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A letter in the July 21, 2009, Tomahawk Leader:
WVIC–Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company
The Rice Reservoir a.k.a Lake Nokomis is being drawn down again. The reason, lack of rain... Just call Sam Morgan (WVIC), he will inform you of such. My wife did on June 22 and asked why the reservoir was being drawn down at a rapid rate. Lack of rain was the answer. She went on to add that we had bluegills spawning by our dock and at the rate of the drawdown the beds would be high and dry and the fish would die. His answer was we don’t kill fish and fish are not my bag. OK, the fish would not die but the spawn would. Nice answer.
Now a call to the DNR office where my wife spoke to Mr. Kubifiak, a fish biologist at the Rhinelander office. … He first corrected her … and said we live on Lake Nokomis. He said Lake Nokomis is not a lake, it is a reservoir, and if the fish spawn died, well the reservoir has a lot of panfish and could afford to lose some. … what kind of answer is that? If the fish were spawning at our dock, weren’t they spawning in other parts as well? …
We are not newcomers up there. We have owned our home for 17 years. We have also done lake studies for the DNR as volunteers, logging over a 100 such tests over a 4-year period. Here is a stat on 04-28-09, the water depth at the end of our dock … was 16 inches. On 05-21-09 (it) was 41 inches. That mark is the high water mark for the year. We first saw the bluegills spawning on 06-19-09, water depth 34 inches. On 06-22-09, water depth 29-½ inches, two of the spawning beds exposed. Water drawn down 4-1/2 in three days. On 06-24-09 the last bed exposed. Here’s the math, high water mark on 05-21-09 41 inches and as of this letter water mark by the dock 3 inches. 38 inches of water drawn down in 49 days. …
Last winter the DNR stopped the draining of the Spirit due to the residents signing a petition. So the answer from the DNR: They got a license we can’t do anything just is not true. In fact, the lady that started the petition was told by the Federal Energy Commission that our DNR could step in and order WVIC to stop the draining, which they did. …
One more thought ... The kayak course in Wausau. More dates, more practice sessions, more pressure on the reservoir. WVIC will tell you they, meaning Wisconsin Public Service, reroutes the water from one spot to another and no more water is needed. That just does not make sense. The water has to come from somewhere … I have mentioned two people by name in this letter and I did so to establish a base for this letter and to list our concerns. It is not my intention that these two people are to fault, but more cooperation is I believe is needed.
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