Gordon St Croix Flowage Association Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 27th at 9:30 am at the North Shore.  The Speaker is from the National Park Service.

The annual meeting is a great opportunity to get to know the Flowage better, and also many of the lake’s friends and property owners.

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Pancake Breakfast January 28, North Shore Resort

Back by popular demand.

The second GSCFA Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, at the North Shore Resort from 8 am to 11 am. There was a good attendance last year and the food was great. This year we have added scrambled eggs to the menu. Come out on a cool January morning to a warm pancake breakfast. If you want to help, let Brad DeColon at the North Shore know.

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Job opportunity on the St Croix Flowage

Calling all lovers and friends of the St Croix Flowage. Summer job opportunity available.

CBCW-bluewhiteweb

St Croix Flowage Clean Boats Clean Waters monitors paid or volunteer time. Gordon, WI. Help wanted: Landing Monitor for the Gordon Dam to provide boat inspections and education. Part-time job on week-ends.16 – 18 hrs. Must be 18 years or older and drive your own car. (Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Materials and training provided.

Call for details: (715)376-4743

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Loons on the Flowage

Photos submitted by Tom Sawyer

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Gordon/St Croix Flowage Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 28, 2016, 9:30 am, North Shore Resort

Everyone that lives or fishes or boats on the St Croix Flowage is welcome to attend. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Gordon St Croix Flowage Association

Association president Roger Wilson

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EWM treatment on the St Croix Flowage and other news

EWM treatment on the Flowage

The long-awaited herbicide treatment on the rapidly growing areas of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) took place in early October. After three years of complications, which included meetings with key organizations, agreement on a plan, acquiring funding and most importantly, setting a date that might not be compromised by the weather, the treatment plan was implemented. Fall was the time chosen as spring rains are more unpredictable and are can quickly affect water levels. The organizations involved with the Gordon/St. Croix Flowage are Douglas County, the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, GLIFWC, the Wisconsin DNR, and the Flowage Association, all of whom were required to agree upon a plan of action. Contributors who assisted with the funding are Douglas County, the Town of Gordon, and most importantly the Wisconsin DNR. The herbicide treatment done this fall was a liquid chemical instead of the more commonly used pellet form of herbicide. Dye was dispersed along with the herbicide in order to measure the rapidity of contact with the plants and how quickly it moved down through the river. The entire treatment was measured and documented with careful reporting. It was the largest treatment of AIS ever done the Flowage, and another will not be attempted for at least three years. The groups and individuals involved hope that this major treatment will greatly diminish the amount of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) and prevent its spread to other areas of the Flowage.

Pancake Breakfast in January

The second GSCFA Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd, at the North Shore Resort from 8 am to 11 am. There was a good attendance last year and the food was great. This year we have added scrambled eggs to the menu. Come out on a cool January morning to a warm pancake breakfast. If you want to help, let Brad DeColon at the North Shore know.

Summer Fishing Report

Fishing was good!

Especially for largemouth bass, many weighing 5-7 pounds. Some good-size northerns were also caught, at least one measuring 40 ½ inches.

How much of the world’s water is fresh water?

70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 2.5% of that is fresh water. 97.5% of the earth’s water is salt water. More importantly, only 1% of that fresh water is available for human use. This is water from lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and underground sources. Only this amount is renewed by rain and snowfall, and therefore is available on a sustainable basis. Think about that! We are fortunate to live in a place that has such a good share of this valuable resource.

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Recent Legislation Affecting Wisconsin Lakes

Recent Legislation Affecting Lakes

Quoting from an article in Lake Tides, the publication of Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, in June, “the Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Walker rolled back decades of shoreland zoning by making wholesale changes to shoreland zoning law in the state budget. A package of changes (known as Act 55) inserted into the budget, well after the point of public comment, stripped counties of the ability to enact or enforce shoreland zoning provisions stricter than state minimums, weakened regulations of the repair or reconstruction of non-conforming structures, and more.” Under the new law, counties may not enact ordinances stronger than the state’s shoreland zoning standards in NR115.   Lake and river associations, county governments and lake districts around Wisconsin are challenging repeal of this law, which has been in effect since the sixties. A letter from a coalition of lakes groups was delivered to the Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin Legislature in July, in opposition to this change. The lakes group is continuing to work with Wisconsin Lakes Partnership to work on revoking the changes and restoring the original legislation. The Douglas County Association of Lakes and Streams (DCALS) is in support of this effort and has donated money to assist the organization leading the challenge. If you are interested in the details of this critical legislation, it is available online at http://www.wisconsinlakes.org/index.php/state-budget-act-55-rollback-of-shoreland-zoning. If you would like to help more, contact your legislative representative to reverse the Act 55 changes.

