Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Local lakes recently have been iced over enough to walk on, but not for long, as 40 degree temps and rain will again make the ice dangerous
As recently as Saturday, reports of vehicles falling through the thin ice on Wind Lake have underscored the danger of fluctuating temperatures on the surface of area lakes. Tom Zagar, conservation coordinator with the city, confirmed that while much of the lake surface on Big Muskego was strong enough to support fishermen, the thickness can change depending on where you walk. "Technically, a person can be supported on as little as two inches of ice, but it's when that ice thins that you have to be careful of," he said. Most area lakes are recording approximate thicknesses of five inches, but as an early winter warm up is underway, the integrity of the ice is compromised. To make it dicier, rain is forecast for Thursday night, which can …
Friday, October 26, 2012
Lake levels are up thanks to recent rains, and colder weather has helped navigation, while officials also see a silver lining in summer fish kill.
The concerns over navigation on Big Muskego Lake seem to be ebbing away as the lake levels have risen. Tom Zagar, conservation coordinator with the city, told the Common Council Tuesday that the lake has risen eight inches with the recent rainfalls, which is good news for boaters. "We finally have high water on the lake, and boats are able to navigate much more easily than they have all summer," Zagar said. However, he explained that the level is still about four inches below the sill of the dam. In addition, the cooler weather has had an impact on milfoil on the lake. The invasive aquatic weed had nearly choked off all boat traffic just a month ago on the lake, leaving residents to ask if chemical treatments had been enough. Now, Zagar …
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The lake is in its "worst condition in years" after two dry summers. Residents want answers, but conservationists say they are doing what they can and expect winter to rectify problems with weeds and water levels.
Big Muskego Lake Deputy Commissioner Greg Burmeister was blunt. "I haven't seen the weed situation this bad in years on the lake," he said. Unprecedented dry conditions this summer and a mild winter and spring have led to a "perfect storm" on the lake to make it difficult for boaters to get on the lake and navigate once they do make it. "We were in open water by March 3rd this year and boats were on the lake, so the weeds have had a chance to grow. The milfoil along with algae has made some areas impassable, and I'd say one-quarter to one-third of the lake is covered by it," Burmeister reported. Generally, the growth of the invasive Eurasian milfoil dies off as water temperatures drop. However, the excessive heat and drought brought water …
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A fatal accident claims a Muskego man's life, and businesses take a step forward in expanding and rebuilding.
July 7 - The weekend began on a tragic note, as resident Robert Gunderson was killed while riding his bike on Woods Road. Muskego Resident Killed on Bike, Details are Few July 9- We took a tour of Muskego's newest park, which will open in fall with archery: Park Arthur Takes Shape The dry weather took on more serious terms - Gov. Walker Declares State of Emergency for Drought Conditions July 10 - plan commission and council members approved a change to the comprehensive plan to take out the specific mentions of lake properties, but said development is always going to be possible: Lake Park Will Always Be a Possibility, Say Planners However, despite a thumbs up at plan commission for a local business to rezone, DJ's Gets Rezoning …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Fish kills reported by conservation coordinator on the big lake, with thousands of northern pike lost as temps remain hot.
In one respect, the term 'gin clear' is good when you're talking about lake water quality. Photos from a tour on Big Muskego Lake seem like there's no water there at all as the bottom of the lake is easily visible. However, in a second summer where temperatures have reached the 100s, it's not so great for the fish, which are dying off in the thousands on Muskego's big lake. "We're seeing thousands of northern pike, it's just been too hot on the big lake. Bass Bay is better, as the fish are finding cooler water there," explained Muskego's Conservation Coordinator, Tom Zagar. Much of the 2,000 acres of Big Muskego is considered more like a deep-water marsh (referred to as the big lake), with depths reaching only six feet. Bass Bay provides …
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Despite being in the shallow part of Big Muskego Lake, police officials say residents were lucky to be alive after capsizing their boat Monday night
For anyone who knows the Big lake in Muskego, unless it's Bass's bay, general depths are around 18 inches to 4 feet. However, as four men were dumped into the lake after their boat capsized Monday night, if there wasn't a high likelihood of drowning in the shallow water, police say the cold temps and silt bottom could have resulted in a far worse situation. The men, all Muskego residents, told rescue officials that the tilt on their outboard was not working, and the bottom of the motor likely caught the shallow bottom or some obstacle underwater and tipped the craft over. Muskego Police Captain John LaTour said it was a larger sized boat with a 100-plus horsepower outboard and said boaters aren't often aware that Big Muskego is not your …
Monday, April 30, 2012
Boaters flipped vessel and were stranded about 500 yards off shore, but former mayor and daughter were there to help get them to safety.
According to authorities, four men were thrown in the water Monday night on Big Muskego Lake, about a quarter mile from shore, as their boat capsized in shallow water. Former Muskego Mayor Dave DeAngelis and his daughter happened to be passing nearby in their boat, and were able to get the men, who were all from Muskego, back to shore. Tess Corners Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and one man was transported to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. All of the men are expected to be okay. We will update this story as more details become available.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Lake levels are back up, and so is the fishing after a mild winter is likely to yield a perfect season on the water.
The lack of 'good ice' for fishing and increased lake depths over the winter has meant a great spring season for those looking to cast a line on the waters of Big Muskego Lake. Greg Burmeister, deputy commissioner for the lake district, said the drier than normal summer and concerns over the low levels that limited boating activity on the lake last year have been righted in a big way. "Water levels are back up to normal, and during recent rain events have raised them even further, to about four to six inches above the dam," he told the Muskego Common Council last Tuesday. Overall the lake level is up two feet from last year's depth, which is welcome news for boaters and lake residents who were prevented from using them last year. The lake …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
$170,000 offer will be made on Big Muskego parcel, and will allow the city to apply for grant funding once purchased.
The city moved forward on a purchase of 3.45 acres of land including the launch site at the Boxhorn Gun Club on Big Muskego Lake. The common council voted unanimously after closed session discussion to offer $170,000 for the property. The city had been leasing the site from the owners of the Boxhorn Gun Club and had 10 years left in the agreement. However, DNR grant funding is only available on longer term agreements or if the city would own the land, so in the interests of gaining ownership of the lake property, the parks department had recommended purchase. Improvements to the site had been made in 2002 with the aid of a 50 percent DNR Waterways Commission grant, and further improvements are needed. The land includes 393 feet of frontage…
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Variable temperatures have meant slow or poor ice forming and even with a recent cold snap, the advice is extreme caution.
If you're kids got ice skates for Christmas, they are probably still in the box. Likewise, the ice shanty and tip-ups will need to wait, even though the temperature Tuesday morning was seven degrees. Fahrenheit. "Conditions are probably getting good to venture out in some areas," said Tom Zagar, Conservation Coordinator for the city. However, he cautioned, "I like to wait for about three inches of ice to walk on – we may already have that in some areas but the first people out need to be careful. You need to test thickness often by making holes with an ice auger or a metal spud bar. Walk with a buddy in single file at least 20 feet apart." Zagar said that being prepared for thin ice "can mean the difference between an inconvenient cold …