested back into the lake via these stocking programs, as well as our work at improving water quality.”
Park Signage Project
In June, three members of the 2016/2017 Leadership Beaver Dam class completed an eight month projected suggested by the BDLIA to upgrade the signage at four popular parks which have boat launching facilities.
The old signage was in definite need of repair, lacked all the required information and the information was posted in numerous areas around the launch site. The project scope was to upgrade and enhance the signage information and to have it displayed concisely in one common area / message board throughout the four parks.
The LBD project team consisted of Jennifer Cole (the Oshkosh Corporation), Diana Ogle (Park Village Shopping Center) and Matt Winter (Mayville Engineering Corporation). The trio worked closely with Bill Boettge and Joel Winter and other BDLIA Board members. They thoroughly researched information and acquired assistance and approval from the DNR, Beaver Dam Parks Director John Neuman and Dodge County representatives.
Each of the four parks received a new park entrance sign and two message boards. The metal signs, custom-fabricated and donated by MEC, display an outline of Beaver Dam Lake, the name and location of the park and the date the park was established.
The message boards and their decorative posts were fabricated by Max-R Corp. in Sussex utilizing recycled plastic. The larger message board displays the following information: a map of the lake, the location of no wake buoys, launch fee information, fishing bag limits and regulations and postings about upcoming BDLIA and lake events. The smaller message board displays information about aquatic parasites and boat cleaning instructions. Attached to the board is a long handled grabbing hook for removing invasive plants and animals, a cleaning brush and a monofilament line recycling tube.
The funding for the message board package was made possible through a donation from the Randy Fiegel Estate, a DNR grant and funds received through launch fee collections.
The next time you visit these four parks, take a good look at the new park entrance sign and two message boards. I’m sure that that you will agree that the information displayed is not only informative and pertinent to all boaters and anglers, but also displayed in an attractive, concise manner.
Our thanks to everybody involved with this LBD and BDLIA initiative.
Aquatic Plant Update
As we stated in the February newsletter we have been in contact with property owners in previously heavily infested areas and were ready to follow through with herbicide if we got financial support from these owners and we had another heavy infestation. Based on a review of the areas in late May it was decided not to move forward with any herbicide treatment this year because of the significant decrease in the infestation.
It is the opinion of many on the BDLIA board that it is almost impossible for an Association to carry out an aquatic plant control program for Beaver Dam Lake. It is very difficult and extremely time consuming to contact property owners and get adequate numbers of owners to financially support such programs. In almost all cases the only lakes that are able to carry out such programs are those that have a lake district.
BDLIA will continue to monitor the infestation of aquatic plant invasive species and work closely with the DNR on actions that can be taken to control and prevent these plants in our lake.
Accepting Healthy Lakes Grant Applications
Please contact us if you are interested in applying for 2019. You can qualify for up to $1,000 in grant money for native gardens, rain gardens and other projects. Follow this link for Healthy Lakes project descriptions healthylakeswi.com/best-practices/.
For more information and an application, contact BDLIA.
UW Madison Project on Beaver Dam Lake
The 17 grad students are carrying out their work on Beaver Creek and Beaver Dam Lake. For complete information, go to the Lake Management Page.
Beaver Dam Lake Management Plan Implementation
A DNR grant was approved in 2015 to assess Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP) the invasive species of aquatic plant that infested the majority of the lake in 2015. The study took place in 2016 and it found that the lake, though less infested in 2016 than 2015, still had 53% of the lake covered by CLP. The report stated that due to the size of the lake and the extent of infestation, lakewide control would not be feasible. In 2017 BDLIA was in contact with property owners and we were ready to proceed with herbicide treatment if adequate financial support was received from the property owners. In late May 2017 it was decided not to move forward with treatment because of significant decrease in infestation of CLP in 2017. BDLIA will continue to monitor CLP and work closely with the DNR on actions that can be taken to control and prevent invasive species in our lake.
A new contract has been let by the DNR for continued commercial fishing of carp in the lake which is a major factor in carp management.
A review and study of carp barriers to the major bays is also underway as another step in carp management and improvement of game and pan fish habitat.
Development of additional recreational use of the lake with the installation of kayak docks at Waterworks Park in 2016 and Derge Park in 2017.