Fireworks? Don’t Forget the Permit!

With the cancellations of “Good Neighbor Days” in Gordon and the Fourth of July parade and fireworks in Barnes this year, residents and guests who wish to display fireworks on their property (owned or rented) are reminded to contact their town clerk for a fireworks permit.  There are public displays scheduled in the Hayward area – scroll down to the bottom for information on those.

TOWN OF BARNES – Please see the public notice below.

TOWN OF GORDON –  Contact the Town Clerk for information on fireworks permits: 715-718-1714 or

TOWN OF HIGHLAND – Contact the Town Clerk for information on fireworks permits: 715-374-2046 or

FOECLA Awards 2nd Annual Student Scholarship

Bode Rasmussen, a graduating senior at Drummond High School, has been selected to receive this year’s Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area $1,000 Scholarship. Bode will enroll in UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources in the fall. Bode’s chosen course of study strongly aligns with our mission to help protect, preserve and improve the quality of area lakes, rivers, shorelands and wildlife. (We are pleased to remember that Bode and his fellow seventh grade students participated in our LEEP Program a few years back!)  Congratulations to Bode!

Water Quality Monitoring Impacted by COVID-19

The WDNR continues to protect the public as the state deals with a rise in Covid-19 cases. Volunteers with the WDNR’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) have been advised that water chemistry sampling has been suspended, at least for this spring. Water samples are normally taken to post offices and mailed to the state lab by volunteers, but water sampling is not “essential” and it will be safer for these volunteers to remain at home. For now, they may continue taking water quality readings with the equipment they have at hand (Secchi disks, water temperature sensors and oximeters, for example) and entering that data into the statewide database from their home computers.

Lakes affected in our area include Upper, Middle and Lower Eau Claire Lakes, and Robinson Lake. For more information on CLMN and how to volunteer, please contact Kris Larsen (WDNR) at or 715-635-4072.

Happy Earth Day!

Today we celebrate this big blue marble we call home.

By Michael Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes

Today, April 22, 2020, is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide day of celebration and call to action to protect and preserve our planet that has its roots right here in the Badger state. In this extraordinary time, as humanity struggles with a pandemic, celebrating what we’ve accomplished and acknowledging all that remains to be done is all the more important.

To all of you working tirelessly to keep Wisconsin’s waters clean and safe for all life on earth – thank you.

I share with you my special place, Fallison Lake in the Northern Highlands State Forest outside of Sayner. A place I’ve hiked since I was a kid and that I shared with my kid, where I’ve watched loons and beavers, been surrounded by swarms of dragonflies and butterflies and chased by swarms of bees.

Fallison Lake, in the Northern Highlands State Forest

We all have our special places. That’s why we do what we do. As we sit at home today with all our worries, take a moment and go to your special place. It’s still there, waiting for when you can return, and thankful for all you do to keep it special.

Boat Landing Inspections Suspended Due to COVID-19

Upon the enactment of Governor Evers’s “Stay at Home” order in late March, state agencies took steps to protect staff and the public from the coronavirus in Wisconsin.  Their efforts included suspending boat inspections conducted by the WDNR’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program at public boat landings.  The WDNR hopes to begin inspections again in June.  Until then, if you take your boat to a lake with public access, please exercise care in removing aquatic “hitchhikers” from your boat, trailer and other equipment before entering the water.

FOECLA Awards First Student Scholarship May 15, 2019

Iris Wichman and board member Martin Olson.

Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area is pleased to announce Iris Wichman is the recipient of its first annual student scholarship. Ms. Wichman, a 2019 graduate of Drummond Area High School, will pursue a degree in environmental studies at UW-Barron County this fall. FOECLA board member Martin Olson presented Ms. Wichman with her $1,000 scholarship at the school’s Senior Scholarship Night on May 15.

“We created this scholarship to assist students who wish to enter any field of study that would promote our mission to protect and improve lakes, rivers, forests and wildlife resources,” said Kevin Shriver, FOECLA board president. “Now more than ever we need to support young adults like Iris who care about the environment.”

FOECLA also partners with the Drummond Area School District in providing a unique educational program for seventh grade students. The “Lake Ecology Education Program for Youth” (LEEP) provides students with classroom lessons and field experiences designed to prepare them for becoming life-long lake stewards. The curriculum meets Wisconsin education standards. “Creating this annual scholarship underscores our commitment to the education of our youth,” noted Shriver. “We are very happy to put our resources to such good use, and we congratulate Iris on her award.”

In addition to supporting the education of our youth, FOECLA also supports the following important programs:

  • Town of Barnes AIS Committee – We provide financial support to the Town in its efforts to control the spread of aquatic invasive species, and we refer volunteers interested in monitoring their shorelines for invasive species.
  • WDNR Citizen Lake Monitoring Network – This spring, we provided funding to purchase new water testing equipment for citizen monitors to use on area lakes. We also refer individuals interested in this program.
  • Town of Barnes Clean Boats Clean Waters – We provide funding to support the hiring of monitors at boat landings who inspect boats and educate boaters on “aquatic hitchhikers”, and we refer individuals interested in becoming boat landing monitors.
  • Town of Barnes Vatten Paddlar – We sponsor this annual race that highlights the beauty of our lakes. We also refer individuals interested in volunteering for the race.
  • Annual Education Program – Every August, we host an educational program for the community at the Barnes Town Hall.

We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our members! If you aren’t yet a member, please consider joining or renewing today.