PLA Board Officers

Harley Wells - President

hgwells43@gmail.com

Kelley Casey - Vice President

kelley.casey5431@gmail.com

Traci & Steve Miller - Treasurer

tracim07@hotmail.com

Donna & Rich Krisch - Secretary
donnakrisch@gmail.com
rich.krisch@gmail.com

Larry & Joan Wilhelmy - Director
joanw0301@yahoo.com

Jack Wolf - Director

wolfminn1@charter.net

Kevin Montgomery - Director

kevinsmontgomery@me.com

What’s new?

2022 news

want to connect on a lunch date?
the annual PLA Picnic is saturday August 6

Are you new to the lake (or not really connected to anyone here yet)? You should take some time to stop by the PLA potluck picnic at noon. This event is a great chance to meet other folks who share the lake!

 

Believe me, it's nice to have a connection with others here. We've found that at Potato Lake, everyday life can get extreme. For example, we've been stranded on our pontoon a couple of times, then rescued by a cabin neighbor (thanks Steve and Bruce)! We've also been helped during heavy weather, with downed trees, with nuisance animals, etc. It's been nice to have neighbors who have your back. So set this lunch date in your calendar, stop by, and connect (especially you west-siders!)

This year's event will be hosted by Glen and Donna Dummer at their cabin (N5271 2nd St. – it's close to the public boat landing.)  A main course of chicken will be provided. Please bring a dish to share (if you can) as well as your favorite beverage and a chair. Hope to see you there!

 

 

Study measures the power of wake boats on lakes

The UM study showed that a wake boat produces waves 3x the height of waves from a ski boat pulling a skier. While the study didn’t measure the effects on lake shorelines, it found wake boats require a greater distance from shore to reduce the potential impact of their large waves.

 

Currently there are no state, county, nor association regulations specific to wake boats, but the board hopes for courtesy and common sense from all boaters no matter the type of watercraft. Maybe consider wake boarding on one of the larger lakes in the area instead. It would be easier to stay away from docks and shorelines (and the extra room probably would be more fun for those boaters and surfers).

For more on the study: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/kare11-sunrise/wake-boat-study-university-of-minnesota-st-anthony-falls/89-f3b53537-78a0-49b0-a5c1-9363000b5fbb

 

 

 

 

 

link to the annual meeting via zoom

Join us at the annual spring meeting via Zoom on Tuesday June 14 at 7PM.

 

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cuningham.zoom.us/j/92082711780

 

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +13017158592,92082711780#  or +13126266799,92082711780#

 

Meeting ID: 920 8271 1780

 

When you join the meeting, please mute yourself when not speaking to eliminate background noise interruptions. See you there!

 

Please join us Tuesday June 14 at 7PM for a Zoom annual Meeting.

A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to association members' email addresses on file. Board VP Kelley Casey (kelley.casey5431@gmail.com) will send out the email. Add his name to your email contacts so the link doesn't end up in your spam folder. Email Kelley if you need to update your email address.

 

The link will be posted on this news page on that Tuesday and also on the association Facebook page.

 

In this meeting, you'll get updates about the status of the lake, you'll learn some of the steps the board has taken to keep it healthy in the future, and you'll have a chance to ask questions or share comments. (We will also take some time to review association business.)

 

If you own property at Potato Lake, you are connected to every other property owner there – by the lake itself. It's important that we (and our guests) know how to be better caretakers of the lake. The joy and pleasure we receive from the lake (and the value of our properties) is directly related to the lake's health. So, please invest some of your time to join the association meeting, learn what's happening with the lake, and maybe find new ways to be more involved in protecting its future. See you then!

 

Association annual Meeting scheduled

Our second virtual annual meeting will be Tuesday, June 14 at 7 PM (via Zoom). The board felt that the Zoom meeting last year was effective and convenient, so we'll continue with this format. An email with a link to the live meeting will be sent to the current PLA email list. It will also be available on this website and PLA Facebook page. All members are welcomed and encouraged to attend virtually.

 

Quarterly Board meeting held

On May 22, the PLA board held its quarterly meeting via Zoom. There's no major news to report from the meeting. Two topics that all should be aware of though are:

  1. The proposed Spooner Lake RV Campground. This 200 site campground could potentially increase fishing boat traffic on Potato Lake.
  2. The need for new board members (especially representatives from the west side of the lake).

 

ICE out!

Our "official" ice out date for the lake was April 24 this year. This is much later than recent years.

 

 

2021 news

PLA board approves eradication of nuisance beavers

Activities by beavers, including a large dam on Potato Creek, caused damage in several areas in the Potato Lake watershed. The board worked with WI DNR and Washburn County officials for a solution.

 

As a reminder, Potato Lake has several underground springs that continually feed water to the lake, with Potato Creek as the outlet for this flow. It's a considerable amount of spring-fed water, as it flows north and west, eventually making its way to Trego Lake. Normally this flow from the lake to the creek keeps the lake at a consistent level at all times. However, the beavers are affecting the natural state of our watershed.

 

The satellite view of Potato Lake above helps show the areas affected. The white box on the left picture shows the area that's zoomed in on the right picture. The A arrow points to where the large beaver dam was. The B arrow points to the culvert that goes under 2nd Street. This culvert allows the spring-fed water from the lake to flow into the creek. The beavers put materials that slow the water flow through the culvert.

 

These two blockages caused the pond between the dam and the culvert (compare the width of that area to the creek width just north of the pond). As this pond expands, it kills the surrounding trees creating a fire risk.

 

Additionally, these blockages cause the lake's level to rise. This may not sound bad at first, but over time this rising water affects the properties with the most level shorelines. Several inches of water in the lake means the water creeps up several FEET onto those properties, killing the plants and trees that help filter runoff heading to the lake. The beavers have also downed many recently-planted saplings property owners planted to help filter runoff.

 

Harley Wells worked with Wisconsin DNR to hire an approved nuisance beaver trapper. The trapper completed this project November 6. The beaver dam and culvert have been cleared enough to allow regular water flow and now the lake level is close to normal. More details will be available at the annual board meeting. Information about DNR beaver control guidelines is available here: https://widnr.widen.net/content/m10ch9z9t4/pdf/beaverdamage.pdf

 

 

we had a Picnic and a meeting broke out!

Glen and Donna Dummer hosted the PLA annual picnic this past Saturday. The day was off-and-on rainy, so we were lucky that the Dummers had a roomy three-season porch for us to fit into. Good food, good conversation, and great desserts! were shared. Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp? Yes, please!

 

Joan and Larry Wilhelmy again went around to many Spooner businesses to get door prizes for the event! Tony's Restaurant, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner Outlet, and other businesses donated prizes. Congratulations to the drawing winners and please support the area's local businesses!

 

The board held a quick meeting after lunch to address two matters:

1.) The need to amend the association by laws to add flexibility to number of members needed on the board and to clarify that partner board members (a husband and a wife at the same Potato Lake property for example) only count as one vote during procedural votes with the board. This motion passed without objection.

 

2.) The need to elect a new PLA treasurer (to replace Joe Adler). Traci and Steve Miller were nominated and elected to our treasurer position. (No other candidates were nominated or came forward.) Thanks for volunteering Traci and Steve! And Joe, thanks for all you've done for the PLA over the years!

 

The next PLA board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 5. This will be a Zoom meeting and all association members are welcomed to join the meeting. Look for more information as we get closer to the date.

 

 

Join us for our Annual Picnic

The annual Potato Lake Picnic was held on Saturday Aug 14. The Annual Potluck Picnic is scheduled for August 7 at noon. This year's event will be hosted by Glen and Donna Dummer at their cabin (N5271 2nd St.)

 

The picnic is a great chance to meet other folks who share the lake! A main course of chicken will be provided. Please bring a dish to share (if you can) as well as your favorite beverage and a chair. Hope to see you there!

 

FYI, there also will be a quick PLA meeting about adding new board members.

 

 

boat parade was a blast!

Held this year on Saturday July 3. The day was beautiful and (according to the official Donna Dummer count) we had a record 31 watercraft participating. It was one of the highlights of the weekend! See more parade pictures on the Potato Lake Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131670676847733/

 

the first virtual Annual Meeting held

A PLA milestone, our first virtual annual meeting was held on June 14 (via Zoom). While attendance was down some, convenience was way up. We have two additional Zoom meetings planned this year for July 13 and Oct. 5 (both at 6:30 PM). An email with a link to the live meeting will be sent to the current PLA email list. All members are welcomed and encouraged to attend virtually.

