SUMMER 2014 BASS LAKE RIPPLES NEWSLETTER
LAKE DISTRICT OFFICERS
LANGLADE CO. Rep…….…..….…Sam Hardin
TOWN of UPHAM Rep…...........Pete Resch
BASS LAKE RIPPLES CO-EDITORS
Dick & Carol Horneck
715-275-4359 or 608-698-8704
The Annual Meeting of the Greater Bass Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District will be held on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at the Upham Town Hall at 3:00 P.M. This is your Lake District and your opportunity to be a part of how it is governed. The meetings are well run and stick to business and will not take much of your afternoon. Please try to attend. The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
GREATER BASS LAKE PROTECTION &
Saturday, July 26th, 2014 – 3:00 P.M.
Upham Town Hall, Highway B, Summit Lake, WI
1. Call to Order – Introduce Committee
2. Approve Minutes of 2013 Annual Meeting
3. Treasurer’s Report and 2014-2015 Budget Approval with Proposed Tax Decrease
4. Water Quality Report
5. Election of new Commissioner
6. Old Business
7. New Business
HOW MANY LOONS?
Many people were very happy to see the Loons back on the lake this spring, and we anxiously awaited news of baby loons. We have heard that there was an earlier hatch in a little bay on the south end of the lake; however, some aggressive geese turned that into a sad story of loss. For some time the loons were seen out together, and then more recently one at a time. Once again we are hopeful; they may be trying for a second hatch. Please let your editors know if you have any new Loon information. Thank you!
On a sadder Loon note, we heard first hand from witnesses about someone in a boat firing some type of explosive device directly at the Loons from close range. The incident was reported to authorities. It’s hard to believe not only this kind of action against defenseless creatures, but also the nasty attitudes that often come with it.
WAKE BOATS & OTHERS
There has been concern expressed over the presence of several wake boats on our lake. They are designed to and do produce a much larger wake than the average power boat, large enough to use surf boards for riding and jumping the wake. On a large lake this might not be as big an issue, but on this size body of water there is potential for real safety issues and already have been reports of pier damage from the wake and concern over shoreline problems.
When dealing with reports of these boats going between the three small bays, the issue of skiing and tubing from bay to bay comes up as well. We’ve all heard that some of our Greater Bass Lake property owners have said "But we’ve been skiing in and out of those bays for years!" That may be true, but because it is against the law to go through narrow passes like that at anything but slow, no-wake speeds, it just means that some have been breaking the law for a long time. (Current law still holds that "It is illegal to operate a vessel within 100 feet of the shoreline, any dock, raft, pier, or restricted area on any lake at greater than slow-no-wake speed.") Copies of current boating regulations will be available at the annual meeting at the Upham Town Hall. Take the time to read and review; share with family and visiting friends.
Now in the days of more boats than ever on the lake, including more than 30 pontoons, the potential for accidents is greater than ever, and the damage to those properties in the narrow passes increases accordingly. Let’s think about what we are doing to our neighbors and their property, as well as the greater risk of possible accidents through these actions.
In the summer of 2006 the Upham Town Board adopted an ordinance granting golfers permission to travel between their homes and the golf course on their golf carts, up to a distance of one mile, in accordance with Section 349.18(c) of the Wisconsin Statutes. If traveling at dusk or after dark, golf carts must be equipped with headlights and taillights. Only one passenger is allowed, unless the cart is equipped with a rear seat designed to carry two additional passengers. The part of the ordinance that people are seeing greatly abused or ignored is "ALL OPERATORS MUST HAVE A VALID DRIVERS LICENSE".
It is obvious that the families allowing their children or grandchildren to be driving golf carts on public roads are seriously breaking the law. Of great concern, besides the drivers often being way too young (and not licensed drivers) are the instances when people have seen carts loaded with children beyond capacity and standing on the back of the carts driving around, and often with considerable speed. Many adult vehicle drivers have expressed concern around the lake as well as at the last Town of Upham meeting, worried that there will be serious accidents and lives lost if this dangerous practice continues. It may be hard to change and not allow the young people to do this, but it may make the difference in having them live to become adults. You may be doing them a favor if you find it necessary to report them to the Sheriff’s Department for this dangerous and illegal practice. This is not a popular or easy topic to write about, but if it saves one life it will be well worth it.
DNR FISHERIES REPORT
Our DNR Fisheries Warden, Dave Seibel shared the following information from last summer’s survey on Greater Bass Lake:
. We surveyed 4.41 miles of the shoreline on the night of June 3, 2013.
In general we got a pretty decent largemouth bass and bluegill sample, which is what we were after. The bass 18 inch size limit went into effect in 2003 and compared to 1999 data, the largemouth bass population is quite a bit better. I hope it keeps improving in both numbers and size quality. It also appears that the better bass population is also contributing to more bigger panfish like bluegill and crappie. We will continue to monitor the bass and panfish populations, but it looks like the bass regulation is working as intended and contributing to an overall better fishery in Greater Bass Lake.
In 1999, about 24% of largemouth bass were larger than 12", in 2007 33% were, in 2009 70% were, 70% again in 2010, and in 2013 57% were larger than 12". This is a 2-3 fold improvement from 1999. In 1999, about 11% of largemouth bass were larger than 14", in 2007 9% were, in 2009 39% were, 35% in 2010, and 33% were larger than 14" in 2013. In 1999 no largemouth bass in our sample were larger than 17". In 2007 about 1% were larger than 17" and in 2009 it was 9% and in 2010 it was 20%. We did not catch a largemouth bass larger than 17" in 2013 but it may have been the survey or the night, since it was a 1 night survey and in 2009 and 2010 it was a netting survey done over multiple days and in 1999 it was a comprehensive survey where we did a bunch of netting (3 time periods) and shocking (4 nights of the entire shoreline).
Numbers of bass have also improved, almost tripling from 1999 to 2013. Everything is pointing to a better largemouth bass and panfish population in Greater Bass Lake as was the hope and plan. Let’s hope this trend continues. Our next survey will not likely be until 2017 or 2018.
We went through a time around the lake where littering was not seen as much as in the past. (Maybe people were behaving better about not littering, or maybe some of our unknown volunteers were just picking up more than we were aware.) Whatever the case, some people are seeing more of it again – soda and beer cans, candy wrappers, etc. Please make an effort to see that no one in your car or golf cart carelessly tosses litter
along our roads and yards. When out on the water be sure to bring any waste back in to dispose of properly. We can all help by picking up when we do see the problem. We are blessed to live in a beautiful area; let’s do what we can to keep it that way.
Please do not feed the geese or ducks in our lake. Not only are they messy in yards, but disease can spread from their waste. Not feeding and shooing them away seems to be an only option for this problem.
WE APPRECIATE & THANK…….
The Arlens – for placing buoys and doing our water quality testing. Also, Michelle is our current Lake District Treasurer and is trying to schedule another AED (defibrillator) class. Please call her if you are interested in learning or refreshing yourself on how to operate it. It is now very easy and will only work if the victim needs it.
Gail Kestly & Collection Crew, and Paul Payant for arranging for the fireworks. FYI – The funds collected pay for the next year’s fireworks show, and determines how big it can be. The show is now being shot electronically with cakes and shells on a barge, allowing for greater safety.
The Hornecks – for continuing to produce our newsletter they started in 1998, and working on a new directory. (Dick also serves as Lake District Secretary.)
Roger Sell – for serving so conscientiously during his three year term as Chairman of our Lake District.
Please be sure to complete the enclosed Directory information form and mail it in promptly. Thanks!