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News and Events

New Lake Management Plan Sewer Exotics Conservancy
2012 Beach Coliform Bacteria Counts Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Lake Fisheries Educational Partnerships
Lake Protection Grant Work Aqweed Revitalizing of Shoreland Vegetation Phosphorous Ban

 

GLSD Working With Partners on More Detailed Lake Management Plan

 

The GLSD in conjunction with its local partners the Green Lake County Land Conservation Department , Green Lake Association and Green Lake Conservancy have been meeting and working on activities with a goal to develop an updated Big Green Lake Management Plan.  The specifics of the updated plan should be available in the next 6 to 8 months.   

 

A more detailed Big Green Lake Management Plan would allow our local organizations to agree on lake management priorities and to use our available resources in an optimal effort toward protecting and improving our lake.  Even though this Management Plan would be dynamic and updated annually, we believe it will help our organizations to focus on those activities that are most important to the lake.  Part of this Management Plan development will include a number of meetings with the public and all of our stakeholders to welcome their input into the ongoing formation of this roadmap.

 

Once the Management Plan is completed, in addition to including it as part of Green Lake County’s Land and Water Resource Management Plan, the new Management Plan will be a key tool in allowing us to pursue available grant dollars for completing the goals and activities contained in the Plan.  Examples of projects & activities being considered include:

 

·       Fish Survey of Big Green Lake

·       Evaluation of Lake Tributary health information (impaired vs. healthy)

·       Perform updated Watershed Inventory (i.e. cropping, animal farms, etc.)

·       Re-examine current nutrient loadings to Lake

·       More detailed plan for managing conservancy properties

·       Evaluate possible gaps in current Lake & Watershed monitoring efforts

·       Examine educational partnerships to make improvements

·       Re-energize shoreland restoration (RSVP)

·       Plant harvesting changes-more bio-control, alternative approaches

·       More detailed studies of County A & County K Estuaries to determine proper

          balance between biodiversity and recreational activities

·       And many more ….

Follow Link for the Big Green Lake Management Plan:

Lake Management Plan Part 1: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5Q-O00Y3148YVVKVk5JcFVMVDA/edit?usp=sharing

Lake Management Plant Part 2: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5Q-O00Y3148WDJvZVQ1d0hFMmM/edit?usp=sharing

Beach Coliform Bacteria Sampling

The primary tool used at present to evaluate beach water quality is the measurement of "indicator" organisms that estimate the level of fecal contamination of the water. The indicator organisms most commonly used are fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and enterococci. These coliform bacteria are microorganisms that usually occur in the intestinal tract of animals, including humans. High levels of these organisms in recreational water are indicative of fecal contamination and the possible presence of intestinal-disease-causing organisms (http://www.great-lakes.net/humanhealth/other/bacteria.html).

Federal and State recreational water quality guidelines recommend bacterial levels below which the risk of human illness is considered to be minimal. For public beaches, the regional Health Departments generally monitor beach water quality.  [The Green Lake Sanitary District monitors local Green Lake beach waters.]  When contaminant indicator levels in the bathing beach water reach levels that are considered to pose a risk to health, public beaches may be posted with a sign warning bathers of these potential health risks (http://www.great-lakes.net/humanhealth/other/bacteria.html).

The Wisconsin Beach Monitoring Program was developed in accordance with EPA performance criteria.  Therefore, this document sets forth performance criteria for the following (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/wqs/beaches/BeachMonitoringRequirements.pdf):  1) Sampling and monitoring, 2) promptly notifying the public of exceedances of the water quality standard for E. coli, and 3) reporting.

     2013 BIG GREEN LAKE WATER QUALITY REPORT  SHOWING AVERAGES  1989 - 2013
        GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT, GREEN LAKE COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA
    BACTERIA AT BEACHES & TRIBUTARIES AND
  SECCHI DISK AND SURFACE WATER TEMPERATURE DATA AT TWO DEEP-WATER STATIONS
                           
