Up North Update 2018 #1

Dear Lake Neighbors,

It is “nearly” springtime.  I hear the birds singing louder and the sun feels warmer, however, that darn snow won’t seem to leave us!  In the past 3 years (2015, 2016 and 2017), the ice has disappeared right around April 1st.  I’m afraid it will be late April before we lose the ice this year!

This is a great time to renew your membership in GLA for 2018.  Contact me if you want to know if you have already renewed.  I’ve attached a membership renewal form so you can send one in with your dues.  We appreciate your support of our efforts to maintain this beautiful lake.

I have several important things for you to be aware of:

First, the GLA Board is actively monitoring a proposed subdivision of the Chauvet property near the landing by Secluded Land Company.  At this point, the proposed development is in a very preliminary stage.  Before any development can occur, the developer must get approvals for its proposal from Washburn County Zoning and the Town of Minong. We have a response to the proposal with our concerns which we have shared with Linda Featherly, a member of the Town Board.  We can’t stop development of that property, but we can aggressively oppose poor development.  This proposal is not good, and we will work hard to make that clear to the county and township.  The GLA board will keep you informed as things progress, and we will contact our members when their input and participation is needed at meetings of the Town Board and County Zoning. Please contact me if you have any questions about this situation. [franmccloskey@yahoo.com or reply to this email]

Second, you are likely aware that zebra mussels have been found in Washburn County in Big and Middle McKenzie lakes.  In response to this invasive species threat, the DNR, county and town of Minong are trying to educate the public and encourage careful boat inspection and decontamination of boats at landings to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.  Washburn County has passed a new ordinance requiring decontamination as long as a decontamination station is present at a boat landing. Please be vigilant when launching and removing boats from the lake.  In addition, please educate yourselves and your guests about decontamination and how to spot zebra mussels.  Please notify the lake association immediately if you think you found one and save a specimen in a sealed plastic bag.  Here is a link to an article on Zebra Mussels on WCLRA’s website.  http://wclra.org/washburn-burnett-counties-mobilizing-against-zebra-mussels/

Third, mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting and Picnic Lunch on Saturday June 30, 2018 at 10:00am.  We need some volunteers to help at the picnic with set-up and clean-up.  If you are able to help, please contact me.  Also, the Annual Boat Parade will be on Sunday July 1st at 1:00pm.  The theme will be announced as soon as we have open water.

If you would like to be added to our Facebook group, please contact me and provide the email address to send the invitation to join.  The group is a free forum and is not sponsored by the lake association.  There are some beautiful photos shared by people on the lake, and it is a great way to connect with your lake neighbors (full disclosure:  I am not a Facebook user, but I post periodically from my husband Mike’s account.)

I hope to see you out on the lake soon,

Fran McCloskey

GLA President

GLA Membership Renewal 2018

Membership Update

By Fran McCloskey

We have several new lake neighbors on Gilmore this year.  If you happen to live near any of them, please welcome them and encourage them to join our Association.  There are many benefits to joining, including receiving our Up North Updates by email.  Forms for joining are found in this Newsletter.  We will also be signing up new or renewing members at the Gilmore Lake Association Annual meeting and picnic on July 8th from 4pm-8pm.

We have several positions to fill in our association. I know that I keep asking, but we really need help with these things.

We are looking for people with the following skills or interests:

  • Computer skills to help with laying out the newsletter and sending it out. (8 hours, two times per year)
  • Social skills to invite new members, maintain the membership list, and organize the 4th of July Activities. (1-2 hours per month for membership; 1 day of effort for the July 4th activities)
  • Nature skills to help monitor EWM, lake levels, oxygen levels, etc. (2-4 hours per month during open water)

Even if you only are interested in one small part of what is described above, please volunteer and do your part.

This summer we are asking everyone to complete a survey about the lake.  This survey is required as part of our DNR grant for controlling Eurasian Water Milfoil.  It will be sent out via email to all those that have provided an email address to us.  We will also have paper copies at the Annual Meeting on July 8th.  Please complete a survey and submit it.  The results will be used to gather public input on our Milfoil management.