 

A quick recap of meeting highlights:

  • Dave Blumer, of Lake Education And Planning Services (www.leapsllc.com), gave an overview of the work he did for us. Dave completed a new lake study and management plan proposal for 2021-2025 that was submitted to WI DNR. He also help write a grant proposal to the WI DNR that has been approved. More info here: http://potatolakeassociation.org/water-management.html
  • Because we didn't have a meeting in 2020, the board caught up membership on two years of required reporting including the Treasurer's report, the Secretary's report, and various lake-status items that board members monitor (water level, Secchi readings, and oxygen levels).
  • Board officers Harley Wells and Kelley Casey were reelected to their positions. Kevin Montgomery was nominated and elected new treasurer. These are two-year terms.
  • In related board news. Joe Adler is stepping down from the board after years of faithful service to the PLA and the lake. The board encourages all members – new residents and old residents – to follow Joe's example: be more involved in caring for Potato Lake through the association! The PLA community will benefit from new points of view and new voices. We have 52 paid memberships this year out of 77 owners (which is a really high percentage of members for a lake association!). Ideally in the future, we will get many more members to take the next steps, such as attending association meetings and being available to be elected to the board.

 

Complete minutes of the meeting are available by request from Donna Krisch donnakrisch@gmail.com

 

put the boat parade into your calendar!

Join us on Saturday, July 3 at 4 PM for our 7th annual Independence Day Boat Parade.

 

Decorate your favorite vessel – boat, kayak, paddleboard, or even inflatable unicorn – and meet us down at the landing at 4 PM.

 

We'll do a semi-organized lap around the lake as we celebrate our independence.

 

If you're boatless (or would rather just watch) join the fun from your dock.

The more the merrier!

 

I think 24 is our current record for boats participating. Let's see if we can top it this year!

 

Please join us tomorrow night at 6:30 PM (Tuesday 6/14) for the first virtual Annual Spring Meeting.

In this meeting, you'll get updates about the status of the lake, you'll learn some of the steps the board has taken to keep it healthy in the future, and you'll have a chance to ask questions or share comments. (We will also take some time to review association business.)

 

If you own property at Potato Lake, you are connected to every other property owner there – by the lake itself. It's important that we (and our guests) know how to be better caretakers of the lake. The joy and pleasure we receive from the lake (and the value of our properties) is directly related to the lake's health. So, please invest some of your time to join the association meeting, learn what's happening with the lake, and maybe find new ways to be more involved in protecting its future.

 

To join the meeting from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cuningham.zoom.us/j/93517181601

Meeting ID: 935 1718 1601

 

If you're new to Zoom meetings and want to join, here is a useful start up guide: https://www.seniorsguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SeniorsGuide-stepbystepguidetoZoom-english0620.pdf

 

a cool memorial day weekend, but still a lot of boats!

The boat landing was a busy place for the unofficial start of cabin season. Friday especially was crowded!
Now is a good time to remind your guests of safety guidelines when operating a watercraft on WI lakes (especially if you aren't there to monitor them).

 

 

Hot ash causes 1/2 acre wildland fire near Potato Lake.

On Nov. 3, 2020, someone dumped garden trimmings and hot ashes off the trail that connects to the County Forest land. The ash started a fire that burned about half an acre. Luckily someone saw the smoke from the fire, notified authorities, and firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. WI DNR has investigated the incident. Investigators found tire tracks by the fire, and it appears someone used an ATV to dumped the ashes and trimmings. Anyone with information about this incident should contact Renae Essenmacher of the WI DNR at (715) 410-8371.

 

dumping yard waste adds to our fire danger

Over this fall/winter/spring, someone dumped trimmed branches and small trees in the same County Forest trail where the fire occurred. Not only is this dumping illegal, but it's also dangerous. Debris burning is the leading cause of wildfires in Wisconsin. We’ve had a dry spring, so yard waste is like kindling for a fire. One spark could endanger all the properties around Potato Lake. (As of May 15, 2021 WI DNR has suspended all burning permits. Washburn County is listed as a very high wildfire risk.)

 

 

use this free drop off site for yard waste

The City of Spooner Wood Burning Facility is a drop-off site for yard waste. It is free of charge to Spooner residents. The location is off of County Road A, east of US HWY 53. The best directions heading west from Potato Lake are to take County M north, then head west (left) on County A. The entrance is on the north (right) side just after Mann Rd. The site takes cut brush and yard waste only (no bags of any kind). Hours are from 7AM - 3PM daily.

 

Spring 2021 ice out

It was a very early ice out date for us: March 29, 2021. Unfortunately ice out in March didn't lead to a balmy April. Temperatures were unseasonably cold.

 

 

2020 news

end of season

It's always sad to see the boat heading off to winter storage marking the inevitable transition to winter.

 

The 2020 summer season at Potato Lake was odd — like the entire year has seemed so far. The pandemic forced us to change many routines and forced the PLA board to cancel the association annual full association meetings.

 

Here are a few updates to be aware of:

 

• Maybe you've seen the new boat decontamination station at the landing (boaters use this station to quickly clean boats to prevent the possible introduction of invasive species into our lake.) The station is part of the WI DNR Clean Boats Clean Waters initiative. These stations seem to have made a positive impact here and elsewhere. According to a 2017-2020 survey of lakes in Burnett and Washburn counties, no new lakes have tested positive for zebra mussels. As a reminder, several popular lakes nearby do have zebra mussels (or other invasive species), so all boats entering the lake need to be decontaminated first. Please let your visitors be aware of this station.

 

Dave Blumer (a lake educator the board has hired to help us) is moving forward on a new lake study and management plan proposal for 2021-2025. One option is harvesting of aquatic vegetation in the densest areas of the lake. The map here shows a proposal for this harvesting. A key to the map: the green area on the map is the 2020 wild rice beds. Red Lines are 1.5 miles of navigation and open water access lanes (max width = 20 ft). Yellow points are the dense aquatic vegetation. Light blue points are more moderate aquatic vegetation growth.

 

The board plans to have a zoom meeting soon with Dave to discuss the results of his survey and any potential ideas to help keep the lake healthy and enjoyable for recreation. Hopefully there are ways that we can mitigate some the issues from the dense vegetation we saw this year. We hope to have the usual association meeting during the 2021 Memorial Day weekend to discuss results with the full association.

 

• The board is also looking for ways to make all residents aware of county zoning regulations regarding landscaping on lakeshore areas. It's important for all residents to follow these best practices for the ongoing health of the lake.

 

• The board is also considering creating a sign for the landing with a "courtesy code" displaying regulations for water skiing hours, distance requirements from shore for personal watercraft, and other ordinances.

 

 

July 4th Boat Parade

Despite the weirdness of Covid 19 social distancing (or maybe because of it) we had an awesome boat parade on July 4 with 28 boats and lots of families participating on shore! Thanks to Glen and Donna Dummer for hosting this event each year. It's one of the highlights of summer at the Potato!

 

 

2020 ICE Out

Harley Wells has reported April 7 as our official ice out date for 2020. Last year it was April 21 and for 2018 the ice out date was May 2. Docks are being installed!

 

Check your shoreline ASAP!

If any of you plan on coming up in the next few weeks, check the lake shore around your cabin for dead fish. There is a concern of a potential freeze out of fish due to the long ice cover and the low oxygen readings.

 

Joe Adler takes oxygen readings of the lake over the winter. This year he reports that the oxygen level is lower than normal. Probable reasons are that the lake froze over early this winter, on November 1. On top of that we had early snows that prevent sunlight from getting to oxygen-producing plants growing beneath the ice. Wisconsin DNR confirmed that many shallower lakes like ours have experienced very low readings. Hopefully this early ice out will mitigate some of the problem.

 

Please let Joe know if you see anything, as he will keep the DNR informed. Contact him at  jmadler42@gmail.com or by cell at 612-356-8525. Thanks for keeping an eye on the Potato Joe!

 

 

2019 news

Lake property Owner survey

A component of our updated lake study and management report is a survey of all property owners on Potato Lake. The questionnaire helps us to understand our impact, the most typical usage of the lake, and to possibly identify ways to improve the overall health of the lake for all residents. Look for this survey to come in the mail toward the end of August. Please take a few minutes to complete it and send it back in. Thanks!

