February 22, 2016 6:45 PM
Haines Building, Mercer
1 Call to Order 6:55 PM
Members Present: Terry Daulton, Jeff Malison, Tom Mowbray, Bill Stewart Mike Hittle, Diane O’Krongly
Members Absent: Jim Moore, Bill Ficek, Sandy Gitzlaff
2 Minutes of the Dec. 11, 2015: Bill Stewart presented the minutes. They were approved as presented and will be filed.
3 Treasurer’s Report, Tom Mowbray: As of 2/22/2016
General fund $9,878.18
Fish Habitat $2,832.75
The report was approved as presented addition and the full report will be on file with the minutes.
4 Old business
Water Levels: Terry Daulton presented Jim Moore’s report. A meeting was held in January with the Flowage Business Association to discuss broadening the “stakeholders” group concerned about water levels and water management. The Business association was very supportive and will assign 2 people to work with us. A visit with similar groups in the area of the Chippewa Flowage is planned.
Current outflow through the dam is around 800 CFS and the level is 1568.8, indicating a lot of water may be coming in.
Fish Management Committee: Jeff Malison. The committee is working on signs about bass to be posted at the landings. Information on the signs will include bag limits and the regulations will encourage harvesting fish below 14 inches. The opening dates for Small mouth and large mouth are different and will be on the signs too. Discussion about the bass fishery in general and the locations where bass are being caught took place. The signs may cost as much as $40.00 each if they are aluminum, laminated signs would be much less. Enough signs for the private boat landings should be produced. Jeff and the committee will investigate the costs further.
Bill Stewart Moved that $500.00 from the Fish Habitat fund be made available to cover the costs of signs. The move was seconded and passed without opposition.
There will be a major fish population assessment this summer on the Flowage. Zac Wilson will
keep us informed. There may be a role for volunteers. There will also be measuring of plankton and temperature as part of this larger project.
Following our December discussion regarding meeting procedures for the Fish Management Committee, our guidelines were accepted by the members of the committee.
Invasive Species: Diane O’Krongly No report, everything is frozen. Tom Mowbray will send information about the activities of this group to new members. Zac Wilson will be on the Flowage more this summer.
Water Quality: Terry Daulton reported for Mike and Beth Myers. The letters are already out confirming the volunteers for summer 2016
Newsletter: Mike Hittle No report. The staff is “mulling.”
Website: Terry Daulton for Leann Malison. Our professional, Tom Forrester, is relearning Word Press to work our site. When we submit changes we should submit in moderate sized batches and pre- edit pictures. We need one member to be our consistent liaison with Tom so that communications are centralized. Terry Daulton will do this for now until we find someone on the board or Communications Committee to do this. We should retain copies of our newsletters on the website.
We should have a list of things to be posted on the website. Postings regarding current issues such as the ATV discussion may need to be screened through the board before being submitted. This could be done via e-mail.
We also discussed e-blast communications. Mail Chimp was mentioned as a good platform for contacting members. The person doing this could be a board or committee member.
The Communications Committee needs to be expanded. The members will be asked to volunteer. Further discussion to define responsibilities of the committee needs to be held and a planning meeting is in order.
The possibility of a Facebook group was mentioned.
A motion was made and approved to pay Tom Forrester $175 for his work to date.
Legislation Up-date: A handout was passed around the table (filed with minutes). The topic:
2015 Senate Bill 459 Senate Substitute Amendment 3. This deals with the issue of dredging. It is on the Governor’s desk for signature as of this date. The bill on local control is different. Tom Mowbray suggests it may allow some variances based on “grandfathering.” Rules vary by county and lake classification. Minimum shoreline footages are not yet resolved. Several items recently passed the legislature but are not available in print yet. More information should be available at the Lakes Association Meeting March 30-April 1. Our board determined that we need to know more about what has happened before committing addition funds to this issue. We will e-mail Dawn Richter to ask for a summary we can use.
Driveway Signs for Members: Jeff Malison: this discussion is still in progress. Owners would be able to install their own signs. The signs could be available as pick-up points around the Flowage and Trude Lake. Jeff Malison and Tom Mowbray had both made “sample” signs to illustrate possible size, shape and content. Tom noted that the newest Fire Number signs seem to be “flags” adhered to the posts at one end and visible from either direction from the road. Are the posts for the new fire signs different? The cost per sign may be around $7.00. Surveying member interest and firming up the cost estimate are necessary before the annual meeting where we should have a sample to show. Mike Hittle will look into that. Jeff Malison also suggested a tri-fold brochure that we could use to promote membership.
ATV Popko Circle update: No meetings have been held since spring 2015. The designation of Popko circle has a route has expired but its use has not ended. The issue has been brought to the Mercer Town Board for discussion. AS group opposed to the ATV route has presented survey data documenting opposition from different groups. The Mercer Town board has tabled the discussion until May when perhaps more of the seasonal residents may be present for the meeting.
What should our involvement be? Do we focus only on the issue of a trail through the protected area? Jeff Malison has survey data from our Association and Iron county showing that only15-17% of the respondents want additional ATV trails. There are significant safety issues when ATV’s are operated
on paved surfaces and at higher speeds. The county has no money available for additional enforcement. There are no local law enforcement agencies. If Popko circle remains open as a route the issue of a trail through the protected area remains. The connection between more trails and more business is not apparent to many business owners. Some businesses have been hurt by this route. A possible trail route could be found, but it crosses a private hunting area.
We determined that our focus must be keeping trails out of the protected area.
Snowmobile Trail Reroute: A map showing the possible route was provided. This trail does pass through the scenic waters protected area. If it were not allowed it would force all the traffic onto Popko circle. Since this snowmobile trail passes over an area that is frozen in the winter and not passable to ATVs during warm weather the board decided a letter will be sent indicating that we have no objection to this use by snowmobiles but opposed this use.
Annual Meeting: The annual meeting will be June18. We will ask Jeff Richter to speak. There will be board positions up for election and we need to confirm candidates. Terry will not continue as President.
Rest Lake Dam Memorandum of Understanding: there will be a meeting March 14. The wording of this document is being closely guarded until the meeting. There may be lots of “wording” issues. No significant outcome from this meeting is expected.
Tourist Rooming House Legislation: Tom Mowbray noted that the legislature is changing the definition of a “tourist rooming house.” No further information is available yet. Next Meeting: Monday April 25 6 PM Haines Building, Mercer, Wisconsin Adjourned: