Squash Lake Clarity and Oxygen Report

Submitted by Marj Mehring

Hope you all have had a great summer enjoying our beautiful Squash Lake.

 I have just finished entering the testing results I have done on Squash Lake this summer.   All reports from 1989 to date are listed here:

http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/CLMN/Station.aspx?station=8128

 
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Update on Squash Lake Loons

by Karen Isebrands-Brown                                                                                                August 5, 2011

Our Squash Lake loons chose a new nesting place this year.  They moved from the southeast bay, where they have been for years, to a location near the small island.  That is not the only change.  The female loon that had been nesting in the bay did not return this year.  The male loon, who was actually her son (yes, I know) did return and now has a new mate. This 13-year-old male was hatched on Washburn Lake in 1998 and is much larger than the average.  Thankfully, there was a successful hatch this year.  Dr. Walter Piper and his team banded the new female and the two chicks on July 27th. The bands tell the date of banding and the location.

Slow-No-Wake within 100 ft. of shoreline

The web address below will direct you to an article regarding the new Wisconsin boating rule designed to protect shorelines, improve water quality, and reduce the frequency of chopping up aquatic invasive species like Eurasian Water Milfoil.

http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_article_Lookup.asp?id=1417

Lawrence Eslinger
Oneida County Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspection Program

See attachment from Stephanie Boismenue on the implementation of our DNR grant to revitalize AIS boat inspections at the landing.  This is designed to help prevent new infestations of Eurasian Water Milfoil from entering Squash Lake.

Meanwhile, Stephanie reports that our scuba divers have made significant progress in removing the majority of the known infestations of EWM through our DNR early detection grant.  Although we only had 3-4 divers over the weekend of May 22-23, Stephanie has hired other divers who have been working diligently since then.  The next step is to rigorously monitor the lake for any new growth of EWM plants and pull them before they can multiply.

—–

Squash Lake has Given Each of Us Enjoyment, Solitude, Recreational Opportunities, Gratitude towards our Natural Environment, and Life. Now it is our turn to give back to Squash Lake by taking the responsibility of keeping our beloved lake free of additional Aquatic invasive species.

With the growing number of concern over the spread of Eurasian water milfoil in Squash Lake and other potential aquatic invasive species entering the lake, many individuals and groups are looking for ways to get involved. The Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspection Program is an opportunity to take a front line defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Your involvement as a Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspector will help to keep Wisconsin’s waters and Squash Lake free of additional Aquatic invasive species by increasing awareness about the potential impacts of aquatic invasive species and inspecting boats and trailers before entering and when leaving Squash Lake.

Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspectors are trained to conduct boater education at the boat landing. It’s a very simple and fun process that includes:
1. Educates boaters on how and where invasives are most likely to hitch a ride into water bodies and what they can do to help prevent the spread of invasives.
2. Communicate about the laws and issues surrounding the existence, spread, and effects of invasives to Wisconsin’s waters.
3. Perform boat and trailer checks -looking for any plants, animals and mud that must be removed before entering and when leaving every water body,
4. Distribute informational brochures and
5. Collect data that will assist the WDNR to evaluate the potential spread of invasive species, public awareness of invasive species issues, and the effectiveness of the invasive species program

As gratitude towards Squash Lake, please give back to this lake that you love and volunteer a couple of hours each month as a Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspector.

Below are the links to the Clean Boats Clean Waters home page, the watercraft inspection questionnaire (that we ask boaters while inspecting their boats) and the instructions for the questionnaire. You can find the entire Clean Boats Clean Waters handbook and other goodies at this website.
http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes/cbcw/default.asp
http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes/cbcw/handbook_forms/WCIform2010.pdf
http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes/cbcw/WCIformInstructions2010.pdf

One last note:
I am turning over my Clean Boats Clean Waters Volunteer Watercraft Inspection Coordinator position to Jane Pfeifer. Jane, who has lots of experience at this, has been hired as the new Aquatic invasive species Coordinator for Squash Lake, Crescent Lake, and Lake Julia, which was made possible by the these three lakes combined Educational Grant. Please give Jane a warm welcome and lots of your time to volunteer.
Though I have had much weight taken off of my shoulder by handing over this coordinator position to Jane, I am still Squash Lake’s Aquatic invasive species/Eurasian water milfoil Coordinator – most likely until the day I leave this earth.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Jane Pfeifer.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Boismenue

Schedule of boat inspection times

Hello to all Squash Lake Association members!

Now that our Eurasian Water Milfoil eradication efforts are underway, we need to redouble our efforts to prevent any new infestations.

We are pleased to announce that Jane Pfeifer has been hired to coordinate AIS prevention/education efforts, including AIS boat inspections, for Lakes Squash, Crescent, and Julia as part of a 3-year DNR grant.

