DNR wants to ban gill nets on Lake Pepin
MADISON — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials plan to ask their board for permission to start drafting a rule prohibiting gill nets on Lake Pepin.
The Minnesota DNR notified Wisconsin authorities in July 2015 that lake sturgeon and paddlefish had come ashore in the Lake Pepin area with gill net marks and slit bellies. Lake sturgeon is considered a species of special interest, as scientists are concerned about their abundance.
Paddlefish are a threatened species. The proposed rule would permanently ban gill net fishing across most of the lake. Wisconsin DNR officials said six commercial fishers actively fish the lake with gill nets. The board is set to consider giving the DNR permission to begin writing the rule at a meeting Wednesday in Richland Center.
First day of summer to be less humid, a bit cooler
It’s the first day of summer in Wisconsin, and it’s supposed to be less humid and a bit cooler than it was on Father’s Day.
Most of the state got close to 90 on Sunday, and a cold front sent thunderstorms through the Badger State overnight with the heaviest storms in the far north. Xcel Energy and Wisconsin Public Service say more than 300 electric customers had outages by 6 a.m. Monday — mostly in the Eau Claire, Hayward, Gills Rock, and Manitowish areas.
Solon Springs, south of Superior, had 68 mph winds on Sundaynight — and Gordon had quarter sized hail. In southern Wisconsin, the heat caused an air quality advisory which the state DNR expired at midnight. Sunny skies are in the forecast for Wisconsin Monday, with highs in the 70s and mid 80s.
Great Lakes governors vote tomorrow on Waukesha water request
CHICAGO — After years of waiting, Waukesha will find out Tuesdayif it can use Lake Michigan for its drinking water.
A unanimous vote is needed from all eight Great Lakes states for Waukesha to become the first place outside of a lake’s natural basin to tap in under the 2008 Great Lakes water protection agreement. The Michigan state Senate opposed the request in late May — but none of the other states have indicated how they’ll vote duringTuesday’s final decision in Chicago.
Leaders from Waukesha and the Wisconsin DNR say the city needs to use Lake Michigan, because its wells are running dry — and the DNR is giving Waukesha until 2018 to get excess radium out of its water supply.
Advisers to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission have opposed the request, as have a number of environmental groups and Great Lakes mayors.
Wisconsin DNR considering land sale
MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it is considering the sale of 5,300 acres of state-owned land in 37 counties.
Final sales recommendations are expected to be made to the Natural Resources Board in about three months. The land sale was mandated in the last fiscal year’s state budget to pay down Wisconsin’s stewardship debt. The agency has reportedly sold about 440 acres in the last two years for a little over $965,000.