As part of the Door County Festival of Nature celebrated over Memorial Day weekend, Tom Schneider led two tours involving 13 participants to inspect and learn about the new “Fish Sticks” that were installed over the winter. Over the 75 minute gatherings, participants learned about how our KLA and The Nature Conservancy volunteers started and will continue to place significantly more trees on the shoreline of Kangaroo Lake as more lake property owners come to know the positive effects this strategy produces on the eco-system of our lake.
If you might be interested in placing a tree on your property, contact Tom Schneider.
Photos of Festival of Nature Participants submitted by Tom Schneider
Also as part of the Festival of Nature, Paul and Marilyn Mahlberg led a hike on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24 in The Ridges Sanctuary, Logan Creek Park. The hikes lasted about 2 hours, going up and down through several different ecosystems. Each ecosystem displayed different trees and wild flowers, continually bringing interest to the hike. The hike also included a side trip to Clark Lake, which receives its water from Logan Creek.
Logan Creek Park is open to the public and can be found just southeast of Mr. G’s Supper Club.
There are many hikes at The Ridges, including guided hikes during the Festival of Nature Their new building (north of Baileys Harbor) will be open to the public on June 13. Go and visit it; while there, join The Ridges, to support its unique ecosystems and programs. They hold a range of programs for children (or grandchildren) and, of course, adults.
Our own Paul Mahlberg has been recognized by the Wisconsin DNR, the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, and the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network for his dedication to observing Kangaroo Lake’s habitat for over 20 years. Check out this great statewide recognition of Paul (& Marilyn).
Paul, thanks for sharing so many of your gifts with us and many others on Kangaroo Lake!
In 2014 we received a grant to help our shorelines, and we have begun work on our three-year project. Here is press coverage of the first seven installations we did on February 14, 2015:
- Press Release from KLA & The Nature Conservancy
- Milwaukee Journal Statewide – Don Behm
- Door County Advocate – Kevin Naze
Read Tom’s first-hand account of the day: Guys on Ice II
We are beginning a list of members who want to host a Fish Stick complex in winter, 2016. For more information, contact Tom Schneider. Here’s more information on our Shoreline Preservation Grant.
Through cooperation between the Kangaroo Lake Association and the Nature Conservancy, Kari Hagenow will continue to coordinate volunteer efforts to remove Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) from the north end of Kangaroo Lake in 2015. EWM differs from and crowds out native milfoil and other native aquatic plants, which are beneficial. In 2014, volunteers removed approximately 250 pounds of the non-native invasive species, by pulling the plants from the roots and gathering in kayaks and canoes. Locations of EWM planned for future removal were mapped by GPS.
If you are interested in volunteering to help remove EWM and preserve the diversity of plants and habitat of Kangaroo Lake in 2015, please contact Kari at [email protected]. To learn more about EWM, please visit the Learning Center (See Education Paper #2 in our Learning Center).
Thanks to our 2014 volunteers, including Lucy Klug and Ryan Pesch!
Photos of Lucy Klug, Ryan Pesch and other volunteers submitted by Kari Hagenow
In late July, Paul Mahlberg coordinated the planting of bulrushes, thanks to volunteers around the lake. The bulrush project is part of the DNR Grant and volunteer hours are part of our commitment. The benefits of the bulrushes including providing habitat and food for many kinds of aquatic life, preventing shoreline erosion and helping with water clarify (See Education Paper #4 in our Learning Center). Plantings took place around the lake in a variety of bottom conditions including marl, sand and rock at approximately 6″ and 12″ water depth. The volunteers will monitor the progress of the plants for future reference.
Photos of Paul Mahlberg planting bulrushes on the west shore and Howard Williamson and Paul planting bulrushes on the east shore.
Photos submitted by Patty Williamson and Jennifer Ikeda.
On June 19, 2014, Mike Madden and Lucy Klug co-led a Door County Land Trust (DCLT) hike at the recently acquired Heins Creek Nature Preserve. The 74-acre site just south of All Creatures Lane on Highway 57 is a recent acquisition of the DCLT in large part due to the charitable sale by the owners at a significant discount from fair market value.