Attached is a schedule of boat inspection times already covered to date.  We are asking SLA members to volunteer for at least two 2-hour increments (4 hours total) to cover the landing for the following high use times through Labor Day:

Fridays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
July 5 (Monday after July 4 holiday) 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Labor Day Sept 6 (Monday) 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Several of our SLA members have taken the Clean Boats/Clean Waters class, and together with Jane’s help you can be “trained on the spot.”

I hope to see you at our annual meeting on July 11, starting with a potluck brunch at 11 a.m.  Look for a flyer with the details coming soon.

WALLEYE UPDATE

DNR fisheries biologist says he will recommend raising the minimum length limit for Squash Lake walleyes to 18 inches and removing the 14-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass. Those recommendations, which if approved by the DNR would take affect no earlier than 2012, were contained in the Fisheries Survey of Squash Lake report published in March and based upon fish population surveys conducted in April and September 2009. Based on the lake fish survey, which included both netting and electro shocking fish.
Senior DNR fisheries biologist John Kubisiak estimated that the lake walleye population was about 809 adult fish, or about 2 walleyes per acre. The report said that the 2 walleye per acre population was below the average of 3.5 per acre for a 396-acre lake supported by natural reproduction, but within the normal range of 1.1 to 10.7 walleyes per acre. The largest walleye captured during the survey was 25.6 inches, but 79 percent of the walleyes captured were 15 inches or larger with 3.9 percent exceeding 20 inches. The report said that based on the survey. Squash Lake shows “weak to moderate natural reproduction of walleye’ and therefore the current no minimum length limit on walleye, but only one fish over 14 inches “is inappropriate for a lake with weak recruitment (reproduction) and should be changed to an 18 inch length minimum.”

The report also noted that largemouth bass are the dominant bass species in the lake, surpassing smallmouths. Of the 155 largemouths captured during the survey, the dominant size range was 13 to 15 inches with 43 percent of the fish larger than 14 inches. The largest fish caught were two 17.4-inch largemouths. “The spring survey suggest that Squash historically had a strong smallmouth population, but largemouth bass increased in abundance and surpassed smallmouth in recent years,” the study said. The report also noted that some studies have associated high largemouth populations with decreased walleye population. “If walleye are a primary management focus, then it may help to encourage harvest on largemouth by eliminating the 14 inch minimum length limit,” the report concluded. Kubisiak said that because of the time it takes to get new length limits through the DNR approval cycle, the earliest the walleye and bass length
limit changes could be implemented would be the 2012 season. He said that Squash is not a candidate for walleye stocking because its native population and reproduction rates are sufficient to maintain adequate walleye levels in the lake. As always, for those fisherman concerned about declining walleye populations, catch and release goes a long way in maintaining current walleye levels.

BE ALERT FOR SCUBA DIVERS IN SQUASH LAKE

Please be alert for Scuba Divers in Squash Lake this summer. Scuba divers who are under the surface will have a “diver-down” flag at the surface. Scuba diving, diver-down flags, are rectangular red flag at least 12 x 15 inches, with a three-inch white diagonal stripe and is mounted on a float or buoy. Scuba divers stay within 50 feet of the flag.

All vessels not engaged in the diving activity must stay 100 feet away from any displayed diver-down flag. (per Wisconsin Boating Regulations)

SCUBA Divers to Harvest Eurasian Water-milfoil

A massive Eurasian Water-milfoil harvesting weekend will take place on Saturday May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd, 2010.

Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Advanced Trimix Diver Mike Bernard and his company Mobile Divers LLC, are hosting a Northwood’s Trash and Treasure Dive in conjunction with PADI Project AWARE International Clean-Up Day – the “trash” part will be harvesting the Eurasian Water-milfoil in Squash Lake.

This is an amazing development for Squash Lake Association– Mike is hosting this event on Squash Lake at no charge to the Squash Lake Association except for a donation and the following support and request:

For both Saturday and Sunday, the Squash Lake Association needs to provide at least:

• 5 pontoon boats and each boat must have a front and back anchor,

• Each pontoon boat will be used as a station for 4-5 scuba divers

• Each pontoon boat must have two volunteers – volunteer #1 must be the boat owner (captain) to drive their boat and volunteer #2 will be a diver assistant. Please note that the 2nd volunteer (the diver’s assistant) must be a person who is strong and agile – able to lift the heavy bags of milfoil out of the water and assist the divers as they are coming on deck of the pontoon boats, etc.

• We need volunteers to provide snacks, refreshments etc.

The only PADI scuba divers allowed to dive during this event are ones who are signed-up with Mike specifically for this event. This event is limited to twenty divers and must be registered by May 15th. Mike can be contacted at 715-482-8919.

We will need the support of many volunteers to make this weekend successful.

I need the 5 pontoon boats and volunteers to be signed up with me by Saturday May 15th. Please contact me by calling 715-282-5079 or email boismens@newnorth.net

Thank you for your help.
Stephanie Boismenue, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, SLA