DNR has released a draft of a proposed order which would delay the second stage Lake Koshkonong water level increase scheduled for this summer. Under the current order the maximum summer level would increase from 776.55 feet to 776.75 , MSL l this June 15, subject to DNR determining that the first stage water level increase that took effect in 2017 did not cause severe adverse impacts to wetlands. In order to make that determination DNR conducted a “baseline evaluation” of wetland sites in 2017 and intended to conduct a follow up study this spring.
High water levels made that follow up study impossible and DNR has informed the District that it cannot permit the scheduled water level increase to take effect until it has completed the follow up wetland evaluation. Under the proposed order the 2019 water level increase would be deferred until conditions make it possible for the agency to complete the follow up study and determine that the initial increase has not resulted in severe adverse impacts to wetlands. DNR has also informed RKLD that it remains committed to the essential elements of the 2017 Order, including the second stage water level increase, once it has completed the wetland impact study.
At RKLD’s request the Department has also considered deferring the annual winter drawdown. Under the current order the seasonal lake level drawdown commences on September 28 each year. Under the revised order proposed by DNR the winter drawdown would begin each October 15.
The Department has scheduled a public informational meeting on the proposed order from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 23rd at the Edgerton High School Performing Arts Center at 200 Elm High Drive, Edgerton. Comments may also be submitted to the Department through May 30th by email addressed to Robert.Davis@wisconsin.gov.
RKLD is reviewing the draft Order and considering its response to the Department’s proposal. Comments on the proposed Order and RKLD’s response are welcome and may be directed to members of the Board of Commissioners using the form below.
Steve Proud, Chairman
Rock Koshkonong Lake District
Board of Commissioners
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