A Successful Fourth of July Weekend

Thank you for your continued support through your 2015 paid membership, generous donation, and volunteer time. All are very appreciated and help in the effort to provide services that enhance the quality of Gilmore Lake.

I think we hit a bases loaded home run this weekend! Russ has some great pictures of the activities on the lake. Poor Ribald had to be retired for the day with some engine trouble but it was great seeing everyone out having a great time and appeared to be a safe time as well. We had 55 signed in, not including children/family. Tom thinks that was the most he has ever seen since he’s been attending the meetings. Thanks again for all your help. When I send out the survey this next week I’ll also include a comment to visit the new website for current happenings on the lake.

Barb Robinson

Membership/Communication Committee

Water Quality Update 2015

By Bill Huelsman

A review of the lake level data reveals what we all know, nothing is happening relative to lake level fluctuations. This is a very good way to start out the year, entirely different than the last few years. One interesting note is that the level of the ice throughout the winter did not change at all. We didn’t expect it to but are curious how heavy rainfalls or snow melt might affect the ice level. We will have to wait for another winter or two in order to answer that question. Daryl Iverson continues to read the gauge every few days and particularly during heavy rainfall events. Whenever you see Daryl thank him for his efforts in this regard. We will present a graphical representation of the data to date at our annual meeting in July. So far this year the graph is an uninteresting flat line. With everyone’s help we will continue to develop a statistical data base that we believe will be very useful in the future as we continue to try to address lake level fluctuations.

The chart of lake levels can be viewed here: Gilmore Lake – Stream Guage chart (with annotations).

Special Up North Update!

Events Calendar for the upcoming GLA Annual Meeting, the canoe/kayak race and the boat parade.

FRIDAY JULY 3 GLA ANNUAL MEETING:

This year’s Annual Meeting will be on Friday July 3 AT 5PM.  Please note the different time!  This year we thought it would be nice to get a good, friendly start to your long 4th holiday by having the picnic in the evening.  This year, along with brats and hot dogs, GLA will also be supplying potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, kraut, and all the condiments.  Beer, red and white wine and soft drinks will be available.  If you get chance to make or buy a dessert please bring it along.  What is nice about this, we now have picnic tables under the pavilion so we’ll be able to eat and socialize outside!  What is also nice is that you don’t have to plan your first meal at the cabin on Friday night.  Just come to the short Annual Meeting.  Fran McCloskey and her daughter are working on an updated and fantastic GLA website which they plan to unveil at the meeting.  We may put a couple of you to work setting out the food.  Cathie Ney is in charge of the kitchen and since the food is already prepared, it should be easy to help.

We will also be naming the new addition to the GLA EWM fleet.  All those present will be able to submit a name for the boat.  Chris Tracy submitted the name for the Milfoil Marauder, which is now affectionately referred to as the Millie.  So bring your names and we’ll vote on them.

If you haven’t paid your dues or you’re not sure, I’ll be there to help you out.

SATURDAY JULY 4 FUN AND GAMES:

At 1pm the canoe/kayak race will begin.  You will paddle from a buoy by the little red cabin across from the boat ramp down to another buoy along the west shore to Kriss Novak’s and back to the original buoy.  Russ and I will be in Ribald, the committee boat.  Prizes will be awarded.  In this race you will have a choice of $20 for the first place canoe and $20 for the first place kayak OR a hand-carved house sign which I’ll make (you can see a sample if you pass our house on County Highway I).

At 2pm the boat parade will beginThe staging will be the same place as in years past – the bay of the boat ramp.  This year’s theme is Reggae including design and music (the judges really like music).  Prizes will also be awarded by the judges – $25 for first place, $20 for second place and $15 for third place.  This year Russ and I want to get pictures of all the winners along with their names.  With the new website we’ll be able to put more pictures on it.

I hope you plan to attend the Annual Meeting and participate in the canoe/kayak race and boat parade.  This is a fun time.  I hope you include the association in your holiday activities.

