DECEMBER 22 - WHY ARE LOONS DECLINING? Studies have shown that loons appears to be on a long slow decline. But why?! Dr Piper of The Loon Project recently wrote about that very subject. See https://loonproject.org/2019/12/16/why-are-loons-declining/
DECEMBER 7 - THE LAKE IS NOW COMPLETELY FROZEN -
The 'big bowl' of Lake Mildred froze over and re-opened since December 2, but now it looks to be frozen for the season; so we will call December 7 as the date the lake froze completely over. This year was a little unusual because the narrower part of the lake has been frozen for 2 weeks (altho the ice there is thin & wet & weak after having 2 feet of snow dumped on only about an inch of ice. Interestingly, if you look at the data on our Ice-Up page, it is apparent that in the last 30 years ice-up has gotten later and later on average. Like our climate is warming???
NOVEMBER 30 - SCIENTISTS EXPLAIN DECLINING WALLEYE POPULATIONS -
Paul Evans passes on a fascinating article explaining why some scientists believe the walleye fishing in Northern Wisconsin is declining. https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/uw-study-says-hidden-overharvest-contributing-to-decline-of-walleye/article_c7701fa6-1235-5876-b979-d6ef11168445.html
NOVEMBER 30 - SUDDENLY IT IS WINTER -
About a week ago we were hit with a big bad winter storm that dropped 13" of wet heavy snow that dropped many trees, knocking out power to thousands. And the weather forecasts are for another similar -and possibly even bigger- storm to hit here tonight. With all the snow currently weighing down the trees, we're concerned. But out snowblowers and generators are gassed up & ready.
OCTOBER - STAN STRUB SENDS LAKE LEVEL HISTORY -
Stan Strub sends us this excellent graphic depicting the water level on Clear Lake from October 2013 to the present. As you can see, Clear Lake is 6 feet above the low level seen in 2013 - 6 FEET higher! Lake Mildred is connected to Clear Lake, so those measurements should relate to Mildred as well as Clear. All across the Northwoods, lakes are seeing similar high water levels.
OCTOBER 27 - FALL IS FALLING -
Everything seems to be falling lately; the leaves, the temperature, me (oak leaves really are slippery when they're wet and cover everything! >g<). And everyone seems to be battening down the hatches in prep for winter, as docks and boat lifts are emptying or being pulled out for the season.
OCTOBER 5 - RAIN KEEPS FALLING & LAKES KEEP RISING -
Slowly but surely, the lake keeps rising, setting new record high levels not seen in over 100+ years. Given that many areas of the world are experiencing killer heat & droughts, we should not complain too loudly.
Also, we can be thankful for the near-absence of bugs in this cooler weather!
SEPTEMBER 20 - GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE *TODAY* -
Don't just stand there, DO something. If you like the "outdoors", DO something before it's gone.
SEPTEMBER 19 - THE LAKE IS COOLING DOWN WITH FALL -
The insect population has plummetted (noticed the drastic drop in mosquitoes?!) and you may especially see this near the lake. The fish certainly have taken notice - and moved to deeper water. Hard to even find a bluegill in shallow water these days.
SEPTEMBER 15 - RECENT RAINS = BACK TO RECORD HIGH LAKE LEVEL -
Have to wonder when/if this wet pattern will reverse.
SEPTEMBER 11 - ALARMING DECLINE IN THE LOON POPULATION?!
Dr. Walter Piper, who directs the Loon Project and coordinates the study of loons in Northern Wisconsin, recently wrote an article describing a trend of loon decline since 1993, which might possibly be cause for alarm regarding the long-term disappearance of loons. You can read Dr. Piper's article in The Loon Project (click here).
SEPTEMBER 3 - NEXT YEAR'S (2020) AGENDA IS NOW ONLINE
(Mark Your Calendar!)
THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 31 MEETING NOW ONLINE -
See both at the Lake Association Meetings/Minutes
AUGUST 17 - CLEAR WATER! LAKE MILDRED LAKE TEST TODAY -
The August lake water test is in the books today, and the Ebbens report that they found a Secchi Disc reading (a water clarity test) of 23 feet! 23 foot water clarity in August - you gotta love that!
