Planning for Waupaca’s Mirror and Shadow lakes is now under way.
During an Oct. 27 meeting at the Holly History and Genealogy Center, the close to 20 people in attendance learned how a lake plan will be developed.
Most of those who attended live on one of the two lakes and are members of Friends of Mirror and Shadow Lakes. City officials also attended.
Nancy Turyk is the water resource specialist at the Center for Watershed Science and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She said the center will help develop the plan. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provided a $10,000 grant for the project.
Turyk said lake management plans can correct past problems on lakes, protect and improve current conditions, consider the future, allow for proactive responses, incorporate actions for a variety of goals and consider different points of view.
Once the plan is put together, there will be many benefits, she said.
“It sets a time frame and makes someone responsible for action,” Turyk said. “It provides clarity about who is responsible for what.”
Specific topics will be the focus of a series of five informational meetings before a public meeting is held for review and adoption of the plan.
Then, the plan will be sent to the Department of Natural Resources. Once approved, it will be disseminated.
Turyk said management plans have a variety of chapters, including chapters about water quality, land use management, aquatic plants, fisheries, recreation, communication and plan implementation.
First up for the group involved in developing the plan is to think about what is the vision for the lakes.
Information from the Mirror and Shadow Lake 2009 Survey is being used to figure out that vision.
Jen McNelly, an outreach specialist at the Center for Watershed Science and Education, helped develop the citizen survey and analyze the results.
“We will use the survey information as we talk about different topics through the process,” she said. “The lakes are used by hundreds and thousands of people throughout the year, so it’s important to incorporate their views.”
About a year ago, 2,300 surveys were sent to all city residents with their utility bill.
A total of 298 surveys, or 13 percent, were returned. In addition, 48 surveys were conducted at the beach or at other locations on the two lakes.
The survey results show that the lakes are used year-round and on all days of the week, McNelly said.
She said the survey results also show that silent sports are what people enjoy doing most on or near the lakes.
Those who attended the Oct. 27 meeting began to work on what they would like the vision of the lakes to be. A vision statement is expected to be ready for the next planning meeting.
That meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the lower level of the Holly History and Genealogy Center at 321 S. Main St.
The public may attend. Discussion will focus on aquatic invasive species and aquatic plants.