Eurasian Watermilfoil Control Efforts 2015

untitled (1 of 1)-3On June 1, 2015, the first meandering plant survey was conducted on the lake. The results of EWM infestation were mixed following last year’s treatment and issues related to lake flooding. The infestation of the shoal area in the southern basin and adjacent south shoreline of Gilmore Lake had developed and spread at an alarming rate. It was hypothesized that this early development of heavy EWM was augmented by lengthy cool temperatures this Spring. EWM starts developing at about 50° F while most other aquatic plants need 60° F temperatures or higher. We had an extended period of time when temperatures were in the 50-60° F range, allowing the EWM to get a great jump start over other plants.

The EWM infestation on Little Gilmore was a different story. EWM infestation was cut back significantly from last year. We estimated that 90% of the infestation has been eliminated. Little Gilmore has benefitted from aggressive chemical control and stable lake levels, which have resulted in no back flow of water from Gilmore Lake since last summer. We have moderate spring rains and the help of our beaver’s dam construction activities in the Lake outlet to thank for these positive results.

On June 8th, the problem areas in Big Gilmore were treated and spot treatment was conducted in Little Gilmore. Buoys have been placed on the shoal and shore areas of Big Gilmore to warn boaters to avoid these areas. Boat traffic, including fishing, PWC’s, and other recreational activities are a significant problem in spreading EWM to other parts of the lake. Be sure to avoid these marked areas and warn others to avoid them as well. A map has been placed in the Kiosk delineating the problem areas.

Later this summer, Matt Berg, our aquatic plant consultant, will be conducting additional surveys and we should have additional information to report on the health of our lake.

A 2012 map of EWM infestation: ewm 2012

A June 2015 map of EWM infestation:

img015

Up North Update

It’s that time of year to start the GLA blogs.  The GLA Board met this past weekend so I’ll start working on the newsletter.  It should be out shortly.  In the mean time here are a few things to consider.

  1. Bears are out and about.  Remember to give them lots of room, especially this time of year.
  2. We have a new transfer station employee.  His name is Troy Waggoner.  The green cards you have used in the past have been replaced with a blue one.  If you haven’t been to the transfer station yet this year, Troy will exchange your green card for a blue one.  If you don’t have a green card, you will have to show that you own property in the Town of Minong.  This can be a utility bill or a tax bill.
  3. The beaver dam has been re-established AND THIS IS A GOOD THING!  Last fall GLA stocked extended growth walleyes in the lake with the hope of providing good walleye fishing in the future.  The beaver dam is high enough to reduce the escape of walleyes into the river during normal lake and river levels.  The dam also helps reduce the amount of water coming into the lake from the river during rainstorms.  We are asking everyone to leave the beaver dam alone.  Do not remove it!!!
  4. Our advertising committee is asking you to give them names of service providers you have used and would recommend to others.  The committee will then contact these service providers to see if they would like to advertise in the GLA newsletter.  You can contact Tom Bergemann at 715-466-4757 or bergemannt@gmail.com. When talking with your service providers let them know there is advertising available in our newsletter.
  5. Regarding the walleye stocking program….if you are lucky enough to catch a walleye on Gilmore Lake, please contact John Ney to let him know what size it is.  He can be reached at jney@vt.edu.
  6. Mark your calendars – this year’s Annual Members meeting and picnic will be held on July 3 at the Minong Town Hall AT 5PM.  A very short meeting will precede the potluck supper.  Wine, beer, and soft drinks will be available.  On Saturday, July 4th will be the Annual and infamous GLA boat parade.  This year’s theme is “Reggae”.  According to the judge, music always gets extra points.  We hope to see you there.  More information about weekend events will be published in the next newsletter.
  7. For those of you who lost items in the summer rains last year and have found them, please let Russ know so he can update the lost/found on the website.  If you’ve found something, please let him know so he can post it.  You can reach him at r.rubarb@gmail.com.
  8. Remember to get your burn permits at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.  Click on “Licenses, Permits and Regulations”.  Under Environmental click “Burn Permits” and follow the instructions.  It takes about 5 minutes and you can print it out.   Even though we’ve had rain over the past two weeks, it is still considered dry.  Before you burn, call 888-WIS-Burn to see if you are allowed to burn on that day.
  9. Last but not least is my membership drive.  Membership dues are still $25.  I have attached a 2015 membership form.  Please update email address, phone numbers and addresses so I can get information to you.  For those of you who have paid, thank you.  If you have a question whether or not you have paid for 2015, please contact me at ribaldness@gmail.com.