HIGH LAKE WATER LEVEL
- In case you missed it, the latest lake water level is now 25.8 inches above the OHWM (Ordinary High Water Mark). That's the highest level that anyone has ever seen here.
JULY 28 - NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING COMING UP SATURDAY AUGUST 31 WITH SPECIAL SPEAKER PATRICK GOGGIN -
Patrick Goggin is a Lake Specialist with UW-Extension Lakes,
and works closely with the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership team, collaborating on the development of educational programming and materials for people of the lakes. Areas of interest for him include helping lake organizations with their community goals, sharing lake management tools and resources for aquatic ecosystems, and aiding people in gaining a better understanding and appreciation for the native flora of Wisconsin lakeshores. He works for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes out of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Service Center in Rhinelander.
JULY 21 - HEAT WAVE!
Whew, we are just coming off a classic mid-summer heat wave, with temps in the upper 80s to a high of 91 last week; the lake temperature soared as well - to 82 degrees.
JULY 9 - CLEAR LAKE ROAD NEEDS CULVERT?
Now that the water is high, it has become quite obvious that when Clear Lake Road was constructed & filled across the natural Clear Lake/Maud Lake channel or wetland -without a culvert- then Maud Lake & Clear Lake were "cut off" from each other by the road filling. It certainly appears that there should be a culvert put in place so that the natural ebb & flow of water connecting the two water bodies was restored. 100 years ago we didn't realize the effect that our bulldozing and road filling had on neighboring water bodies. We do now. Looking at an overhead view of the area (such as the County GIS map) shows that Maud Lake was clearly part of the Mildred "Chain" of lakes.
JULY 6 - BOAT PARADE RECORDS!
Today was the Annual Lake Mildred Independence Day Flotilla, and it was record-setter big with at least 25 boats, parading around the lake. And then the parade conveniently ended near LMPOA President Mick Howen's home, where Mick's band (the Blue Steel Band) was performing live right by the lake. Good warm & sunny weather, Good band, and Good fun! (Note - there are more photos on the "Photos -2019" page.
JULY 5 - PONTOON BOAT TRAILER FOR SALE -
John & Stephanie Fischer have a nice Palm Beach pontoon boat trailer for sale, pictured at right (click to enlarge), for $700. If interested you can call John at 715-344-6323.
JULY 2 - HOT HOT HOT!
Wow it's been hot & humid lately with more to come. The lake is warming up nicely and is now very comfy for swimming, and cooling off. And don't forget the Annual Floatilla is coming this Saturday at 3 PM.
JUNE 16 - ANOTHER NEW RECORD HIGH WATER LEVEL -
The rain just keeps falling, and now the lake level is over 25 inches ABOVE the OHWM (Ordinary High Water Mark). As the water level rises, one can see more and more trees being inundated and dying off. The end result may be more & more 'fish sticks' as the dead trees fall into the lake. Good for the fish maybe, but not everyone will be happy with the result.
COOL WEATHER KEEPS THE LAKE COOL
- At 68 degrees, the lake's surface water is relatively cool for mid June, which may help explain the lower-than-usual number of dragonflies, and also the fewer-than-expected mosquitoes.....so far.
JUNE 7 - DRAGONFLIES TO THE RESCUE!!!
At long last, the first dragonflies of the season have made their appearance on Lake Mildred this afternoon. Not many, but it's a start. Whew!
JUNE 5 - STILL NO AIR FORCE (DRAGONFLIES) BUT PLENTY OF BEAR PROBLEMS -
Still no sign of dragonflies (with their voracious mosquito-eating appetite!). However, much to the chagrin of many bird lovers, bears have been roaming the area and busily tearing down bird feeders and hummingbird feeders. Sometimes it seems hopeless to keep a bird feeder up and away from the bears, but there are some helpful tips out there, such as keeping feeders up & off the ground at least 7-1/2 feet, out of the reach of even the tallest black bear. Of course there are also squirrels (and their ability to jump 10 feet jump horizontally) and raccoons to contend with. We're trying a 10 foot tall steel pipe with a stove-pipe squirrel baffle to beat them all, which works good so far. So far. Thank you, Google & YouTube!
