April 23, 2020 – 6:00 p.m. Via Zoom – Courtesy of Terry Daulton
6:00 PM: Call to Order: Randy Schubert, President
Present: Randy Schubert, President; Jeff Malison, Vice-President; Tom Mowbray, Treasurer; Todd Jirous, Secretary; Directors: Diane O’Krongly, Jean Burns, Randy Payne, Jim Kohl and Mike Hittle
Absent: Directors: Jim Moore and Ed Hryciuk
Guests: Terry Daulton and Jeff Wilson
Minutes: Randy Schubert distributed the November 6, 2019 meeting minutes. They were approved with one edit to correct State Senator Janet Bewley’s name.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom Mowbray presented the treasurer’s report; we have a balance of $14,263.72. The report was approved as presented.
Correspondences: None to review. There has been no Stakeholders meeting. Let’s prompt a Stakeholders meeting once we get back to normal. Might be good to email Tom and let him know that we haven’t forgotten him. Jeff Malison will send an email to Tom and cc Mr. Schubert.
Suggestion to email Zach Lawson a thank you for all his service on The Flowage. Jim Kohl will send him a Thank You as a board member and organization, and copy Steve Gilbert and others that are appropriate from the DNR.
Membership: Currently we don’t have a Chair for Membership. Tom has been tracking because of the finance tracking involved. Currently there are 186 members. Annual membership dues will be coming out at the end of June/beginning of July.
Water Level: Tom Mowbray reported in Ed’s absence.
There’s lots of water! Ed H. is taking over as chair. The Spring refill goal has been met. Ice is almost off now. The annual graph has not been updated and posted yet. Randy will follow-up with Ed to update the graph.
Fish Management Committee: Jim sent an email to all ahead of the meeting with current status of campsites, boat landings and restrooms. Docks will be in by May 4th per Beth Feind.
- Spear fishing- what happens at the boat landing for monitoring spearing? Yes, they are going to monitor.
- What kind of timeline is involved in changing an area from a refuge to open fishing? Jim K. is going to inquire.
Water Quality Report: Beth and Mike Meyers have stepped down as the water quality coordinators, and Becky and Todd Jirous are taking on the responsibility and have worked with Beth and Mike to transition the process. Mike and Beth are now going to take the sampling site at Murray’s landing, and Zach/Heather will serve as back-up. Jim and Janet Bell will now be the primary surveyors at the Big Water location to the south/east of the dam. Currently the first water collection (two weeks after ice out) has been suspended due to focusing on Covid-19 testing at the state lab. Water sampling for the rest of the summer is still on “hold” at this point. We can still collect secchi disk and water temperature information as we normally would.
Invasive Species Committee: Randy Payne reported that he went to the IRLCA conference to learn more about CLPW (Curly Leaf Pond Weed). It was found in Rice Lake in 2014, and is well established. It has now made it’s way downstream and is in Pike Lake. It will eventually make it’s way down to Lake of the Falls and then to the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Currently in the process of orchestrating volunteers to identify and eventually pull (rake) the weed out. The weed has a rather unusual life cycle: it comes up early in the spring, forms large thick mats, and dies off in early July, which then consumes a great deal of oxygen to decompose and creates bacteria growth. In order to get funding (grant), you have to first identify and document where the plants are, and then later go in and remove them. The work is done by wading in the water and raking the weeds out and into boats. You can not use motors to do the work as it will cut the weeds up and disperse them further. You need to use canoes, kayaks or row boats in order properly harvest the weed.
Mr. Payne would like to do a mass email to the TFF-TL membership to make them aware of the situation, and would like to post information on the TFF-TL website. Tom M. will send the email information to Randy Payne.
- Jeff and Terry inquired/suggested that while the PL (Purple Loosestrife) surveyors are doing their survey in late July, that they also note how many baby loons they see in their areas. We currently know how many breeding pairs there are, but we don’t have any stats on how successful they are. Using the PL surveyors would be a very easy way to collect this information. Jeff will work with Randy P. to coordinate this effort.
Communication and Education Committee: Mike and Terry are currently contemplating what to do for the spring/summer mailing. Jean suggested we could do only critical issues articles and send them out via email with a PDF. Mike suggested doing a “mini-version” with key items like: 1) Zach Lawson’s position, 2) Water Quality, 3) Invasive Species (PL & CLPW), 4) Fish Regulations. Terry D. suggested that the Newsletter Committee have a separate conversation with items and timeline.
Web Page: No updates from Jeff or Tom. They do get some data reports on the web page activity…just good for us to know. It would be helpful for the Communication/Education team to see the information from the webmaster to understand what we do well and what we can do better.
Facebook: Randy P.- over 200 subscribers. Any information that you want posted, please send to Sue Payne.
Mercer Fisheries: Terry D. having a meeting with a number of stakeholders in the Mercer Area and the fisheries staff and the ranger’s station staff. Purpose is to get all together and determine how much effort we want to put in to addressing the decision to move the fisheries’ staff. It seems that the Fisheries team has already made their decision and we have to be careful about burning any bridges. Perhaps we can see what we can do to support the local economy and preserve the Ranger Station. Tom Mowbray’s interpretation is that the fisheries situation is a “done deal” and may be counter-productive to pursue.
Stakeholders Meeting: Jeff Malison is going to check on 2020 meeting. Very important that all the stakeholders be reminded of the importance of the annual meeting.
- Terry D.- Jenna M. is looking for people to testify on the importance of maintaining the grasslands in The Little Turtle River area. It is used for birding and needs to be maintained through cyclical burning. Randy S. said that we should endorse the maintenance and esthetics of the grasslands. Jeff W. said he could write a letter as he was involved in the creation of the area, and will send it to Randy S. for review and signature.
- Annual Meeting 2020- Usually on the third Saturday of June (06/20/2020). Will the Great Northern be open? Is it better to be outside? Based on the date, it should probably be cancelled in everyone’s best interest. We do want to make sure that we’re within the bylaws of the organization. There was consensus to cancel the annual meeting and replace with a Board Meeting.
- Randy S. is thinking about stepping down as the President. Jeff M., if Randy stays on another 2 years, he will do the same. Terry D.- perhaps the focus should be on recruitment in the next year? Zoom meetings allow us to get together from all over which may have been a limiting factor in the past for some members.
- Board agreed to stay on another year in lieu of Covid-19…which will extend everyone’s term by one year. We don’t want to just extend those positions that are up for election this year, as we will then have all positions up for election the following year.
- Todd J. made a motion to: Extend the term of board members and directors for one year and rebalance the Board/Directors to be consistent with the election years (odd/even). The motion was second and a favorable vote was secured.
- Randy S.- Zoom meeting works well. We should consider how to use this in the future.
- Tom M. can call this week on Rest Lake original MOU. It is set to expire this Spring, but was agreed to extend 1 year because of Covid-19
- Tom M.- Town of Sherman is switching to the new “Flag Style” fire numbers. May require us to take our TFF sign off and see if it will fit on the new poles. There are probably 60-80 members that this will impact in the town of Sherman. Tentatively scheduled to be completed by Wayne Enterprises sometime this Spring or Summer.