Walleye Stocking Efforts

John Ney, our GLA President, has been spearheading and effort to re-establish a viable population of Walleyes in our lake. In the Fall of 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) stock approximately 2000 extended growth(EG) walleyes in Gilmore. Survivors of this age group should now be reaching legal harvesting size. In the Fall of 2014 the GLA sponsored and additional stocking of 1700 EG walleyes. This summer these fish should be in the 7-12 inch size range.  If these efforts are successful we plan to continue stocking these fish every other year. If you should be so lucky as to catch some of these fish please let John know the size and date of capture at jney@vt.edu or call 715-466-4198.

Water Fluctuations a New Way of Life?

Beginning in August 2011 and continuing into this summer, Gilmore Lake has been experiencing some fairly significant lake level changes. Although we had not been experiencing these types of rapid water level change in recent years, it was not uncommon in our lake’s earlier history. Some of us old timers can remember lake levels high enough to allow you to row a boat above the road at the Narrows Trail culvert. Did you know that in 1986 the Town of Minong contracted the Corp of Engineers to do a study on the feasibility of controlling Gilmore Lake flooding? A synopsis of the Corp’s findings is that a low head dam could be placed in the Gilmore Lake outlet to reduce back flooding into the lake from the Totogatic River.

untitled (6 of 155)So why did the flooding problem go away for about eight years? Well no one knows for sure, but the answer to that question is most likely the beaver dam that was in place on the lake outlet for the last few years, acting as a low head dam, and reducing the efforts of lake flooding from a rapidly rising river. The current frequency may also be influenced by water control procedures upstream at the Nelson Lake dam, saturated soil from multiple storms, and downstream downfall of trees from previous storms.

So what should we expect in the near future? More flooding opportunities. Any time we receive a couple of inches of rain in a short period of time, the lake will probably rise and usually peak 2-3 days later. Hopefully we will not experience a real deluge with 4 or more inches of rain because we may be floating boats in places we never expected.

Why is it important to consider possible solutions of water fluctuations? Well beyond the obvious–damage to boats and piers–the shoreline suffers damage each time we have rapid change in water level. Floating debris acts as a hazard to fast moving boats, tubers, and skiers. Perhaps most importantly, the river water entering our lake is higher in nutrients, causing greater growth of plants and algae. This is a little bit like adding “miraclegrow” to our Eurasian Watermilfoild (EWM). Also, as you have probably noticed, this year algae blooms have become more common and more intense.

What can be done to deal with the frequent flooding of our lake? One simple thing that will minimize damage along the shoreline is the reduce your boat wake when near the shore during high water. Tying down your pier section and removing your boats and gear from along the shore when you are away for extended periods of time will also help. A untitled (59 of 155)subcommittee to explore the feasibility of building a low head dam (vastly smaller than the one proposed by the Corp of Engineers) and coordinating river levels with Nelson Lake is planned. We need your help in this effort. Of particular use would be members that have either legal or engineer/construction experience. If you would like to help with this effort please contact Bill Huelseman. His contact information can be found here under the Board of Directors information.

In August 2013, a lake level gauge was installed on the southwest side of the culvert between Little Gilmore and Gilmore Lake. For reference, the lowest level recorded since it was installed was 5 inches. This should be considered our base level as the area was experiencing drought-like conditions and there was almost no water flowing out of the Lake into the Totagatic River.

If you have a PC and access to Google Maps, take a look at the upper are of Gilmore Lake using the terrain setting. It provides an excellent perspective on the low areas at the head of our lake that lead to our flooding problems. There is very little elevation change in this are which allows for the water to come into our lake during times of high river flows.

To learn more about flood events: Time line of flood events

Report from the Army Corp of Engineers: Corp of Eng Gilmore report

Water levels on the Totagatic: toto water level ref 2

River drainage information: Totogatic River Drainage

 

Wisconsin Act 31 of 2009

Wisconsin Act 31 of 2009 restricts the operation of motorboats to slow-no-wake speeds within 100 feet of the shoreline. The law took effect on February 1, 2010. It is intended to reduce erosion of shorelines caused by wakes of motorboats and provide a legal safety zone people recreating along the shoreline.