Lake Wissota Stewardship Project 2018 Update
The Lake Wissota Stewardship Project is a public/private partnership. The project is co-sponsored by the Lake Wissota Improvement & Protection Association (LWIPA) and the Chippewa County Land Conservation & Forest Management Committee (LCFM). The project is being implemented to improve water quality in Lake Wissota by reducing runoff pollution from its contributing watersheds. The Lake Wissota Stewardship Project was initiated in 2018 as an expansion of the Little Lake Wissota Stewardship Pilot Project that was previously co-sponsored by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and Chippewa County from 2009-2017.
To maintain and expand the project, Chippewa County invited the LWIPA to assume the role of a co-sponsor. In December 2017, LWIPA initiated a fund-raising campaign and successfully raised the $250,000 to guarantee the continuation of the program for 5 years using the public/private watershed business model developed for the Little Lake Wissota Stewardship Project.
The $50,000 yearly budget pays for a watershed specialist, contracted by the county to lead and implement the project.
In January of 2018, Caleb Meyer was hired to lead the program. His priorities this year have been to:
1) Maintain momentum by continuing to install conservation best management practices on the land.
2) Initiate and Complete detailed watershed management plans for the Little Lake Wissota and Yellow River/Moon Bay Watersheds.
3) Apply for state grants that will supply project funds to reduce non-point pollution in these watersheds.
The Lake Wissota Stewardship Project has three operating components: community outreach, “conservation on the land” to reduce runoff pollution, and water quality monitoring
In 2018, The project provided opportunities to improve community awareness of water quality issues. Canoes for a Cause tree planting and water monitoring volunteers worked on the lake and in the watershed. A project update was presented at the lake association’s annual meeting and picnic.
Conservation on the Land was expanded in 2018. Projects installed this year are shown on the map. Three sediment basins were installed to collect and infiltrate runoff before it reaches surface water. Four tree buffers were planted along waterways to filter runoff of phosphorus and sediment. Leinenkugel’s Canoes for a Cause volunteers manually planted 2000 trees and shrubs on four acres at two locations. A 13 acre wetland was restored in the Yellow River watershed. The Implementation team is now preparing for 2019. At least five new sites are being evaluated to contract, design, and install conservation best management practices that will serve to improve the water quality of Lake Wissota.
Water quality monitoring continued in the Little Lake Wissota Watershed and expanded into the Moon Bay/Yellow River Watershed this year. Little Lake Wissota lake monitoring continued with Boy Scout Troop #75, and community member volunteers monitored 3 new lake sites in Moon Bay. With the help of DNR personnel, eight LWIPA volunteers were trained as stream monitors for eleven sites in the Lake Wissota Watershed – Little & Big Drywood Creek, Yellow River, Paint Creek, Stillson Creek & Frederick Creek. All monitoring sites are shown on the map.
The LWIPA is seeking donations to fund projects. Private funds are important because they allow the project team to obtain and leverage state and federal grant opportunities. They also allow us to install important conservation projects not eligible for public funding. For more information on how to contribute, contact the LWIPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the Lake Wissota Stewardship Project, we thank all of our donors in the community for supporting this public/private partnership and for allowing this expanded program to continue. We are still soliciting funds for best management land conservation projects.