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home : outdoors : current reports May 24, 2016

1/2/2014 2:25:00 PM
Outdoors Briefs
Staying safe on the ice at this time of year starts with remembering that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.Jonathan Anderson photograph

Staying safe on the ice at this time of year starts with remembering that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

Jonathan Anderson photograph

Conservation Report

Wisconsin’s 2012 Annual Land and Water Conservation Report is now available online, featuring conservation success stories from around the state, and detailing work done by state and federal agencies with local governments and landowners to keep the state's soil in place and waters clean.

The report is at http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Environment/pdf/LandWaterAnnualReport2012.pdf. It was presented to the Land and Water Conservation Board at the group's regular December meeting.

Conservation efforts in Wisconsin are a cooperative effort involving the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Wisconsin DNR; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. The report includes tables listing the many projects undertaken by the agencies along with county conservation departments and landowners.

This year for the first time it also features success stories, focusing on individual projects that protected the state’s waters and soil, and in some cases also fostered economic development. These stories include:

• Waupaca County – The Egan Dairy Farm in the Town of Lebanon has a history dating to the early 1990s of working with the Waupaca County Land Water Conservation Department. A number of projects prepared the farm to expand, resulting in increased hiring of farm workers and professional consultants, as well as protecting the nearby Wolf River and the tourism it draws.

• Marathon County – Graziers Joe and Christy Tomandl have worked with Marathon and Taylor county conservation offices to revitalize small farms, gradually converting them to pasture, which restores the soil and fosters wildlife. In the process, they created a new model for expansion, starting up several small farms rather than expanding to one large one.

• Iron County – The Town of Mercer partnered with the Mercer Lake Association, the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop untreated water from running off paved surfaces in developed areas into  Mercer Lake and Grand Portage Lake. The project also improved Highway 51, added a bike path, and beautified downtown Mercer – all contributing to the area's tourism economy.

• Pierce County – Dairy farmer Carl Hendrickson teamed up with the Pierce County Land Conservation Department to add a manure storage facility that allowed him to suspend manure spreading in winter and protect the Trimbelle River from runoff. His project benefitted a downstream project where the DNR and Trout Unlimited were working to improve fishing in the river.

In addition to these full-length stories, the report includes briefs about projects in, Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, and Marathon, Trempealeau, Waupaca, Vernon and Washington counties.


Flood Control grants

The DNR is now accepting grant applications for the Municipal Flood Control grant program. Cities, villages, towns, tribal governments and metropolitan sewerage districts are eligible to apply.

The grant program helps eligible parties minimize flooding and flood-related damages by acquiring property and removing structures to create permanent open space, flood proofing structures, creating open-space flood storage areas, constructing flood control structures and restoring the flood-carrying capacity and natural and beneficial functions of watercourses.

Eligible projects include property acquisition and removal of structures, which due to zoning restrictions, cannot be rebuilt, property acquisition and removal of structures in the 100-year floodplain, property acquisition and removal of repetitive loss or substantially damaged structure, property acquisition and removal of flood damaged structures, flood proofing and flood elevation project in the 100- year floodplain that will remain in the 100-year floodplain and a Riparian Restoration project on a watercourse:

(1) dam or artificial obstruction removal,

(2) fish and native plant habitat restoration and

(3) erosion control and stream bank restoration.

Additional eligible projects include acquisition of vacant land for flood water control/storage or flood water flowage easement, flood control detention pond and flood studies and flood mapping projects.

The maximum grant amount is approximately $625,000 for one applicant (applicant defined as one city or town, etc.) Check the website listed before the deadline date approaches, as this number may increase. The state share is 70 percent of project eligible cost with total funding of $3.4 million. This is strictly a reimbursement program. The project period is from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2016. Applications must be postmarked by Monday, March 17, 2014.

Eligible parties are encouraged to apply. Application materials can be downloaded from http://dnr.wi.gov/Aid/MunFloodControl.html . For more information contact Jeffrey Soellner, DNR grants manager by phone: (608) 267-7152, email: jeffrey.soellner@wisconsin.gov, or by writing him at Jeff Soellner - CF/2, WI DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-79211.


Ice fishing safety

• Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

• Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

• Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

• Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

• Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

• Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

• Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

• Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself – or others – out of the ice.

• Do not travel in unfamiliar areas -- or at night.

• Know if the lake has inlets, outlets or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

• Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

• Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

• Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

• Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

For more information visit:



Share your wild adventures

Big buck? Big fish? Did something interesting happen out on the lake or in the woods or even your own back yard? Share your pictures and/or story with us. 

For pictures, include your first and last name, town you reside in, size of the catch, location (you can be vague if you want to protect a secret spot) and date to: The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua 54548 or email us at outdoors@lakelandtimes.com. Include a phone number for questions we may have and an SASE for photos to be returned.

If you’d like to share a story of your adventure, email outdoors@lakelandtimes.com or cturk@lakelandtimes.com and include a phone number with your information.


