WICOLA annual memberships expire on December 31. Please renew on our website or return the membership renewal form you will receive in November. Dues are $25 per year. Consider making an additional donation to help carry on the important work we've begun. Also, consider volunteering for one of WICOLA's board or offboard positions: Publicity, Newsletter Editor, Water Monitoring Coordinator, and AIS Coordinator.
White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association
MPCA recently recognized WICOLA for our commitment to "protecting their lakes so the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness would remain clear and clean forever". Specifically, WICOLA was recognized for our creation and implementation of the Kawishiwi Watershed Protection Project, a multi-year joint plan in partnership with MPCA, St. Louis County and Lake County, to maintain or improve water quality within the 1353 square mile Kawishiwi Watershed.
The Lake County Water Plan Advisory Committee will sponsor a public meeting on November 18 for Lake Co. residents for conversation about water quality priorities. Join the committee and other residents at the Two Harbors Community Center, 417 South Avenue, Two Harbors for a soup and bread dinner and community conversation: 5:00 - 5:30 pm Arrival and Introductions; 5:30 - 6:00 pm soup and bread; 6:00 - 8:00 Community Conversation.
WICOLA is well represented on advisory committees and board that involve our Chain and our Watershed. Teresa Sagen, with Peter Davis as backup, is on the Lake County Water Plan Advisory Committee that will develop a new 5 year plan. Jo Kovach and Ken Wichmann are representing WICOLA on the KWPP Technical Advisory Team. WICOLA will also participate in the MPCA WRAPs process, which begins in January, 2014 and provides in-depth water testing and anaysis in the Watershed. Charlene Mason continues to serve on the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board. Ken Wichmann and others have been visiting with townships and Lake County Commissioners to report on the findings of the KWPP and the implementation phase.
At their Septemter 9 meeting, your WICOLA Board prioritized the major KWPP implementation actions. These priorities will be the focus of your board throughout 2014:
- Continue summer water monitoring in the WICOL; support Brich and Fall Lakes to field teams of water monitors.
- Take next steps recommended for more information about possible areas of potential non compliant septic systems; Complete the Community Assessment Surveys on at least one of the areas identified by KWPP.
- Promote Shoreline Best Management Practices (BMP's) throughout the Chain; provide educational resources.
- Continue to aggressively act to slow the spread of Rusty Crayfish and other Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Join Lake County SWCD in grant efforts to prevent the spread of Rusties into the BWCAW.
WICOLA volunteers will be on the Chain on Tuesday, September 17, for water monitoring. Water samples will be taken from five sites on the Chain - one on White Iron, one on Garden, and three on Farm (Farm-South Kawishiwi, Farm- North Kawishiwi, and Farm-Middle). Volunteers will also look at samples to check for Spiny Waterfleas on our lakes. Help us prevent the spread of these AIS and others to our lakes from infested lakes by checking your boats and fishing equipment after fishing and boating in Burntside, Shagawa, and Fall Lakes. Be sure to dry your boat and equipment completely between relaunching or fishing in our lakes.
Four WICOLA members (Bob, Bud, Dave, and Teresa) were on the chain of lakes August 21 completing the August water monitoring. It's not too late to become involved in this valuable and enjoyable experience. The next water monitoring date is the morning of September 17. If interested in participating, contact Nancy P., who is coordinating volunteers. Nancy can be reached at 365-4121. Training will be provided for those new to water monitoring.
Fifty-two members and guests attended the WICOLA annual dinner and business meeting. Nolan Baratono, Watershed Ecologist for MPCA, recognized WICOLA for our longtime interest and efforts in protecting our waters and, most recently, our role in the Kawishiwi Watershed Protection Protect (KWPP) grants. During the meeting members elected/reelected 3 members to the Board of Directors and adopted proposed action items that will guide WICOLA's priorities for the next 3-5 years (see adopted action items in the 2013 Annual Meeting Minutes under website resources).
It's not too late to make plans to attend the WICOLA Annual Meeting and Dinner on August 8 at Creek Ridge. Call Dolores at 365-7863 to make reservations at $25 per person. Come at 5pm for a social hour and a time to visit with your WICOL neighbors. A buffet dinner will be served at 6pm followed by speaker, Nolan Boratano, from MPCA and our annual meeting and elections. Directions to Creek Ridge: Take Hwy 1 South out of Ely 3.5 miles to County Road 655 and turn left. Follow Co. Rd 655 approximately .5 miles to Creek Ridge Road. Follow the signs into the lodge. If you prefer to arrive by boat or pontoon, there is space available at the Creek Ridge dock.
Euan Reevie from the Natural Resources Research Institute will present results of the Paleolimnology study of the White Iron Chain of Lakes on Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m. at VCC, room C104. Euan will share infomation gained from core samples taken from the WICOL lakes as part of KWPP grants. This presentation is in conjunction withEly Field Naturalist and is open to the public. Come and learn about the effect our history has had on our water quality.
Call Dolores Delaney (365-7863) to make your reservation for the buffet dinner at Creekside Lodge on White Iron Lake, $25 per person. Call with your reservation(s) and send your check for the meal to WICOLA, P.O. Box 493, Ely. You may pay at the door, but we need a firm head count for the Lodge before the 8th. Social hour is 5 to 6 PM with dinner at 6 PM. The speaker is Nolan Baratano from MPCA. Annual meeting and elections will follow.
It's Blueberry Festival week and WICOLA will once again have an informational booth (#172B). Come by and visit with WICOLA, DNR, and Sea Grant volunteers, and Derrick Passe to learn more about AIS and other aspects of the KWPP grant results, including our continued water monitoring of lakes and streams as part of the Implementation Phase. Better yet, volunteer to help at the booth and spread the word of WICOLA's many accomplishments and continued activities. If interested, contact Derrick or one of the WICOLA Board members.
Call Delaney’s to reserve a crayfish trap (365-7863); then pick up at their home (618 Voyageur Rd ) between 9 AM and 2 PM on July 24. The traps are all legally tagged and you will receive printed instructions, cray fish identification photos and charts to record your outcomes. Eradicating the crayfish is an essential part of keeping our lakes filled with viable fish! Do your part. You don’t have to be a WICOLA member to participate. We have 80 traps to place.
WICOLA member, Charlene Mason, was recently selected by the International Joint Commission to serve on the new International Rainey River-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.
In March, WICOLA board members, Nancy Powers and Jo Kovach, represented WICOLA at the International Water Quality Forum in International Falls. Project Coordinator, Derrick Passe presented outcomes and updates for the Kawishiwi Water Protection Project (KWPP).