MAY 30 - ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END
....such as the absence of mosquitoes. All across the Northwoods come reports of the sudden appearance of the inevitable mosquitoes. But now the question is: how long before the dragonflies appear and grant us salvation???
MAY 27 - MEMORIAL WEEKEND SPORTS NICE WEATHER!
Warm & sunny Saturday & Sunday.
GOOSE CHICKS APPEAR!
- The proud pair of Canada geese paraded their newly hatched chicks down the lake today. There were 3 or 4 goslings (it was hard to tell for sure as the family swam in tight little group.)
AND STILL NO MOSQUITOS
- The late spring has kept the skeeters from hatching - so far. But it won't be long, and with all the rain we've had, we wonder how big the coming hatch will be. Just hope the dragonfly air force is close behind.
MAY 23 - THE LAKE KEEPS WARMING (AND RISING!) -
It is nice to see the lakes warming up, albeit slowly, but it is not nice to see the lakes continue to rise to new record-high levels not seen in hundreds or thousands of years. But let's look at the bright side - the mosquitoes have still not hatched, which makes those outdoor chores SO mich more enjoyable. Those chores will include moving and raising the boat docks for most of us.
MAY 18 - MARK YOUR CALENDAR -
The Annual Spring Meeting of the LMPOA is next Saturday, May 25 at 9 am at the Newbold Town Hall. Our extra special guest speaker is Ted Rulsch, author of "A Lakeside Companion".
- With the lake now nearly 2 feet above the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) and the lake shore expanding, perhaps Lake Mildred is now over the 200 acre mark in size??? Just curious.
MAY 11 - LATEST LAKE ASSOCIATION NEWLETTER NOW AVAILABLE -
SEE "Lake Association Newsletters & Dues", at left.
APRIL 26 - ICE OUT! -
Today started with the lake about 40% ice free, but by the end of the day the lake was 95% free of ice. Hallelujah!
APRIL 23 - FIRST LOON HEARD THIS MORNING! -
It's always a harbinger of Spring to hear the first loon call at Lake Mildred. The loon was flying over the lake, and that's always how it begins; the lake ice is getting very bad and starting to break up on the North shore, the Wood Ducks & Mallards are already in the little open water, and it won't be long before the loons can land.
APRIL 21 - THIN ICE -
Warmer days (yesterday and today both near 70 degrees) has the ice melting quickly, with a few feet of open water along the North shore. The rest of the lake is still ice covered, but the ice getting "splotchy" colored and rotten. A few ducks have even started swimming in the small open-water patches. This view is Southwesterly with Bear Paw Island on the left. (Sandy Ebben photo)
APRIL 18 - NEW LETTER TO ALL MEMBERS FROM PRESIDENT MICK HOWEN
- Mick pens his Spring Welcome letter to everyone and talks a little about this coming season. His letter can be seen at the'Presidents Corner' (or click here
RAIN & WARMING TEMPERATURES ARE MELTING SNOW FAST -
There is still snow to be seen on the ground at this point, with maybe 60% of the ground still white, but it won't be long......
THERE IS STILL ICE ON THE LAKE
- And although it may be fairly thick, the lake ice is getting very rotten & weak. On the North shore a couple feet of the ice along shore has melted, and it may not be much but it is still VERY nice to see a little open water!
MARCH 30 - LEARN ABOUT SHORELAND PLANTINGS -
Shoreland Plantings is the next Science On Tap topic. The presenter, Patrick Goggin works for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes. It will be held at the Minocqua Brewing Company in Minocqua on April 3, 2019 at 6:30 PM. And a Thank You to Connie Muckelberg for the heads-up!
MARCH 29 - THE LOCAL BIRDS ARE CHANGING WITH THE SEASONS -
Yet another sign of changing seasons, our local bird population is changing. Not many finches around anymore, and yesterday we saw the first Brewers Blackbird of the season, plus a great many more eagles. We're waiting for that wonderful first loon call.
MARCH 28 - TAG ALDERS ALONG SHORE HAVE DIED
- Those tag alders that popped up along much of our lakeshore during those years of low water, have apparently died completely. Last year those tag alders still had some signs of life. No more. Perhaps the standing dead bushes can shelter young fish for another year before they decompose. All the more reason to leave trees in the water to shelter new life and offset the trees that get cleared away from our shorelines.
