The Rice Lake, Lake District brochure has a resourceful map inside. Our brochures can be found at most bait shops, the Chamber of Commerce, Rice Lake City Hall, and Rice Lake Parks and Recreation. If you are unable to access these locations, contact us and we can mail one to you.
If you have seen someone violating lake regulations, please report it to 1-800-TIP-WDNR.
Yes, part of what Rice Lake, Lake District does is public outreach. In the past we’ve presented to various clubs, churches, and organizations. Contact our Lake Coordinator to discuss what topic(s) you’d like us to present on. (What we do, Runoff, Shoreline Restoration, Best Management Practices, etc.) We would be happy to set up a day and time for a visit!
Yes, we have two newsletters. One that goes out in Spring and one that goes out in October. If you live in the Lake District, these are automatically mailed to you.
Yes, the public is welcome to all our meetings. General meetings take place the third Wednesday of every month at the United Presbyterian Church on 20 W Messenger Street Rice Lake, WI 54868. Our annual meeting is on the third Wednesday of October every year (location varies). At this meeting we provide refreshments and discuss upcoming projects and the new budget. We’d love to hear your thoughts! (Keep in mind no action can be taken at the meeting, but items can be added to the next agenda for future discussion.)
Yes! We are always looking for volunteers to help with various clean ups, invasive species removal, help with events, etc. Contact our Lake Coordinator if you are interested or check our Facebook page where we post our volunteer opportunities.
Overall, chemical application or using a lake approved herbicide, is an extensive and expensive project. Permits are required and not always granted for projects. Herbicide application gets rid of aquatic plants quickly but not long term. Most plants re-establish in a few weeks to months or a new plant takes its place. Using chemical application doesn’t attack the plant overgrowth problem at its source. The source being high levels of nutrients. Efforts are better focused on preventing or lowering nutrients (such as phosphorus or nitrogen) from entering the lake mainly through runoff. The less of these nutrients present in the lake, the slower the rate of plant growth will be. Our actions that we do on land, year-round (leaves in Fall, salt in Winter) determine how much nutrients go into the lake and factor in to how much plant growth will take place in the lake in Spring/Summer.
The amount of excess nutrients, temperature, and the abundance of light in a lake factor into the amount of algae. If it seems one particular year is worse than another, that may be because one year had more excess nutrients, warmer temperatures, or more sunlight in the lake than the other. Excess nutrients typically come from runoff- water from rain or snowmelt carrying phosphorus, nitrogen, and pollutants into the lake directly or via storm drains. Too much nutrients cause an acceleration in plant growth resulting in an increase of algae.
A large cause of too much plant growth in the lake is caused by runoff- or rainwater/snowmelt carrying in extra nutrients to the aquatic plants from upland. As a property owner not on the lake, you can install a rain garden, rain barrels, water diversions, and more. You can also be sure to pick up trash, pet waste, and leaves. If you use your boat at one of the landings, be sure to clean off any plant debris before and after your excursion to help stop the spread of invasive species. If you have a lake-related project (i.e. install a rain garden), contact us to see if it’s eligible for our Healthy Lakes Reimbursement Program.
A lake’s watershed is the area around the lake that contributes to the lake’s health. It includes the homes, businesses, farmlands, roads, storm drains, etc. that surround the body of water and channel the water from rainfall or snowmelt into the lake. On its way to the lake, this water picks up garbage, chemicals, waste, and other things that are dumped into the lake negatively affecting its health.
No. Raking leaves into the lake or street (or not properly containing them so they blow into the lake or storm drains) in Fall can cause algal blooms come Summer. Leaves contain phosphorus and nitrogen that leak into the water as the leaves decompose in the lake. These excess nutrients fuel rapid plant growth and thus the algae bloom.
The best management practice for an eroding shoreline is to plant native plants. These plants have long roots that hold in the soil and slow erosion. Native plants are also disease and freeze resistant because they were “built” for Wisconsin conditions. Once they are established, native plants require no maintenance and provide food for pollinators and beauty for you. Your shoreline project may also be eligible for the Lake District’s Healthy Lakes Reimbursement Program. Contact us to find out!
