Lake Management Planning – October Update

Click the image above to download a project flyer

Click here to learn more about lake management planning

October was a busy month for lake management planning. Here are some highlights:

  • The Winnebago Waterways Program hosted two public sessions during which the US Army Corps of Engineers presented on water level management for Lake Winnebago.
  • Five Technical Team meetings, including sub-group meetings, were held over the course of the month with lots of work taking place behind the scenes. Scroll down to read about Technical Team progress.
  • Calumet, Winnebago, and Fond du Lac Counties signed an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement relating to the Winnebago Waterways Committee. The agreement formalizes the counties commitment to work together to support and promote beautification, restoration, promotion and general upkeep of the waters that comprise the lakes of the Winnebago Waterways, commonly defined as Lake Winnebago and the associated pool lakes of Poygan, Butte des Morts and Winneconne as well as the watershed tributaries within the five-county area including Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago Counties. To learn more about the agreement, CLICK HERE.
  • The Winnebago Waterways Committee approved and signed an agreement with the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance to continue to advance Lake Management Planning efforts on behalf of the committee.
  • Public outreach about the Lake Management Planning Project took place at several events and meetings of area organizations around the Winnebago Lakes over the course of the past month.
  • Presentations about lake management planning were given by Winnebago Waterways Program staff to Fond du Lac and Calumet County Land Conservation Committees.

Lake Management Planning – Technical Teams

We’ve assembled four of the seven project Technical Teams and are preparing for a fifth project Team with the goal of having all seven Teams formed by February of 2018. The Teams that have been formed are: Water Quality, Aquatic Invasive Species & Aquatic Plant Management, Recreational Lake Use, Access, & Navigation, and Habitat, Fish, & Wildlife. Work has begun on a fifth topic, Outreach & Education, in preparation for 2018. Our goal is to have the following additional Technical Teams formed by February: Watershed Management, Outreach & Education, and Shoreline Practices. For more information on the structure of the lake management planning project, please CLICK HERE to visit the webpage or download a project flyer.

Technical Team Updates – as of 10/30/2017:

Water Quality Technical Team

  • Sarah Szabo – Winnebago Waterways Program volunteer – has volunteered to provide the Team with project assistance
  • The Team is working to provide data and documents for the project inventory
  • The Team will begin developing a collaborative, system-wide water quality monitoring plan
  • The Team is working to answer the following questions:
    • How does the Winnebago System function?
    • Where is water quality at in each of the four lakes?
    • How do we monitor in the future to assess progress?
    • How do we document changes in water quality over time?
    • What does it mean to have a ‘healthy’ lake?
    • What are the goals for water quality improvement?
    • What would it take to delist the lakes from the EPA 303d impaired list?
    • What are our limitations or barrier to reaching those goals?
    • What are all of the management options to help reduce internal loading of nutrients and sediment?
    • Should we be setting interim numeric goals for WQ to help us meet the larger reduction goals?
  • Next meeting will likely be held in late November

Aquatic invasive species/Aquatic plant management Technical Team:

  • The Team has been working to develop a plan for full point-intercept surveys on all four Winnebago Lakes
    • A sub-group of team members met through conference call three times over the past month to develop and discuss sampling scenarios for the aquatic plant surveys with assistance from Wisconsin DNR.
      • A final Plan is to finalize sampling scenario selections by 11/2/2017 in order to receive ‘official’ PI-survey maps from the WI DNR by 11/3/2017
      • The project will go out for bids starting on 11/6/2017 from aquatic plant management consulting firms for work to be completed in 2018
      • After we receive those cost estimates, we will begin drafting WI DNR grant applications for December 2017 submittal
  • Next meeting will likely be held at the end of November or early December with a heavy focus on aquatic invasive species strategic planning

Habitat, Fish & Wildlife Technical Team:

  • The Team is working to develop site identification and evaluation methods for areas with potential for habitat restoration in all four Winnebago Lakes.
    • There are several sites that have already been identified by Winnebago County and area organizations in the Upper Pool Lakes as having restoration potential.
    • The Team would like to identify additional sites with potential for habitat restoration as well as sites appropriate for protection, maintenance, enhancement, and creation of habitat.
    • FWWA recommends a method be developed for a comprehensive evaluation of all four lakes for habitat potential. The method could be a hybrid approach by assessing all four lakes at a larger scale for potential sites while including those sites already identified through previous work.
  • Water levels are important factor for habitat – Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance held two public presentations in October on water level management with presentations by the US Army Corps of Engineers about water level management for Lake Winnebago.
  • Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance and Winnebago County (with help from other organizations) collected spatial data and aerial images for the Upper Pool Lakes
  • The Team will work in small sub-groups over the next two months and then hold a full Team meeting in January 2018.
    • FWWA will meet with team members individually or in small groups to assist with the development of a habitat site selection plan (site selection criteria, develop evaluation matrix, etc.)

Recreational Lake Use, Access, & Navigation Technical Team:

  • The Team is working to develop recommendations to improve lake access for a variety of user groups.
    • The Team has been communicating through an online discussion spreadsheet to explore and identify issues and solutions for a variety of lake access topics (boats, silent sports, shoreline fishing, ice access, etc.).
  • A sub-group is working to collect information and identify issues with navigation and safety in the Winnebago Lakes (for example: locations, management, and maintenance of navigation markers)
    • The sub-group will then present the information to the larger Tech Team to begin developing possible solutions.
  • Next meeting will likely be held in mid-December or early January

Questions or suggestions about lake management planning? Please contact Korin Doering, Winnebago Waterways Program Coordinator at (920) 851-0948 or

Follow the Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance’s Winnebago Waterways Program on our Winnebago Waterways Facebookpage or @WinnWaterways on TwitterYou can also sign-up for email updates at


Leave A Comment