November 2022 Monthly Update

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Walleye Wednesdays

Walleye Wednesdays is an event held for 12 weeks in the summer where anglers from around the area fish and record their largest walleyes caught. The participants launch their boats from Woods Liquor Landing. At the end of the season, prizes are awarded to the anglers who caught the largest walleyes. Walleye Wednesdays are closed out with a fundraiser to raise money for walleye stocking. 

Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association would like to give a sincere thanks to Holly and Nick Woods of Woods Liquor Landing for their $2,587 donation from the proceeds of the 2021/2022 sessions of Walleye Wednesdays. The plan is to use these funds for walleye stocking in 2023. 

Buoy Retrieval - Part of Our Essential Activities Pillar

On what began as a smooth-sailing, gorgeous Wednesday morning, Pete Hupf, Ray Bruck, and Matt Winter started off on the BDLIA pontoon boat to retrieve 50+ no wake buoys. With a top speed of 17 mph, the boat took off for the 15-mile journey up the lake to start the process. By early afternoon, the north end of the lake was buoy-free with the buoys left at Fish Camp. The remaining buoys were dropped at Tahoe Park where John Neumann would set BDLIA up with hose and water access for the cleaning process. By this time the wind had kicked up from the west, making the remaining buoys a challenge to retrieve and offload, but at 4pm, the buoy retrieval team pulled the boat back into the Beaver Dam bay. 

The next step in the process is buoy washing, sorting, and condition determination. In the past, Beaver Dam Bay Marina had set us up for cleaning and storage, but this is a very busy season for the Marina, so we moved the process to Tahoe Park this year. The buoy cleaning team of Alan Mannel, Bill Foley, Chuck Frinak, Jen Duke, and Karen Huber started the process on Thursday afternoon. While Alan and Bill took the trailer to get the buoys from Fish Camp, Chuck, Jen, and Karen got busy power washing the buoys.

It was genuinely great watching a former board member and current volunteer, Chuck, work with and train our newest board member, Jen Duke!

Cleaning to remove the gunk is a laborious process, but having a power washer certainly helps. After cleaning, the buoys are sorted to determine which ones are repairable; no need for repair but need new decals; are beyond repair and need to be replaced; and good to go for another year. With two afternoons of effort, all determinations were made, and the good and repairable buoys were taken to the BDLIA shed for storage until spring when the buoys will be placed.

However, that is not the end of the story. With 30 buoys needing to be replaced at the cost of approximately $200 each and the need for 10 rock marker buoys, BDLIA has submitted grant applications to the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation, and Boating and Fishing State and Federal grant to assist in paying for the needed buoys. We will keep you posted if/when we receive support from either grant request.

Shoreline Restoration

The Puckagee Springs DNR property on the northeast corner of the lake has deteriorated to the point where the fish spawning and habitat in this area is in jeopardy. This condition was recognized, a couple of years ago, with a detailed assessment of how to best address this issue by the DNR, BDLIA, and Emmons & Olivier Resources (EOR). A restoration plan was prepared to better protect the wetlands from damage caused by the erosion of the shoreline barrier at this important fishery habitat. It was found that the stone placed at this shoreline by the DNR back in 1988 has been breached at a number of locations due to wind-wave energy. The photos shown here are from this summer which depict a common problem with the wetland now exposed to lake fetch between the trees on either side of the shore opening. If this condition is not corrected, the affected area will expand with the loss of this critical wetland.

 
 

This fall our project to restore the shoreline at Puckagee Spring has completed a number of important benchmarks. The joint efforts of the DNR, BDLIA, and EOR has resulted in the identification of cost effective practices which will allow Puckagee Springs to recover. The overhead view of this area presents a plan for where the protection will be provided and what practice will be used for that work. This work plan has been submitted to the DNR for an in-water permit Chapter 30 and the Corps of Engineers for shoreline projects. While we are working through these details, EOR has prepared and distributed a request for pricing to nine qualified contractors (other interested qualified contractors can request a work packet and submit a proposal). The permit and contractor bid time lines will develop during November with a final planning meeting with the DNR, EOR, and BDLIA in early December.  Implementation will then follow with anticipated completion in spring 2023.

 
 

Membership Drive

Recently over 700 postcards were mailed to lakeshore residents that are currently not members to inform them about BDLIA and invite them to join. Please encourage your neighbors and friends to become members. Membership fees are used to fund fish stocking, aeration, educational programs, lake management, and events such as Fish n' Fun, Great Beaver Paddle Fest, Carboard Boat Regatta, and pontoon rides at Lake Days.

Witches and Woollies

by Carolyn Aita

November gives us a garden that is betwixt and between.  Some familiar garden creatures have disappeared for the season while others are more evident than ever, in a single-minded effort to store food for the tough winter days ahead.  We watch a white-breasted nuthatch (A) make frequent trips to our feeder for seed that they are not eating but caching for later in the furrows of the bark of a nearby oak.  Downy woodpeckers are keeping an eye on this activity; they are known to rob nuthatches’ caches.

Autumn leaf color is past its peak and many deciduous trees and shrubs will soon be bare.  And there is the amazing witch hazel (B).  This Wisconsin native is a large shrub or small tree, depending upon your point of view.  We planted the witch in the understory of a copse of oaks and shagbark hickories.  Right now, its leaves are dropping but at the same time it is flowering!   Bright yellow blooms on bare branches will persist through November and after, weather permitting, and add unexpected color and fragrance to an otherwise barren woodland understory.  

Another “hazel” that adds interest to our November garden is the American hazelnut.  Right now, large decorative catkins are hanging from its bare branches (C).  Plant factoid:  A catkin is a collection of tiny flowers that, upon maturity, either shed pollen (male) or receive pollen (female), chiefly by the action of the wind.  The catkins on our autumn hazelnut are boys, that is, immature male flowers that won’t have good stuff to share with the ladies until they mature next spring.

Speaking of cats, we’re finding black and orange banded woolly bear caterpillars in the leaves that we’re raking off the patio (D).  That’s not surprising; these cats like to settle down in fallen leaves for a few months’ sleep as the weather cools.  Woollies are the caterpillars of lovely orange and black Isabella tiger moths.  The flight season of Isabella tigers is from April to September with a brood of cats in early summer and another in late September.  It’s the autumn brood that we’re disturbing. Sorry, little guys.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the appearance of woollies’ coats forecasts the weather of the coming winter.  A narrow orange band predicts a snowy winter, a wide orange band predicts a mild winter.  An unusually fuzzy woolly predicts a very cold winter.  So, when you encounter a really fuzzy woolly with lots of black on either end and not so much orange in the middle, get out your warmest coat and tallest snow boots (and your woollies). 

Not so fast: look who’s sunning herself on our for-the-moment leaf-free patio in the still-warm days of early November.  It’s an Eastern comma butterfly (E).  The flight season of Eastern commas in our clime is long, from early March to late November (wisconsinbutterflies.org).  But take care little one, November weather changes quickly.  Hurry up and find a comfortable place to winter-over.  We look forward to seeing you next spring.     

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Critter photos by Mike Aita

Remember BDLIA on Giving Tuesday - November 29!

Donate Here

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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