Things That Float: Rafts, Buoys, and Other Markers

Okauchee Lake is home to about 1,000 riparian owners, and enjoyed by lakeshore owners, their friends, and hundreds of guests each week who launch their boats at various launch sites to enjoy the lake. Understandably, this creates questions about rules and regulations, as well as a need for good old-fashioned courtesy. One question heard often is where people can place their floating docks and mooring buoys?
Mooring buoys may be placed within 150 feet of shore without a state permit, as long as they do not affect public rights (fish and wildlife habitat, navigation, etc.) or other riparian owners. Having a buoy further than 150 feet from shore will force the owner to apply for a permit.
Only riparian owners may place swim rafts or similar structures in the water and again, the rafts must not interfere with the rights of other property owners or with the rights of the public to use navigable waters. Any swim raft or water trampoline must be placed within 200 feet of shore, and all swimming rafts should be well marked in both day and night to warn boaters of possible hazards. The rafts should be no more than 38 inches high, and no more than 200 square feet in surface area. Water trampolines, generally round, are limited to a 15 foot diameter.
Generally, while operating a motor boat on any lake, Slow-No-Wake speed is required within 100 feet of a raft, pier or buoy restricted area and lakeshore. This rule is extended to 200 feet from the lakeshore for a personal watercraft.
Riparian owners should also be aware that they may not place such Slow-No-Wake buoys without first having received an approval from the municipality and the DNR. The DNR website has information on applying to place such markers.
The Okauchee Lake Management District is not a law enforcement agency, but urges all of our riparian owners and guests to follow the lake regulations and practice common courtesy while using our wonderful lake. This applies to placement of your piers, buoys and rafts, and operation of your boat or other watercraft. Be aware of the noise levels of the boats, whether from the engines or sounds systems, and how we greet and treat one another on the lakes. Let’s make this a safe summer, full of fun, family and friendship!

Starry Stonewort Found In Sturgeon Bay!

Starry Stonewort has recently been found in Sturgeon Bay. Please see the article on the “Reports” page. Please continue to be diligent in keeping your boat, trailer and recreational equipment clean after traveling to other lakes. Also, please continue to be watchful for Starry Stonewort in area lakes- especially near boat launch sites. If you believe you have located Starry Stonewort, please contact Brad Steckart, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at 262-335-4806 and leave a message if he is unavailable noting the location you believe you saw the plant.

Read A DNR Article: The Science Behind The SuperWeed – Eurasian Water Milfoil

The Okauchee Lake Management District has conducted aquatic plant surveys regularly since 1992. Eurasian Water milfoil has been present in each survey and was found in a survey in 1977. In 2013, milfoil was found in 43% of the sample points. This was down slightly from 56% in 2008. The native milfoil was found in only 5% of the sample points in 2013. Milfoil covers a wide range of areas in Okauchee Lake, from the shallow bays to the deep water. Okauchee Lake also has a native milfoil. Native plants, although sometimes a nuisance as well, have helped control the amount of milfoil. The District’s efforts, relying on herbicides and harvesting, is effectively managing the milfoil in Okauchee Lake. To date, there have been no signs of milfoil herbicide resistance in the lake.

Please visit the “Reports” page for the DNR article: “The Science Behind The Superweed – Eurasian Water Milfoil.” This article has been reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

2015-2016 Shoreland Zoning Changes – Video Presentation Available

The Wisconsin Legislature has made major changes to shoreland zoning in 2015-16. These changes are described in three short video presentations. Please click below to access the new shoreland zoning video presentations.

1. Introduction to shoreland zoning and recent changes to required shoreland lot sizes

2. Changes to shoreland setbacks, vegetation protection and impervious surface standards

3. Changes to standards for buildings located close to the shoreline

Whole video (all three parts combined; 30 minutes)

Stop The Spiny Water Flea!

As you may be aware there are several aquatic invasive species to be mindful of when boating. The Spiny Water Flea is one such species! The Spiny Water Flea is a small crustacean that hurts lakes by making the water green in color and degrades fisheries. Always remember to clean your boat when removing it from the lake and empty any live wells aboard to prevent the spread of any aquatic invasive species. There is a great video available to boating enthusiasts and kids of all ages below.

Have You Seen The New Starry Stonewort Signage At The Boat Launch?

Recently you may have noticed the new Starry Stonewort signage that appeared at the Boat Launch. Please be very aware of this new invasive species. Read the signage referencing boating in Muskego Lakes. Learn all that you can about Starry Stonewort by starting with a visit to the “Reports” page. Prevention is critical to stop it from spreading to Okauchee Lake. Also, please visit the “Gallery” to see the new signage!

CPR & AED Training Class Offered May 22 – 10 AM to Noon at OLYC

A CPR & AED Training Class is being offered May 22 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Okauchee Lake Yacht Club!
Did you know that the first five minutes following an injury, and the immediate response from those on the scene, can mean the difference between life and death? Learn to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac heart rhythms and is used to treat them through defibrillation—the application of an electrical shock which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. Every minute that defibrillation with an AED is delayed decreases the victim’s chance of survival by 7-10 minutes.
Okauchee Lake Sailing School & Club is hosting a CPR & AED Training for OLMD residents on Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at the Okauchee Lake Yacht Club. Adults and youth are welcome! Training is being provided by Tammy Derynda, R.N./B.S.N. This class is taught by a certified CPR Instructor and will provide two-year certification. The cost is $25 per person for OLMD residents and $50 for non-residents.
To Register Contact Tim Kay (OLYC) – 262-784-7110