Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District
May 12, 2018
The spring meeting took place on May 12, 2018, in the Town Hall.
Board members present: Bill Glembocki, Andy Lois, and Sheila
Siegler. Also, 15 residents attended. Below are brief notes on the
main topics that came up during the meeting:
When Salem Lakes dissolved its water patrol department, we lost
their services. So the Town Board is working with Paddock and Camp
Lakes to contract with Racine and other Deputies to patrol on
weekends and holidays. The times of patrol and specific personnel
will vary. Everyone needs patrolling at the same high-traffic
times. The pool of Deputies will do its best to cover all the
Wheatland bought a used boat from Randall. It will be available
for rescue operations if needed.
Last year just 5 citations were issued. Tickets are decreasing
because the water patrol has tamed wild boaters.
Water Quality and Clarity
Mike Adam started taking water samples in April. On May 9, the
water level was 757.3, which is 8-1/2 inches below the level just
before ice formation.
On July 7 at 10 AM, Mike will run a "know your lake" session at
the beach. Rain date is July 14. If enough watercraft are
available, attendees will look at various things of interest
around the lake.
On Nov. 10, our contractor added 124 Northern Pike to the lake.
Anecdotal evidence says that there are fewer small fish around the
Marine Biochemists has warned the Town that the DNR is changing
its weed treatment policy regarding Milfoil. They are going to
require whole-lake treatment. They want to avoid damage to native
weeds. Treatment would be early in the season. There probably
would not be any late-season spot treatments to contain Milfoil
patches with unexpected growth.
The expectation is that we'd do a whole-lake treatment and then
nothing for several years. Spot treatment would only be allowed to
correct navigational issues. Right now, it's unclear what the
final DNR rules will be. The new regimen would start next year.
A whole-lake treatment costs around $18,000, which we have not
budgeted for. The price varies by depth and concentration of the
weed killer. Lots of variable affect effectiveness.
Hopefully, more will be known about the new DNR rules by the time
of our annual meeting in August.
The beach is groomed, but weeds still grow.
Raking water weeds may make the water weedier because seeds are
There is a hole near the black pipe that's a tripping hazard. The
Town has tried to fill it in, but rain moves the sand around. The
Town tried a shorter pipe and rip rap, but people throw the stones
into the lake. The rip rap near the boat launch also gets thrown
into the lake.
Lighting at Beach
A resident contacted WE Energies to see if the street light near
the beach could be changed to LEDs to improve brightness and
discourage the kind of activities that take place at the beach at
night. The answer was no. You may get resident complaints about
the lights being too bright.
We cannot do anything about the migratory geese that fly in for a
short time. No one has reported families of geese hanging around
August 12, 2017
annual meeting summary
The annual meeting took place on August 12, 2017, in the Town Hall.
Board members present: Bill Glembocki, Andy Lois, Kelly Wilson, and
Sheila Siegler. Kyle Dangelser, water patrol officer, Kathy Aron,
and 22 residents also attended. Below are brief notes on the main
topics that came up during the meeting:
- We need to build up some reserves. This year we spent more on
weed treatment because Marine Biochemists had to come out 3
times, and they did a lake survey.
- The price for stocking comes out to about $15 per fish.
At that price, can we impose a catch-and-release policy? The
State regulates that policy. We can ask for voluntary catch and
release. Most of the pike are caught during the ice fishing
season. Let's see if there's a problem before we start imposing
- Assessments have gone up about 10%. So the tentative mil rate
(14 cents / $1000) may be lower than shown.
The Lily Lake Resort is disturbing the peace. Their loud music goes
on till late at night. No one can enjoy any quiet or their own
Bill Glembocki will talk to the owners and remind them that the
outdoor speakers have to be turned off at 10 PM.
Water Relief Gate
Glembocki contacted the DNR to discuss options. They don't see the
idea as practical.
- Sediment is accumulating since the last dredging. That raises
lake levels somewhat. We will probably need a new dredging in
about 40 years. There are no known bacteria that will eat the
- Lilly Lake has no inlet nor outlet. The swamp is about the
same level as the lake; so it's not a good place to dump water.
Way back in the day, there used to be a creek where water could
empty, but houses now block all exit points. Emptying into the
Fox River opens a possible channel to contamination from the
river coming into Lilly Lake.
Trying to create an outlet would involve buying private
- How about a siphon system? Vegetation uses water. That would
help get rid of water.
A 6-inch diesel pump could empty the extra water in no time --
if you have a place to put it.
- This was a 500-year storm. Previous big rains were 100-year
storms and evaporation took the lake down in just a few weeks.
- All lakes were swollen this year. Some were Slow-No-Wake (SNW)
- What's the problem with this lake level?
Houses on the east side were flooded. Waves will cause increased
soil erosion into the lake. Retaining walls could collapse due
to wave action. This winter will damage a lot of retaining
Is this the new normal?
Water Levels & Quality
- Milfoil is creeping into the deeper areas. It's harder and
more expensive to treat there. Luckily, the DNR is now allowing
some chemicals that they formerly forbade. The cost for deep
areas is about $8,000 to $9,000 for treatment plus the cost of
surveys before and after treatment.
- 7-1/2 acres were treated this year, mostly north of the beach.
- The lake has a good native plant community that makes it
harder for milfoil to get established. The high water level
helped the natives and hurt the milfoil this year.
- In a few years, we'll probably need a full-lake treatment that
will cost $17,000 to $20,000. That treatment will last 5 to 7
- You'll never get rid of milfoil. All you can do is manage it.
- Cat tails and bulrushes are spreading. The bulrushes are good.