Annual PLA Picnic held

A special thanks to Joan and Larry Wilhelmy and Mary Ezzo and Paul Sundquist for hosting and making all the arrangements. The weather cooperated and the food was wonderful. Guest speaker Dave Blumer (lake educator at Lake Education and Planning Services, LLC) provided an update on the grant project and had examples of invasive species to help everyone learn to identify them. Be sure to put the PLA picnic on your calendar for next year! We try to schedule it for the first weekend of August.

AED Update

After a survey of PLA members about the purchase of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for Potato Lake residents, the PLA Board has decided not to purchase one. Although there was an overwhelming majority voting "Yes" to purchase the AED, there simply  wasn't a high enough response rate from regular PLA members to justify the purchase. Only 15 votes were cast.

 

AED Survey – your opinion matters!

The PLA Board is recommending purchasing an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for Potato Lake residents. Currently First Responders can take up to 20 minutes to reach Potato Lake. As we all know time is of the essence if someone is having heart distress.

 

Details:

  • AED unit is simple to use with many built-in safeguards. For more info: https://www.physio-control.com/WCProductDetails.aspx?id=2147498014&langtype=2057
  • AED unit would be located in a visible location on 1st St. outside of the cabin of a year-round lake resident
  • Directions to AED location would be posted lakeside and roadside, pictures of location to be sent to PLA members (if we go forward with purchase).
  • AED will be available May 1 - Sept. 30 (depending on temperature, it cannot be stored outside below freezing)
  • Cost approx. $2,200.  (Paid for by current PLA Association funds)
  • Included in package with the AED: outdoor cabinet, AED sign, device management for 1 year
  • Yearly management fee $105 (First year is included in price)
  • Warranty 8 years (Typical life span for these units is 8 years)

Please respond YES or NO about going forward with this purchase. Email rich.krisch@gmail.com
Please put Potato Lake AED Survey in the subject line with your vote (yes or no).

Please respond no later than July 10. Results will be posted on this website.

 

SOLD! for sale: 1997 SeaDoo, trailer, and lift

1997 SeaDoo GSI 720cc 90 HP Bombardier.

It's 9ft. Low Hours = 128. Runs great, excellent condition!

Includes Hewitt 9' jet ski lift and Karavan jet ski trailer. Total for all three $2.250.00

If interested, call Larry and Joan Wilhelmy at 715-635-5335.

 

 

Call for Volunteers

As you know, we are in the process of executing the latest DNR lake study grant. Part of this grant calls for us to monitor our boat landing as part of the Clean Boats Clean Waters program.  This involves talking with boaters entering and leaving Potato Lake, and checking to be sure there are no invasive species on their boats. We also look to acquaint them with all of the regulations involved with the proper disposal of bait, and the rules regarding draining all water from their boats.

 

We have several hundred hours of volunteer time built into the grant, and would like to see some people step forward to volunteer some time for this endeavor. It is an easy task; just take a lawn chair and a good book and sit in the shade at the landing for a few hours. Four PLA directors have received Clean Boats Clean Waters training and can show how it is done. If requested, they may also spend some time getting you started at the landing. Those people are: Larry & Joan Wilhelmy - 763-218-6243, Kelley Casey - 651-788-6072, Harley Wells - 612-867-9186, Joe Adler - 612-356-8525

 

All of the paperwork will be located in 2 backpacks which are hanging by the front door of our cabin (N5233 2nd St – see picture). After you are acquainted with the process, just stop and get a backpack and spend some time at the landing. Your time is recorded on the sheets, so you don't have to contact me.  Just return the backpack when you are done. It would be especially beneficial to have someone at the landing on weekends. Also, we have hats and T-shirts for you to wear that identify you as Clean Boats Clean Waters representatives. Let me know if I can provide any additional support to help anyone volunteer for this work.

Thanks. Joe Adler

 

A beautiful Memorial weekend

We finally received some much welcomed warm weather in northwest WI. That Sunday was just about perfect: High temperature about 76 degrees F with clear skies and light winds. Water temp was still cool, about 60 degrees, but the lake was busy. There were boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, a few jet skis, even some hardy souls being towed on inflatables out. Hopefully this starts a nice weekend weather trend for us this summer!

 

Annual Meeting held

Another annual meeting is in the books. Renae Essenmacher from the WI DNR spoke about fire safety. Three takeaways I had were: there have been some major fires in our area caused by simple accidents, that a homeowner may have a financial liability for expenses related to stopping the fire (think equipment, supplies, and work hours), and unless your fire is in a your fire pit, you probably need a permit (no brush, trash or debris burning without a permit). Go to www.dnr.wi.gov for further information about permits, fire conditions and where current fires are burning.

Also discussed in more detail is the plan to update our lake study and management reports. This process should begin this summer. The work will consist of 7 parts:

  1. An aquatic plant survey
  2. Training volunteers to be stationed at the boat landing to teach boaters how to prevent invasive species entering the lake. (See note below about decontamination station)
  3. Shoreline Survey
  4. Water Testing
  5. Wild Rice Survey
  6. Lake Property Survey - A mailed questionnaire for all property owners on lake usage
  7. Determination of how the lake has changed since the last study in 2010 (see http://www.sehinc.com/online/potato )

Another topic was setting up a decontamination station at the landing to help boaters remove possible invasive species from their boats and trailers. Look for more information this soon.

 

ICE Out!

Jeff Wold has reported that April 21 is our official ice out date for 2019 (thanks for the picture!). The 2018 ice out date was May 2.

If anyone happens to have the ice out dates for 2017 (I think it was much earlier that year) or other years not listed, let me know. It would be nice to keep a historical listing of ice out dates for the lake. Not sure that we can draw any conclusions for this data, but it would be interesting to have.

 

Drive carefully!

The winter’s frost has caused significant heaves on 1st St.

 

PLA receives grant award

Good news for Potato Lake! The grant application submitted last fall to the WI DNR was approved. The grant award will cover much of the costs of a new survey/study of the health of the lake (and surrounding watershed) and updates to our management plan for the lake based on the result. Lake residents should look for more information about the survey (and any results) in the future.

 

help stop the invasion!

On Saturday April 20, 2019 the Washburn County Land and Water Conservation Department hosted its Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) workshop. In attendance were PLA board members Harley Wells, Kelley Casey and Joe Adler.

The course covered identification of invasive species such as Eurasian milfoil, Curly Pond weed, and zebra mussels (pictured), the importance of proper draining of all lake water-related equipment on our boats, and having equipment for effective cleaning of all watercraft entering and exiting the lake.

Also discussed were the Washburn and Burnett County ordinances regarding decontamination requirements at boat landings. Monitoring will be taking place at the landing for watercraft entering and exiting the lake.
Let's all do our parts to protect Potato Lake! Remind your visitors with watercraft how important this is to the health of the lake.

 

Annual meeting

The annual meeting is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 25 at the Spooner Ag Center in Spooner.
The meeting starts at 9:00 AM. A representative from the DNR Forestry Dept. will take a few minutes to speak about fire prevention, fire permits and fire danger awareness.

 

New eagle nest location?

It looks like our resident eagles may have moved their nest location to a tree higher and to the north on that usual NW point. This may be a new nesting pair or the same pair. An adult eagle and juvenile eagle have been sited at the lake recently. Here is a link to an interesting article about bald eagle nesting behavior: https://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/eagle-nesting-young/

 

 

2018 news

meeting with lake planning grant writer held

It's been another challenging summer on Potato Lake in regards to the health of the lake. With that in mind, board treasurer Joe Adler arranged a meeting with the PLA board and Dave Blumer of Lake Education and Planning Services. Dave worked for Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) and led the effort to put together our most recent lake survey (which included the surrounding watershed) and the management plan for the lake. An overview of the plan here: http://www.sehinc.com/online/potato with details in the files at the bottom of the page.

 

We met with Dave with the goal of getting an updated study and management plan for the lake. A proposal was made for the lake association to pursue a DNR grant to fund this project. The association would sponsor the grant application writing process. Board members were unanimous with its approval for Dave to move forward with the grant writing process.

 

We are in the initial stages of this process. As more details are available, we will post the details on this website and have them in the newsletter mailed to association members.

