Welcome to Lake Wissota Improvement and Protection association Website. This site is designed to provide up-to-date information about LWIPA activities, our organization, resources, and important issues that affect property owners, recreational users of Lake Wissota, and others who enjoy and value this wonderful resource. Please use the drop-down navigation links above to explore this site and view the many activities and projects of the LWIPA.
The Lake Wissota Improvement & Protection Association is a 501C3 non profit organization made up of volunteers with the common goal to preserve, enhance and protect Lake Wissota. Please join us in the pursuit of this goal.
Lake Wissota Stewardship Update
The Lake Wissota Stewardship Project (LWSP) is entering its 14th year of operation. It is a joint public-private venture with Chippewa County’s Land Conservation and Forestry Department (LCFM) and the Lake Wissota Improvement and Protection Association (LWIPA) with the goal of reducing nutrient and sediment deposits in Lake Wissota. Originally focused on the Little Lake Wissota and funded by the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery as a 5-year pilot project, it was expanded in 2018 to include the Yellow River Watershed, encouraging landowners to install stream buffers, sediment basins, and other conservation practices. Most recently, an emphasis has been placed on promoting cover crops, an agricultural practice that will protect both surface water and groundwater. Cover crops can also improve soil quality, while reducing fertilizer costs. Truly a win-win for farming and conservation.
Those of us living on the shores of Lake Wissota see the day-to-day changes in water quality. We know there are clear days and green days and the difference might be which way the wind is blowing. But measuring progress needs to be a long-term scientific process with established baseline data. To do that our LWSP project manager wrote a Nine Key Elements Plan, with terms like phosphorus load, Secchi Disk, and Trophic State Index (TSI). While confusing for ordinary folks, these tools and benchmarks allow provide objective measurements for recording progress. Monitoring practices will continue in both the Little Lake and Yellow River watersheds, with the DNR and LWIPA sampling water quality over multiple years. We know that progress will be slow, but it is being made.
Between 12 landowners, 135.7 acres of wetland and stream buffers were installed. The buffers were planted to either grasses or trees. Under this project over 40 sediment basins are “filling in” providing visible proof to even ordinary citizens of sediment diversion. Total phosphorus, which is a measure of unused particulate and plant bound phosphorus, is down slightly in the Little Lake. Water clarity as measured at specific locations with a Secchi Disk has, over a 10-year period, improved by a foot. The much larger Yellow River Watershed Project, with different soil conditions and more agricultural activity, is only 5 years into interventions with data still being collected. A much longer measurement regarding the entire Lake Wissota is the Trophic State Index (TSI). The TSI measures biological productivity (nutrient content). Water bodies with a TSI of 0 -29 are minimally productive, 30-45 are moderately productive, 46-70 generally are sufficiently productive. Over 71-100 indicates an overabundance of nutrients. The average TSI for the entire Lake Wissota over the last 22 years is 59.26, which is a good number. More importantly the variability caused by extreme rain events has decreased significantly over the last nine years. Excessive nutrients aren’t being washed into our lake. So perhaps our efforts are showing promise for the future. Conservation of our land and water is a long-term goal that needs short term wins to maintain motivation. Sometimes, “not getting worse” is a victory for conservation.
Beginning in 2022 our contract with LCFM was changed to a rolling three-year contract renewed annually. The continuity of such an arrangement is one that is good for landowners and will be viewed favorably by those agencies offering grants. Our current Stewardship Fund is adequate through 2024. To continue our efforts beyond the time the LWIPA will be starting a fundraising campaign in the future. We’re hoping that everyone will continue to be Stewards of Lake Wissota.
You may ask yourself how does the LWIPA, a 501.3c volunteer organization, get so many things done?
Answer: It’s our affiliation with government entities, lake organizations and other volunteer organizations including:
The Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management Dept who provides expertise from engineers, agronomists, conservation and finance specialists.
The Wisconsin DNR who share the fish biologists, lake specialists, watershed restoration coordinators, finance and grant specialists and aquatic invasives coordinators.
Others contributors include the Wisconsin Lakes Organization , UW-Extension, Beaver Creek Reserve, Chippewa County Farmer’s Led Watershed Organization and Wisconsin Farmer’s Union.
All of these groups and many other area volunteer organizations provide services to help us continue to improve and protect Lake Wissota.
The most important of our affiliations is YOU! Without your help we can’t even get started. Please continue your financial and personal support. Thank you.
Click here to see the most recent edition of Lake Tides.
The latest issue of Lake Tides takes you to the west side of Wisconsin and research students, who are teaming up with UW-Stout professors to chip away at some wicked water problems (page 1).
Waterfront Property Owners and Lake Organizations
- Capacity Corner – Partner Up!Collaborating with a Larger Entity to Increase Access and Effectiveness (page 4)
- Tell Your Story: Helping Lake Organizations with Communication Needs(page 6)
- Lake District Q&A: Can someone get multiple votes at a lake district meeting if they own multiple properties?(page 11)
- Healthy Lakes & Rivers: Using the Shoreland Evaluation Tool at the Organizational Level(page 11)
Call to Action
- Snapshot Day: August 20
- Save the Datefor the 2023 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention DATE: April 19-21, 2023
- Submit a presentation proposalDEADLINE: October 1, 2022
- Submit a 20-second videoshowing how you enjoy water together DEADLINE: October 1, 2022
- Nominate a Lake StewardDEADLINE: December 1, 2022
- Photo contest: Win $100by submitting your photo that answers the question, “Why do we need healthy lakes and rivers?” (special monetary award for the best before/after submission) DEADLINE: March 27, 2023
Lake Ecology Fun Facts
- CREATURE FEATURE – Aerial Insectivores: Barn Swallows and Chimney Swifts – Two of Our Flying Bug Eaters(page 8)
- Did you know winter migration isn’t just for the birds?(page 9)
- Lakes 101: Cool Facts about Lake Temps(page 10)
- Travel Vlog to Nicaragua(page 7)
- Online Calendar
- YouTube Channel
- Facebook page
- Search Lake Tidesarticles (1975-present)
University of Wisconsin – Extension Lakes | uwsp.edu/uwexlakes
University of Wisconsin – Extension Lakes | uwsp.edu/uwexlakes
Anglers take Notice. 2023 Proposed Walleye Regulations for Lake Wissota – open meeting with the DNR April 4, 2023 at Chippewa High School.
A 3 day DNR boating safety classes is being offered August 14 -16 of 2023. Pre-registration is required and classes are required for some age groups to operate motorboats in Wisconsin. Click Here for information.
Annual Meeting Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 at the Lafayette Town Hall.
Program: Protecting Our Lakes: Doing “What it Takes” presented by Ted Rulseh, “The Lake Guy”. As an author and WI lake advocate, Ted will share the science behind pressures on our lakes and concerns you may share such as shore erosion, algae growth, loss of fishing habitat, wake boating, and aquatic invasive species. He will discuss how lake organizations and others have tackled these concerns. Join us to learn how we can continue to protect our Lake Wissota.
Annual LWIPA report and election of LWIPA board members will follow
We are exited to announce the completion of the Nine Key Element Watershed Plan For The Lower Yellow River Watershed and Moon Bay of Lake Wissota. This opens the door for future funding of clean water projects in the Yellow River watershed. Click here for a copy of the plan.