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Lake Management Planning Project Details

Lake Management Planning Project Goal and Objectives:

Project Goal:

Sunset over Lake Winnebago (Photo credit: Kelly Reyer)

The goal of this project is to coordinate, communicate, and partner to develop a framework for cooperation throughout the region to improve upon existing programs and efforts that aim to restore or protect the health of the Winnebago Lakes. This includes facilitating communication among stakeholders (including residents and lake users) and multiple agencies to advance collaborative regional efforts that address topics such as: water quality, habitat, fisheries, recreation, public health, and aquatic invasive species. We will strive to foster positive, long-term relationships with a variety of stakeholders to develop consistent and realistic lake management practices and procedures that benefit lake health and the local economy. 

Project Objectives:

In order to achieve this goal, the project will:

  • Advance lake management planning
  • Pursue grants and other funding
  • Engage the public and solicit input through outreach and education
  • Ensure project transparency

“The goal is not to create a new layer of government, but to provide a framework for cooperation that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of existing programs and efforts.” (ECT Report, 2014). Click HERE to learn more about past efforts on the System.

Winnebago Lakes – Lake Management Planning Project Area:

Lake Winneconne, Lake Poygan, Lake Butte des Morts, and Lake Winnebago

Click the map to enlarge

The project structure shown here provides a framework for the lake management planning process. While the basic structure of the framework will remain consistent throughout the project, Technical Teams and Focus Groups may change as new priorities or topics are realized. The framework was constructed in this way to accommodate the often dynamic process of developing a lake management plan for a large water body system.

Steering Committee: The Steering Committee drives the project and is made up of 15 voting members and 5-8 non-voting advisory member. The Steering Committee will vote to choose the three members at large. More than half of the voting Steering Committee members need to be present to vote on a topic.

Technical teams are small groups of experienced conservation professionals. A Technical Team will be formed for each management topic. Technical Team leaders (one from each Team) will serve as voting members on the Steering Committee.

Focus Groups are groups of stakeholders including members of the public. Technical teams help to facilitate Focus Groups and serve as a communication link between the Focus Groups and Steering Committee.

Winnebago Lakes Preservation Committee (WLPC) will be made up of County Executives/Administrators, County Board Chairs and the Land Conservation Committee Chairs for each county (3 seats for each county) or their approved designee. County representatives on the Steering Committee will serve as the communication link between the Steering Committee and the Preservation Committee.

Technical teams are small groups of experienced conservation professionals. A Technical Team will be formed for each management topic. Technical Team leaders (one from each Team) will serve as voting members on the Steering Committee.

Technical Team Tasks:

  • Assess, prioritize, and analyze key concerns and issues
  • Develop goals
  • Collect relevant information
  • Analyze and evaluate information; identify and address data gaps
  • Develop management objectives
  • Develop list of all possible management actions
  • With the help of Focus Groups, prioritize and recommend the best management actions

Focus Groups are made up of concerned members of the public and organizations (stakeholders). Technical teams help to facilitate Focus Groups and serve as a communication link between the Focus Groups and Steering Committee.

Focus Group Tasks:

  • Identify major concerns and issues
  • Help to ensure all relevant interests are adequately represented
  • Help with community education and outreach throughout the planning process
  • Provide input to help establish and clarify project goals
  • Assist with collection of data and information
  • Help develop evaluation criteria for reviewing management options
  • Provide input on preferred management actions
  • Provide input to help prioritize and select best management action recommendations

Interested in being part of the planning process? Sign-up for a Focus Group:

Focus Group Sign-up Form

The Steering Committee drives the project and is made up of 15 voting members and 5 non-voting advisory member.

Steering Committee Responsibilities:

  • Recommends finalize project goals and management objectives to the Winnebago Lakes Preservation Committee
  • Recommends consultants to fill gaps in information
  • Provides final recommendations to the WLPC based on focus group and technical team guidance
  • Drives project through to completion
  • Initiates and plans for implementation of LMP

Project Funding:

Calumet County, Fond du Lac, and Winnebago Counties contracted with Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (FWWA) to help advance lake management planning efforts.

FWWA used the county money as match to leverage four, two-year Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Surface Water Grants (one for each of the four lakes). FWWA received the grants in 2017. The DNR grants are supplying 50% of the funding for 2017 and 2018, with the other 50% being provided by the three counties.

Additional support for the project is being provided by several organizations through staff time: Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, Waushara County, UW-Extension, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, WDNR. We anticipate this list of supporting organizations to grow.


If you are interested in becoming a contributing partner or would like to donate to the Winnebago Waterways Program or lake management planning efforts, please contact Korin Doering, Winnebago Waterways Program Coordinator, at (920)851-0948 or korin@fwwa.org

Opportunities to get involved – we want to hear from you!

Lake management planning is a collaborative effort between several organizations including county staff, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance. As we build momentum for Lake Management Planning in 2017, we anticipate the number of participating individuals and organizations to grow.

Poygan Marsh Sunrise (Photo credit: user submission)

Effective and holistic lake management planning requires input from a variety of stakeholders including area residents, property owners, lake users, and people that rely on Lake Winnebago for their drinking water supply. To ensure our planning process is truly collaborative, we invite you to participate. Join us at the Winnebago Waterways Celebration on April 27th or at one of the upcoming Lake Management Planning Public Meetings.

Upcoming events:

We are in the process of developing Lake Management Planning Technical Teams for the following topics:

  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Aquatic plant management
  • Habitat, fish, and wildlife
  • Recreational lake use, access, and navigation

Technical Teams are groups of conservation professionals that have expertise or extensive experience in the corresponding topic area. Focus Groups are groups of stakeholders (such as area residents, lake users, and other members of the public) interested in actively participating in the development of a lake management plan. Learn more about Technical Teams and Focus groups by clicking the ‘Project Framework’ tab.

Interested in participating on a Focus Group? Please click the link below to sign-up:

focus group sign-up form

Participating organizations: Calumet County, Winnebago County, Fond du Lac County, Waushara County, UW-Extension, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, and Wisconsin DNR

Download the Lake Management Planning project fact sheet

Click here

Stay informed with Project updates

Subscribe to the Winnebago Waterways email list

Subscribe to the project mailing list to stay up to date on events and opportunities to provide input during the planning process.

Comments or suggestions?

We’d love to hear from you!

feedback form

Lake Management Planning Updates

Blog articles from our e-newsletter, The Source

Be part of the planning process – Sign-up for a project Focus Group

Planning is in the works for Lakes Poygan, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Winnebago. Focus Groups are forming for Lake Management Planning Topics - join us in our planning efforts! Focus Groups are groups

Stakeholders Contribute to Lake Management Planning Effort

In May, area residents and lake users attended Lake Management Planning (LMP) Public Meetings hosted by Winnebago Waterways at three locations around the Winnebago Lakes. The purpose of these meetings was to give

Technical Teams Work to Advance Lake Planning Effort

The following Lake Management Planning Technical Teams met this past week at the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance office in Kimberly, WI: Recreational Lake Use, Access, and Navigation Habitat, Fish, and Wildlife Aquatic

FWWA hires two new interns!

The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is pleased to introduce two new interns for the summer of 2017! Clean Boats, Clean Waters Intern Dustin is currently a student at Fox Valley Technical College and is focused

Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance hires Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Thanks to a three-year Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) grant and generous support from area organizations, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance was able to hire a full-time Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator for the Winnebago

Pipe Creek Watershed Project

The Pipe Creek Watershed is the northern most watershed that drains to Lake Winnebago in Fond du Lac County. See map below. Like many of the tributaries along the east shore of Lake Winnebago,