 

help other association members – recommend service providers

If you click the MEMBERS link at the top of these pages, you'll go to a page that includes a link to RECOMMENDED SERVICE PROVIDERS (http://potatolakeassociation.org/service-providers.html). As the page name suggests, this page is listing of service providers that other members have used and recommend. Help us to keep this page updated and complete. If you have other service providers that you would like to pass on to others, send them to me (kevinsmontgomery@me.com) and I'll add them in. This should be a very useful resource for all members.

 

Chinese Mystery Snails

We have had a few questions about the existence of invasive Chinese Mystery Snails in Potato Lake. As stated in a recent article on Aquatic Invasive Species, there is little we can do at this time with regards to eliminating them, and thankfully, the damage they can do is minimal. Wisconsin DNR has suggested collecting them around your dock and just throwing them into the woods. Be sure to throw them far away from the cabin, as the smell is pretty bad. Raccoons and other animals may consume them if they find them (I know my dog likes them!).

 

Potato Lake Summer Picnic

The annual Potato Lake Picnic was held on Saturday Aug 14. The Lake Association sponsors this pot-luck get together each year in August, with the association picking up the costs of the main dish, paper plates and utensils.

 

This year Joan and Larry Wilhelmy even went around to many Spooner businesses to get door prizes for the event! The following businesses donated: Ace Hardware, El Tequila Restaurant, Hardware Hank, McDonald’s, Nick’s Restaurant, River Street Restaurant, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner Family Restaurant, Spooner Outlet, and Tony’s Restaurant.

 

Please support our local businesses and please consider hosting next year!

 

 

 

The 2018 july 4th boat parade

Held this year on Saturday July 7. The day was sunny and warm, but a fairly windy day (as you can see by the flag!). We had a good number of watercraft participating this year, including a giant inflatable unicorn. Fun to see everyone enjoying themselves. This is one of the best events of our summer! See more parade pictures in Linda Pladson's and Ed Tredinnick's posts on the Potato Lake Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131670676847733/

 

 

fireworks and the eagle nest

A note from Damon Johnson: We live in the house that is under the eagle's nest on the north west side of the lake. I know we all appreciate how special they are and want them to feel comfortable sticking around for all of us to enjoy. We have experienced a lot with the eaglets as we have two that are born every year and we enjoy seeing them grow up. It is our understanding that half of all eaglets don't make it and they're very sensitive to their surroundings. We were told that the main causes of death are from pesticides, rat or mouse poison, or diseased fish. Two years ago we had an incident with the eaglets where two of them fell out of the nest and in conjunction us working with the DNR we help them get to a raptor center after we saw them injured. Unfortunately, one of them didn't make it.

The first year we were here we shot off some fireworks up our road and noticed how much it agitated the eaglets. After that event we have been more conscious about our level of noise and how we could make it a safer environment for them. Last night with the fireworks that some were shooting off on the lake, we noticed that the two eaglets left the nest and flew north and heard them calling to each other for about five hours. We don't know if it was because of the fireworks but I think we all should be thoughtful about the nest and refrain from shooting off fireworks close to the nest as we see and hear the impact and the stress it puts on them when folks do. In no way am I telling people not to have fun or shoot off fireworks on the Fourth of July but if we could keep the fireworks as far away from the north side of the lake as possible it will ensure that our eagle friends stay with us for as long as possible.

Thank you in advance for thinking about our friends on potato lake and have a wonderful safe Fourth of July. Feel free to reach out to us at anytime. Sincerely, The Johnson Family

Another note on this: according to National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines you should "avoid blasting and other activities that produce extremely loud noises within 1/2 mile of active nests." For more information, contact the Wisconsin field office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (920) 866-1725.

 

Boaters: the buoy marks the danger

Maybe you’ve noticed the bright red buoy on the southwest side of the lake. There is a fairly large bed of rocks and shallow water in this area. The buoy is over the largest of the rocks. Keep this in mind the next time you venture in this area so you don't damage your prop!

 

 

 

 

Annual meeting

The annual meeting is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26 at the Spooner Ag Center in Spooner. The meeting starts at 9:00 AM.

 

Topics to include:

The pursuit of a new lake study grant application. The lake study would be a follow up survey on the health of the lake. The association last had an aquatic plant survey on Potato Lake as part of the 2011 Lake Study grant.

 

New county ordinance regarding AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) efforts. The ordinance will require a decontamination station at the boat landing. It requires each boater to spray a mild bleach solution on their boats to kill any microscopic larvae present.

 

Discussion on a possible purchase of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that would be available to association members in case of a emergency. There was much discussion on the topic at the annual picnic.

 

 

track the ice out date?

Ice finally cleared on the lake on May 2, 2018. Much later this year than last. It would be nice to keep a historical listing of ice out dates for the lake. Not sure that we can draw any conclusions for this data, but it would be interesting to have.

 

Does anyone remember the date for last year or any previous year? It was early last year – we have pictures with our boat on the lake on April 1.

 

2017 news

annual meeting held

The association's annual meeting was held on May 27. The two biggest takeaways were about the health of the lake and a piece of property donated to the association.

Health of the lake: after the mild winter the lake shows good oxygen readings and some of the clearest water on record.

Property donated to the association: the board accepted the donation of a small piece of lakeshore on the southwest corner of Potato Lake. (It's a .65 acre parcel that is outlined in red on this map.) The property cannot be developed as is (the property isn't level and is mostly muck and weeds. Its current tax value is $1000 with no improved value. It has property taxes of about $14 per year. There are no current plans for this property.

 

the simple joy of the July 4th Parade

We had a bright and sunny day for this year's boat parade (though it's still a little cool for my taste!). I think we had less boats participating this year (probably because the 4th fell on a Tuesday this year), but we might have had more people watching from the shore. This event is a fun way to celebrate the birth of our country and enjoy all that Potato Lake offers us!

 

For more parade images go to the Potato Lake Association Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131670676847733/

 

 

 

 

 

new concrete Pads installed at the boat landing

Your property tax dollars at work! Crystal Township installed new concrete pads to the boat landing. This is a nice upgrade from the gravel bed. Kelley Casey said the new landing made "the launch of our fishing boat effortless." Kudos to Jack Wolf for being the point person working with the township to get this much needed upgrade completed.

 

One more note on this from Joe Adler: We have waited several years for the township to make these improvement to the landing, and want to be sure that people loading their boats use the proper methods to prevent recurring damage to the landing. Please DO NOT powerload your boats. This has created holes in the lake bottom on the end of the landing, and made it increasingly difficult to launch and retrieve watercraft. The landing is now in good condition, and we hope it will stay that way. Thanks for your cooperation on this.

 

Potato Lake Summer Picnic

The annual Potato Lake Picnic was held on Saturday Aug 20. Kelley and Deb Casey graciously hosted the event, which was made more challenging because of the rain. The Lake Association has this pot-luck event each year in August, with the association picking up the costs of the main dish, paper plates and utensils. Please consider hosting next year!

 

help new neighbors – recommend service providers

Memorial weekend we met some new neighbors who moved in that weekend. They are pretty excited to be on Potato Lake, it’s their first venture into full-time cabin life. Naturally they have a lot of plans for their cabin (including adding a new dock and stairs down to the dock). They asked us if we had recommendations on these and we didn’t. Have you used any dock installers or stair installers you would recommend? How about other service providers that you would to pass on to others. Send them to me (kevinsmontgomery@me.com) and I’ll add to our provider list: http://potatolakeassociation.org/service-providers.html This should be a very useful resource for all Potato Lake Association members.

 

Kayak for sale

10 ft Mainstream kayak for sale original price $395. We are selling it for $150. If interested please contact Rod at (352) 693-0014.

 

 

4th of July boat parade Was a hit!

It's official – the 3rd annual Potato Lake boat parade was a hit! A record 24 watercraft participated in the parade and many more people enjoyed the view from docks. Thanks to all who participated – whether you were on a boat or a dock – it was a fun event! And based on the number of the ornately decorated boats, docks, and people this year, we really have to step it up to top it next year. If you have any ideas to turn it up a notch, pass them onto kevinsmontgomery@me.com

 

Annual meeting held

The association held its annual meeting on May 28, and there was a lot of thoughtful discussion about Potato Lake and how we can best protect it in the future. As a relative “newbie” to Potato Lake (this is our 3rd summer here), I really appreciate the association’s focus on the health and wellbeing of the lake. Under the leadership of the association’s board (and especially Joe Adler) we have a comprehensive lake plan in place. It’s become very apparent to me that Joe spends A LOT of time monitoring the lake, attending lake water quality conferences, building connections and his expertise on lake health. We are lucky to have Joe do all he does!

