May 2023 Monthly Update

Send us your suggestions for monthly topics and please keep email addresses updated!  

Fish N Fun - June 3

We are happy to announce that Fish N Fun is returning this year on Saturday, June 3, at Edgewater Park. This event is open to children ages 4-12. There will be free clinics to learn about casting, live and artificial baits, fish cleaning, and much more. At the end of the event, a free rod and reel will be given to each registered child that participates in the clinics starting at 9 00 a.m.  Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9:00 a.m. and lasts to around 12:00 p.m.  The event will be held rain or shine.

Register online at or call the BDLIA office (920-356-1200) and leave a message with your child’s name(s) and age(s), the accompanying adult’s name, phone number, and email address. Emails are important because all updates will be provided by email. You can also send an email to with the above information. Participation is limited to the first 120 registrants and preregistration is required, so please register now!



Great  Beaver Paddle Fest - June 10

The Great Beaver Paddle Fest will be held on Saturday, June 10, at Waterworks Park on Beaver Dam Lake. A limited number of watercrafts will be available from Beaver Dam Community Activities and Services (BDCAS) for beginner classes. Please feel free to bring your own equipment, if you have it, for "how to" instruction or to enjoy the lake on your own.  Here is our schedule:

8:30 a.m. - Registration opens for Paddle Fest Classes

10:00 a.m. - Canoe Class

11:00 a.m. - Kayak Class

12:00 p.m. - Stand-up Paddleboard Class

1:00 p.m. - Combo Class (as demand dictates) - open to everyone

All Day - Enjoy the lake on your own with 3-mile & 6-mile paddles

Signed waivers will be required for Paddle Fest.  The Elks Club will provide a food concession stand. Shuttle service will be available from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. to and from Waterworks Park and Fish Camp.

Volunteers are always needed and welcomed. Contact Alan Mannel at for additional volunteer information.  

Come to Waterworks Park and celebrate the start of summer in Wisconsin!  

For more information email or call 920-356-1200.

27th Annual Fundraising Banquet

Around 240 attendees had a great time at the Annual Fundraising Banquet at the Bayside Supper Club on April 17.  Everyone enjoyed a great meal and fundraising activities.

Emcees Amy Hudson and Justin "Ninja" Wylesky from Good Karma Brands/WBEV - 95X did an amazing job all night long.  Auctioneer David Bell held an energetic and entertaining live auction.  

Attendees opened their wallets to bid and purchase auction items or for a chance at winning raffle items knowing that all the money raised goes towards fish restocking, essential activities such as buoy placement and retrieval and launch sign maintenance, annual events on the lake such as The Great Beaver Paddle Festival, Cardboard Boat Regatta, pontoon boat rides, and Kids Fish N Fun.  BDLIA's goal is to improve water quality, the fishery, wildlife habitat, and promote recreational activities.  The funds raised go specifically to Beaver Dam Lake and not to a national chapter or organization.

Be sure to check out the major sponsors near the bottom of this email.  Their support is greatly appreciated!

Finally, to all the volunteers, none of this would have been possible without their donation of personal time and talent.  There were endless hours of planning by committee members.  The solicitors knocked on doors requesting donations from local businesses.  We could not have done it without the volunteers working the night of the banquet that answered questions, worked the boards and games, and kept the event running smoothly for the enjoyment of our guests.

Rakes Bay is the area in red, and Puckagee Springs is the area in blue.

Rakes Bay Update

The last few months we presented information on the shoreline project moving forward at Puckagee Springs.  This important project will help to recover the shoreline which has eroded over the past few years and restore the habitat for the wildlife at this part of the watershed.

We have a second initiative on the other side of the lake upland from Rakes Bay which manages nonpoint rain runoff from the fields.  Our prior planning studies undertaken by Montgomery Associates, now EOR, identified this tributary into Beaver Dam Lake (BDL) that produced a large portion of the phosphorus into those waters.  EOR then performed a Hydraulic H/H study for this subwatershed which determined the amount and concentration of stormwater runoff entering into Rakes Bay and then BDL.

EOR was able to then use this H/H study to computer model various practices which would better manage the flow volume and allow for settling of nutrients.  These practices identified standard Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) specifications for weirs and ditching which have been used effectively on other lakes in similar applications.  EOR then prepared construction drawings and specifications which could be implemented at the inlet to Rakes Bay.

Our timing was rather good with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding specifying nonpoint sources programs as preferred targets in 2022.  We were fortunate to have Jeff Schmidt and Lisa Derr take an interest in this implementation project and help sponsor the application to Dodge County.  With the scientific data collected and used as the justification for our project, we were successful in receiving a County resolution which supported this project with startup in 2023.

We are currently working with various DNR departments to secure the required permits which will allow us to proceed with construction.  Although the practices are standard NRCS 303 weir installations, the regulatory requirements are extensive with multiple levels of permits needed.  With the assistance of EOR, we are moving forward with these permit applications and hope to be ready for startup this fall.

Rakes Bay looking back towards the Highway G bridge

Congrats, Bill!

Congratulations to BDLIA’s previous president, Bill Boettge, for being awarded the Protector, Individual award from the Rock River Coalition.  He will receive this award at their annual meeting on May 16.  Here’s what they had to say about Bill:

Before moving out of the Rock River Basin in 2022, Bill was the Co-chair and a founding member of the Dodge County Alliance for Healthy Soil – Healthy Water and President of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association. Through these organizations, he played an integral role in educating shoreline and agricultural landowners about water quality and building partnerships around water.  He was also a strong advocate for Rock River Coalition in the Dodge County community.