Finally, don’t forget about our July Celebrations:

Saturday July 2nd     Annual Boat Parade 1pm

  • This year’s theme will be “Noah’s Ark”
  • Meet near the landing before 1pm
  • Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place

Saturday July 8th     Annual Meeting and Picnic 4pm-7pm

  • Held at the Minong Town Hall (on Nancy Lake Rd.)
  • Meeting begins at 4pm and Dinner is at 5:30pm
  • Food and Drink will be provided by the Association
  • If you would like to bring something to share, desserts are welcomed.

This story comes from the Spring 2017 newsletter.

Walleye Stocking Update

By John Ney

Like many waters in northern Wisconsin, Gilmore Lake has experienced a sharp drop-off in walleye numbers as its largemouth bass population has exploded. Largemouth prey heavily on young walleye and may also compete with them for food.

To bypass this apparent bottleneck, the WDNR and lake associations have begun stocking walleyes at 6-8” in the Fall, when they are too large to be targets for bass. The program of stocking Extended Growth (EG) walleye has met with success in reviving the walleye fisheries in some area lakes, including the Chippewa Flowage and Nelson Lake. Extended Growth walleye have been stocked in Gilmore on an alternate year basis, beginning with the addition of 2,000 by the WDNR in 2012.  The GLA paid for stocking from a private source in 2014 (1,800 fish) and 2016 (~1500).

Have these stocking efforts been successful in growing more harvestable walleye in Gilmore? I am convinced that they have. The only measure we currently have is reports from anglers (contact me at 715-466-4198; jney@vt.edu).  In 2015, I received reports of 25 walleye caught. In 2016, the number was 30, all before the Flood. For sure, these are small fractions of the total catch. As of this writing, 9 walleye have been reported, 8 of them (all released) by one fisherman on opening weekend. Walleyes caught ranged from 10-27”. Many were in the 18-22” range.

WDNR personnel are scheduled to perform a thorough assessment of our walleye. Numbers and size distribution in 2018. I am optimistic that they will find a healthy population, including some natural reproduction. Stay tuned.

This story comes from the Spring 2017 newsletter.

Water Quality Update 2017

By Fran McCloskey

I can say with confidence that we are all hoping for less precipitation this summer, as we were all challenged by last summer’s flooding (some more than others!).  We continue to review the situation with our monitoring program, although there is little that we can do to stop Mother Nature from sending torrential rains.

We have been recording the lake levels and charting the data for several years.  The charts are available on our website at www.gilmorelakeassociation.com.  This year we have experienced a normal level of lake water rise and fall based on comparisons to prior years.

I’m happy to report that the beaver lodge at the creek leading to the Totagatic River appears to be healthy and occupied.  Should the beavers start rebuilding their dam, we may benefit from slightly-better water level management.   Please remember to respect wildlife on our lake and refrain from disturbing their habitat.

After the significant water event of 2016, the lake water clarity was abnormal for several months.  Current readings indicate that things are back to normal.  We will be sharing more information on our lake quality monitoring at the Annual Meeting on July 8th, so stay tuned.

The 2017 water level chart can be viewed here: Gilmore Lake – Stream Guage chart as of May 2017

The 2014-2016 water level chart can be viewed here: Gilmore Lake – Stream Guage chart (2014-2016

This story comes from the Spring 2017 newsletter.

Up North Update

Dear Lake Neighbors:

It’s time to get in gear for the summer season!

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL:  It is time to renew your membership for 2017.  Benefits you receive for $25 annual fee:  year-round monitoring of the health of our lake, invasive species management, walleye stocking, newsletters and information, annual Gilmore meeting and events, and much more.  Please join or renew.  A strong lake association is a key to maintaining the beauty of Gilmore Lake.  There is a membership form attached to this email.  If you are not sure whether you have renewed for 2017, please reply to this email, and I will be happy to check and get back to you.

