Cedar Lake in midst of water quality studyOn Feb. 27, the Cedar Lake Rehabilitation District hosted an overview of the information generated in the first year of a two-year study to look at the water quality conditions and lake dynamics in Cedar Lake.
By: Mike Reiter, New Richmond News
On Feb. 27, the Cedar Lake Rehabilitation District hosted an overview of the information generated in the first year of a two-year study to look at the water quality conditions and lake dynamics in Cedar Lake.
The study is being performed through a grant and cooperative partnership between the Lake District, Army Corps of Engineers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Bill Jones with the Corps and Buzz Sorge with the WDNR gave an excellent presentation of the preliminary findings.
Lakes that are fertile and have lots of nutrients are termed “eutrophic.” Cedar Lake is classified as a “hyper-eutrophic” lake, which means it has too much of a good thing. Nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus, drive blue-green algae growth causing lake residents and users concern. In high concentrations, blue-green algae will cause health problems for both humans and their pets besides turning the lake “user unfriendly pea soup green.”
Unlike their cousin the green algae, blue-green algae clump together to produce large colonies that are not able to be utilized for food by the small organisms in the lake that form the base of the aquatic food chain. Too high a concentration of blue-green algae is a dead end for any lake.
Cedar Lake has been termed a “polymixic lake,” which means it mixes many times and recycles the phosphorus that would normally not be available for algal proliferation. Why Cedar Lake behaves the way it does is the key question. Once these questions are answered, a treatment regime can then be put in place and, hopefully, water quality will improve.
Through a series of monitoring devices spread throughout the lake, all the physical attributes of the lake were monitored. A weather station was also installed on the lake’s shore which provided baseline readings on atmospheric weather conditions. The study is extremely well thought out with nothing taken for granted. Excellent data has been generated and the lake is starting to give up its secrets.
Water temperature and wind combined with deep and shallow areas of the lake promote mixing of the lake water many times throughout the year. Cold water is heavier than warm water and wind action from shallow to deep portions of the lake can cause mixing even on a daily basis. Phosphorous levels and algal blooms can be correlated with the physical happenings within the lake and a cause and effect relationship can be made. The science behind this study will then drive workable options to rectify the problem. Stay tuned!
A training session for Aquatic Invasive Species identification will be held on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Star Prairie Community Center. The class will be put on by the Citizen Science Center, Beaver Creek Reserve.
Identifying and differentiating AIS from native species will help interested people become actively involved in the “Clean Boat Clean Waters” project.
Bob Goodlad, chairman of the Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, notes that the district is actively involved in this project to keep the lake as AIS free as possible. Cedar Lake is a popular destination for recreational boaters both from the local area, but also from our neighbors in Minnesota. There are lakes in the vicinity that already have some of these invasive species established. We believe that the more people that can be trained to identify these “aquatic hitchhikers,” the better our chances to stop their spread. For more information, contact Goodlad at 715-248-7672.
The annual Hunting and Fishing Expo will again be held at the Prairieview Covenant Church on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church is located just off Highway 65 between New Richmond and Star Prairie. Admission is free but freewill offerings will be accepted. This is a great family event.
Anyone can bring in antlers to be scored and there are a number of interesting seminars scheduled throughout the day. Wild game appetizers will again be part of the program along with a variety of displays. Door prizes will be drawn throughout the event and an auction will be held at 3 p.m. Come early, stay late and plan for a delightful outdoor experience to break up those winter doldrums!
USF&WS Tom Kerr’s
State of the Birds Report
As I looked out my window the other day, I saw a robin feeding in a crabapple tree. Robins are very adaptable animals, able to survive in many different habitats. We commonly see them in our backyard and they will nest just about anywhere off the ground.
I’ve seen robin nests in spruce trees, shrubs, high up in mature trees, on porch lights and even on pieces of equipment. Robins will take up residence just about anywhere they can build their nest of grass and mud.
In the 2009 State of the Birds Report, which addressed population trends for different types of birds based on their preferred habitat, many of these “urban” birds such as grackles, doves, robins and gulls showed population increases over the past 40 years. Although referred to as urban birds, they are really very adaptable species that can live in a wide variety of habitats.
In contrast to these adaptable species, the report stated that “grassland birds are among the fastest and most consistently declining birds in North America; 48 percent are of conservation concern and 55 percent are showing significant declines.”
Many of these grassland dependent species, once common across St. Croix County, including Western Meadowlarks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Bobolinks and Short-eared Owls, have declined by 38 to 77 percent over the past 40 years. Although there are many causes, the loss of large open expanses of grassland for nesting habitat has contributed to the decline of these species.
Most of the remaining grassland in St. Croix County is either on public land or enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Much of our management on Waterfowl Production Areas in St. Croix County is directed at returning these areas to the historic type of habitat found in St. Croix County, prairie, wetland and scattered oak savanna.
In contrast to the robin, which will live wherever it can build its nest, many of these grassland birds will not build their nest near a tree. They are adapted to open grasslands and the presence of trees and fencerows, which serve as predator perches or corridors for ground predators such as raccoons, serve as deterrents to nesting.
Once restored to the prairie historically found across St. Croix County, the WPAs will provide good habitat for many species of grassland dependent birds and also many of the adaptable species such as bluebirds, pheasants and doves. If you are interested in more information or would like to download a copy of the State of the Birds Report, check out the Web site at http://www.stateofthebirds.org/.
Warden Paul’s Corner
Removal of Ice Shelters
The regulations for removing ice shanties from inland Wisconsin waters changed in 2008. The law now requires ice fishing shelters be removed daily and when not occupied after the first Sunday following March 1 for waters south of Highway 64 and after the first Sunday following March 12 for waters north of Highway 64.
For 2010, those dates are:
• Sunday, March 7, for waters south of Highway 64.
• Sunday, March 14, for waters north of Highway 64.