Playful River Otters in Upper Eau Claire Lake

A friend sent in this photo from a video he made of 4 river otters playing in Upper Eau Claire Lake one recent morning. He said he hadn’t seen river otters for a long time and it was fun to see them swimming past his pier.

In Wisconsin, river otters are generally found in the northern portion of the state. They can live 10-15 years and adults average 20 pounds in weight. They’re very playful – in the summer, they jump in and out of the water and chase each other, and in the winter, they like to push off with their feet and slide across the snow. River otters can dive to depths of 40 feet and are able to stay underwater for 4 minutes or more, so don’t worry if you see them disappear for a while!

River otters in Upper Eau Claire Lake, 8/3/2020. (Credit: Bill Pearce)

Northwest Cleansweep – Protect Our Lakes and Groundwater

Septic tanks can’t treat everything, so don’t pour hazardous waste such as paints, solvents, pesticides, antifreeze, and hazardous cleaners down the drain or flush old medications down the toilet.  Wastewater eventually makes its way to your drainfield and joins groundwater traveling towards surface waters.  Protect our precious lakes and rivers by properly disposing of hazardous household waste at one of nine collection events starting on August 5 in Douglas County.

July 17, 2020 – Free Webinar on Wisconsin Frogs

Wisconsin Wetlands Association is hosting “Wetland Coffee Breaks” this summer. These brief webinars can be watched live and are recorded and posted for later viewing as well. On July 17, Rori Paloski (DNR) will discuss the mid-summer habits and habitats of Wisconsin frogs, as well as how to identify them if you see or hear one. Register here for “Wisconsin frogs: Where are they and what are they doing mid-summer?”. Earlier this year, Emily Stone from the Cable Natural History Museum presented “Treasures of the Secret Fen.” Emily’s recorded presentation is available here.

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!

FOECLA Receives 2017 Invader Crusader Award

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Council has awarded Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area, along with the Town of Barnes AIS Committee, the 2017 Invader Crusader Award
 
This award is for outstanding volunteer efforts in the battle against invasive species. The award is given to a small number of people or organizations based upon their commitment to stopping the spread of invasive species through education, on-the-ground management and control, or research.
 
The Friends of the Eau Clarie Lakes Area received this award because of the efforts of many of our members who volunteer at landings for Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW), and act as shoreline or water quality monitors. In addition, our members and organization have provided funding for paid CBCW inspectors and for AIS clean-up efforts in the Eau Claire Lakes Area.
 
Our members and everyone in our organization are to be congratulated on this award.