 

 

What’s new?

2022 news

want to connect on a lunch date?
the annual PLA Picnic is saturday August 6

Are you new to the lake (or not really connected to anyone here yet)? You should take some time to stop by the PLA potluck picnic at noon. This event is a great chance to meet other folks who share the lake!

 

Believe me, it's nice to have a connection with others here. We've found that at Potato Lake, everyday life can get extreme. For example, we've been stranded on our pontoon a couple of times, then rescued by a cabin neighbor (thanks Steve and Bruce)! We've also been helped during heavy weather, with downed trees, with nuisance animals, etc. It's been nice to have neighbors who have your back. So set this lunch date in your calendar, stop by, and connect (especially you west-siders!)

This year's event will be hosted by Glen and Donna Dummer at their cabin (N5271 2nd St. – it's close to the public boat landing.)  A main course of chicken will be provided. Please bring a dish to share (if you can) as well as your favorite beverage and a chair. Hope to see you there!

Study measures the power of wake boats on lakes

The UM study showed that a wake boat produces waves 3x the height of waves from a ski boat pulling a skier. While the study didn’t measure the effects on lake shorelines, it found wake boats require a greater distance from shore to reduce the potential impact of their large waves.

 

Currently there are no state, county, nor association regulations specific to wake boats, but the board hopes for courtesy and common sense from all boaters no matter the type of watercraft. Maybe consider wake boarding on one of the larger lakes in the area instead. It would be easier to stay away from docks and shorelines (and the extra room probably would be more fun for those boaters and surfers).

For more on the study: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/kare11-sunrise/wake-boat-study-university-of-minnesota-st-anthony-falls/89-f3b53537-78a0-49b0-a5c1-9363000b5fbb

 

link to the annual meeting via zoom

Join us at the annual spring meeting via Zoom on Tuesday June 14 at 7PM.

 

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cuningham.zoom.us/j/92082711780

 

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +13017158592,92082711780#  or +13126266799,92082711780#

 

Meeting ID: 920 8271 1780

 

When you join the meeting, please mute yourself when not speaking to eliminate background noise interruptions. See you there!

 

Please join us Tuesday June 14 at 7PM for a Zoom annual Meeting.

A link with to the Zoom meeting will be sent to association members' email addresses on file. Board VP Kelley Casey (kelley.casey5431@gmail.com) will send out the email. Add his name to your email contacts so the link doesn't end up in your spam folder. Email Kelley if you need to update your email address.

 

The link will be posted on this news page on that Tuesday and also on the association Facebook page.

 

In this meeting, you'll get updates about the status of the lake, you'll learn some of the steps the board has taken to keep it healthy in the future, and you'll have a chance to ask questions or share comments. (We will also take some time to review association business.)

 

If you own property at Potato Lake, you are connected to every other property owner there – by the lake itself. It's important that we (and our guests) know how to be better caretakers of the lake. The joy and pleasure we receive from the lake (and the value of our properties) is directly related to the lake's health. So, please invest some of your time to join the association meeting, learn what's happening with the lake, and maybe find new ways to be more involved in protecting its future. See you then!

 

Association annual Meeting scheduled

Our second virtual annual meeting will be Tuesday, June 14 at 7 PM (via Zoom). The board felt that the Zoom meeting last year was effective and convenient, so we'll continue with this format. An email with a link to the live meeting will be sent to the current PLA email list. It will also be available on this website and PLA Facebook page. All members are welcomed and encouraged to attend virtually.

 

Quarterly Board meeting held

On May 22, the PLA board held its quarterly meeting via Zoom. There's no major news to report from the meeting. Two topics that all should be aware of though are:

  1. The proposed Spooner Lake RV Campground. This 200 site campground could potentially increase fishing boat traffic on Potato Lake.
  2. The need for new board members (especially representatives from the west side of the lake).
  3.  

ICE out!

Our "official" ice out date for the lake was April 24 this year. This is much later than recent years.

 

 

2021 news

PLA board approves eradication of nuisance beavers

Activities by beavers, including a large dam on Potato Creek, caused damage in several areas in the Potato Lake watershed. The board worked with WI DNR and Washburn County officials for a solution.

 

As a reminder, Potato Lake has several underground springs that continually feed water to the lake, with Potato Creek as the outlet for this flow. It's a considerable amount of spring-fed water, as it flows north and west, eventually making its way to Trego Lake. Normally this flow from the lake to the creek keeps the lake at a consistent level at all times. However, the beavers are affecting the natural state of our watershed.

 

The beavers built a large dam that blocked much of the flow of the creek. There is also a culvert that goes under 2nd Street that allows the spring-fed water from the lake to flow into the creek. The beavers put materials that slow the water flow through the culvert.

 

These two blockages caused the large pond between the beaver dam and the culvert. As this pond expands, it kills the surrounding trees creating a fire risk.

 

Additionally, these blockages cause the lake's level to rise. This may not sound bad at first, but over time this rising water affects the properties with the most level shorelines. Several inches of water in the lake means the water creeps up several FEET onto those properties, killing the plants and trees that help filter runoff heading to the lake. The beavers have also downed many recently-planted saplings property owners planted to help filter runoff.

 

Harley Wells worked with Wisconsin DNR to hire an approved nuisance beaver trapper. The trapper completed this project November 6. The beaver dam and culvert have been cleared enough to allow regular water flow and now the lake level is close to normal. More details will be available at the annual board meeting. Information about DNR beaver control guidelines is available here: https://widnr.widen.net/content/m10ch9z9t4/pdf/beaverdamage.pdf

 

 

 

we had a Picnic and a meeting broke out!

Glen and Donna Dummer hosted the PLA annual picnic this past Saturday. The day was off-and-on rainy, so we were lucky that the Dummers had a roomy three-season porch for us to fit into. Good food, good conversation, and great desserts! were shared. Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp? Yes, please!

 

Joan and Larry Wilhelmy again went around to many Spooner businesses to get door prizes for the event! Tony's Restaurant, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner Outlet, and other businesses donated prizes. Congratulations to the drawing winners and please support the area's local businesses!

 

The board held a quick meeting after lunch to address two matters:

1.) The need to amend the association by laws to add flexibility to number of members needed on the board and to clarify that partner board members (a husband and a wife at the same Potato Lake property for example) only count as one vote during procedural votes with the board. This motion passed without objection.

 

2.) The need to elect a new PLA treasurer (to replace Joe Adler). Traci and Steve Miller were nominated and elected to our treasurer position. (No other candidates were nominated or came forward.) Thanks for volunteering Traci and Steve! And Joe, thanks for all you've done for the PLA over the years!

 

The next PLA board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 5. This will be a Zoom meeting and all association members are welcomed to join the meeting. Look for more information as we get closer to the date.

 

Join us for our Annual Picnic

The Annual Potluck Picnic is scheduled for August 7 at noon. This year's event will be hosted by Glen and Donna Dummer at their cabin (N5271 2nd St.)

 

The picnic is a great chance to meet other folks who share the lake! A main course of chicken will be provided. Please bring a dish to share (if you can) as well as your favorite beverage and a chair. Hope to see you there!

 

FYI, there also will be a quick PLA meeting about adding new board members.

 

first virtual Annual Meeting held

A PLA milestone, our first virtual annual meeting was held on June 14 (via Zoom). While attendance was down some, convenience was way up. We have two additional Zoom meetings planned this year for July 13 and Oct. 5 (both at 6:30 PM). An email with a link to the live meeting will be sent to the current PLA email list. All members are welcomed and encouraged to attend virtually.

