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December 20, 2006 will be remembered as a great date in the history of Crescent Lake Association. It is the date that we were notified that we officially received a “lake management” grant of $10,000.00 to study the lake and make preliminary plans for initiating programs that will insure that the quality of it’s water, habitat, and watershed, will be maintained and improved, now and in the future. The grant application was written by Jim Gehrke with the help of board members Connie Anderson, Glen Peterson, Joanne Hibbard, Jane Hoppe, Steve Pawelko, Roger Shandley and volunteer Bob Hintz. It was submitted to the Department of Natural Resources in August. Letters of support for the grant written by the Oneida County Sheriff, the Clerk of the Town of Crescent and the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Committee Chairman were attached to the application. Additional help was received from Ayers Associates of Eau Claire. They were selected by the board to serve as our consulting agency as we conduct the study and complete the plans for action.
The grant requires the lake association to match funds in the amount of $4,414.58. Fortunately, due to the hours of donated time by many association members and the careful record keeping of Glen Peterson and the Clean Boats, Clean Waters boat landing monitors, we will be able to use the volunteer time as our “matching fund” and use no money from the treasury to complete the grant.
The grant will continue the present water clarity testing that has been done by Jim Verborski for many years and add testing for nitrates, iron, salts, calcium, and pH. The samples will be sent to the State Laboratory of Hygiene for analysis. The watershed analysis will be conducted to determine if and/or where any problem areas exist in the watershed. Recommendations for controlling the pollutant loading from each problem area will be included in the report. A detailed survey of the lakeshore residents will be conducted to assess the views they have of the lake. The results of the survey will be included in the final report as graphs, charts and a narrative explaining the results. An assessment of the shoreland development also will be conducted in conjunction with the aquatic plant survey. This can be compared to future surveys and assess the actual changes in shoreline characteristics. Reports will be written interpreting the collected data for each phase of the project. Presentations will be given after each phase report is completed. The presentations will cover the tasks included in the phase. The presentations will be given to the Crescent Lake Association, the DNR and others that the lake association wishes to have present.
Many hours of volunteer time will be required to complete the described project. Several of you signed up to help at the annual meeting last year. We will need to hear from more of you. Please call Connie Anderson (282-5798), Jim Gehrke (282-5924), or Bob Hintz (282-5907) and volunteer now. Some volunteers will help create, address and mail the lake resident survey. Some will help to collect samples of plant life from the lake bottom. Some will collect water samples to be sent in to the lab. If you can spend anywhere from 2 to 20 hours of time, call one of us. PLEASE!!
This will be one of the most ambitious things that the association has done since the fish crib project over 15 years ago. Be a part of this great effort to protect Crescent Lake for the fish, wildlife and people who consider it “theirs.”
By Jim Gehrke