LAKE ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS:  We are looking for people with the following skills or interests that are willing to help our lake:

Computer skills to help with laying out the newsletter and sending it out.  (8 hours, two times per year)

Social skills to invite new members, maintain the membership list, and organize the 4th of July Activities.  (1-2 hours per month for membership;  1 day of effort for the July 4th activities)

Sales skills to help sell advertising in our newsletter.  This is an easy way to raise money for our association.  (4-6 hours once per year)

Nature skills to help monitor EWM, lake levels, oxygen levels, etc.  (2-4 hours per month during open water)

Please reply to this email if you are willing and able to help the lake community.  None of these jobs requires much time.  Remember that “Many hands make light work”!

LAKE CONDITIONS:  The Ice-Out on Gilmore was early again this year (March 28th for the main lake and March 30th for Little Gilmore).  For the past week, the lake level has been up approximately 1.5 feet over normal.  The water is receding and will hopefully be back to normal by the weekend.

BURNING:  Remember to get your annual burning permit from Wisconsin DNR and please use caution when having an outdoor fire.  Always check before burning:  1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876)  Choose code 66 for Washburn County.  Today’s Fire Danger level is “VERY HIGH”  and no burning is allowed.

Burning permits can be obtained on the DNR’s website:  http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/forestfire/permits.html or at the DNR office in Spooner.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  CodeRED is an emergency notification service provided to all residents within Washburn County that will notify you of emergency information through phone calls, text messages, and emails. Register at www.co.washburn.wi.us   After the water/flooding events of July 2016, you may want to consider enrolling in this service.

BOATING SAFETY:  Please remember to use good judgment and follow Wisconsin’s Boating Regulations.  http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/LE/LE0301.pdf

SIGNAGE at Gilmore Drive and Smith Bridge Rd:  The Town of Minong has removed signs directing people to cabins at the junctions of County Rd I and local roads.  Signs must be in good condition with white background and black letters.  The signs that have been removed can be retrieved at the Town Hall on Nancy Lake Road.  The Rules are found at this link:


WALLEYE STOCKING:  In October, the Lake Association stocked 1,400 extended growth walleye (6” to 7”).  Earlier stocking is showing nice results with reports of 10” to 25” fish caught during the summer of 2016 (these are from earlier stocking in 2012 and 2014).  Please confidentially report any walleyes caught in Gilmore (date and length) to John Ney who is tracking the success of our stocking efforts jney@vt.edu .

MILFOIL MANAGEMENT:  The lake association will be monitoring and treating milfoil again this year.  We continue to monitor and manage the situation closely to keep it contained.  However, the early ice out of the last two seasons gives a perfect opportunity for Eurasian Water Milfoil to grow in advance of native plants taking hold.  We are looking for people interested in learning to identify EWM and help with lake monitoring.

ZEBRA MUSSELS have been found in Big McKenzie Lake in southern Washburn County.  Please be sure to clean your boat thoroughly when putting it in or taking it out of the water to avoid spreading invasive species between lakes.  Information is available on Washburn County Lakes and Rivers Assoc. website at http://wclra.org/

An Open House about Zebra Mussels will be held May 18 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm with Q & A from 7:00pm to 8:00pm at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station, W6646 Hwy. 70.

There will be another Up North Update in a few weeks informing you about the dates for the Annual Meeting and Gilmore Days Festivities.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our board members.  Our email addresses can be found on our website at www.GilmoreLakeAssociation.com — Click on “About” — “The Association”

Support Local Emergency Crews

Please consider making a contribution to provide a “Thank You” dinner for Minong Fire, Police and Emergency Medical Staff.  Contact Tony Barbee, as shown in the ad:


Ice Thickness

Burt King reports that the ice 20 feet off his shore is between eight and nine inches thick. However, exercise caution when out on the ice, as there are several springs that create thin ice.

Burt also provided some helpful links from the DNR, available below. Please remember to be very cautious.



Up North Update-October

This my last Up North Update before the newsletter comes out.