 

A quick recap of meeting highlights:

  • Dave Blumer, of Lake Education And Planning Services (www.leapsllc.com), gave an overview of the work he did for us. Dave completed a new lake study and management plan proposal for 2021-2025 that was submitted to WI DNR. He also help write a grant proposal to the WI DNR that has been approved. More info here: http://potatolakeassociation.org/water-management.html
  • Because we didn't have a meeting in 2020, the board caught up membership on two years of required reporting including the Treasurer's report, the Secretary's report, and various lake-status items that board members monitor (water level, Secchi readings, and oxygen levels).
  • Board officers Harley Wells and Kelley Casey were reelected to their positions. Kevin Montgomery was nominated and elected new treasurer. These are two-year terms.
  • In related board news. Joe Adler is stepping down from the board after years of faithful service to the PLA and the lake. The board encourages all members – new residents and old residents – to follow Joe's example: be more involved in caring for Potato Lake through the association! The PLA community will benefit from new points of view and new voices. We have 52 paid memberships this year out of 77 owners (which is a really high percentage of members for a lake association!). Ideally in the future, we will get many more members to take the next steps, such as attending association meetings and being available to be elected to the board.

 

Complete minutes of the meeting are available by request from Donna Krisch donnakrisch@gmail.com

 

put the boat parade into your calendar!

Join us on Saturday, July 3 at 4 PM for our 7th annual Independence Day Boat Parade.

 

Decorate your favorite vessel – boat, kayak, paddleboard, or even inflatable unicorn – and meet us down at the landing at 4 PM.

 

We'll do a semi-organized lap around the lake as we celebrate our independence.

 

If you're boatless (or would rather just watch) join the fun from your dock. The more the merrier!

 

I think 24 is our current record for boats participating. Let's see if we can top it this year!

 

Please join us tomorrow night at 6:30 PM (Tuesday 6/14) for the first virtual Annual Spring Meeting.

In this meeting, you'll get updates about the status of the lake, you'll learn some of the steps the board has taken to keep it healthy in the future, and you'll have a chance to ask questions or share comments. (We will also take some time to review association business.)

 

If you own property at Potato Lake, you are connected to every other property owner there – by the lake itself. It's important that we (and our guests) know how to be better caretakers of the lake. The joy and pleasure we receive from the lake (and the value of our properties) is directly related to the lake's health. So, please invest some of your time to join the association meeting, learn what's happening with the lake, and maybe find new ways to be more involved in protecting its future.

 

To join the meeting from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cuningham.zoom.us/j/93517181601

Meeting ID: 935 1718 1601

 

If you're new to Zoom meetings and want to join, here is a useful start up guide: https://www.seniorsguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/SeniorsGuide-stepbystepguidetoZoom-english0620.pdf

 

a cool memorial day weekend, but we still had a lot of boat traffic!

The boat landing was a busy place for the unofficial start of cabin season. Friday especially was crowded!
Now is a good time to remind your guests of safety guidelines when operating a watercraft on WI lakes (especially if you aren't there to monitor them).

 

BOATING SAFETY AND ETIQUETTE RULES TO FOLLOW

1. Coming from another lake? Always clean your boat BEFORE AND AFTER launching into Potato Lake. Use the decontamination station at the boat launch.

2. Power boats minimize your wake impact! Operate at no wake speed within 100’ of shorelines and docks.

3 Power boats stay 100’ clear of paddle crafts, anchored boats, swimmers, and wildlife.

4. PWCs (Sea Doos, Jet Skis, etc.) maintain extra control when closer than 100’ to any other watercraft.  When within 200’ from shore, operate at no wake speed.

5. All operators of PWC must wear approved personal flotation devices (PFD).

6. All water skiers, tubers, etc. must wear PFDs.

7. All boats must carry PFDs for all passengers.

8. Skiing, wake boarding, and tubing from 10AM until sunset.

9. All watercraft operating at night must have running lights with red/green fore lights and a white aft light.

10. Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is illegal.

Boating is a shared experience, operate your watercraft with proper caution and courtesy to others.

 

Hot ash causes 1/2 acre wildland fire near Potato Lake.

On Nov. 3, 2020, someone dumped garden trimmings and hot ashes off the trail that connects to the County Forest land. The ash started a fire that burned about half an acre. Luckily someone saw the smoke from the fire, notified authorities, and firefighters quickly extinguished the fire. WI DNR has investigated the incident. Investigators found tire tracks by the fire, and it appears someone used an ATV to dumped the ashes and trimmings. Anyone with information about this incident should contact Renae Essenmacher of the WI DNR at (715) 410-8371.

 

dumping yard waste adds to our fire danger

Over this fall/winter/spring, someone dumped trimmed branches and small trees in the same County Forest trail where the fire occurred. Not only is this dumping illegal, but it's also dangerous. Debris burning is the leading cause of wildfires in Wisconsin. We’ve had a dry spring, so yard waste is like kindling for a fire. One spark could endanger all the properties around Potato Lake. (As of May 15, 2021 WI DNR has suspended all burning permits. Washburn County is listed as a very high wildfire risk.)

 

use this free drop off site for yard waste

The City of Spooner Wood Burning Facility is a drop-off site for yard waste. It is free of charge to Spooner residents. The location is off of County Road A, east of US HWY 53. The best directions heading west from Potato Lake are to take County M north, then head west (left) on County A. The entrance is on the north (right) side just after Mann Rd. The site takes cut brush and yard waste only (no bags of any kind). Hours are from 7AM - 3PM daily.

 

Spring 2021 ice out

It was a very early ice out date for us: March 29, 2021. Unfortunately ice out in March didn't lead to a balmy April. Temperatures were unseasonably cold.

 

 

2020 news

The 2020 summer season at Potato Lake was odd — like the entire year has seemed so far. The pandemic forced us to change many routines and forced the PLA board to cancel the association annual full association meetings.

 

Here are a few updates to be aware of:

 

• Maybe you've seen the new boat decontamination station at the landing (boaters use this station to quickly clean boats to prevent the possible introduction of invasive species into our lake.) The station is part of the WI DNR Clean Boats Clean Waters initiative. These stations seem to have made a positive impact here and elsewhere. According to a 2017-2020 survey of lakes in Burnett and Washburn counties, no new lakes have tested positive for zebra mussels. As a reminder, several popular lakes nearby do have zebra mussels (or other invasive species), so all boats entering the lake need to be decontaminated first. Please let your visitors be aware of this station.

 

• Dave Blumer (a lake educator the board has hired to help us) is moving forward on a new lake study and management plan proposal for 2021-2025. One option is harvesting of aquatic vegetation in the densest areas of the lake. The board plans to have a zoom meeting soon with Dave to discuss the results of his survey and any potential ideas to help keep the lake healthy and enjoyable for recreation. Hopefully there are ways that we can mitigate some the issues from the dense vegetation we saw this year. We hope to have the usual association meeting during the 2021 Memorial Day weekend to discuss results with the full association.

 

• The board is also looking for ways to make all residents aware of county zoning regulations regarding landscaping on lakeshore areas. It's important for all residents to follow these best practices for the ongoing health of the lake.

 

• The board is also considering creating a sign for the landing with a "courtesy code" displaying regulations for water skiing hours, distance requirements from shore for personal watercraft, and other ordinances.

 

 

July 4th Boat Parade

Despite the weirdness of Covid 19 social distancing (or maybe because of it) we had an awesome boat parade on July 4 with 28 boats and lots of families participating on shore! Thanks to Glen and Donna Dummer for hosting this event each year. It's one of the highlights of summer at the Potato!

 

2020 ICE Out

Harley Wells has reported April 7 as our official ice out date for 2020. Last year it was April 21 and for 2018 the ice out date was May 2. Docks are being installed!

 

Check your shoreline ASAP!

If any of you plan on coming up in the next few weeks, check the lake shore around your cabin for dead fish. There is a concern of a potential freeze out of fish due to the long ice cover and the low oxygen readings.

 

Joe Adler takes oxygen readings of the lake over the winter. This year he reports that the oxygen level is lower than normal. Probable reasons are that the lake froze over early this winter, on November 1. On top of that we had early snows that prevent sunlight from getting to oxygen-producing plants growing beneath the ice. Wisconsin DNR confirmed that many shallower lakes like ours have experienced very low readings. Hopefully this early ice out will mitigate some of the problem.

 

Please let Joe know if you see anything, as he will keep the DNR informed. Contact him at  jmadler42@gmail.com or by cell at 612-356-8525. Thanks for keeping an eye on the Potato Joe!

 

 

2019 news

Lake property Owner survey

A component of our updated lake study and management report is a survey of all property owners on Potato Lake. The questionnaire helps us to understand our impact, the most typical usage of the lake, and to possibly identify ways to improve the overall health of the lake for all residents. Look for this survey to come in the mail toward the end of August. Please take a few minutes to complete it and send it back in. Thanks!

