WHAT’S NEW ON THE FLOWAGE?

The Lake District 2021 Annual Meeting took place at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 3rd, at the open pavilion at the Conover Town Park.

Minutes of 2021 Annual Meeting, Little Tamarack Flowage, Baker, Spring Lake District, July 3, 2021

Chairman, Karl Jennrich, called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.   Karl welcomed all those in attendance.

Karl introduced the members of the Board who were present:  Karl Jennrich, Town Board appointee and chairman of the Lake District Board, Clancy Senechalle, vice-chairperson and secretary, Bob Vogt, and Al Williamson, Treasurer .  The County’s appointee to the board, Mary Rasmussen, was not present.  Karl introduced recording secretary, Bob Senechalle.

A motion was made by Nancy Vogt and seconded by Ron Dorushka to approve the agenda for today’s annual meeting.  That motion carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Clancy Senechalle, seconded by Ginny Steber, to approve the minutes of the July 4, 2020 annual meeting.  That motion carried by unanimous vote.

Karl gave his chairman’s report   There were 5 regular Board meetings and one special meeting since the annual meeting last July.  Highlights include; establishing  the Water Quality Sub-Committee in August 2020 and all of the work done by that committee;  the decision to install water height measurement gauges at the Flowage dam and near the Baker Lake boat launch, accomplished this Spring, 2021; and the decision by the Board not to take an official position on the straightening of portions of County S and the possible installation of an off road motorcycle campground near the current intersection of East Flowage Road and County S.

Al Williamson gave the Treasurer’s Report.  The balance in the checking account as of June 30, 2021 is $1470.46.  The balance in the non-lapsable fund is $16,055.99.  Al explained that the non-lapsable fund is for capital improvements and may not be used for regular operating expenses.   Al also itemized three small expense reimbursements (totaling $163.34) that have been recently received by him but not yet paid.  Bob Vogt made a motion, seconded by Karl Jennrich, to accept the treasurer’s report.  That motion carried by unanimous vote.

Clancy Senechalle reported that she and Karl were this year’s Audit Committee.  Clancy stated that she and Karl had reviewed all of the checks and bank statements for the fiscal year.  Both accounts balanced and the financial records of the Lake District are accurate and in proper order.

Al went over the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021/2022.  A copy of the proposed budget had been mailed to all Lake District eligible voters along with a copy of today’s meeting agenda.   Al explained that the proposed $7000 tax levy for the upcoming fiscal year will allow us to continue to build our “rainy day” non-lapsable fund account, by approximately $4000 this year.  A motion was made by Cynthia Bachman, seconded by Joan Green, to approve the proposed budget and $7000 tax levy.  That motion carried by unanimous vote.

Rich Ruffalo reported on dam operations.  Rich stated that with high water levels in the fall, the Board voted to remove a log, with the plan to re-insert it in the spring when water conditions warranted.   At ice-out, water levels were below normal spring range.  The full log was put back on April 12, 2021.  The lake height over the spring returned to within normal range, and remains there as of the present time.

.Sue Holloway reported on the Conover Lakes Committee.  Sue and Nancy Vogt are the Lake District’s representatives on this Town committee.  The group meets quarterly to network about lake issues and share concerns and actions being taken at the various lakes within the township boundaries.

Clancy reported on the extensive work being done by the Water Quality Sub- Committee.  This committee was formed by vote of the Board at its August 29, 2020 meeting to advise the Board on the matter of recurring adverse summer water quality conditions at Baker Lake. The committee is comprised of Sue Holloway, Bonnie Mosbrucker, Clancy Senechalle, Nancy Vogt and Kay Yanke.  Clancy and Sue are the co-chairpersons of the sub-committee.  The committee’s mission is to gather information to understand the current ecosystem of Baker Lake and the surrounding watershed with the hope of learning the cause (s) of recurring blue green algae bloom and any other adverse water quality conditions at Baker Lake.   The committee’s goal is to gather information, conduct testing and consult with experts in an effort learn what potential mitigation steps might be taken and advise the Board accordingly.

The committee has had several meetings, consulted with numerous DNR and County employees with knowledge of the subject, developed a plan of water testing, and obtained the necessary testing equipment from the DNR, free of charge.  The committees testing work is well underway.  Each committee member gave a short report on what tests are being conducted.

Bonnie reported on water clarity testing with the use of a Secchi disc.  She brought a Secchi disc to the meeting and explained how the clarity is tested, once each week. She reported results from tests at Baker Lake and at the Flowage.

Nancy reported on the dissolved oxygen testing the committee is doing and the significance of that information to fish life and aquatic growth.  She showed the testing equipment to those present and explained how the testing is conducted.

Sue reported on the installation of the two water gauges and the water level testing that the committee is doing at both Baker and the Flowage.  Sue passed out graphs that showed the results of the water level, water clarity and dissolved oxygen testing done thus far.  Sue added that the gauges will be taken out in the fall by the organization that installed them and then put back in the spring.

Kay summarized the phosphorous and chlorophyll testing the committee is doing and the reasons why it important information.  Results are sent to the DNR in Madison for testing.  We have no results back yet from the DNR.  The cost of the testing is being paid through a grant that the Committee applied for and received.   Sue stated that this phosphorous testing will also be done at the culvert underneath Baker Lake Road after a heavy rain to determine the quality of water emptying into Baker from that culvert and drainage ditch.  The town has been asked to create diversion berms near the ditch to reduce the amount of water from the culvert that actually reaches Baker Lake.

Clancy commented that lake erosion can be caused by motor boat wakes.  She reminded everyone that all of Baker Lake by law, because of its size, is a no wake lake.  Also, on the Flowage, within 100 feet of the shore is also a no wake.

The meeting turned its focus to birds.  Kay reported on spring loons and Nancy on trumpeter swan breeding results on Baker Lake and the Flowage, Sue talked about bats and filled everyone in on her volunteer bat monitoring work on the Flowage

A secret ballot election was held to fill the Mark Tuttle vacancy. The Board nominated Kay Yanke.  No nominations were received from electors.  Kay was elected unanimously as a new Lake District Commissioner.  Kay thanked everyone.  She talked briefly about her lifelong connection to the Flowage and that she and her husband, Mark, recently built a home on the Flowage.  She loves it here and is happy to serve on the Board.

Karl gave closing comments.  He thanked the Board and expressed special appreciation for the ongoing extraordinary efforts of the members of the Water Quality Sub-Committee.  Karl thanked Clancy Senechalle who is retiring from the Board for her many years of tireless service as vice-chairperson and secretary.  Her help has been invaluable to the running of the Lake District.  Karl also thanked Rich Ruffalo, who has retired as Dam Operations chair and dam tender.

As public comment, Tom Christopherson said he agreed with Clancy’s earlier reminder about “no-wake” restrictions for Baker Lake and within 100 feet of the shoreline on the Flowage.  No other public comment was made.

Next year’s Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

A motion was made by Jack Pierner and seconded by Clancy Senechalle, to adjourn the meeting.  That Motion carried by unanimous vote.  The meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Respectfully submitted, Clancy Senechalle, Secretary

Click to access 2021-Water-Quality-Baker-Lake-Sub-Committee-Data2.pdf