Registration Now Open for July 10, 2021 Vatten Paddlar

Join the Fun! Paddle northwestern Wisconsin’s most beautiful chain of lakes in Barnes, Wisconsin. This year’s Vatten Paddlar will be held on July 10. Whether you decide to enter to win or to just enjoy an adventure with dozens of other paddling enthusiasts, your day on the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes will be amazing. Learn more/register HERE for the 10 Mile Canoe and Kayak Race or the 5 Mile Canoe, Kayak and SUP Race.

Covid-Cautious Event:  Organizers will follow public health guidelines to make it a safe experience for everyone.

You Are Invited to Our Annual Meeting!

Please join us on Saturday, July 17, 2021 for our annual meeting. Following the 9 am business meeting, we will welcome our guest speaker, Jim Bakken. Jim will present information about why area lakes rise and fall, current lake water levels, and a new project undertaken by Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area to monitor lake levels. We hope you will leave with an understanding of why we are concerned about high lake water levels and steps we can all take to mitigate damage.

FOECLA Awarded 2021 DNR Healthy Lakes & Rivers Grant

Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area (FOECLA) has been awarded a 2021 Healthy Lakes & Rivers (https://healthylakeswi.com/) grant from the Wisconsin DNR. The purpose of this grant program is “to protect and restore the health of our lakes and rivers by increasing property owner participation in habitat restoration and runoff and erosion control projects.”

FOECLA will receive $13,000 to support 13 projects on Upper, Middle and Lower Eau Claire lakes undertaken by property owners. These projects will include fish sticks, shoreline native plantings, rain gardens and other runoff diversions.

Thank you to the DNR and to the property owners installing these projects. We all win when we work together to protect and preserve our lakes!

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.

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)

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.

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.
 

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