Annual PLA Picnic held

A special thanks to Joan and Larry Wilhelmy and Mary Ezzo and Paul Sundquist for hosting and making all the arrangements. The weather cooperated and the food was wonderful. Guest speaker Dave Blumer (lake educator at Lake Education and Planning Services, LLC) provided an update on the grant project and had examples of invasive species to help everyone learn to identify them. Be sure to put the PLA picnic on your calendar for next year! We try to schedule it for the first weekend of August.

AED Update

After a survey of PLA members about the purchase of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for Potato Lake residents, the PLA Board has decided not to purchase one. Although there was an overwhelming majority voting "Yes" to purchase the AED, there simply  wasn't a high enough response rate from regular PLA members to justify the purchase. Only 15 votes were cast.

AED Survey – your opinion matters!

The PLA Board is recommending purchasing an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for Potato Lake residents. Currently First Responders can take up to 20 minutes to reach Potato Lake. As we all know time is of the essence if someone is having heart distress.

 

Details:

  • AED unit is simple to use with many built-in safeguards. For more info: https://www.physio-control.com/WCProductDetails.aspx?id=2147498014&langtype=2057
  • AED unit would be located in a visible location on 1st St. outside of the cabin of a year-round lake resident
  • Directions to AED location would be posted lakeside and roadside, pictures of location to be sent to PLA members (if we go forward with purchase).
  • AED will be available May 1 - Sept. 30 (depending on temperature, it cannot be stored outside below freezing)
  • Cost approx. $2,200.  (Paid for by current PLA Association funds)
  • Included in package with the AED: outdoor cabinet, AED sign, device management for 1 year
  • Yearly management fee $105 (First year is included in price)
  • Warranty 8 years (Typical life span for these units is 8 years)

Please respond YES or NO about going forward with this purchase. Email rich.krisch@gmail.com
Please put Potato Lake AED Survey in the subject line with your vote (yes or no).

for sale: 1997 SeaDoo, trailer, and lift

1997 SeaDoo GSI 720cc 90 HP Bombardier.

It's 9ft. Low Hours = 128. Runs great, excellent condition!

Includes Hewitt 9' jet ski lift and Karavan jet ski trailer. Total for all three $2.250.00

If interested, call Larry and Joan Wilhelmy at 715-635-5335.

 

Call for Volunteers

As you know, we are in the process of executing the latest DNR lake study grant. Part of this grant calls for us to monitor our boat landing as part of the Clean Boats Clean Waters program.  This involves talking with boaters entering and leaving Potato Lake, and checking to be sure there are no invasive species on their boats. We also look to acquaint them with all of the regulations involved with the proper disposal of bait, and the rules regarding draining all water from their boats.

 

We have several hundred hours of volunteer time built into the grant, and would like to see some people step forward to volunteer some time for this endeavor. It's an easy task; just take a lawn chair and a good book and sit in the shade at the landing for a few hours. Four PLA directors have received Clean Boats Clean Waters training and can show how it is done. If requested, they may also spend some time getting you started at the landing. Those people are: Larry & Joan Wilhelmy - 763-218-6243, Kelley Casey - 651-788-6072, Harley Wells - 612-867-9186, Joe Adler - 612-356-8525

 

All of the paperwork will be located in 2 backpacks which are hanging by the front door of our cabin (N5233 2nd St – see picture). After you are acquainted with the process, just stop and get a backpack and spend some time at the landing. Your time is recorded on the sheets, so you don't have to contact me.  Just return the backpack when you are done. It would be especially beneficial to have someone at the landing on weekends. Also, we have hats and T-shirts for you to wear that identify you as Clean Boats Clean Waters representatives. Let me know if I can provide any additional support to help anyone volunteer for this work.

Thanks. Joe Adler

A beautiful Memorial weekend

We finally received some much welcomed warm weather in northwest WI. That Sunday was just about perfect: High temperature about 76 degrees F with clear skies and light winds. Water temp was still cool, about 60 degrees, but the lake was busy. There were boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, a few jet skis, even some hardy souls being towed on inflatables out. Hopefully this starts a nice weekend weather trend for us this summer!

 

Annual Meeting held

Another annual meeting is in the books. A rep from the WI DNR spoke about fire safety. Three takeaways I had were: there have been some major fires in our area caused by simple accidents, that a homeowner may have a financial liability for expenses related to stopping the fire (think equipment, supplies, and work hours), and unless your fire is in a your fire pit, you probably need a permit (no brush, trash or debris burning).

 

Also discussed in more detail is the plan to update our lake study and management reports. This process should begin this summer.

 

Another topic was setting up a decontamination station at the landing to help boaters remove possible invasive species from their boats and trailers. Look for more information this soon.

 

ICE Out!

Jeff Wold has reported that April 21 is our official ice out date for 2019 (thanks for the picture!). The 2018 ice out date was May 2.

If anyone happens to have the ice out dates for 2017 (I think it was much earlier that year) or other years not listed, let me know. It would be nice to keep a historical listing of ice out dates for the lake. Not sure that we can draw any conclusions for this data, but it would be interesting to have.

 

PLA receives grant award

Good news for Potato Lake! The grant application submitted last fall to the WI DNR was approved. The grant award will cover much of the costs of a new survey/study of the health of the lake (and surrounding watershed) and updates to our management plan for the lake based on the result. Lake residents should look for more information about the survey (and any results) in the future.

 

help stop the invasion!

On Saturday April 20, 2019 the Washburn County Land and Water Conservation Department hosted its Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) workshop. In attendance were PLA board members Harley Wells, Kelley Casey and Joe Adler.

The course covered identification of invasive species such as Eurasian milfoil, Curly Pond weed, and zebra mussels, the importance of proper draining of all lake water-related equipment on our boats, and having equipment for effective cleaning of all watercraft entering and exiting the lake.

Also discussed were the Washburn and Burnett County ordinances regarding decontamination requirements at boat landings. Monitoring will be taking place at the landing for watercraft entering and exiting the lake.
Let's all do our parts to protect Potato Lake! Remind your visitors with watercraft how important this is to the health of the lake.

 

Annual meeting

The annual meeting is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 25 at the Spooner Ag Center in Spooner.
The meeting starts at 9:00 AM. A representative from the DNR Forestry Dept. will take a few minutes to speak about fire prevention, fire permits and fire danger awareness.

 

New eagle nest location?

It looks like our resident eagles may have moved their nest location to a tree higher and to the north on that usual NW point. This may be a new nesting pair or the same pair. An adult eagle and juvenile eagle have been sited at the lake recently. Here is a link to an interesting article about bald eagle nesting behavior: https://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/eagle-nesting-young/

 

Drive carefully!

The winter’s frost has caused significant heaves on 1st St.

 

2018 news

meeting with lake planning grant writer held

It's been another challenging summer on Potato Lake in regards to the health of the lake. With that in mind, board treasurer Joe Adler arranged a meeting with the PLA board and Dave Blumer of Lake Education and Planning Services. Dave worked for Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) and led the effort to put together our most recent lake survey (which included the surrounding watershed) and the management plan for the lake. An overview of the plan here: http://www.sehinc.com/online/potato with details in the files at the bottom of the page.

 

We met with Dave with the goal of getting an updated study and management plan for the lake. A proposal was made for the lake association to pursue a DNR grant to fund this project. The association would sponsor the grant application writing process. Board members were unanimous with its approval for Dave to move forward with the grant writing process.

 

We are in the initial stages of this process. As more details are available, we will post the details on this website and have them in the newsletter mailed to association members.

 

help other association members – recommend service providers

If you click the MEMBERS link at the top of these pages, you'll go to a page that includes a link to RECOMMENDED SERVICE PROVIDERS (http://potatolakeassociation.org/service-providers.html). As the page name suggests, this page is listing of service providers that other members have used and recommend. Help us to keep this page updated and complete. If you have other service providers that you would like to pass on to others, send them to me (kevinsmontgomery@me.com) and I'll add them in. This should be a very useful resource for all members.

 

Chinese Mystery Snails

We have had a few questions about the existence of invasive Chinese Mystery Snails in Potato Lake. As stated in a recent article on Aquatic Invasive Species, there is little we can do at this time with regards to eliminating them, and thankfully, the damage they can do is minimal. Wisconsin DNR has suggested collecting them around your dock and just throwing them into the woods. Be sure to throw them far away from the cabin, as the smell is pretty bad. Raccoons and other animals may consume them if they find them (I know my dog likes them!).

