June 8 – Weed Cutting Update

Please refer to this location often for weed cutting information. The OLMD website is experiencing technical difficulties. The weed cutting information typically found on the upper right side of this page will now be located here on the Home Page for the remainder of the harvesting season.
• Due to the low water level, the OLMD is currently unable to navigate the weed barge into Crane’s Nest for pick-ups. We will continue to monitor the area and will update accordingly.
• As you are aware, the weed growth on Okauchee Lake is significant due the early spring with warm weather. We are currently working to cut the “hot spots” where the weeds have reached the surface in different areas of the lake. Once those areas are complete a more typical rotation of the lake will take place. Please be patient with the new crew as we work through these areas and remember to do your part to make sure cutting can easily take place by following the OLMD barging policy guidelines. It is not necessary to call the OLMD office to report “hot spots.”

HELP WANTED: 2021 Weed Harvesting Crew Needed!

Spend your summer on the lake and get paid for it! Training provided! Learn to operate the weed cutter and be part of the lake barge crew. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. All strong, hardworking individuals encouraged to apply. Please contact the OLMD at 262-966-0286 and leave a message that includes the phone number where you can be reached. Thank you!

Aquatic Invasive Species Newsletter – May 2021

Waukesha County has a new AIS Coordinator! Please welcome Erik Hanson. Erik has a extensive experience as an AIS Coordinator in Montana and he is excited to get to work on Waukesha County lakes! The County is in the process of training interns for the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program beginning at area boat launch sites for the summer.
For more details, please visit the Waukesha County website at www.waukeshacounty.gov/AIS!

Changes To The Muskrat Control Program For 2021 – Maintenance Phase Beginning

As you may be aware, Arnold Groehler, DNR authorized Animal Damage Control Trapper, has been trapping Okauchee Lake for the past three years.  Beginning in  2021, Mr. Groehler will begin the maintenance phase of the OLMD Muskrat Control Program.  This means that he will trap the entire lake for approximately two weeks in spring and again for one week in fall.  Outside those time periods, he will switch to working with property owners on an individual basis with individual landowner responsibility for payment.  Mr. Groehler is nationally recognized for his skill and expertise and has gone beyond the OLMD scope of service to accommodate residents in the past three years by being “on call” for OLMD residents with little to no compensation for doing so.  Anyone with muskrats or other nuisance animals should contact Arnold Groehler directly by phone at 262-490-9363.

Starry Stonewort Treatment Has Begun! Please See Map & Avoid The Treatment Areas

Please be aware that Starry Stonewort treatment has begun at the Golden Mast site! Hooray! Please note the location of the treatment area near the Golden Mast on the map on the “Reports” page and avoid this area until the barrier curtain is removed possibly sometime next week. The picture shown on the “Reports” page clearly indicates the areas where Starry Stonewort was found in 2019. Please be aware that the 2020 chemical treatment area might be a bit smaller due to sampling and the DNR’s subsequent decision on where to treat. The picture also shows a stand of Starry Stonewort located near the bridge. This area is being left untreated at this time at the direction of the DNR. The Army Corp of Engineers has been working with the DNR and the OLMD to determine the correct “chemical cocktail” that will treat the Starry Stonewort stands in Okauchee Lake. The DNR has directed that the stand near the bridge will remain as a “control” area to determine impacts from the treatment in the area near the Golden Mast. More information will be available in upcoming weeks and months about the results of the treatment. As with many things this year, please remain positive and hope for a great outcome!

Starry Stonewort Update – 6-10-2020 – Something You Can Do

The Okauchee Lake Management District has continued to work hard at controlling the outbreak of Starry Stonewort which was discovered in the lake late last summer. You can see updates on our efforts at the Okauchee Lake Management District website: www.olmd.org. The website contains detailed reports on Starry Stonewort, its impact on lakes, and how it spreads.
It was with that in mind that last fall we encouraged the DNR to allow us to take aggressive and immediate action to control Starry Stonewort, especially because the largest patch, perhaps 4,000 square feet, is located near the marina and launch area of the Golden Mast and the channel. After that effort was denied, we continued meeting with the DNR, and have agreed to use a method of contained chemical application supplemented at the end with diver assisted hand pulling of remaining plant life. However, as was described at the last OLMD meeting held on June 8, 2020, the DNR has insisted that we wait until the Starry Stonewort growth is approximately two feet from the surface before beginning chemical application. The OLMD vehemently disagreed with this approach. Based on advice from marine biologists and those in aquatic invasive species control, we wish to begin treatment now and have made arrangements for all contractors to be available. At this point, the plant is in a growth stage, and it is approximately two feet from the lake bottom. Our aquatic invasive species control consultants believe now is the most effective time to treat the Starry Stonewort, while the chemicals can penetrate through the full plant and before the plant gets high enough that it would be potentially wrapped/chopped in passing propellers and spread, either throughout the lake, or brought up onto the boat and left to be transported to other lakes. The DNR has not relented on its plan to force us to wait until the growth is just two feet from the water surface. The OLMD Commissioners will continue to reach out to the DNR and to our elected officials to see if relief from this decision is possible.
Some have asked what they can do! This is great! You can try to contact your legislator. Okauchee Lake is divided into two Senate and two Assembly districts, and the Senators are Scott Fitzgerald and Chris Kapenga, and Representatives are Cindi Duchow and Barbara Dittrich.
The message we wish to share is that Starry Stonewort is a threat not only to Okauchee Lake, its 1000 homeowners and wonderful hospitality businesses, but also to its downstream neighbors, Oconomowoc Lake, Fowler Lake, and Lac La Belle, and should be treated now! We cannot afford to wait until the plant has grown to a place where it is much more likely to be chopped up and spread by incoming and outgoing boats near the launch site of the Golden Mast. We believe the cost of traditional chemical application is reasonable and it will have negligible, if any, impact upon the native aquatic plant population of Okauchee Lake. While no technique has proven to be wholly effective, this chemical treatment technique is supported by marine biologists, past studies in Indiana, and companies involved in plant management throughout the state, including our OLMD consultants who are exceptionally knowledgeable about our stewardship of this lake. We seek DNR authorization to immediately begin chemical treatment according to the plan that has been identified.
You can contact any of your elected representatives as follows:
Chris Kapenga – Sen.Kapenga@legis.wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-9174; (800) 863-8883
Scott Fitzgerald – Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-5660
Cindi Duchow – Rep.Duchow@legis.wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-3007; (888) 534-0099
Barbara Dittrich – Rep.Dittrich@legis.wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-8551; (888) 534-0038
You can also contact DNR Staff regarding this matter as follows:
• Heidi Bunk – Southeastern Lakes Region
Wisconsin DNR
262-574-2130
E: Heidi.Bunk@wisconsin.gov
• Madison Johansen – Aquatic Plant Management, Water Quality Bureau
Wisconsin DNR
E: Madison.johansen@wisconsin.gov
Thank you for your ongoing support to safely maintain the beauty and health of Okauchee Lake and the entire Oconomowoc River basin!

Starry Stonewort – What You Need To Know

Starry Stonewort was found in Okauchee Lake in August, 2019. Since then the OLMD Board has been working to treat the areas near the bridge by Foolery’s and the near the boat launch at the Golden Mast. Please see the article titled “Starry Stonewort – What You Need To Know” on the “Reports” page to find out details about the treatment of these areas.