DNR seeks to protect Partridge Lake swimmers
By Angie Landsverk
The boards of both the village and town of Fremont are being asked to consider amending their joint slow, no-wake ordinance.
The area under discussion is where the Wolf River meets Partridge Lake.
Jeff Knorr, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden, attended the Aug. 9 meeting of the Fremont Village Board to discuss safety concerns in that area.
He planned to do the same with the Fremont Town Board.
Knorr said his concerns are based on what he is hearing from the public and what he is seeing when on patrol.
There is a joint ordinance because one side is in the village and the other is in the town, he said.
“Anytime there are two municipalities, there is a joint ordinance,” he said.
The slow, no wake hours begin at midnight on Friday and are in effect until midnight on Sunday.
There are two buoys in the area under discussion.
Knorr said it is easy to plot with technology where those buoys are supposed to be placed.
At times, people move them, and Knorr then has to move the buoys where they should be.
He is recommending extending the slow, no-wake zone to protect the Partridge Lake swimming area and to address the point at which boats are coming into that zone.
An additional buoy would likely need to be added.
“Basically, square it off,” Knorr said.
The shallow area in Partridge Lake is popular for swimming.
Boaters heading down the river come around a blind corner, he said.
There are people fishing by the rocks and then other boaters coming off of Partridge Lake planning to head up river, Knorr explained to the board.
People cannot see each other, and there is also the swimming area.
“We have had near misses of people getting hit,” Knorr said.
If both municipalities agree to amend the current ordinance, they could then map out where to place the buoys.
“Not having buoys in the right place is like not having speed limit signs in the right place,” Knorr said. “They need to be in the right place.”
Village trustees agreed that area needs to be addressed.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Bobbi Marks. “I can’t see anyone saying no to it.”
Knorr said, “It would be nice, one way or another, to try to address this for future boating seasons.”
When municipalities create an ordinance like this, it falls on them to make the ordinance as they see fit, he said.
Trustee John Kohl said the village’s Ordinance Committee will have to meet and vote on it.