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OUR EFFORTS

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Monitoring

  • Lake Geneva & surrounding water sampling

  • Weekly summer beach sampling for E-coli bacteria

  • Annual Geneva Lake Boat count with Water Safety Patrol

  • Zebra mussel assessment

  • Aquatic Plan survey

  • Lake Geneva well monitoring

  • Clean Boats Clean Water initiative to control invasive species

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Reports

  • Lake Management Plan with WDNR, SEWRPC, and USGS

  • Summary Information Sheet on Geneva Lake and management

  • Groundwater reports

  • Newsletter, Geneva Waters

  • E-coli bacteria study on Harris Creek, 

  • Annual Mailing 2,500 piece 

  • Guiding document for uniform zoning and protection 

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Community

  • Groundwater Information & Education program for residents  

  • Ice-On contest

  • Work with communities in Sanitary Waste Management 

  • College internship and high school job-shadowing

  • Presentation of reports to schools

  • Co-sponsor scholarships for students to attend Natural Resource Career Workshops 

What are we up to?

  • Summer 2023: As the summer season starts, we are getting busy with monitoring and testing the lake. We are continuing weekly beach testing for E.coli and those results are reported on social media, our website, and the newspaper. White River sampling, groundwater well monitoring, and zebra mussel population surveys, continue to be done monthly. The GLEA has been responding to citizen reports with site visits and research in order to best educate our community. This summer we have been monitoring the large fish kill around the lake. Four permanent CD3 boat cleaning stations have been installed around the lake at three different launches to encourage boaters to clean their watercraft in hopes of stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). This is part of the Clean Boats Clean Waters initiative to educate the public on AIS through the use of launch staff as trained inspectors. GLEA has worked to support the 2023 Nearshore Fisheries Survey, first done in 1978 and conducted 4 times total, and the Annual Aquatic Plant PI Survey done in partnership with SEWRPC. We conducted out Annual Boat Count (docked and moored) in early August, totaling to almost 5,000 boats. (updated 8/30/23)

  • Summer 2022:  GLEA continues to conduct weekly beach testing, monthly groundwater well monitoring, zebra mussel population surveys. An aquatic plant survey was also done as well as, the annual boat count on the lake. GLEA managed the Clean Boats Clean Waters Program which emphasizes the importance of cleaning your watercraft and educates boaters on the spread of invasive species, collecting over 200 hours at each Geneva Lake public launch supported by a traveling CD3 unit that housed attachments to clean watercraft as they are entering or exiting the water. In late July, we took a scuba diving trip with Town of Linn Fire Department at the starry stonewort colony site to monitor existing populations. 

  • Summer 2019:  A major priority for the summer of 2019 is to address the presence of starry stonewort through an attempt to eradicate it from  Geneva Lake.  A lake-wide aquatic plant survey will be conducted to identify the plant species present in Geneva Lake and to assure that no new invasive species have been established in any new locations. The Big Foot Beach Creek Watershed Study will be conducted in cooperation with Badger High School to  continue the efforts of the Phosphorus Initiative, an effort to reduce phosphorus loading to Geneva Lake. Lake, river, groundwater and the municipal beaches will continue to be monitored as in the past. 

  • Summer 2018: The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency is collecting water samples from five Geneva Lake beaches on a weekly basis throughout the summer as a means to help monitor and maintain the health of Geneva Lake. The Lake Geneva Regional News Paper publishes the E. coli test results from each sampling. Click here to view the 2018 Aquatic Plant Management Permit for the Geneva Lake Property Owners.

  • Summer 2017: The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency will be conducting several small studies including our on-going lake, White River and municipal beach sampling. For 2017 we will be installing groundwater monitoring wells in the Fontana Fen, assessing the impacts of chemical treatment on a small lake lagoon and the nearby lake and initiating a five year well testing program on drinking wells.

  • Summer 2016: The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency revisited its assessment of zebra mussels and their impact on the lake bottom community. For more information on the summer 2016 assessment ,click on “Current Lake Data” link and then click on Zebra Mussels on the left hand side of the page.

  • Summer of 2015: The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency conducted the most comprehensive aquatic plant survey ever conducted on Geneva Lake. Over 750 sites were sampled with the type and amount of plants recorded. For more info on the survey click on the “Current Lake Data” link at the top of the page and then click on “Aquatic Plant Survey’ on the left hand side of the page.

Boats docked, moored, or stored on Geneva Lake in 2017-2020

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Dark blue = City of Lake Geneva

Light blue = Linn North Shore

Green = Williams Bay

White = Fontana

Orange = Linn South Shore

With the discovery of starry stonewort  at several locations in the southeast corner of Geneva Lake outside the lagoon, starry stonewort’s best long-term management shifted from eradication to containment and control. 

Starry Stonewort Management 

on Geneva Lake 

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Long term management is anticipated to include controlling this invasive through chemical treatment, hand pulling and possibly a few other options that are being tried on other lakes.  As with a terrestrial environment, the best way to keep unwanted weeds from spreading in your lawn is to have a healthy lawn. It is the same with unwanted weeds in the lake.  Keeping  a healthy, bio-diverse, and balanced plant community will deter any unwanted weeds from establishing themselves and spreading throughout the lake.  

  

The biggest way to keep unwanted invasive species from getting into the lake and spreading, is through educating boaters at the launch, ensuring boats are being cleaned before and after they enter the lake.  Keeping a clean boat while on the lake, focusing on removing vegetation and mud from anchors and props before you move to another site is one sure way of reducing the spread of an invasive within a lake.  This is the message of the Clean Boats Clean Waters program which is active on Geneva Lake's municipal launches. For information on the the Clean Boats Clean Water initiative visit https://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/cbcw/ .

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