Big Cedar Property Owners Association
October 2020 Newsletter
PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION DISTRICT
The Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District election of commissioners was held on August 26. There were two commissioner seats up for election. The two incumbents, Chris Genthe and Christina Fiasca were unopposed and won reelection. We congratulate both commissioners.
One of the PRD commissioners, Dave Claussen, is leading a process to review last year’s survey results and make recommendations to the PRD board. Dave heads a committee of PRD residents in this effort.
During the October meeting, the report on district operations for summer 2020 was reported. The information sheet distributed by the PRD shows the total of summer patrol and admin hours for this year and the past several years:
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1349 1365 1386 1248 1175 1211 1236 994 1299 hours
As many of you may know, the retention ponds around the lake collect and filter storm runoff. This is an important process to help keep the lake clean and clear. This year, Troy Zagel lead the PRD effort to check the conditions of the ponds and measure the amount of sediment in each. Two ponds were identified for dredging/cleanup. Troy reported that the first (Gonring Dr pond) cleanup is essentially complete. The work on the second pond (Genthe) is scheduled to be completed this year.
The PRD is in the process of acquiring a CD3 waterless boat cleaning station for the Gonring Drive public launch. The use of this system will help protect the lake from the introduction of invasive species such as Starry Stonewort. The Town of West Bend has approved the plan to grant an easement to the PRD for a small area for the site of the cleaning station. Roger Walsh reported a survey will be obtained so that the agreement can be finalized.
CEDAR LAKE YACHT CLUB
The property owner’s association is always interested in actions that protect and preserve Big Cedar Lake. We believe our POA members will want to know about a couple of initiatives by Cedar Lake Yacht Club that we think help the lake.
The yacht club has an informal agreement with the lake patrol that officers can use their facilities when on patrol. This will avoid an officer making trips from the South end all the way to the PRD building for bathroom breaks. It will save time that can better be used for patrol duty. At both Big Cedar and Little Cedar PRD annual meetings, residents and commissioners expressed the need for more and better lake patrol. This action by the yacht club will be a positive step to help address this concern.
The second action the yacht club has taken is to initiate a program to help prevent invasive species from entering our lake. When the yacht club hosts a regatta, friends and family may come to assist in race operation or to watch kids or family members. There are often a few race officer or spectator boats that are launched at the yacht club boat ramp. The yacht club has a program to monitor the launch and clean/scrub all boats being launched. This past year the yacht club hosted three regattas and for each of these events, the boat cleaning was performed for all boats. To prevent the introduction of invasive species such as Starry Stonewort we should all be diligent in our preventative measures. The POA applauds the yacht club for doing their part in this effort.
TOWN OF WEST BEND
The Town of West Bend is working on a new twenty-year comprehensive plan. The last comprehensive plan was completed in 2005. One of the Town’s supervisors, Mark Wagor, is leading this effort and has formed a committee of residents to assist in the effort. The comprehensive plan will define what we hope for the town composition and character. It sets the guidelines for future development. Sections of the comprehensive plan outline strategies to achieve desired growth, protect the rural landscape, preserve open space, protect air and water quality, and provide recreation. The plan is important because it will guide future decisions about zoning and permits. Mark and the committee are working earnestly to get resident input through a new survey that will be sent with this year’s tax bill. The survey in 1997 had a 28 percent response rate. We think it is important for residents to respond to the survey. However, you feel about the Town composition and character, this is an opportunity to express your views. We hope everyone will participate in this civic process.
The town raised the no-parking fines on Boettcher and West Lake Drive to $100. There were a number of days this summer when the no parking restrictions were blatantly ignored. The increase in the amount of the fine will hopefully be a more effective deterrent.
BIG CEDAR LAKE FISHERY UPDATE
Last Summer, POA member Scott Rolfs was given permission to form a fisheries subcommittee of the Big Cedar Lake PRD. The goal was to provide a comprehensive information database of all aspects of the BCL Fishery. The sub-committee consists of Scott, PRD member Chris Genthe and Big Cedar Lake Thursday Night Fishing Club Treasurer Matt Herther.
Overview of Walleye Initiative
In 1985, the DNR did the first official fish survey of BCL. Net traps were set at 13 points on the Lake, and after a week, DNR biologists checked the nets and made observations on the quantity, size, and species of fish in BCL. This data was used in a report to guide future actions to improve the fishery.
One of the recommendations of that 1985 report was that Big Cedar Lake could support a population of Walleye, if adequate stocking was done. The DNR then began a program of stocking BCL with Walleye that continues until this day.
The DNR stocking activity has been complemented by private stocking efforts. Many of you are familiar with the Big Cedar Lake Thursday Night Fishing Club (“Fishing Club”). They are a local 501(c)(3) organization that runs fishing tournaments on BCL throughout the year. As part of their mission, they have been actively involved in stocking Walleye in BCL. Funds are obtained from their various contests and raffles.
This year the POA made a donation to the fishing club to help aid in their efforts. On Sunday, October 18th, the Fishing Club coordinated and funded a stocking of approximately 5,800 Walleye in the size range of 5-6 inches. These fish were obtained from a private fish hatchery, Timber Court, located outside Newburg, Wisconsin.
Timber Court Fish Hatchery personnel prepare the fish for their new home in BCL
This particular private stocking effort was very important, as the DNR did not do a stocking in 2020. The DNR stockings are somewhat irregular, depending on their budget and availability of fish. A key to the stocking was the use of larger fish, that was estimated to be 8-months old, versus small fingerling or fry. Due to the high-water quality in BCL, there is not significant plankton for walleye fry to feed on, which reduces the success rates of any stocking of the smaller ‘infant’ fish. In recent years, the Fishing Club has made it a point to stock the larger 5-6” fish, which greatly enhances their survivability.
The current DNR regulations for BCL Walleye are a daily bag limit of three fish, with legal fish being 18” or greater. The fish stocked this fall should reach that size within the next 2-3 years.
POA Director Joe Jansky releases a bucket of new Walleye into BCL
How can you help this effort?
It is the intention of the POA to stay active in the fishery by virtue of the new PRD committee. To that end, your POA membership dues can help fund future donations to the Fishing Club efforts. More importantly, we’d encourage you to make a private donation to the Fishing Club for these stocking efforts. They are a 501(c)(3) organization, thus allowing contributions to be tax-deductible depending on your current tax situation. If you’d like to make a specific contribution to the Fishing Club, please reach out to Matt Herther (firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate a contribution to this worthy cause. The more money they receive, the more fish they are able to stock. For reference, each 5-6” walleye costs approximately $2 to $2.50 apiece depending on availability.
While not every POA member is an active angler, we all can appreciate the ability for our children and grandchildren to be able to toss a line off the end of the pier and have a chance at catching a nice Walleye. We applaud the Fishing Club for their efforts and hope to help assist them in the years ahead.