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2015 Loons on the St Croix Flowage

common loon

Common loon – image from Northland College Loon Watch program

2015 Loons

The spring of 2015 was a good one for the loons on the Gordon/St. Croix Flowage. They were able to sort themselves out, choosing mates and territories. By June, seven chicks were observed. Four were with pairs where the river channel enters the Flowage, two were in Chicago Bay and one was seen in the area up from the Dam. One of the pairs in the river channel lost a chick early in the season, but the others were observed into August. The one by the Dam was not seen in September, and only two could be seen in the Main Basin, by the end of the summer, so it is uncertain as to the final outcomes. The pair of chicks in the area of Chicago Bay was seen often and were adult size by the end of the summer. If the chicks survive through the summer and reach adult size, the chance of migration is good, and although there is no accurate observation, we hope the GSCFA loons fared well and are “vacationing” in the south for the winter.

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December 2015 St Croix Flowage News

Kids Day at the Flowage

Maybe you noticed 18 or so kayaks piled up on the shoreline of the North Shore Resort in late September, or maybe you saw a large group of kids running around the shore or paddling kayaks offshore. On Tuesday, September 29th, 31 4th and 5th grade students from North Star Community Charter School and Solon Springs Schools participated in an educational and recreational day at the Gordon/St. Croix Flowage, offered through the Gordon/St Croix Flowage Association. The goal was to acquaint local students with the valuable and exciting resources right here in their own back yard. Thanks to Brad DeColon for the original idea.

The morning sessions were classroom activities and took place at the Solon Springs Community Center. Students were divided into four groups and rotated among a Watershed Game focusing on healthy lakes (taught by Dave Blumer, GSCFA Lake Consultant and former teacher), a loon informational group activity, (taught by Lorna and Roger Wilson) and water safety instruction (taught by John Kudlas from the Barnes LEEP program, which advocates “No Child Left On Shore”).

At noon, the students were taken by bus (one of which got “lost” temporarily and went to the Gordon Dam) to the North Shore Resort where Brad and Jean Bowe provided an outdoor lunch (compliments of Brad). After passing out life vests to all (Water Safety instruction example) groups were directed to one of two pontoons or to the dock for kayak instruction. The “pontoon classroom” drivers were Brian Olson, also head of the Northwood North Star Community Charter School, and Roger Wilson of the GSCFA; and the instructors were Dave Blumer and John Kudlas. The students had opportunities to learn about water quality. They tried out secchi discs and Oxygen/temperature meters, and how to obtain water samples. They concluded with AIS (aquatic invasive species) identification and netted their own samples to scrutinize and compare to plant keys.

The kayak learning groups were assisted by two of the teachers (Beth Kessler of Solon Springs School and Laura Brasch of Northwood School), Lorna Wilson and Lynn Zimek of the GSCFA, as well as other teachers’ assistants from each of the schools. Many of the students had never been in a kayak, but all were eager for the opportunity, after some on-shore instruction. The weather cooperated with sunshine and no wind, and the kayaking was a successful experience, with only one student having an unscheduled swim in the Flowage.

Many individuals from the schools, and the GSCFA assisted to make this event a success, and we thank all of them. although not all are mentioned.   In particular, we thank all of the individuals who brought kayaks to the North Shore for the kids to use. We obviously could not have done this without them. Also Kathleen Wolleat, GSCFA member and photographer, was on hand to capture some real action photos, some of which appear here. –And last but not least thanks to Brad DeColon who is so generous in assisting and supporting Flowage Association endeavors.

There are few places in this country where such an opportunity for outdoor learning is available to grade school students, and we were happy to provide this event. It was a day to remember, or maybe do again!

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St Croix Flowage Public Meeting Presentation August 13, 2015

Click the link below for the full slide show presentation of the St Croix Flowage Public Meeting August 13, 2015. Eurasion Water Milfoil management plan Fall 2015.

SCF Public Meeting Presentation – August 13, 2015

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