Lake Owen Association Virtual Annual Meeting

Saturday, July 18, 2020 @ 9:00 a.m. (CST) (via ZOOM)


From Stephanie Kirby:

Q – What consideration is there to have a parking lot if you put a washing station?  Cars and trailers are parking into the street. In addition they are parking along the outlet which may block the fire hydrant. Lots of safety concerns along the road. Thank you.

A – Cheryl Clemens

The USFS is considering a parking lot over the long term. Parking will not be expanded as part of this project.


From Jeff Louis:

Q – We have a plethora of the invasive Chinese Mystery Snails along our shoreline waters.  The snail population seems to have grown substantially in recent years.  Is this of any concern?  Do these populations ebb and flow over time?

A – Steve Schieffer and WI DNR website

Any population of organisms will change over time, both increasing and decreasing.  Since this is an invasive species, there may be an overall trend of increasing numbers.  However, since we do not have any baseline population survey data, we do not know the status of this population over time. These snails were found in Wisconsin lakes beginning in 1974.  Recent work found that Chinese mystery snails occurred in 50% of lakes surveyed in northern Wisconsin (Solomon et al. in press). A 2006 UW Madison study found Chinese mystery snails in 40% of the 45 lakes they surveyed. It is likely Lake Owen has had these for several years, with the population likely increasing over time.  Again, we do not know the current trend.

From Edward Ronkowski

Q – Do the invasive species of Chinese Mystery Snails in the north end of Lake Owen remove much nutrients in the fish food chain?

A – Steve Schieffer

It is reported that Chinese mystery snails can affect the nutrient flow in the food web systems of low nutrient ecosystems like Lake Owen.  These snails eat plankton (both phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton).  However, we don’t know numbers of Chinese mystery snails in Lake Owen nor their effect on the nutrient cycle. I have found no published data of mystery snail population surveys in other lakes in Wisconsin (just studies of presence).

According to the literature summarized by the WI DNR AIS website, treatment of these organisms with chemicals isn’t really effective and the chemicals available likely have much more impact on the native species than on this target species.  There are no known biological controls that will target this species.


From Jerry Klobucar:

Q – We have lily pads out in front of our dock and it is quite a large area. Can the LOA place buoys or something to discourage boaters from plowing through?

A – Cheryl Clemens

According to the DNR website: Any placement of informational and regulatory buoys must be approved by the local DNR Conservation Warden and by the local unit of government. To my knowledge the LOA board has not discussed recommending the placement of buoys to protect native aquatic vegetation.

From Jeff Laney:

Q -With perpetually high lake levels how is lack of no wake enforcement impacting shoreline erosion particularly in our channels?

From Laura Meverden:

COMMENT – Do we really need law enforcement on the lake?

From Jeff Laney:

COMMENT – I would be very happy with information about no wake zones on the lake being published.  We do not need law enforcement on our lake

A – Tom Johnson

The Town of Drummond has an existing no-wake ordinance for Lake Owen (ORDINANCE #20010613) which designates specific areas of the lake as no-wake zones. “Slow – No Wake,” is as, defined in 30.50(12), Wisconsin Statutes 1997-98, “that speed at which a boat moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control.” The Lake Owen Association has no enforcement authority. The ordinance was to be enforced by the Town of Drummond or Bayfield County. The LOA board will consider options to educate boaters regarding no-wake zones at upcoming meetings.


From Kathryn Johnson:

Q – There are a lot of new docks on the lake built with treated lumber-does that have a negative affect on the water quality?

A – Steve Schieffer

Treated wood used to use a chromated copper arsenate (CCA) compound that could leach arsenic which is highly toxic.  A study conducted by the Forest Service (where they build boardwalks in wetlands out of these products) could detect small amounts of CCA’s in the wetland sediment and water.   Now wood is treated with safer compounds.  As with any chemical use, these compounds could leach from the wood, but it is my understanding there is much less environmental concern with treated wood than years ago.  I am not aware of any danger associated with treated wood in the lake water.  Most studies I can find relate to CCA’s.


From Kathryn Johnson:

Q – It seems like the population for blue gill is good also -true?

A – Paul Rhodes

Sunfish/blue gills seem to be holding their own. I would like to see bag limits from 25 to 10.

From Jerry Klobucar:

Q – Years ago there were rainbow trout in Lake Owen. Are they still present?

A – Paul Rhodes

I was told over ten years ago a mountable rainbow was caught in Owen. . But that’s it.

According to the WDNR 2007-08 Fishery Survey author Scott Toshner:

Rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri were stocked in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1983 and 1987 in an attempt to establish a two story fishery and provide additional angling opportunities. Trout stocking was discontinued after 1987 due to little carry over and lack of public demand (Kamke 1989). It is assumed rainbow trout no longer exist in Lake Owen.

From David Bartlett:

Q – Are there any bullheads in the lake?

From Brian Leahy:

Q – What is the status of the cisco and whitefish population in the lake?  With being a deep, clear lake, I think the status of those two species would be a strong indicator of lake health.

A – According to the WDNR 2007-08 Fishery Survey, author Scott Toshner:

Lake Owen has a diverse fishery consisting of walleye Sander vitreus, northern pike Esox lucius, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, smallmouth bass M. dolomieui, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, pumpkinseed L. gibbosus, warmouth L.gulosus, rock bass Ambloplites rupestris, black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus, yellow perch Perca flavescens, white sucker Catostomus commersoni, logperch Percina caprodes, Iowa darter Etheostoma exile, bluntnose minnow Pimephales notatus, central mudminnow Umbra limi, cisco Coregonus artedii and lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis.A – Paul Rhodes

I have never seen or caught a bull head although I have caught some nice golden suckers. They are a good food source for our fish.

From Brian Leahy:

Q – Is there any habitat improvement work that would help increase the walleye population?  In the last couple of decades, Wisconsin’s inland trout fishing management has shifted from being focused on stocking to now being focused on habitat work and seen great results, e.g. the Driftless Area.

A – Paul Rhodes

Walleye habitats for breeding are our rocky and gravel points and shorelines. The big permanent docks do cut down on wave action. Wave action cleans the rocks and gravel year to year for a better and cleaner breeding area.

From Doug O’Leary:

Q – How is the crawfish population?

A – Steve Schieffer

We do not know the status of the crayfish population.  Anglers have reported seeing many when they catch smallmouth bass because they fall out of their mouth. While that is not a legitimate account of their status, it does show they are a food source for smallmouth.  Someone recently observed a large number of dead crayfish on a rock bar, but the WDNR fisheries biologist is not concerned.

We are planning to sample some to verify if they are the native species or not.

From Doug O’Leary:

Q – What is the leech situation on the lake?  Healthy levels?

A – Steve Schieffer

I do not have any information of the leech population in Lake Owen.

Download written copy of the Annual Meeting Questions & Answers