They help the fish.
You can clear 25 ft of shoreline by hand to improve access to
Mike Adam showed his charts (1 and 2) of water-level readings that he's
taken since 2011 and charts of past quality readings.
Set "Cancel SNW" Criterion Now
- The current water level is way over the spikes seen after past
- The water level has dropped about 2 inches in the last month.
Since the dredging, there's lots of ground water feeding the
lake. The dredging opened up those springs, which bring clear,
clean water into the lake.
- Quality and clarity measurements are holding steady.
- What was the past high water standard? There must have been
one. After all, building permits require setbacks linked to the
high water mark.
Can we just set the water level that cancels SNW now? We have
this argument every time SNW becomes an issue.
No, we can't vote on it now because it's not on today's agenda.
District residents need to know ahead of time what's going to be
discussed. Also, the Board has to consult the Town's lawyer.
The Town Board will discuss the issue at its Aug 14 meeting, but
right now there are strong liabilities to lifting SNW. E.g., little
kids can be swept off the pier or pushed around on the sand by
The next stocking will probably be in November, if the supplier has
the fish: approximately 100 ten-to-twelve-inch pike.
Geese have not been much of a problem this year. Right now, they're
hanging around to pick up scraps after the wheat harvest.
Budget for the Next Dredging
- The water patrol has logged about 40 hours so far and written
2 tickets. SNW has decreased lake traffic a lot.
- You can have open containers of alcohol on a boat, unlike the
rule for cars.
- Patrol officers can check for launch fee payment if they stop
a boat for some other reason.
Shouldn't we start saving for the next dredging so that the cost
won't hit everyone so hard?
Yes, we can set up a restricted fund. It's unlikely that there will
be federal or State help for a future dredging the way there was for
the past dredging.
The committee is still discussing ideas.
Next year's annual meeting: August 11, 2018
Lake dredging history
What was the
By 1970, the process of vegetation decay had filled the lake with
muck to the point where the maximum water depth was 6 ft. Weeds were
rampant. Underlying organic sediment was 30 to 35 ft deep. Some
spots were so shallow that you could not run a motor boat.
Activities like fishing and water skiing were very limited, and the
experience was low quality. Winter fish kills caused dead, smelly
fish to wash up on the shore in spring. No one was putting any money
into the area. There was a real risk that property values would
decline significantly due to the worsening condition of the lake.
Back to Lake dredging
What was the
Studies resulted in a proposal to dredge about 890,000 cubic yards
(550 acre-feet, that is, 550 acres to a depth of 1 ft) of sediment
out of the lake to increase the depth to about 22 ft. Some of the
muck was spread on nearby farm land, but most of it was piped to a
modified gravel pit about 2 miles away (off Hwy W, south of F and
FR, near the Schwarz Nursery).
Back to Lake dredging
Who was involved in the
Don Puchalski led the effort, starting in 1971. He worked with the
Town Board, engineering firms, the State, and the federal
government. Although the project started out as a local one, new
programs initiated at the State and federal levels offered some help
with the financing. Changing environmental laws and financing
programs delayed project start several times. At one point, the
5-year permit ran out. The government did extensive testing to
ensure that the sludge would not harm the environment.
Engineer Associates of Elkhorn tested feasibility, prepared
initial plans, and got a permit from the Wisconsin DNR. In 1974,
Jensen and Johnson of Elkhorn took over planning and preparation
of environmental impact statements. Johnson and Averill of
Waukesha completed the design and development of the whole
project. Robers Dredge of LaCrosse did the dredging. Mann Brothers
of Elkhorn constructed the disposal site.
Back to Lake dredging
When and how was it
Dredging occurred over 2 years: July, 1978 through September, 1979.
The first year, work started at 6 am and finished at 10 pm every
day. The second year, it was decided to run 24 hours/day for 4 days
of every week to avoid the jarring noise of diesel engine startup at
6 am and to allow use of the lake on weekends..
A 12-inch cutterhead sucked out muck and weeds. Two miles of
welded, 12-inch polyethylene pipe carried sludge to the gravel
pits. A booster station around the Riley and Topczewski property
helped pump muck up hill. Property owners were paid $0.15/ft per
year for a pipeline easement. Some of the muck was also applied to
160 acres of farmers' fields. Farmers got $40/acre/year for the
loss of use of their land. After project completion, they got the
benefit of decayed organic matter on their fields. People report
seeing fish coming out of the pipe at the gravel pit. The entire
shoreline was cleaned and graded at completion of the project.
During the dredging, use of the lake was minimal. The shoreline
stretched out 200 ft in places. You could do a little boating and
swimming in the middle of the lake. One pocket (about 100 ft by
300 ft) on the north shore had to be left because the water level
was too low to work it. It was only in 1980 that the lake filled
back out to its present size.
Back to Lake dredging
What did it cost?
Back to Lake dredging
What are the
- Lilly Lake is consistently the cleanest lake in Kenosha
- All sorts of water recreation are now possible, including ice
fishing and water skiing (which were virtually impossible before
- Property values have increased substantially.
- Local businesses (like the current Lily Lake Resort) can
capitalize on the recreation the lake offers.
New muck is accumulating at the rate of about 1/4 inch per year.
At that rate, it will be about 200 years before Lilly Lake has to
consider another dredging project.
Many thanks to Kathie Cashman for these pictures of the dredging
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Lake view 1
Lake view 2
Dredging site in winter
Former resident KC provided the following pictures of the
dredging operation taken in 1979 from the properties at 7717 and
7723 334th Ave.:
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Lilly Lake (Wisconsin)