Outdoors Calendar

Saturday, Jan. 4

WinMan Trails Inspiration Snowshoe: 10:30 a.m.-noon. Meet at the WinMan Trails parking lot at the intersection of county highways W and J. Visit the new WinMan trails and enjoy getting outdoors. Spend a little time sharing inspirational quotes and readings from some of the greatest conservationists of our time. $5 per person. Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Sunday, Jan. 5

Season closure: Late archery deer season closes.

Cross-country ski lessons: 10-11 a.m., North Lakeland Discovery Center, 215 County Highway W, Manitowish Waters. Ski enthusiast and instructor Chad McGrath will lead ski lessons for beginners or for those with some experience looking to improve their technique. Ages 10-plus are welcome. Please bring your own equipment. Pre-register by the Friday prior to the lesson. $12 ($9 members). Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Monday, Jan. 6

Brown Bag Lunch-Animal Signs: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Winchester Public Library, 2117 Lake Street, Winchester. North Lakeland Discovery Center staff hosts a free lunchtime program (starting at noon). Everyone is invited to bring their sack lunch (light snacks and coffee provided by the Library). This month, explore how to distinguish Northwoods creatures by tracks, scat and various other signs. Information: 715-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Wednesday, Jan. 8

Sno-Eagle’s Guided Snowmobile Rides: 9-11:30 a.m., 116 S. Railroad Street, Eagle River. Starting from the old train depot in Eagle River, explore area snowmobile trails (conditions permitting). Information: 715-479-5599.


Thursday, Jan. 9

Nibbles n’ Knowledge – Best of the Best Cross-Country Skiing: 5-7 p.m., Camp Jorn YMCA, 28 Red Feather Road, Manitowish Waters. Silent sports enthusiast and author, Chad McGrath, presents a look at the best of the Lake Superior Basin has in scenic fun and challenging trails. $13 ($10 members). Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Saturday, Jan. 11

Amvets Post 724 and NCO Club Ice Fishing Tournament: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; registration 7-9 a.m., Lake Nokomis boat landing on County Highway N. Food and beverages available. All proceeds support military members and programs. Prizes awarded to three places for walleye, northern, crappie, perch and bluegill. There will be door prizes and a 50/50 raffle. Registration is $15 for adults, $5 for children nine or younger. Information: 715-493-3176 or durkenco@hotmail.com.

Winter Animal Tracking: 1-3:30 p.m., North Lakeland Discovery Center, 215 County Highway W, Manitowish Waters. Investigate the secret lives of animals on the winter landscape by examining tracks and other signs. Dress in layers for indoor/outdoor settings. Ages 10-plus welcome. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. $10 ($8 members). Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Saturday, Jan. 18

Season opener: Winter crow season opens, runs through March 20.


Saturday, Jan. 18-Sunday, Jan. 19

Free Ice Fishing Weekend: Held throughout the state. Residents and non-residents can fish without a fishing license on all waters of the state including boundary waters for these two days. All other fishing regulations, including species season, length and bag limits, will be enforced. Information: 715-356-5211, ext 229 or www.dnr.wi.gov.


Sunday, Jan. 19

Boulder Junction Snowmobile Club breakfast: 8-11:30a.m., Gooch’s A-1 Bar & Grill, 6215 County Road M, Boulder Junction. Enjoy breakfast while supporting the local snowmobile club. Information: 715-385-2369.


Saturday, Jan. 25

Ninth Annual Justin Donner Memorial Fisheree: 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Donner’s Bay Resort, 2974 North Hiawatha Road, Butternut. Fishing on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Auctions, raffles, food and refreshments in heated tents. The tournament is for all ages. Information: 715-762-2956.

Great Northern Ice Fishing Tournament: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Headquartered at West Shore Boat Landing in Phelps with fishing on Lac Vieux Desert. Sponsored by the Phelps Lions Club. Information: 715-545-3327.


Sunday, Jan. 26

Cross-country ski lessons: 10-11 a.m. Ski enthusiast and instructor Chad McGrath will lead ski lessons for beginners or for those with some experience looking to improve their technique. Ages 10-plus are welcome. Please bring your own equipment. Pre-register by the Friday prior to the lesson. $12 ($9 members). Information: 715-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Friday, Jan. 31

Season closures:

• Squirrel season closes.

• Ruffed grouse seasons closes in zone A (northern zone).

• Bobcat hunting and trapping season 


Saturday, Feb. 15

Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree: 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Lake Tomahawk. Cost is $5 per line. Payouts in adult and children’s division for largest game fish and panfish. Children under six fish for free. Food and refreshments for all participants. Door prizes. Information: 715-370-4652.


If you’d like to include an upcoming outdoor event in our Outdoor Calendar: Email your information to: cturk@lakelandtimes.com, stop by The Lakeland Times office, or mail your information to The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548.

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