MARCH 26 - FIRST CHIPMUNK REPORT!
- The first chippie sighting of the year is always worth mentioning - especially after a brutal winter.
MARCH 24 - SPRING THAW CONTINUES -
Thankfully! Tbe days are getting longer and the sun's rays stronger.
- HUNGRY DEER
- Large numbers of deer have been seen roaming Lake Mildred recently. Perhaps they were just hungry, or perhaps they were being persued by hungry predators, like the lone (and hungry) coyote that we witnessed chasing deer in mid-lake Mildred, in mid-day. Or maybe they were simply glad to be able to finally walk, not being constrained by the deep deep snow.
MARCH 23 - HUNGRY FISHER
- Richard & Susan Nelson spied a fisher in a crabapple tree scrounging for apples, and is seen here both in the tree and on the ground. One doesn't normally think of fishers as eating apples, but when you're hungry you eat what you have to, to survive!
MARCH 22 - NORTHERN FLYING SQUIRRELS
- Shortly after dark, the Ebbens report being visited by these wondrous little creatures at their suet feeders, all year long. Their cat will watch them endlessly, totally enthralled, apparently wondering if it's bird or a squirrel.
MARCH 15 - A SPRING THAW!
Short but sweet, temps suddenly warmed to near 50 degrees and melted lots of snow, which created water problems and flooding in some areas. But now it is back to freezing...for a few days, anyway. Then maybe warm again late next week? The snow is finally melted enough that the deer can start moving around in the woods, searching for food. And large numbers of deer have been wandering on Lake Mildred. Yesterday we saw 30 deer strung out in a very long herd in mid lake.
MARCH 10 - DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (DST) -
Daylight Saving Time begins today. And altho it is somewhat warmer, at 9 am we are in the midst of yet another snowstorm. Sigh. After spending the past 2 weeks digging out the previous storms and clearing incredibly deep snow off the roofs, we were (are!) hoping for a break soon. But March is normally our snowiest month, plus......we heard that when March heard that February had stolen the snowiest-month record, March said "Oh yeah, we'll see about that".
MARCH 3 - TGIM (Thank God It's March) -
After all, it should
be warmer in March right? But it's not. This morning was -12 to start the day, with a North windchill making it feel like -27; after a day of sunshine the afternoon temperature is predicted to only reach a high of 8 degrees today. More 'winter news': The tremendous weight of the snow on top of the ice is causing deep slush & water on top of the ice in some lakes. The weight of snow is also caving in roofs on houses, garages, sheds, warehouses & stores. Sales of 'snow roof rakes' are, literally, through the roof (sorry ;-))
FEBRUARY 25 - THE BLIZZARD OF '19
(2019 that is) -
The snow is deep and just keeps falling. How deep is it, you ask? The snow is piled so deep on Lake Mildred that a snowmobile could get stuck. Seriously! Our money predicts that the lake level on Lake Mildred is not finished rising, and will be surprisingly high when the Spring thaw finally comes. Entire piers have disappeared under the snow and boat lift canopies are only 3 feet above the snow! Statistics: So far we've had 46" of snow in February; the former record was set in 1937 at 39". We'll most likely go over 50" for February alone, whereas the annual
average is 60".
FEBRUARY 6 - 2019 LMPOA CALENDAR OF EVENTS -
The 'Meetings' page was just updated with this year's schedule
(mark your calendar!) The schedule is:
> Saturday May 25, 2019 9 AM Membership Meeting
at Newbold Town Hall
---- Special Speaker: Author Ted Rulsch, who wrote the book "A Lakeside Companion"
> Saturday, July 6, 2019 3 PM - The Annual Lake Mildred 4th of July Flotilla
Decorate your boat if you like & meet at the boat landing (or you can 'join the parade' at any point you like!)
> Saturday August 31, 2019 9 AM - Membership Meeting
at Newbold Town hall
JANUARY 15 - SNOWY AND WHITE ON LAKE MILDRED
- And frozen too, but actually far less ice on the lake than usual for this time of year. And unsafe for vehicles YET. A very strange year all around, you could say. Even the Eagle River ice sculpture was cancelled due to lack of ice and unsafe ice conditions.
JANUARY 1 2019 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!