Why Our Loons Keep Returning
See this Amazing Video About Loon Territoriality
Our first aquatic plant survey was completed today, 6/23/21. This was the shorter half-day survey conducted by the DNR and Bayfield County specifically targeting invasive species. We also have an upcoming comprehensive baseline plant survey, for which we received the DNR grant, to be done late in the summer. This will be a more thorough study of all the plants in the aquatic system identified by location.
Results from today are good but not perfect. The survey found no Eurasian or Hybrid Water Milfoil, the dreaded invasive that plagues many urban waterbodies to the south and that has spread to nearby Lake Namakagon in recent years. Very good news!
The survey did identify a number of areas around the lake with aquatic Forget-me-not (small purple flowers, in the same genus as the pretty plants found along many roadways). This is an invasive species, though it is present in many northern lakes. Not much can be done in the way of treatment other than pulling out plants by hand we were told. In this regard it is similar to the Banded Snail and the Chinese Mystery Snail, also identified today, that we have known about for many years.
A bit more concerning is Yellow Flag Iris that was found in at least one bed and could spread if not treated. Plants are treated individually by cutting the stem and dosing with a small amount of herbicide. This needs to be done by a licensed applicator under a permit from the DNR, and we are contacting the person recommended right away.
All in all, this is a very good report according to the DNR and county scientists. Diamond Lake has a large variety of native plant species (more is better), and we are encouraged to keep up our vigilance and monitoring generally, and at the boat launch in particular. We will have more news on water quality issues after our baseline survey is complete and the Subcommittee on Water Quality/ Lake Management gets a chance to digest all of the results. They have recently completed a new Strategic Plan for DL management that you should be receiving shortly.
Simple Steps To Help Wisconsin Turtles
Submitted by, Raye Lahti 5-31-21
With turtle nesting season soon underway, state conservation biologists and highway officials are joining forces to encourage Wisconsinites to hatch a brighter future for slow-moving, slow-growing turtles by taking a few simple steps.
Most of Wisconsin's 11 turtle species breed in late May through June and often cross roads to lay their eggs in nests on higher ground. Turtles getting run over by cars is a leading cause of the decline in turtle numbers in Wisconsin. The predation of turtle nests by raccoons, skunks and coyotes is another major problem.
Because some species – such as wood turtles and Blanding’s turtles – take 12 to 20 years to reach reproductive maturity, the death of even one female turtle a year can take a big toll.
To protect turtle populations, the Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) are asking people to protect turtles on the move. Follow these protective actions from now through the end of June, when the nesting season ends:
Drive with caution near wetlands and rivers. Slow down, be alert and reduce distractions.
Report roadways where turtles are crossing or are dead on the road. Fill in the short online form on DNR’s Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program website. https://wiatri.net/inventory/witurtles/
Build a nest cage to protect turtle eggs and later, hatchlings, if turtles are nesting on your property. Find instructions and a step-by-step video for a nest cage that allows hatchlings to exit but keeps predators like raccoons and skunks out.
September 18, 2020
Members Approve Bylaws Changes
Updated Articles of Incorporation and a new set of Bylaws were approved over-whelmingly by the membership in early September. These changes were motivated by the need for Diamond Lakers to become a “Qualified Lake Association” under Wisconsin state statute 281.68 in order for us to be eligible to receive grant funding from the WI Department of Natural Resources. New Board member Dave James, an attorney in Stevens Point, who drafted the new documents for us, notes that the new Articles and Bylaws will also enable us to qualify as a tax-exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3) and thereby be able to receive charitable contributions. See the item on this later in the newsletter.
The principal change required in the Bylaws was to make our membership criteria comply with WI state statutes, opening membership not just to property owners within a mile of the lake (which we did in an earlier change in 2017), but also to include individuals who reside within that boundary for 30 days or more per year. This will now include persons residing in a household who might wish to pay for an additional membership, as well as someone who rents a property for more than 30 days per year.
Another change Diamond Lakers will see is that our officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) are no longer elected directly by the members, but are appointed by the Board. As in the past, members will elect 9 persons to the Board, but for three-year terms instead of two, and the officer terms will also be for three years. This conforms more closely with standard procedures of private non-profit corporations, explains Dave James. The officers provide services to the corporation and are responsible directly to the Board which is then responsible to the membership. So the members have ultimate control.
Additional changes in the wording bring much-needed clarity to the Bylaws and make them compatible with WI Chapter 181 for private non-profit corporations. Among these are a clearer description and expansion of the process for making changes to the Bylaws themselves in the future.
