Beaver Dam lake board learns about water’s environment

April 20, 2018 GMT

The group that will decide Skunk Island’s future is learning first about its past, as well as its current condition.

The Beaver Dam Lake Development Corporation, a nonprofit board that is appointed by the Beaver Dam mayor, met Thursday evening to consider the island’s environmental situation.

The city has given the corporation the responsibility to make a choice on the island’s future.

Skunk Island is essentially undeveloped and located north of the city and Edgewater Park. Questions came up in the last year about hunting access to the island being restricted and Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen responded by appointing a largely new board for the development corporation.

The corporation could decide to do nothing with the island or take steps to allow for more public access, such as opening it up to youth hunts.

John Moser, the board’s chair, said Thursday he wants the committee to hear from different experts to get a better understanding in preparation for its decision.

They heard from Laura Stremick-Thompson, a fisheries biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources in Horicon.

She spoke about how the lake is in a turbid state, where the water is more murky and the algae is more abundant. She said permanently reversing it is near impossible. In her presentation, she also talked about efforts to keep the carp population in check, how the greater watershed affects the water quality, and more.

Glewen was scheduled to give a presentation about what other municipalities in Wisconsin do with their islands, but that was moved to the corporation’s next meeting on May 17. They also will hear about efforts to start a lake district, which would collect tax from properties along the lake to pay for projects related to the lake.