Easy Navigation:  Home > Organizations > Marsh Clubs > MMC

TO: Marsh Management Committee

FROM: Andy Nelson, Wildlife Team Leader

SUBJECT: November 6, 2001 Meeting Minutes

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

At our November meeting we had a nice mix of regulars and newcomers to discuss the full agenda.

We began with a round of management updates from hunters and managers. The general consensus was one of disappointment regarding waterfowl hunting success. Few hunters reported having consistent success. Most felt that mild weather patterns and a lack of frontal systems helped slow the migration and minimized flight days. The only exception seemed to be the Halloween windstorm that seemed to push a few birds around.

Diane reports that the Refuge continues to hold substantial numbers of birds. As a pleasant surprise the main pool on the refuge has recovered from a summer of dense algae blooms to provide good forage for mallards and a variety of other ducks. Numbers there are strong.

Andy reported that he was still waiting for permit approvals to proceed with installation of the new culvert at the Miescke Impoundment. All supplies are on hand and ready when approval comes.

At our October meeting we had worked through a few options for water management planning for 2002. Out of the discussion had come a recommendation that we continue to follow the same pattern of water management next summer. Briefly, the plan will be to hold current water levels at about 75.1 for the winter. We will begin to lower the Marsh level at the same time as Lake Sinissippi (Feb. 15th) in anticipation of spring runoff. We will then leave the dam fully open through the summer. At our July meeting we will determine the desired fall level and timing of refill.

As many in attendance had anticipated, the group next began a discussion of the proposed motorless area a.k.a. the Wetland Wilderness Area. To start this topic, Andy provided a brief history of the proposal, its intent, and the ground rules for discussion.

Andy next provided a summary of the public use survey. This survey was placed at the boat landings around the marsh. It was also provided to individuals who contacted the DNR office specifically to obtain the survey. This limited distribution was done intentionally to focus the survey responses from actual Marsh boaters. This narrow focus was selected because this group is most directly affected by the proposal.

Over 100 surveys were received from October 1 through November 4. Of those, roughly 2/3 of the respondents did not favor restricting motor use in any way. In general these folks visited the Marsh an average of 18 times per year primarily for hunting. These folks were likely to use outboard motors or "Go-Devil-type" motors as their primary means of navigation. They seldom noted any user conflicts on the Marsh and did not view other boats as an impediment to their enjoyment of the Marsh.

Roughly 1/3 of survey respondents favored some form of motor restriction. These folks visited the Marsh an average of 16 times per year, primarily for hunting purposes. These users were likely to use outboard motors or skiffs to navigate the Marsh. These users rarely use "go-devil" type motors to access the Marsh.

Through the course of discussion, people representing both points of view reached consensus on several points. These include:

There is mutual concern for the quality of wildlife habitat and hunting opportunity on the Marsh.

The MMC should continue to explore options that will achieve improvements in these areas.

There is disagreement over the degree to which motor restrictions would help improve wildlife habitat and hunting opportunity on Horicon marsh.

The majority of public respondents do not believe that implementing motor restrictions will result in the desired improvements to wildlife habitat and hunting opportunity.

As a result of this discussion, the group decided to conclude its consideration of the Wetland Wilderness proposal. Accordingly, the Conservation Congress will be asked to remove the matter from consideration for the 2002 Spring Hearings.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank everyone for his or her candid and considerate participation in this debate. This topic has proven to be one of the more internally challenging issues with which the MMC has had to wrangle. Though there was great potential to do otherwise, this issue has been a positive, strengthening issue for the MMC. As a result, we now have more interest and more help in our continuing efforts to better the Marsh. Thank You!

As we have done with some regularity in recent months, we again discussed formation of a Fundraising Committee. While we have a list of projects and a road map for the future development of the Marsh, we do not currently have access to the financial resources to bring these plans into reality.

Andy noted that his position with DNR limits his ability to directly solicit funds and follow up on leads. However, he is in an excellent position to support fundraising efforts by providing information, visual aids, and access to the resources to help a fundraising committee demonstrate the need for additional support. As a result, a separate group of volunteers is needed to help spearhead the drive for funding to complete the many projects envisioned by the MMC.

The ideal Fundraising Committee member will be someone with a deep interest in the future of the Marsh as well as a personal knowledge of its recent history. A flexible schedule will be highly desirable to allow for time to meet with other committee members and to pursue prospective contributors. At least some of these people should be local to provide for community networking. Others should be from the major metro areas of the state to provide corporate contacts. Involvement with major conservation organizations is also needed from some members. Previous fundraising experience is a major plus. Financial management, tax, and legal skills are highly desirable knowledge areas.

If you possess one or more of the attributes, can exude passion and conviction for Horicon Marsh at the drop of a hat, and can commit yourself to this effort for at least one year, then WE WANT YOU! To volunteer for the MMC Fundraising Committee, please contact Andy at 920-387-7868 to discuss your interest.

After some discussion, a few folks volunteered and nominated others to participate on this committee to one degree or another. Todd Cook, Jerry Voy, and Peter Zeigler have all volunteered for duty on this committee. Additionally, Brian Johnson was nominated as a potential candidate. In the coming weeks, additional volunteers will be sought to round out a core group of fund-raisers who can begin work in 2002.

Our final topic for the night was a brief summary of the 2001 vegetation survey results. In a nutshell, our plant development was less spectacular than 2000 due to severe algae blooms in June and July. However, by August the bloom subsided enough to allow a modest recovery by sago pondweed. Overall, 2001 saw a slight decline in plant diversity and a moderate decrease in submerged plant densities. We will continue to monitor the plant growth next year to see how we fare. Hopefully, the algae bloom will not appear and we can get a truer reading on how well carp control is working to support plant growth.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, December 5 at 6:30 at the DNR Headquarters. I hope you all can join us! And don’t forget to bring a friend! Happy Holidays to all that will not be able to join us!

Our Agenda will include:

Management Updates

Deer Season Recap

Muskrat Survey Volunteers

Fundraising Committee Formation

Nest Success Initiative

Meeting Scheduling

In recognition that our meeting schedule horizon is nearing its end, we took a few minutes to schedule our January meeting. Please mark your calendars for January 8, 2002. This will be our first MMC meeting of the year. I anticipate we will have a special presentation at this meeting. So, join us Dec. 5th.

  What is the MMC?
  2002-2003 Initiatives
  September 03
  August 03
  July 03
  June 03
  May 03
  March 03
  January 02
  Dec 01
  Nov 01
  Oct 01
  Sept 01
  Aug 01
  July 01
  June 01
  Submit a Club Form