Author: Tom Schneider
On February 11th 2017, 18 volunteers dedicated themselves to improving the quality of water and habitat in Kangaroo Lake. The partnership of the Kangaroo Lake Association (KLA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and Harbor Lumber, Inc. of Baileys Harbor made it possible to install 33 trees (renamed “Fish Sticks”) that were 40-55 feet long on the shoreline ice on the lake. When the ice melts, the trees which are cabled to the shoreline trees, will drop into the water. Mother Nature’s “magic” will then begin.
The WI-DNR’s Steve Hogler (our lake’s Fish Biologist) and Mary Gansberg informed our Association back in April that we were selected to receive a 2016 “Fisheries Partnership Award” for our region. The award recognizes an organization as a “partner who is going far and beyond” assisting WI-DNR in its mission. Only one award is given annually per each of the 5 regions in the state. The award recognizes the Kangaroo Lake Association for the tremendous work we’ve been doing “over the years.” This includes our Bulrush and Fish Sticks (Shoreline Restoration) efforts as well as our efforts with mapping and manually removing milfoil, water testing, website information and education, protecting shorelines with no wake buoys, fish cribs, other studies, etc. Here is the letter that Steve wrote nominating us for the award.
Members of the Kangaroo Lake Association (KLA) gathered at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor the morning of September 10, 2016 for the presentation of the award from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Here is an article in the Door County Pulse describing the celebration.
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 second 15 installations we did on February 20, 2016:
Read Tom’s first-hand account of the day: Guys on Ice III.
We are beginning a list of members who want to host a Fish Stick complex in winter, 2017. For more information, contact Tom Schneider. Here’s more information on our Shoreline Preservation Grant.
On June 15, 2015, KLA’s representative, Wisconsin Lakes, sent a letter to Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee and the Legislature in opposition to the shoreland zoning restriction inserted into the state budget proposal. There were 59 lake and river associations and 32 counties including Door County, that sent the strong message: Don’t do it! Don’t insert this major change into the budget bill without public input because it has nothing to do with the state budget. This shouldn’t be the way we do the peoples’ business in Wisconsin. Motion #520 was included in the budget bill. Our state Assembly and Senate passed the bill and it was signed into law by the governor.
For almost 4 decades, the system of county-determined standards that could exceed the minimum state standards, worked for 30 counties and has served Wisconsin lakes very well protecting our lakes, shorelines, rivers, and streams.
Read more about this opposition:
- Wisconsin Lakes Efforts
- Door County Board of Supervisors Resolution
- Door County Directors of Planning and Zoning Department Letter
We encourage members to contact your representatives and inform them that “this isn’t the way we should do the peoples’ business in the State of Wisconsin.”
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 https://kangaroolake.org/explore-kangaroo-lake, Hiking in our Lake Area to learn about this and other hikes around Kangaroo Lake.