October 11, 2016
Haines Building Mercer, Wisconsin
6:05 PM Call to Order: Jeff Malison, President
Attendance: Members Present: Jeff Malison, Bill Stewart, Terry Daulton, Tom Mowbray, Randy Schubert, Jim Moore, Jim Kohl, Mike Hittle. Members Absent: Diane O’Krongly, Bill Ficek
Minutes: Bill Stewart Presented the Minutes of the April 25 regular Meeting. Minor corrections were offered. The minutes were approved as corrected.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom Mowbray presented the Treasurer’s Report: As of 10/11/2016 we have $12.927.99 in the general fund. We have $2,451.75 in the Fish Habitat fund. Total funds are: $15,379.74 Details on file with the minutes. We have a Pay Pal Account which shows a balance. This is a new account. Funds will be transferred from it to our general fund monthly. We expect a bill from our website manager soon. Our membership in the Wisconsin Association of Lakes Membership is due and payment will be reflected in the next report.
The Treasurer’s report was approved as presented.
Annual Meeting follow up: Discussion: Minutes of the meeting have been posted on the website labeled as “draft” since they cannot be approved until the next annual meeting. Attendance was good and attendees seemed to like The Pines garden as a venue. However with the possibility of poor weather an indoor venue would be preferred. The Haines building is too small if we have a large attendance. We could be indoors at the Pines. If we remain at The Pines we should look into improving the PA system or the possibility of different microphones.
Water Level: Jim Moore presented the usual charts and graphs which are on file with the minutes. We had good water levels this summer with May 1 and June 1 being well above the minimums those dates. As of this date we are only 2.3 feet below full pool. August 24 we met with Zac Lawson (Mercer DNR) to discuss walleye recruitment and survival. The importance of a winter draw down of as much as 5-6 feet is important to kill certain vegetation and reduce the young of other species. A draw down this great would not have to be done every year. A hand out on file with the minutes explains the possible value of this tactic to improve walleye populations. This may work better than random projects such as fish cribs or fish sticks. Discussion of methods to keep water levels high through the summer and into September was held. Refill, following the winter drawdown, must be in April to allow water temperatures on the spawning beds to be in the proper range. The question of the impact of a five foot draw down in the winter on species such as turtles and frogs was raised. We know that within the parameters of the MOU Excel can run the Flowage as they want. If there is a way for interests to intersect, it could benefit all.
Fish Management: The committee will be meeting soon to discuss a strategy going forward, perhaps relating to the “draw down” information in the water level report. The Signs we posted about the bass fishery were a good PR move. Information from the creel census will be available after it concludes in March. We wondered if the Creel clerks recorded catch and release information. Do the figures include only “harvested” fish? A community education program by Zac Lawson could be a good move that we could promote.
Invasive Species: Diane O’Krongly was absent. Could her pictures of activities be included in the newsletter and on the website? The Iron County Land and Water Conservation Loose Strife Map was passed around. Spring recruitment of volunteers is important.
Water Quality: Beth Myers was absent. Terry Daulton reported that the report was in progress and would be available shortly.
Newsletter: Mike Hittle reports that a preliminary agenda is in the works. We need pictures and profiles for Jim Kohl and Randy Schubert.
Iron County lakes and Rivers: Bill Ficek is our representative to their meetings. A copy of their most recent minutes is on file with our minutes of this meeting.
Website: Jeff Malison: the Website looks very good. We should have a clear policy for posting new pictures and other information. Currently all this goes through Jeff who will continue to handle this responsibility. Having a single point of contact between us and the website manager is desirable. Pictures are always welcome, especially of people doing things. A method of reaching members efficiently is being sought.
Education and Communication Committee: This committee over arches the Newsletter and the Website and any e-mail function such as mail chimp we put into place. Jeff will send out an email to determine who might be interest in clarify this committee mission and leadership.
ATV Update: in July we had a message from Mr. Pennuicci who is the DNR Area Supervisor for the Turtle Flambeau flowage. The Dusty Loons are still working to develop a trail that could go into the scenic waters area off Popko circle. One route would need to cross Hawkins Hunt Club Land. Mr. Hawkins is not interested in having an ATV trail on his property. Until the ATV group can present proof of non-cooperation from land owners such as Hawkins it will not consider Master Plan Revision and seek public input. It was noted that the Master Plan is 25 years old and due for revision but no action seems imminent on this.
Mike Hittle’s book: Mike asked for our input regarding his book. Should there be two books or one. Discussion followed and Mike appreciated our efforts.
Shore Land Initiative: thanks were again expressed to John Richter for provoking discussion at the Annual Meeting. Members seemed appreciative and supportive of this group’s effort. They have requested additional financial support. Discussion: What more can this group accomplish? Counties are now being forced to comply with the new law. The Iron County Zoning Administrator has resigned. Flowage properties may be less impacted but its water quality could be impacted by water moving downstream from impacted areas. The Public Trust Doctrine may be the next target. Could future legislation target lake associations?
Randy Schubert moved and Bill Stewart seconded a motion to send a check for $250.00 to the Shore and Initiative Group. After Discussion the motion passed unanimously.
UWEX Lakes request for membership dues is coming.
POA Road Sign. Members at the annual meeting were generally favorable to this idea. A cost of $10-$11 per sign including hardware is anticipated and the post with the fire number can be used with our sign below the fire number. The purpose would be to increase the visibility/leverage of our organization as well as encourage membership and retention of members. Members will be asked to purchase their signs. After additional discussion we will seek a design to be proposed at the next meeting.
Next Meeting: To be determined
Adjourned 8:13 PM