What Time Is It? It’s Time to Harvest CLP!

The Town of Barnes BAISS boat crew harvested curly-leaf pondweed (CLP) on June 23 as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of this aquatic invasive. Two divers joined the boat operator for six hours on Upper Eau Claire Lake. In addition to “bagging” a lot of CLP, the crew noted the presence of another aquatic invasive, the Chinese Mystery Snail.  They capped off their day with a sighting of a loon parent with a new chick riding on its back. For a glimpse of a day on the water with the BAISS boat crew, click here.

Douglas County Hires AIS Coordinator

Douglas County has hired Jill Jacoby as its Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, and citizens are invited to contact Jill with AIS-related questions. Jill can be reached at Jill.Jacoby@douglascountywi.org or 715-395-1571. Jill will serve in this position through August, and at that time another individual will take over the position.  FOECLA is proud to provide financial support for the grant which funds Jill’s work. Our area served extends into Douglas County.

Jill provided the following information about herself:

I am excited to join Douglas County and the AIS efforts.  I have a varied background that weaves threads of education, water resources, and environmental leadership together.  I have been an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University (NJ) teaching about climate change, environmental issues, and nature oriented courses in an online platform.  I founded a nonprofit organization to educate the public about wetlands and the role they play in storm water management.

I have a strong interest in horticulture and know many of the aquatic species in the Douglas County region.  I grow shiitake mushrooms and I created a two pond water garden, planted with natives, at my home. I have a small flock of chickens and an energetic black lab mix dog who keeps me laughing.

I have degrees in Agriculture Education, Water Resources, Environmental Law and Policy, and Environmental Leadership.  I enjoy learning as well as teaching and I am looking forward to educating and working with community on aquatic invasive species.

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 clerk@gordonwi.us.com

TOWN OF HIGHLAND – Contact the Town Clerk for information on fireworks permits: 715-374-2046 or clerk@townofhighland.net

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!

June 19, 2020 NW Wisconsin Lakes Conference – VIRTUAL

The 2020 NW Wisconsin Lakes Conference will be hosted online via Zoom on June 19, 2020. Registration is open on the St. Croix River Association Registration webpage: https://www.stcroixriverassociation.org/event/2020-nw-wi-lakes-conference/. Participate from the comfort and safety of your home or cabin!  The cost is only $10 – see registration link for more information.

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 kris.larsen@wisconsin.gov or 715-635-4072.

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.