The timing of grant application deadlines for the DNR necessitated quick action on the part of the Board and the membership in bringing about these changes, and except for a very generous interpretation of the deadline by the DNR, we were very nearly shut out of the funding cycle for another year. While some Board members felt the process moved too quickly for adequate input, the majority thought the need to move forward immediately based on the deadlines and the very real and growing threat of AIS in Lake Namakagon and other nearby lakes.
Well over 80% of Diamond Lakers members responded within the two-week time window for voting, and the changes received an overwhelming vote of support. “That’s one of the great advantages to having a close-knit and attentive membership with a commitment to a well-defined set of goals, in this case the preservation of Diamond Lake,” said DL Treasurer, Bob Jacobel. Particular thanks are in order to Dave James for lending his valuable expertise and time in drafting the documents; also to the Board members, most of whom met for the better part of a day in two settings to review and refine the documents; and to all of the membership for paying close attention to the need for quick action and voting. More information on our funding and AIS-related activities is in the following items.
Our 2021 Annual Meeting
will be on Saturday, July 24th at the Grandview Town Hall. We are delighted to be able to get back to a live, in-person meeting after COVID and the opportunity to meet and greet each other, new residents and old friends alike. We will begin at 3 PM with a presentation by Dennis Kruse, one of our new lake residents, about the history of the Birkebiner and upcoming plans for the Telemark Ski Area. This will be followed by our business meeting and then a potluck of hors d’oeuvres. Please bring a dish of little bites to share and mark your calendars.
The annual Fourth of July Boat Parade will be held on Saturday evening, July 3rd, starting at 4 PM. Meet up near the center of the lake. A post-event gathering is also being organized. Click here for further details.
Annual dues are now being accepted. Please send a check for $50 to Diamond Lakers, P.O. Box 543 Cable, WI 54821. Since we are now recognized by the IRS as an official charitable organization, all dues and any additional contributions, should you choose, are tax deductible. Thanks to those who have already responded. An updated members directory and lake map are being prepared and will be sent to you as soon as dues are received. More information about the winter propane discounts will also be forthcoming as we receive 2022 pricing.
Diamond-Lakers Inc Receives DNR Grant Funding
We are pleased to report that our proposal to the Wisconsin DNR to help us with funding for the survey described just above was awarded in February.
Our proposal, Point Intercept Macrophyte Survey of Diamond Lake, was submitted to the DNR’s Surface Water Education and Planning Program which funds up to 67% of costs for the survey and related education activities. Our proposal calls for a community outreach and education workshop to follow the survey, communicating the results and displaying some of the plants that are found. The status of COVID late in the summer will determine some of the details of how we do this, but one possibility is a Saturday morning guided tour (pontoon boats wanted!) of the lake vegetation. A virtual tour might be an alternative possibility.
Plant Baseline Survey of Diamond
Lake to be Completed in August
A complete survey of all existing vegetation in Diamond Lake will be undertaken in late August, 2021. Officially called a point-intercept macrophyte survey, because it
utilizes precise GPS positioning of the sampling sites relative to lake depths, our survey will be done by research biologist Matthew Berg of Endangered Resources Services, LLC of St. Croix Falls, WI. Matthew is an expert on the aquatic ecology of northern lakes and his company has been responsible for doing the recent surveys on Lake Namakagon. He is also the person who
‘discovered’ the first Eurasian Hybrid Milfoil plants in Lake Namakagon in 2016.
The purpose of the baseline survey is to learn the kind and distribution of aquatic plant species in Diamond Lake and specifically to determine if we have exotic milfoil or other non-native invasive species. This is the first step in planning a strategy to keep invasives out of Diamond Lake and to discover if any are here already.
The survey will cost $3350 and we have received funding from the WI DNR for a grant to cover a portion of the costs (see the item above). I was able to visit with Matt briefly in August this past year when he stopped by to look at our lake and give us his cost estimate. There will be opportunities for some Diamond Lakers to be involved in helping with the survey, and we will plan a subsequent workshop for a larger group of us to learn about how to identify exotic milfoil and other species.
January 8, 2021
Buffet on the Bay
On Friday, January 8th, seven Diamond Lakers and 2 Tahkodah Lakers got together to celebrate the New Year. We feasted on brats and several side dishes with various spirits from 3-6 pm. We got together quickly for the photo shots, but kept safely distanced. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the brief respite from isolation. Party-goers included Ruth and Herb Lauritzen, Pat Arndt, Jeanne and Tom Kraker, Monica and Ed Wallen, Maggie Donohue and Steve Hinze.
Submitted by, Ed and Monica Wallen