              BEACHES                   IN LAKE MONITORING      TRIBUTARY  SAMPLING
     PILGRIM      COUNTY       HATTIE      CAMP     COUNTY             SILVER CRK  SPAULDINGS
      CAMP ___  PARK - WEST    SHERWOOD      GROW___  PARK - INLET          ABA___              Secchi  Disk (Feet)                           Temperature  (oF)                    K-MART         BRIDGE___
      Date       Escherichia coli Escherichia coli Escherichia coli Escherichia coli Escherichia coli Escherichia coli    WEST    EAST    WEST    EAST Escherichia coli Escherichia coli       Date  
3-Jun-13 20.0 4.0 172.0 -1.0 -1.0 -1.0         102.0 150.0 3-Jun
10-Jun-13 12.0 -1.0 4.0 4.0 1.0 4.0         167.0 214.0 10-Jun
11-Jun-13             15.0 10.5 68.0 68.0     11-Jun
17-Jun-13 2.0 5.0 -1.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 19.0 35.0 68.0 68.0 167.0 172.0 17-Jun
19-Jun-13             20.5 34.0 68.0 67.0     19-Jun
24-Jun-13 -1.0 13.0 -1.0 1.0 3.0 -1.0         344 93 24-Jun
27-Jun-13 20.0 35.0 72.0 76.0 27-Jun
1-Jul-13 3.0 96.0 1.0 3.0 4.0 5.0         5 210 1-Jul
7-Jul-13             24.5 20 75 86     7-Jul
8-Jul-13 -1.0 15.0 3.0 19.0 14.0 59.0           2400.0 8-Jul
11-Jul-13             29.0 16.5 77.0 80.0     11-Jul
15-Jul-13 3.0 2.0 1.0 5.0 -1.0 6.0         96.0 82.0 15-Jul
20-Jul-13             15.5 16.0 82.0 84.0     20-Jul
22-Jul-13 -1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 42.0         687.0 727.0 22-Jul
29-Jul-13 -1.0 1.0 -1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0         194.0 154.0 29-Jul
31-Jul-13             16.0 16.0 73.0 75.0     31-Jul
3-Aug-13             19.0 18.0 74.0 74.0     3-Aug
8-Aug-13             16.0 16.0 73.0 74.0     8-Aug
12-Aug-13 6.0 10.0 2.0 3.0 1.0 3.0         161.0 88.0 12-Aug
19-Aug-13 9.0 5.0 4.0 -1.0 4.0 -1.0         276.0 109.0 19-Aug
26-Aug-13 13.0 111.0 9.0 -1.0 23.0 9.0         326.0 68.0 26-Aug
                          0-Jan
                          0-Jan
 -------------------  --------------------  --------------------  --------------------  --------------------  --------------------  --------------------  --------------------  -------------------  --------------------  -------------------  -------------------  -------------------  -------------------
 Average 5 22 16 3 5 11 19.45 21.70 73.0 75.2 229.55 372.25  Average
 Maximum 20 111 172 19 23 59 29 35 82 86 687 2400  Maximum
 Minimum -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 15 10.5 68 67 5 68  Minimum
2013 Avg 5 22 16 3 5 11 19 22 73 75 230 372 2013 Avg
2012 Avg 5 22 16 3 5 11 19 22 73 75 230 372 2012 Avg
2011 Avg 3 5 4 2 14 6 17 14 76 78 451 227 2011 Avg
2010 Avg 7 12 8 4 14 7 14.41 13.27 74.4 76.0 343.96 467.05 2010 Avg
2009 Avg 1 2 -1 1 -1 -1 4.13 4.25 80.00 80.00 130.00 84.00 2009 Avg
 2008 Avg 63 249 27 15 89 22 12.38 9.97 67.25 67.56 660.83 405.75  2008 Avg
2007 Avg 22 39 21 3 7 11 13.81 12.73 70.38 71.91 814.36 639.50 2007 Avg
2006 Avg 8 20 10 5 11 64 15.07 14.64 70.77 72.71 600.36 484.07 2006 Avg
 2005 Avg 4 70 10 3 7 27 16.68 15.88 72.76 73.53 839.00 189.00  2005 Avg
 2004 Avg 3 8 11 2 12 26 14.50 12.85 69.82 70.06 284.78 308.00  2004 Avg
 2003 Avg 11 9 8 6 11 25 14.43 12.97 70.26 69.84 559.26 554.75  2003 Avg
 2002 Avg 49 20 17 10 13 142 12.43 11.50 70.6 71.1 767 1448  2002 Avg
 2001 Avg  18 12 26 9 12 25 14.46 12.96 71.3 71.4 344 218  2001 Avg
 2000 Avg 31 18 13 12 13 417 16.00 14.30 69.4 69.4 311 182  2000 Avg
 1999 Avg 18 32 13 13 22 28 17.60 14.80 72.3 72.6 700 1464  1999 Avg
 1998 Avg 9 17 12 7 15 85 13.80 12.80 73.3 73.5 372 115  1998 Avg
 1997 Avg 69 58 15 47 94 290 10.20 10.00 69.4 69.7 1272 759  1997 Avg
 1996 Avg 262 1192 157 192 1480   12.10 11.70 70.0 69.9 4065 1998  1996 Avg
 1995 Avg 51 70 83 49 27   12.80 11.80 68.4 68.2 745 279  1995 Avg
 1994 Avg 10 51 13 5 63   11.80 9.10 69.7 70.3 2928 881  1994 Avg
 1993 Avg 131 225 41 497 137   10.70 7.80     557 732  1993 Avg
 1992 Avg 91 35 48 123 227   19.90 17.40     646 580  1992 Avg
 1991 Avg 52 34 37 44                 NR   16.10 14.70     1162 450  1991 Avg
 1990 Avg 118 42 4 9                 NR   12.40 11.40     1851 768  1990 Avg
 1989 Avg 10 44 9 6                 NR   15.00 12.50     1176 518  1989 Avg
                           
