Ranch Lake study results nearly complete

Friday meeting, online survey to gather input

The public is invited to learn almost everything there is to know about Ranch Lake starting at 6:15 p.m. Friday (June 14) at the Brazeau Town Hall, 10892 Parkway Road. All who visit and enjoy this lake are invited to attend and participate.

Ranch Lake was studied over 24 months through a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources research grant awarded to Oconto County and the Oconto County Lakes Project, a partnership among community members, Oconto County Land Conservation Department, Oconto County University of Wisconsin-Extension staff, UW-Stevens Point scientists, the Oconto County Lakes & Waterways Association (OCLAWA), and various lake organizations.

In the first phase of the project, citizens met with lake specialists and scientists from UWSP and WDNR, while listing their hopes and concerns for the lake to staff from UW-Extension and Land Conservation. Additionally, volunteers under the guidance of specialists, gathered water samples, inventoried plants, documented shoreline structures, counted fish, recorded invasive species over 24 months.

At Friday’s meeting all of the gathered study data will be presented (shoreland/in lake plants, water conditions, land use of the shoreline, fish species and health, invasive species). The public will then help identify factors important to them and users of the lake, and develop goals and objectives for helping this waterway thrive. This will become the lake management plan for Ranch Lake and will be locally adopted.

In order to obtain as much public feedback as possible, an online survey has been developed. This survey is now open and will remain open until the end of the planning phase – this fall. The survey will add insight into the public’s perceptions and ideas. Everyone who visits and enjoys this lake is encouraged to participate in the survey whether able to attend the planning sessions or not.

The link to the online survey for Ranch Lake is https://tinyurl.com/RanchLakeSurvey. To receive a paper copy of this survey, contact Dale Mohr of UW-Extension at dale.mohr@co.oconto.wi.us or 920-834-6851.

Everyone is welcome at these planning sessions. Information on the planning sessions and plan drafts can be found at https://goo.gl/DGUvLz as they are developed.