Winnebago Waterways and the Department of Natural Resources have joined forces to eliminate lake pollution.
They say all four Winnebago lakes are listed as impaired, which is a health concern for those who use the lakes.
Winnebago Waterways is a local alliance program that needs public input to make area lakes healthier.
They’ve found a more casual way to approach taking public opinion with their series titled “Winnebago on Tap” and hope locals can prioritize lake issues that matter to them.
Every summer those blue green nuisances return to lake Winnebago, but the problem hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“We’re looking at the four lakes, lake Poygan, lake Butte des Morts, lake Winneconne and lake Winnebago. We’re trying to address some of the big issues that those lakes face so that would be polluted run-off, algae blooms and aquatic invasive species among a variety of other things,” says Winnebago Waterways program coordinator Korin Doering.
The collaboration between the DNR and Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance Program have found inexpensive means to tweak the water system, saving everyone money.
“To see the restoration of plants we don’t actually have to spend a ton of money, we can do things like slightly alter the water levels in the system,” says Doering. “So the water levels are artificially controlled by the damns in Neenah and Menasha and we’ve been working with a group of stakeholders as well as the Army Corps to try to come up with some ways that we can see restoration of those plants through alteration of the water level management.”
“That’s going to provide just a better quality of life for people, but it also has an economic impact from the system,” says Kendall Kamke, an Oshkosh DNR representative.
The group says the Winnebago lakes have lost a lot of vegetation over the last few decades.
If that vegetation can be restored the plants will actually use the water’s phosphorus instead of the algae using it to grow.
Winnebago Waterways will hold their next meeting December 6.
You can also sign up to be a part of their focus groups, just email Korin Doering at Korin@fwwa.org.