SAMPLING:           Lake samples taken 1 foot below the surface in 3 to 6 feet of water. ANALYSIS: Wisconsin Lab of Hygiene (2000-2013)
                      Tributary samples collected from the surface. Consultant Physicians in Pathology, S.C., Beaver Dam, WI  (1989-1999)
NA:  No reading, lab had problems with sample. STANDARDS: Wisconsin Administrative Code HSS 171
ENTEROCOCCUS:  33 MPN/100 ML (average of 5 samples in 30 days) or a one-time sample of 61 MPN/100 ML.      "OG" - Refers to results to high to count.
 UNITS = COLONIES/100 ML (MPN/100 ML)
 2003 - State recommended changes to use Escherichia coli and 126/100 ML (5 samples) or 235/100ML (single sample)              
 
   

 

Lake Protection Grant Work

The GLSD regularly applies for various types of grants, most of the grants are designed to financially assist the District with ongoing lake protection type activities.  Examples of recent grants include: joint grant application with the City of Green Lake to assist the GLSD in paying for conservancy signage and markers, procuring a number of land conservancy grants to purchase sensitive areas in and around the lake.

 

Sewer

The GLSD currently sewers the residential equivalent of just over 1,000 homes.  With the addition of the 250+ homes located along Tuleta Hills and Spring Grove Roads in 2002, the GLSD sewers just over two-thirds of the homes in the GLSD.  The remaining unsewered homes (approx. 400) are served by private on-site wastewater treatment systems.  At present, there are 500+ vacant lots in the GLSD. 

 

Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

As mentioned above, approximately 400 of the GLSD’s 1,400 homes are served by private on-site wastewater treatment systems.  These systems are comprised of conventional septic systems, mound systems and holding tanks.  The GLSD has a State approved management plan for pumping and inspecting all District private on-site wastewater treatment systems.  In general, septic systems need to be pumped and inspected at least once every 3 years and holding tanks require pumping and inspection every two years.  There is also funding available for replacement of on-site systems within the GLSD, interested parties should contact the GLSD office.  

 

Aqweed

Aqweed Ready for Cutting In 2013

 

The GLSD Aqweed Crew will begin cutting during the week of May 14th and continue to operate throughout the Summer until Labor Day Weekend.  This past Winter, we finished a total reconditioning project to completely rebuild our mian harvester (i.e. the blue harvesting boat that cuts all around the lake) so we are ready for the extra plant growth that will invariably come with our above normal Spring temperatures.

 

Once again, we will be using pink fluorescent tape to make properties (the ribbon needs to be tied on the end of the pier) visible from the lake for owners who want their shorelines cut.  If you want your shoreline cut, you need to contact our office ant (920) 295-4488. As with past years, we will not cut any properties that do not call and specifically request cutting for their property.  To expedite our cutting, if possible, email our office at paulettej@glakesd.com  and include a photo of your property (if possible go on the water and take the picture on the lake 100 feet from your shore looking at your dock and home). 

 

Please remember that the DNR limits each riparian property to a cutting width of 30 feet.  Requests for cutting of greater than 30 feet must be made by the property owner directly to the DNR.      

 

Exotics

The GLSD spends most of its exotics time focusing on four particular invaders.  The four invaders are:  Zebra Mussel (ZM), Carp, Purple Loosestrife (PL) and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM).

We believe we have been successful with three of these invaders and the fourth invader (ZM) remains to be tamed by virtually anyone or anything. 

A new carp barrier at the County K bridge in 2009 joins the relatively new bubble air carp barrier at the County A bridge.  We believe these barriers have greatly reduced the spawning success of carp and the reduced spawning will control the carp numbers in Big Green Lake. 

The GLSD continues to run its PL nursery at the GLSD headquarters on County Road TT.  The continued success of the nursery seems to be keeping the control and spread of PL in check, our plans are to continue to run the nursery indefinitely.

The GLSD is currently working with other lake organizations and State officials to prepare for the “next steps” (more monitoring, education and information) that may be coming shortly, we will continue to provide property owners information as it becomes available.     