On Monday, October 12, 2015 the Minong Town Board will discuss the culvert/bridge issue for Little Gilmore.  At the last Minong Town Board meeting, several people from Little Gilmore attended and discussed their views of what for the replacement of the culvert.  After that discussion many of those attending from Little Gilmore left the meeting and missed the discussion of the board on the use of competing funds for the culvert project.  I strongly ask that in the future you stay for the whole board meeting.  You can then see why the town may decide on one action over another. Also,the Minong Town Lakes Committee gives an update on their activities that usually has some impact on Gilmore Lake.  It’s important for the town board to see the strong support of the lakes and that does have an effect on the Town Board’s actions. Over the last few years, a number of lake residents have become regular attendees at board meetings, fostering a better working relationship than existed in prior times. This has led to a number of board actions that were favorable to lake property owners. We need to continue to nurture this relationship and support the goodwill that has developed.   

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend the meeting.  I hope we can muster the same type of response next week.

Up North Update – August

Summer is quickly fading. I have to keep my fingers crossed and say that Mother Nature was fairly kind to us this year. Russ and I attended the town board meeting this week and there were a few things on the agenda that pertain to property owners of Gilmore Lake. Next month’s Town Board meeting will be September 14 at 7 pm at the town hall.

  1. It has been determined that the culvert between Little Gilmore and the big Lake needs work. Based on the discussion at the meeting, there are two ways to fix/repair it. The first would replace the old culvert with a new one. The cost would be covered by a town grant and would be the most timely repair. The other option is to replace the culvert with a bridge (no, not a draw bridge and don’t start shopping for a pontoon boat). The cost of this repair would also be covered by a grant but would take much longer to do the project. Linda Featherly on the board mentioned the work in terms of years. John Johnson from the Washburn County Highway Department will be a next month’s town board meeting to discuss this and another issue which is number 2 on this blog.
  2. The Wisconsin Highway Department has announced that they will be installing what I call a “J” intersection at 53 and 77. Coming from the west you have to make a right hand turn, cut across traffic to make a left, turn in a median, then turn left on 53 going north and then a right turn on 77 going east. I know this sounds bizarre but John Johnson will be discussing this project at the next town board meeting. The next town board meeting is September 14 at 7 pm at the Minong Town Hall.
  3. The town “Open Book” will be August 28. At this meeting you can come in and talk with the tax assessor about any questions you may have on your assessment. Contact the town hall to get the time 715-466-5916. It’s a Saturday and I believe a couple hours long.
  4. The town “Board of Review” is September 14 from 4:30-6:30 at the town hall. You will have to fill out a form before coming before the board to address any objections you have for your assessment. The procedures for this meeting are listed on the town’s website.
  5. JoAnn Denninger, our town clerk, will be retiring this next year. If you are interested in applying for the position, stop in at the town hall and pick up an application.
  6. I know we’re enjoying some great summer weather but its time to start thinking about filling out your snow plow permit if you have the town plow for you. I’ve attached a copy of the permit for you.
  7. And finally, the cows are back. Actually they’re over by Sand Lake. At the MTLC Meeting this past Monday, one resident of Sand Lake said she was swimming in the lake when she saw a cow on the beach, leaving a deposit. The next thing she knew there were  a bunch of cows coming into the water with her! She called 911 and of course they couldn’t help her. She didn’t realize that she should have called our constable. Cows in the water are not a 911 event (although I wouldn’t appreciate it either). The point of this little story is that when you call for help make sure you call the correct agency for the situation. In this case she should have called Eric, our constable. His number is listed on our website at gilmorelakeassocation.com.

That’s all for now. Never a dull moment around here. Hope you all continue to have a safe and happy summer.

Barb Robinson, Membership/Communication Committee

To get a permit for snow removal, download this form: snowplow.

Lake Levels After Rain

Burt and I just returned from looking at the beaver dam. The first picture is looking toward the river and you can see the flow is coming into the lake from the river. The inflow into the lake is fairly modest although, the emergent macrophytes are bent toward the lake and clarity of water is down to a couple of inches so overall affect on the lake is pretty small so far. Burt and I plan to do a follow up look at the inflow on Friday AM.

Russ Robinson

Gilmore Outlet 48 hours after 2.32 inches of rain