The dam at the south end of Kangaroo Lake drains to Heins Creek, which leads to Lake Michigan. The fixed concrete dam has a grate resting on top to prevent suckers from entering Kangaroo Lake (see photo of Paul on the dam below). Thanks to the volunteer service of Bill Antholine and family, Tom Anschutz and family, Karl and Lucy Klug, Paul and Marilyn Mahlberg, Mike Faugust and Jennifer Ikeda, and others over the years, the grate is cleaned of leaves, branches and other debris to keep the water flowing over the dam.
The Heins Creek Nature Preserve offers an easy 0.75 mile trail through rolling sand dunes and forest, and of course, along Heins Creek, an important corridor for bird migration. Mike taught us that there is distinctive Native American pottery named for Heins Creek, recognized by the decorative pattern imprinted by hemp rope twisted around a stick. Lucy pointed out various wildflowers and ferns. A special visitor on the hike was the granddaughter of namesake William Hein, mid-19th century farmer and stone mason.
Visit http://kangaroolake.org/explore-kangaroo-lake, Hiking in our Lake Area to learn about this and other hikes around Kangaroo Lake.
Paul Mahlberg inspects the dam on April 29th, the day after “ice-out” and points to large fish looking to spawn:
On September 22, I (Jennifer Ikeda) joined Paul Mahlberg for a lesson during his third Kangaroo Lake water testing of 2013. This is an activity Paul has undertaken since 1993; the KLA is fortunate to have our own resident scientist who has committed his time and effort to provide an excellent history of important characteristics of our lake.
Paul measures, records and submits samples and data to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. His measurements include:
- Secchi disk measurement of the water clarity
- Water temperature
- Water pH
Additionally he prepares and submits samples that the DNR labs test for phosphorus content and chlorophyll, which are used to determine the Trophic state of Kangaroo Lake:
- Phosphorus, along with nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the plants and animals that make up the aquatic food web. Since phosphorus is typically the nutrient in short supply in most fresh waters, even a modest increase in phosphorus can fuel harmful algae, excessive plants and muddy water in many lakes and rivers. 
- Chlorophyll levels are a direct way of tracking algal growth and an indirect indicator of nutrient levels. 
Looking at the Trophic State Index (TSI) graph for Kangaroo Lake, we are Mesotrophic, trending toward Eutrophic. What can we do to help contribute to the health of Kangaroo Lake?
- Reduce input of Phosphorus – Phosphorus is used in fertilizers, detergents, and animal feed. It’s in our food, in our waste, and detergents. Our fertilizers and detergents should be phosphorus-free, our pet and yard wastes disposed of properly, and our septic systems operating properly. 
- Encourage growth of aquatic plants – Aquatic plants, such as bulrushes, not only help to provide food and shelter for fish and to reduce erosion – they also help improve water clarity and quality by absorbing and breaking down phosphorus and other nutrients, thus making them unavailable to algae. Obey slow – no wake within 100 feet of the shore (200 feet for jet skis) and avoid damage to existing bulrushes and healthy plants. Also join in efforts around bulrush restoration and tree drop. 
To learn more about water testing on Kangaroo Lake and how to access the TSI graph and other historical data, please visit the Learning Center on the association’s website, www.kangaroo lake.org and click on Water Quality Sampling Data and Proces: Dr. Paul Mahlberg
Yesterday, I visited 4 sites along Peil Creek. I took water temps and photos at 2 sites. I observed that since Dec. 27, the water level has dropped, since the ice along the banks is a bit above the current water level.The bubbling pool is frozen (photo # 1 ) . Perhaps the shallow springs that feed it are not active enough to keep it open. Last year at this time, this pool was open and the water was 44 F. Yesterday’s temps at 2 sites: 2:00pm, Air 37.6 F, Creek 42.3 F; 2:30 pm, Air 32.8 F, Creek 41.8 F. Note: The air temp varies considerably even in summer, between the open wetland and the forested wetland. My visits to the creek are always interesting ! Happy New Year. Lucy