Thank you to all the SRA members who attended the annual membership appreciation meeting on Saturday at Spirit Cove. We had record turnout (approx 90 attendees). Your interest in the discussion topics was great to see. The topics of fish population, the Dam status, and the Lake Maintenance presentation by Pat Goggin provided fodder for lots of great questions and member interest.
As a follow up reminder to the Healthy Lakes presentation, the website to get more info about the various programs that qualify for grant assistance is http://healthylakeswi.com/
If you determine that you have an interest in participating in one of the programs please send an email to the Spirit Reservoir via the Contact Us tab found above.
Also, we have posted several photos from the tour of the Dam construction site …take a look!
The SRA Picnic will be held on Saturday 8/6 at the Falls Inn. Come early (3pm) and mingle with other SRA members. After the meeting there will be the membership appreciation picnic for all current members of the SRA. Don’t miss this great spread of food.
Blue Green Algae is in all bodies of water in Wisconsin. Some lakes, rivers, and stream have more severe outbreaks than others.
Below is a link to a presentation done by Gina LaLiberte, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It is a good idea to know the facts about Blue Green algae and how to identify it. We recommend you look thru this presentation.
Plans for activities during the 2016 season are made….
The annual Kayak/Canoe trip is scheduled for June 18th. Attendees should meet at Spirit Falls at 10am on 6/18/2016.
There will be a post paddle picnic after the event…..
The 3rd Annual Flotilla down the Spirit has been scheduled for August 18th. Attendees should meet at 1pm at Osprey Island. Bring beverages and snacks, a swimsuit and sun protection.
Important Notice to Anglers…..
The DNR just announced a new Walleye slot limit for many northern lakes including The Spirit.
It reads as follows on the DNR website….
The minimum walleye length is 15″, but walleye, sauger and hybrids from 20″ to 24″ may NOT be kept, and only 1 walleye over 24″ is allowed. The daily bag limit is 3.
Spring 2014 By Cathy Frisch
The SRA reported to you in the Spring Newsletter 2013 that Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company
(WVIC) had planned to repair an issue near the dam during the Fall drawdown. We received notice in
October from Peter Hansen, WVIC Operations Manager, that the construction project was underway.
Unfortunately, they were unable to complete the repair as planned. The project was started and then
aborted when WVIC realized that the planned approach may create dam safety issues. In turn, they
consulted with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and jointly decided to put the project
WVIC is currently in the process of developing a new plan in consultation with other agencies. Once
completed, it will be submitted for approval by FERC prior to starting construction again this year.
What does this mean to us? The following article, written by Jed Beulow of the Tomahawk Leader, will
appear in the newspaper on April 29. It provides us with some insight into what to expect this year.
Options being weighed to repair Spirit Reservoir Dam
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader City Editor
Experts are keeping a close eye on the Spirit Reservoir Dam this spring as options are weighed over how
to make repairs to the earthen portion of the structure.
Currently the reservoir is being kept three to four feet down to alleviate safety issues by reducing the
amount of water pressure being placed on the dam. Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company (WVIC)
and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are currently looking at options to address
seepage concerns along the tail water section created by the dam.
Peter Hansen, WVIC Operations Manager, said a problem with the dam was first detected back in July,
2012, when an individual monitoring the structure noticed natural seepage along the earthen dike had
taken embankment material with it depositing a pile of sand in the tail water below. Four layers of rock
were immediately placed where the “boil” had occurred to address the concern.
Crews are keeping the water level lowered on the Spirit this spring to prevent further boils from
occurring. Hansen said a person is on site daily to monitor the dam and wells in the dike are monitored
to detect any potential problems.
“At this point access has not been closed yet,” Hansen said. “Just like last fall, access will be closed again
whenever construction does get underway.”
WVIC is working with the FERC to determine the best option for repairing the dam. One of those
includes using wells to keep the water level low in the berm below the excavation areas while crews
work to make repairs and install the four layers of rock along the entire portion of the earthen dike. The
other would be to draw the Spirit down to winter drawdown levels (possibly 11 feet) so repairs could be
Hansen stressed there is no truth to concerns the reservoir would be taken down to the channel level
this summer to make repairs. He said a further drawdown than what is proposed at this time would only
occur if conditions worsened to the point WVIC and the FERC determined it to be necessary.
“I feel at this point we are being proactive with the three to four feet we are doing right now,” Hansen
said. “Right now we are working with the feds to come up with the best solution.”
Hansen said there are no timelines as to when work on the dam will begin, but added they hope to have
the first phase of the project completed sometime this year. He noted there is also a “depression” on
the topside of the dam that also continues to be monitored.
Hansen added installing the layers of rock along the tail water below the dam would provide a more
permanent repair to control seepage. He added the Spirit would remain drawn down around three
to four feet this summer until repairs can be made, and that WVIC has been in contact with the Spirit
Reservoir Association (SRA) to keep riparian property owners informed during the process.