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To: Horicon Marsh Management Committee Members

From: Andy Nelson, Area Wildlife Supervisor

Subject: June 03, 2003 Meeting Minutes

It was good to see such a nice crowd on this fine summer’s evening. As a result of our great attendance, the June meeting produced some great discussion and meaningful progress on project planning. Here are the highlights:

WATER LEVELS

Main Pool is on its way down. Goal is 74.0, we are now at 74.4. Removed boards from I1 impoundment for summer drawdown. A board failed at I2 impoundment, as a result water is also down.

Bachhuber Dike:
We have installed a lot of rock (rip rap) and improved the surface for walking with gravel. The funds for this come from a road grading project fund that is about to expire, plus an additional gift from the Bachhuber Foundation. Total project costs are about $40,000.

Redhead Impoundment:
Project to upgrade for northern pike rearing will happen later this summer.

Alto Dairy Status:
Compliance with phosphorous discharge limits is underway. Need to be down to 2 or 3 parts per million. This will be down from old level of over 50 ppm. New concern for locals is that plant may be closed due to adverse economic conditions.

Neighbor Relations & Water

Water levels are up adjacent to Dobberpuhl and Miescke properties. Problem is caused by poor drainage near Koch’s Island. As a result, water impacts on/near neighbors farmland. Andy is taking actions to solve problems to satisfaction of neighbors.

State Budgets

Meetings today regarding layoffs; 5 in South Central Region, 115 in agency. Unspecified further reductions; estimated 6 to 10 in wildlife, 11 wardens, 10-20 fisheries are possible due to rising program costs and flat income. Bureau of WM is forecasting a 70% field operation budget reduction within the next 2 years.

Possible long term program changes include: ending pheasant stocking and lease program, ending private land wildlife management services, suspending habitat restoration, reducing wildlife education, suspending water management on big marshes, etc. Basically everything on the table for cuts.

Fish & Wildlife Staff
Wendy Woyczik was introduced as the new Horicon NWR Biologist. She hales from Caladonia, MN with graduate degree. Worked with USFWS Leopold Management and DNR GHRA program. She will take Diane Pentilla’s position at the refuge.

Sean Papon is from Hartner, KS. Working at Fox River Refuge. Master’s in Missouri.

Marsh Master
WDNR may have less opportunity to borrow this machine from USFWS for burning due to administrative differences at higher levels. As a result, Andy is pursuing alternative means to safely complete this work.

Grants Update
NAWCA grant is still pending. We fared very well in the ranking process, scoring a 70. This is one of the best scores in the nation. The outcome of the application will become known in late summer. If approved, it will bring over $700,000 to Horicon.

Andy also applied for grant through Migratory bird conservancy. This matching grant would be used to complete the cattail spray components of pothole restoration. Grant outcome will be known in mid-July. If approved, the grant would bring up to $90,000. Concern for budget and project funding from the Committee generated idea of charging for launch fees. Andy thinks may be possible to install donation box. Mandatory charge not possible.

Cattail Control:
Recap on Summer draw down, burn in mid July consume most of cattails, regrow within couple of weeks, third week of August spray with Rodeo, bring water up in the fall.

Andy warned that this project will not be 100% effective because some areas can’t get wet, etc. However, chances of modest success are good. Budget is $22,000 for project. With these funds we can do about 335 acres. Goal is up to 700 acres. Andy will attempt to creatively supplement this budget as much as possible. Project costs are $25/acre for chopper and about $40 for herbicide.

To facilitate project planning and site selection, Andy put on a slide show using historic aerial photos to illustrate where opening used to exist. Through discussion, the group selected 4 areas totaling up to 700 acres as suitable for treatment. These include the central portion of the marsh between Miescke bay and the Main Ditch, section north of Burnett Ditch, bounded by old River and Main Ditch, an 80 acre section lying south of Malzahn’s Bay, and the area west of Cotton Island out to Stoney bay.

Much discussion surrounded selecting spray area size. In the end we opted for large blocks of 80 – 250 acres to minimize the edge effect and have a more dramatic impact. This concept was unanimously endorsed amid a chorus of “Burn it!” Our only caveat is that we will buffer treatment zones with live areas to prevent cattails drifting and going down dam.

September is deadline for Stewardship Grant applications. This is a matching grant for up to $20,000. If anyone knows of a private partner who would like to double their money for a Marsh project, please see Andy!

Finally, Andy mentioned a growing need to address public use on the hiking trail system and dikes. Specific concerns include dogs and potential conflicts between hunting and hikers. This will be discussed more in coming months.

Future Meetings Schedule (Tentative)

July 8, 2003 Tuesday
August 12, 2003 Tuesday
September 9, 2003 Tuesday
October 1, 2003 Wednesday

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday July 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the DNR Service Center. Our agenda will include:

Management Updates
What is going on in other 2/3 of the marsh? NWR updates
Clark Ditch habitat project possibilities
Quick’s Point and One Mile Timber Sales
Fall Trapping Preview

Many Thanks to Cheryl Kakatsch for taking these notes and bringing treats to our meeting. Cheryl has also graciously volunteered to bring treats in July. Please consider taking a turn at providing the hospitality at our August meeting!

I hope to see you and at least one of your buddies on July 8!

Attendance (6/3/03)
Peter Ziegler Terry Vrana
Dennis Fruehauf Noel Nogalski
Cliff Bertling Stuart Wellnitz
R. Miescke Craig McKinney
Wayne Bandler Jim Reinhard
Norman Langlois Chuck Dodge
Andy Johnson Todd Cook
Cheryl Kakatsch Shawn Papon
Wendy Woyczik Diane Kitchen
Ken Byrne Pat Byrne
Gerald Voy Barbara M. Dutkiewicz
Russ Sobczyk Keith White
Ed Mieschke Dean Schaffer
Mark Kakatsch Andy Nelson

 

 
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