Bill working at the 2021 BDLIA Fundraising Banquet

Spring Ephemerals

by Carolyn Aita

The beginning of May has been cold, but the appearance of spring ephemerals is a sure sign that winter will soon be left behind.  We notice patches of bright color here and there as the landscape begins to green up.  What’s happening is that spring ephemerals are starting to bloom.  These native plants complete their entire life cycles before the summer solstice and then go dormant until the next growing season, in effect disappearing from our visual landscape.  As their collective name frankly states, they are ephemeral in our spring gardens, woodlands, meadows and at our lakeshore.  Despite their rush to return below ground year after year, spring ephemeral blossoms provide important early nourishment for pollinators who are emerging from winter hibernation.

Marsh marigolds (Caltha palutris) began to bloom at our lakeshore in April (A).  They are the first wetland plants to appear among the emerging shoreline sedges and are the only source of early nectar for ants and other earthbound pollinators that can’t access the blooming willows and oaks that form our shoreline canopy.  Marsh marigolds are the favorite of syrphid flies, those lovely aphid-devouring creatures shown here foraging on another plant species later in the flight season (B).

Patches of white bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has been in bloom at our woodland edge for a few weeks (C), surviving the snow/ice/sleet/hail storms that dotted April.  Their blooms open and close depending upon the weather, and coincide with the emergence and foraging habits of queen bumbles and other early spring native bees.  Surprise, little ladies!  There is no nectar in a bloodroot flower, but is it the copious pollen that keeps you coming back to the bloodroot patch?  In the past week, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) have joined bloodroot to form a blue and white carpet with fallen needles under a very old white pine (D).  Unlike bloodroot, Virginia bluebells provide nectar for foraging pollinators.  And their bell-shaped blossoms will offer nourishment to ruby-throated hummingbirds due back in our area at any moment.

Sprigs of other April-blooming are scattered here and there under deciduous trees that have not yet leafed-out.  Bright yellow large-flowered bellwort (Uvalaria grandiflora) and tall, delicate rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) have appeared in places no organized gardener would intentionally put them.  I don’t know where these plants came from.  Perhaps long ago I admired them in friends’ gardens and then came the inevitable: “Here, have a clump of this.”   Or perhaps they just appeared in the understory that I neglected except to remove evil garlic mustard volunteers.

The aforementioned species are in bloom in our garden right now.  As May progresses, more ephemerals will bloom, and you, gentle Reader, will hear about them in the June column.  Until then, why not see these lovely plants for yourself in the wild.  One personal favorite viewing area is the natural part of Astico County Park near Columbus.  If past years are good predicters, you will find a carpet of spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) along the banks and flood plain of the Crawfish River in mid-May.  A final thought (for now) on the subject.  Spring ephemerals attract food (insects) for returning warblers.  Just look who I noticed perched in a nearby woodland at the end of April: a yellow warbler (E) and a yellow-rumped warbler (F).  Welcome home, little ones, eat heartily.


Photos by Mike and Carolyn Aita


Watch Out for Aquatic Invasive Plants this Summer

by Melinda Myers

Now that summer has arrived and we are spending more time outdoors, you may encounter gardens and natural spaces where aquatic invasive plants are growing. 

Start by familiarizing yourself with the more common aquatic invasive plants. For some, this may be a review while others may be surprised to find some beautiful plants are actually problem plants that need to be removed. See Regulated Aquatic Invasive Plants in WI for pictures of restricted and prohibited species.

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Calendar from the University of Wisconsin Madison First Detector Network is also a helpful tool. It provides a timely reminder of invasive plants to watch for throughout the season based on their life stage and visibility.

A new video “Identifying Eight Aquatic Invasive Species in Wisconsin” provides images and identification clues you may find helpful as you enjoy the outdoors and tour gardens. For more detailed information and images of native and invasive aquatic plants, see Paul M. Skawinski’s book Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest – Fourth Edition. It is available from the Extension Lakes Online Bookstore where you can also find the updated Wisconsin AIS Early Detector Handbook To learn more about the distribution and control methods for invasive plants you are concerned about, contact your regional WI DNR AIS Coordinator found at

If you discover aquatic invasive plant populations in public spaces and waterways, please report them to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) so they can contain and manage the problem. You will find the details for documenting and reporting aquatic invasive species on the WI DNR's Invasive Species Reporting page.  

As more gardeners are now purchasing plants online, it increases the risk that prohibited and restricted plants find their way into Wisconsin. Add to this the fact that there are many new gardeners that may not be aware this problem exists. How we plant and manage our gardens has an impact on Wisconsin’s natural spaces. Growing even one or two invasive plants in your garden, shoreline planting or pond can have an impact. Invasive plants tend to be vigorous growers, reproducing faster than our native plants, and are more tolerant of adverse conditions. This allows them to quickly spread, take over and cause harm. 

Composting is usually not the best option for disposing of invasive plants properly. Most of us do not create compost piles that reach high enough temperatures to kill these weeds, insects, and diseases. To prevent them from invading natural areas it is best to bag and dispose of invasive plants in the trash.

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is an invasive plant that  can grow quickly and forms a dense mat of leaves over the water surface restricting light to the underwater environment and making boating, fishing, and other water activities difficult.

Photo credit: Paul Skawinski

Saturday, August 26

BDLIA Annual Meeting

Morning Meeting

Randolph Community Center

More information will be provided in the future.  

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

Another option to donate to BDLIA is through the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation (BDACF).  All the information to donate can be found on the BDACF website here:  Select OTHER and enter BDLIA Fund.  Checks should be made payable to the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation with BDLIA Fund on the memo line.  It is critical to notate the donation be directed to BDLIA Fund!

Email us at or call us at (920) 356-1200. 

More information can be found on our website at

This message has been sent to you {Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association}
If you no longer want to receive these letters, you can unsubscribe at any time