Pristine Waters –Now and into the Future

The Purpose of the Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area organization is to:
  “Protect, preserve & improve the environmental & esthetic quality of the Eau Claire Lakes Area Watershed including the lakes, rivers, shorelands, wetlands, forests, & attendant wildlife resources”.
One of the ways that we work toward that purpose is our longtime support both financially and the many hours of volunteer work done by so many of you the members of our organization.
Lee Wiesner has sent the following note to update all of us on the current activity that is occurring:
          Town of Barnes Aquatic Invasive Species Committee Update
The Town of Barnes Aquatic Invasive Species Committee had another very busy and productive year in 2016.  The committee coordinated and monitored the Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) program at 5 boat landings on 5 separate lakes in 2016.  The paid and volunteer CBCW monitors logged in 2,112 hours, checked 3,729 boats for aquatic plants and animals and educated 9,128 boaters.  A grant application for the CBCW program was submitted by the committee for 2017 and was approved in full.  Tomahawk Lake was added to the 2017 CBCW grant.
The Shoreline Monitoring program coordinated by the AIS committee currently has 62 volunteers monitoring 27 lakes in the Barnes area for introductions of new invasive species. This group of volunteers logged in hundreds of hours in 2016.
Numerous volunteers invested over 450 hours of work to complete construction of the Barnes Aquatic Invasive Species Sucker (BAISS) boat. The BAISS boat will be used by the Town of Barnes to efficiently harvest invasive species from the town’s lakes, minimizing the chance of spreading the aquatic plants which can occur with improper handling. Few communities in the state of Wisconsin own this type of harvester; it will provide our residents with a resource to remove invasive species before they become widespread.
A very competitive Established Population Control Grant application for Tomahawk and Sand Bar Lakes was completed by the AIS committee during this past winter.  In April the Town of Barnes received the good news that the grant was awarded to the town in the amount of $62,785 which will help pay for the project cost of $92,331.  The town’s share will be $29,545 which will be funded primarily by donations and volunteer work-in-kind.  The goal of the committee is to treat both lakes this spring with a chemical to kill the Eurasian Water-milfoil and control any recurring with the BAISS boat in subsequent years.  This grant would not have been awarded to the Town of Barnes without the ten year history of the TOB AIS committee’s coordination of volunteers who performed lake surveys and monitored boat landings and shorelines. The efforts of committee members and citizens were critical in grant application ranking. Thank you to everyone who contributed and continues to contribute to the very important mission of maintaining our exceptional water clarity and keeping our lakes free of invasive species.
Grant extensions for George, Middle Eau Claire and Upper Eau Claire Lakes will be applied for this May.  All of the TOB grants require vigilant monitoring by the committee and detailed paperwork from the town clerk to ensure we accurately document our expenses and volunteer hours. As a result the town’s share of expenses is minimal or nothing. 
Plans for the 2017 season include CBCW monitoring on Upper Eau Claire, Middle Eau Claire, Lower Eau Claire, Robinson, Island and Tomahawk Lakes, the chemical treatment of EWMF this spring on Tomahawk and Sand Bar Lakes, use of the BAISS boat in June to harvest Curly-leaf Pondweed on Upper and Middle Eau Claire Lakes and shoreline monitoring for invasive species on area lakes.  We need more volunteers to help out on the BAISS boat, either as boat operators or divers.
Contact Sally Pease for questions about volunteering as a CBCW boat landing volunteer, (H) 715-795-2936, (C) 715-559-0614.  Lee Wiesner can be contacted for questions about volunteering as a shoreline monitor or on the BAISS boat, (H) 715-795-3156, (C) 715-922-0582.  If you not have the time to volunteer, please consider making a monetary, tax deductible donation to assist in the costs of fighting aquatic invasive species.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering for the CBCW boat landing monitoring contact Sally Pease at 715-795-2936 or 715-559-0614
Lee Wiesner, Town of Barnes AIS Committee Chair
We are appreciative of all this work and the support by each of you in working toward our purpose. Our waters are pristine, but not by accident but by the constant vigilance, support and efforts of so many.