Surfaces that do not allow rainfall or snowmelt to penetrate or pass through it. The water that runs off of impermeable surfaces does not get filtered before reaching the lake. Examples include roofs, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks.
Although rip rap may be a solution to shoreline erosion, it’s not the best choice. Planting native plants along your shoreline is the best management practice for shoreline erosion (and less expensive). The long roots of these plants hold in the soil and prevent soil loss. Placing rip rap or rock along the shoreline impedes essential wildlife communities. For example, it takes away viable habitat and feeding grounds for frogs and shoreline birds and important nesting places for turtles. Remember, humans aren’t the only ones who use the lake. Rip rap also changes wave energy. When waves come ashore and hit the rock, they scour the bottom of the lake and the adjacent property causing more erosion there. Because of this, rip rap is not covered in the Lake District's Reimbursement Program.
Leaving long grass or better yet planting native plants along your shoreline creates a buffer. This buffer filters runoff to decrease the amount of pollutants entering the lake. The buffer also slows erosion of your property by the long roots of the native plants holding the soil in place. When mowing right down to the water’s edge, you create a direct path for pollutants to enter the lake, an inviting area for geese, and a weak shoreline very susceptible to erosion.
Our Healthy Lake Reimbursement Program
If you have a project idea, contact the Lake Coordinator to help you determine if your project qualifies for the reimbursement program. If it does, our consultant will be in touch with you to set up a plan to get your project completed.
No. A large cause of too much plant growth in the lake is caused by runoff- or rainwater/snowmelt carrying in extra nutrients to the aquatic plants from upland. It is encouraged for non-lake owners to utilize the reimbursement program as well. If you are a property owner not on the lake, you can install a rain garden, rain barrels, water diversions, and more. Contact us to see if your project is eligible for the reimbursement program.
Reach out to our Lake Coordinator at (715) 931-7434 or [email protected]
Commonly referred to as the “weed cutters” the Aquatic Vegetation Harvesters (AVHs) are large machines that go around on the lake trimming submerged aquatic vegetation. They are powered by gas and two large paddle wheels on either side. The paddle wheels are designed to move individually to allow for optimal maneuverability. There is a conveyor belt that moves the harvested plants from the blades at the front, under the boat, and to the rear where the plants are kept until the operator unloads the plants on shore. The blade angle and speed can be adjusted so as not to disturb the sediment and important ecological communities living there. The purpose of the AVH is to keep the navigation channels open for boater usage. If you are interested in seeing one in action, they are typically out on Rice Lake Monday-Friday in the mornings. If you would like to volunteer to be an AVH operator of substitute operator, contact our Operations Manager: Randy Bina at (715) 205-9481.
Once the AVH is full, the operator brings the machine to a designated area on shore to unload the plant matter. This matter is then picked up by a clam truck and taken to a site near Brill, WI. The plant matter is allowed to dry out there and is eventually spread as fertilizer for the site owner’s farm field.
Plants are an essential part to a lake’s ecosystem. The lake and lake wildlife need the plants for food, shelter, nesting grounds, and more. Completely eliminating the plants would result in losing the essential biodiversity of the lake and decreasing the lake’s good health. The AVH operators are allowed to cut plants in areas designated by the DNR. These areas create navigational channels for lake users to traverse the lake. These areas also include around docks to grant lakefront owners lake access. Keeping in mind the AVH operators will get as close to docks as situation permits. The AVH operators also have to be careful when harvesting because some aquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian Water Milfoil, spread via fragmentation. If your area has an invasive such as this, the AVHs will not trim until the invasive is removed for risk of spreading the undesirable plant.
All our AVH operators do their best at keeping docks in Rice Lake free of plants so lakefront owners can reach the main part of the lake. In the event your dock is not being cleared, please contact Lake Operations at (715) 234-4595 or send us a message on our Facebook page.