April 2023 Monthly Update

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Official Ice Out Date

According to Dick McMillan, this year's official ice out date was April 1, 2023!  Woot woot!!

Puckagee Springs Update

Our shoreline restoration at Puckgee Springs is moving into the mobilization stage with materials now on order.  Once the lake level is increased to its spring-summer level, we will move equipment in place.

The long permitting process was completed this winter with a set of specifications which will meet the needs for this parcel.  The final specification relies on natural control with coir log placement at the edge of the shoreline.  We will then follow up with volunteers to place live willow stakes along this coir log line.  The BD FFA has offered to provide this field application, which also presents a great learning opportunity for them.

These aerial photos identify the conditions observed this winter with the ongoing loss of shoreline.  It is readily seen that the north and south shoreline is in a fragile condition with any further erosion cutting into the wetland.  The upland photo is a good indication of the extent of this wetland segment which depicts the grassy areas that are required for pike spawning.  Our objective is to stabilize this shoreline which will result in an improved habitat for fish and fowl.

Puckagee South

Puckagee North

Puckagee Upland

Thanks for the Resting Spot!

Ring Necked and Redhead ducks find Beaver Dam Lake to be a great location to feed and rest up on their journey north this spring.  Hundreds of these ducks rely on our lake, as a stopover point, as part of their travels to Canada and Northern Wisconsin for summer breeding.  Without our wetlands and open water, these birds might not make the journey north and south each year which would reduce their numbers.  Nice to see these large flocks of ducks passing through.


Registration Now Open for 2023 Volunteer Stream Monitoring Workshop

Looking for a way to protect streams in the Rock River Basin? Become a volunteer stream monitor!

From April/May to October, our volunteer stream monitors collect data vital to understanding the health of our streams across the Rock River Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and various county Land and Water Conservation Departments will use the data to better understand watershed protection and restoration needs. 

Consider attending our hands-on training workshop for new volunteers. No experience necessary.

Register through the link below or email addie@rockrivercoalition.org for more information.

Saturday, May 6 – Watertown (Jefferson and Dodge County): Register here!

Invasive Species Outreach – Clean Boats, Clean Waters

Want to help spread the word about invasive species? Clean Boats, Clean Waters volunteers visit popular boat launches to talk to boaters about the importance of cleaning and draining boats and gear to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Rock River Coalition is recruiting volunteers to staff boat launches in Dodge County for Free Fishing Weekend (June 2 – 4) and around the Fourth of July (June 30 – July 9).  Shifts and locations are flexible, and training is provided for first-time volunteers. Contact addie@rockrivercoalition.org if interested or for more information.


Photo credit: River Alliance of Wisconsin



Saturday, June 3

Fish N Fun

Edgewater Park

Saturday, June 10

Great Beaver Paddle Fest

Waterworks Park

Saturday, August 26

BDLIA Annual Meeting

Randolph Community Center

More information will be provided in the future.  

Planting for Shoreline Health

by Carolyn Aita

On April 1st, a grey day with intermittent light snow, the BDLIA held a Shoreline Restoration Workshop attended by a full house of enthusiastic members and guests.  President Karen Huber gave an introduction, a raison être for the workshop, and introduced the main speaker, Scott Langum from DRAX, Inc.  Scott showed many examples of hardscaping (non-vegetative) solutions that DRAX has done to protect against shoreline erosion in the first place and to restore property after erosion, even on a disastrous scale, has occurred.  Honestly, some of the examples left me breathless and thankful that (1) I do not live on a bluff that might disappear under wave action, and (2) my shoreline is on a quiet bay on the northwest corner of Beaver Dam Lake, sheltered from the prevailing wind. 

Karen then spoke about the Wisconsin Healthy Lakes and Rivers Initiative which addresses what we, as individual land stewards, can do to bolster lake health.  In contrast to the hardscaping solutions DRAX offered, much of this initiative involves softscaping, that is, using vegetation at the shoreline or in upland swales to collect and filter rainwater which will then enter the aquifer and not run off a lawn or impervious surface into the lake.  Karen made the critical point that native plants, with roots deeper than those of turfgrass, are better able to hold shoreline soil in place.  Native plants also offer a diversity of root structure, taproot, fibrous, rhizome, bulb, corm, or woody, so positive interaction with multiple levels of soil and with every soil type is possible.

I followed with a short feel-good presentation on the fascinating bugs and butterflies, eye candy, that forage the native plantings in our garden. (One of our longterm goals has been to provide nourishment, shelter, and nesting sites to diverse indigenous invertebrate species when their global habitats are shrinking.)  It was easy to please the audience. Who doesn’t smile at the sight of a newly hatched monarch butterfly nectaring on milkweed (A), or two monarchs socializing near a blazing star (B).  And how about the excitement of finding an uncommon red-belted bumble bee enjoying Joe Pye weed (C)?   But does such planting contribute to shoreline stabilization?  Let’s ask the experts. Checking the catalogs of two well-established local suppliers of native plants, Prairie Nursery and Agrecol LLC, we find that milkweed, Joe Pye weed, and blazing star species all are included in their pre-planned shoreline buffer garden offerings.

Shoreline softscaping benefits the ecosystem and brings us joy.  But, gentle Reader, be careful to obtain your native plants from reputable sources.  There are lots of jumping worms around.  Also, please use “straight species,” avoid varieties cultivated by humans (cultivars).  And don’t substitute “nativars” for the real thing.  Nativars are plants passed off as natives but are cultivars in disguise.  Be bold.  Use natives everywhere in your garden (D, E, F).  Mix them in established flower beds that could use a boost and watch for the arrival of eye candy.

Presentations and other resources are posted on our website at www.bdlia.org under the Resources tab.


Photos by Mike Aita

BDLIA Mission Statement

We strive to engage the community in recreational activities; generate long-term

restoration projects working with like-minded, but diverse partners; and educate

the community on improving the quality of Beaver Dam Lake.

BDLIA Vision Statement

We envision a clean, restored, resilient Beaver Dam Lake with

gorgeous sunsets, recreational activities, and abundant wildlife for future generations.

Donate to BDLIA

Email us at info@bdlia.org or call us at (920) 356-1200. 

More information can be found on our website at http://bdlia.org

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