The EWM issue is kept in check by the Aqweed Program and our mechanical harvesters.  In 2008, we purchased a smaller cutter to assist our cutting efforts in really tight spaces on the Lake and in the Estuaries.  EWM seems to be pretty unpredictable in where it decides to show up every year; however, the mobility of our Aqweed Crew really keeps this exotic in check.

ZM were first discovered in our Lake in 2005 by GLSD staff through ZM samplers located at various locations all around our Lake.  ZM has continued to multiply at an alarming rate over the past few years and there really isn’t a solution for containing or eliminating them other than the use of protective aqua socks for recreational activities. 

 

Lake Fisheries

The GLSD purchased the County Fish Rearing Facility in 2006 and the last few years have seen tremendous Brown and Lake Trout Rearing and Stocking.  Even though the Fish Rearing Facility (FRF) is run primarily by the GLSD staff, the fishing partnership for Big Green Lake really supports the financial operations and improvements to the FRF.  The fishing partners for the FRF include:  Green Lake County, City of Green Lake, Green Lake Association, Walleyes for Tomorrow, Wisconsin DNR and Local Fishing Guides.  The fishing partnership has made it possible for the FRF to not only continue its operations to successfully raise fish, but to also make over $20,000 worth of capital improvements to the FRF which will keep it viable for many decades into the future.

In addition to the cold water stocking outlined above at the FRF, the FRF also houses the Walleye Wagon.  WFT ran a successful rearing during the Spring of 2009 for the first time in the past few years.  The VHS virus had prohibited walleye raising activities for a number of years, but procedures to deal with VHS seem to be worked out and walleye raising activities are back.  

For most information on the removal and control of carp, refer to the “exotics” section above.  In addition to the carp barriers, professional fisherman have continued to remove carp from our Lake and its estuaries.

 

Revitalizing of Shoreland Vegetation

For over 10 years the GLSD and GLA have shared sponsorship of RSVP with funds available to lake property owners interested in restoring their shoreline properties.  Restoring and maintaining native vegetation along the shoreline to create a buffer for the lake. Shoreland restoration is a vital component in our "environmental toolbox" for lake protection.  For questions and/or help, please contact the GLSD office 920-295-4488.

 

Conservancy

The GLSD is very active in Green Lake Conservancy Partnership.  Other partners in addition to the GLSD include: the Green Lake Conservancy and the Green Lake Association.

In addition to the purchase of the 15 Green Lake Conservancy Properties.  The GLSD also remains financially committed to maintaining theses properties in an ongoing program with costs shared between the GLSD, GLC and the GLA.

The 15 conservancy properties consist of almost 200 acres of land, with over 15,000 feet on the water.  Most of the properties were acquired with the financial assistance of Wisconsin State Grants (Lake Protection Grant Program as well as the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program).

Lastly, in addition to maintaining and protecting the current Green Lake Conservancy Properties, our partnership is always on the "lookout" for sensitive area lands in need of protection.

Our conservancy group (GLSD and Green Lake Conservancy) cannot emphasize enough the importance of ongoing fund raising for these land acquisition projects.  In almost all cases, State grant funding only covers a portion of the land costs.  We need donations from property owners who have an agenda to acquire lands that will provide “green space” around our lake as well as provide protection to our lake.  As most of you can see, our time for acquiring conservancy lands in and around the lake is running out.  If you are interested in contributing to these valuable conservancy efforts, please feel free to contact our office at (920)-295-4488 for more information or email Charlie at glsd@glakesd.com.

Educational Partnerships

The Green Lake, Markesan, Princeton and Ripon Public Schools continue an active roll in the health and protection of Big Green Lake and its Watershed.  Green Lake is active in lake and watershed water quality monitoring, shoreland restoration, purple loosestrife, zebra mussel monitoring and studies relating to native plants.  Markesan is active in lake and watershed water quality monitoring and purple loosestrife projects.  Ripon is active in lake and watershed water quality monitoring, lake habitat monitoring and shoreland restoration.  Princeton is active in lake watershed water quality monitoring.    

 

Phosphorous Ban

The Green Lake Sanitary District was very instrumental in getting the Statewide Phosphorus Ban enacted in 2009.  The ban prohibits the sale of phosphorus in residential fertilizers sold in Wisconsin.  With very few exceptions (i.e. soil tests confirming an absence of P, etc.), retailers are banned from selling phosphorus residential fertilizers in Wisconsin.

We believe this P ban will have an immediate and long-term positive impact on Big Green Lake as well as other Wisconsin water bodies.  Our staff (Administrator Charlie Marks) and Commissioner (Jerry Specht) made multiple trips to Madison to testify on behalf of the P ban prior to its successful implementation into law.