 

Potato Lake Summer Picnic

The annual Potato Lake Picnic was held on Saturday Aug 14. The Lake Association sponsors this pot-luck get together each year in August, with the association picking up the costs of the main dish, paper plates and utensils.

 

This year Joan and Larry Wilhelmy even went around to many Spooner businesses to get door prizes for the event! The following businesses donated: Ace Hardware, El Tequila Restaurant, Hardware Hank, McDonald’s, Nick’s Restaurant, River Street Restaurant, Schmitz’s Economart, Spooner Family Restaurant, Spooner Outlet, and Tony’s Restaurant.

 

Please support our local businesses and please consider hosting next year!

 

The 2018 july 4th boat parade

Held this year on Saturday July 7. The day was sunny and warm, but a fairly windy day (as you can see by the flag!). We had a good number of watercraft participating this year, including a giant inflatable unicorn. Fun to see everyone enjoying themselves. This is one of the best events of our summer! See pictures in Linda Pladson's and Ed Tredinnick's posts on the Potato Lake Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131670676847733/

 

 

fireworks and the eagle nest

A note from Damon Johnson: We live in the house that is under the eagle's nest on the north west side of the lake. I know we all appreciate how special they are and want them to feel comfortable sticking around for all of us to enjoy. We have experienced a lot with the eaglets as we have two that are born every year and we enjoy seeing them grow up. It is our understanding that half of all eaglets don't make it and they're very sensitive to their surroundings. We were told that the main causes of death are from pesticides, rat or mouse poison, or diseased fish. Two years ago we had an incident with the eaglets where two of them fell out of the nest and in conjunction us working with the DNR we help them get to a raptor center after we saw them injured. Unfortunately, one of them didn't make it.

The first year we were here we shot off some fireworks up our road and noticed how much it agitated the eaglets. After that event we have been more conscious about our level of noise and how we could make it a safer environment for them. Last night with the fireworks that some were shooting off on the lake, we noticed that the two eaglets left the nest and flew north and heard them calling to each other for about five hours. We don't know if it was because of the fireworks but I think we all should be thoughtful about the nest and refrain from shooting off fireworks close to the nest as we see and hear the impact and the stress it puts on them when folks do. In no way am I telling people not to have fun or shoot off fireworks on the Fourth of July but if we could keep the fireworks as far away from the north side of the lake as possible it will ensure that our eagle friends stay with us for as long as possible.

Thank you in advance for thinking about our friends on potato lake and have a wonderful safe Fourth of July. Feel free to reach out to us at anytime. Sincerely, The Johnson Family

Another note on this: according to National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines you should "avoid blasting and other activities that produce extremely loud noises within 1/2 mile of active nests." For more information, contact the Wisconsin field office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (920) 866-1725.

 

Boaters: the buoy marks the danger

Maybe you’ve noticed the bright red buoy on the southwest side of the lake. There is a fairly large bed of rocks and shallow water in this area. The buoy is over the largest of the rocks. Keep this in mind the next time you venture in this area so you don't damage your prop!

 

track the ice out date?

Ice finally cleared on the lake on May 2, 2018. Much later this year than last. It would be nice to keep a historical listing of ice out dates for the lake. Not sure that we can draw any conclusions for this data, but it would be interesting to have.

 

Does anyone remember the date for last year or any previous year? It was early last year – we have pictures with our boat on the lake on April 1.

 

Annual meeting

The annual meeting is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26 at the Spooner Ag Center in Spooner. The meeting starts at 9:00 AM.

 

Topics to include:

The pursuit of a new lake study grant application. The lake study would be a follow up survey on the health of the lake. The association last had an aquatic plant survey on Potato Lake as part of the 2011 Lake Study grant.

 

New county ordinance regarding AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) efforts. The ordinance will require a decontamination station at the boat landing. It requires each boater to spray a mild bleach solution on their boats to kill any microscopic larvae present.

 

Discussion on a possible purchase of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that would be available to association members in case of a emergency. There was much discussion on the topic at the annual picnic.

 

The july 4th boat parade

The annual Potato Lake 4th of July boat parade is on again! Decorate your favorite watercraft and join the fun! Parade starts at noon just north of the landing.

 

We had 20+ boats participating 2016 ... let's see if we can break the record of participation this year. See you there!

 

 

 

 

 

2017 News

the simple joy of the July 4th Parade

We had a bright and sunny day for this year's boat parade (though it's still a little cool for my taste!). I think we had less boats participating this year (probably because the 4th fell on a Tuesday this year), but we might have had more people watching from the shore. This event is a fun way to celebrate the birth of our country and enjoy all that Potato Lake offers us!

To see images of the parade participants, go to the Potato Lake Association Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131670676847733/

 

annual meeting held

The association's annual meeting was held on May 27. The two biggest takeaways were about the health of the lake and a piece of property donated to the association.

Health of the lake: after the mild winter the lake shows good oxygen readings and some of the clearest water on record.

Property donated to the association: the board accepted the donation of a small piece of lakeshore on the southwest corner of Potato Lake. (It's a .65 acre parcel.) The property cannot be developed as is (the property isn't level and is mostly muck and weeds. Its current tax value is $1000 with no improved value. It has property taxes of about $14 per year. There are no current plans for this property.

 

new concrete Pads installed at
the boat landing

Your property tax dollars at work! Crystal Township installed new concrete pads to the boat landing. This is a nice upgrade from the gravel bed. Kelley Casey said the new landing made "the launch of our fishing boat effortless." Kudos to Jack Wolf for being the point person working with the township to get this much needed upgrade completed.

 

Potato Lake Summer Picnic

The annual Potato Lake Picnic will be held on Saturday August 20 at noon. Kelley and Deb Casey have graciously agreed to host the event, which will take place in the north bay (N5431 1st Street). Come by road or water. The Lake Association will provide the meat and extras (such as paper plates and plastic “silverware”). Everyone brings something to share and their own beverages. All are welcome, come meet your neighbors! Hope to see you on August 20.

help new neighbors – recommend service providers

Memorial weekend we met some new neighbors who moved in that weekend. They are pretty excited to be on Potato Lake, it’s their first venture into full-time cabin life. Naturally they have a lot of plans for their cabin (including adding a new dock and stairs down to the dock). They asked us if we had recommendations on these and we didn’t. Have you used any dock installers or stair installers you would recommend? How about other service providers that you would to pass on to others. Send them to me (kevinsmontgomery@me.com) and I’ll add to our provider list: http://potatolakeassociation.org/service-providers.html This should be a very useful resource for all Potato Lake Association members.

Kayak for sale

10 ft Mainstream kayak for sale original price $395. We are selling it for $150. If interested please contact Rod at (352) 693-0014.

4th of July boat parade is a hit!

It's official – the 3rd annual Potato Lake boat parade was a hit! A record 24 watercraft participated in the parade and many more people enjoyed the view from docks. Thanks to all who participated – whether you were on a boat or a dock – it was a fun event! And based on the number of the ornately decorated boats, docks, and people this year, we really have to step it up to top it next year. If you have any ideas to turn it up a notch, pass them onto kevinsmontgomery@me.com

 

 

Annual meeting held

The association held its annual meeting on May 28, and there was a lot of thoughtful discussion about Potato Lake and how we can best protect it in the future. As a relative “newbie” to Potato Lake (this is our 3rd summer here), I really appreciate the association’s focus on the health and wellbeing of the lake. Under the leadership of the association’s board (and especially Joe Adler) we have a comprehensive lake plan in place. It’s become very apparent to me that Joe spends A LOT of time monitoring the lake, attending lake water quality conferences, building connections and his expertise on lake health. We are lucky to have Joe do all he does!

 

PLA board officers

Harley Wells, President - hgwells43@gmail.com

Kelley Casey, Vice President - Kelley.casey5431@gmail.com

Joe Adler, Treasurer - jmadler42@gmail.com

Donna & Rich Krisch, Secretary - donnakrisch@gmail.com

Larry & Joan Wilhelmy, Director - joanw0301@yahoo.com

Jack Wolf, Director - wolfminn1@charter.net

Kevin Montgomery, Director- kevinsmontgomery@me.com