Lake Puckaway Protection and Rehabilitation District (LPPRD)

2019 Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing

Marquette Village Hall
June 1, 2019

In accordance with Ch 33.30 (1) of WI Statutes the 41st Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing of the Lake Puckaway Protection and Rehabilitation District was called to order at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 1, 2019 by Chairman Kurt McCulloch.

Commissioners in attendance: Kurt McCulloch, Gene Weber, Roger Swanke, Jeff Kimber, Keith Barnes, and Bob Schweder. Absent: Gary Wilson. Minutes recorded by Melissa Barnes.

I.          Certification of Open Meeting Notice

Notices placed in Marquette Tribune, Markesan Regional Reporter, and LPPRD website. 1,015 newsletters mailed to district members.

II.          Adoption of Agenda

No changes were made to the agenda. Jeff Kimber made a motion to adopt the agenda; seconded by Gene Weber. Motion passed unanimously.

III.          Secretary’s Report; Kurt McCulloch (June 2, 2018)

The secretary’s report was issued at the meeting and placed on the website. Michael Raddatz made a motion to suspend the reading of the secretary’s report; seconded by Randy Schmidt. Motion passed unanimously.

IV.          Treasurer’s Report 2018

The treasurer’s report was handed out at the meeting. Motion by Jeff Kimber to suspend the reading of the report, seconded by Keith Barnes. Motion passed unanimously.


I.          Commissioner’s Report

a.      Princeton Dam Project Update

Per DFDM State Project Manager on the Princeton Dam Rehabilitation Project, Brent Binder, general construction bids were received on May 3, 2019. The Princeton Dam project is over budget and the DOA is looking for additional dollars for the overages. The Princeton Dam project has been placed as an agenda item for the financial committee on June 21, 2019, we should know more after that date. The DOA is securing and extending the construction bids until new dollars are found. If the LPPRD is asked to help, a special meeting will be called. The Princeton Dam rehabilitation project is the first priority of the LPPRD board, and we are on hold financially until we know Princeton Dam construction costs are finalized. The Princeton Dam renovation includes a fixed crest dam with a new concrete cap of 16.5 inches higher than the existing dam. No more dam boards will be needed to be set. The plans include replacing the lock channel gates, adding a fish passage or ladder and placing extra heavy rip rap immediately downstream from the dam breaking the water hydraulics.

b.     Tern Project Report

All four species of endangered terns not only utilized the lake throughout the summer but three of these species had recorded fledging success. The first weekend in May, two tern rafts or artificial nesting platforms were placed behind the east/west dredge banks. Thanks to Randy Schmidt, Rich Pergande, and Gene Weber for their work in prepping the rafts for nesting. We have just recently lost one of the rafts to high water and wind. The dredge bank usually protects this area but the high water level is over the dredge banks. Since 2014, a total of 273 Common Tern chicks have fledged from these rafts. Lake Puckaway project continues to be one of the most successful programs for this critically endangered tern species. Because Common Terns do not nest near vegetation and since the rafts platform raises and lowers with the water changes, they are perfect for annual nesting success.

c.      Hatchery Report

Randy Schmidt, Rich Pergande, and Paul Gettelman helped out and their summary is as follows:

Around September 2018, we had a lot of rain and the hatchery needed to be taken apart and pulled from Fish Camp location because of the flooding on the Fox River. At that time we decided to keep the hatchery out until spring because water didn’t recede much over winter. Around the second week of March 2019, the rapid melt put readings at the Princeton Dam by the third week in March at 11.11 on the gauge at the dam and 3,550 cubic feet per second going over the dam.


Fish Camp grounds were again flooded with around 24 inches of water where our hatchery stood. We met as a team and wondered if we would even be able to operate the hatchery in 2019. By the week of April 1, 2019, the water by the hatchery had receded to about 8 inches. The team again talked and we decided we would meet on April 7, 2019, and at least set the hatchery up and if possible operate the hatchery for the 2019 season. High winds, snow and cold weather came in that week. It was decided between the DNR and the team to not put the nets in until April 16, 2019. Listening to others who were fishing, we had an idea we may be late but again said we would still give it our best effort. It seemed Mother Nature was against us this year with the high water and bad weather. The number of female fish caught in the nets this year was way down. It appears we missed the prime time when the high winds and the snow came in. According to the DNR, our natural reproduction should be up considerably this year because of the high water.


We had a total number of eggs this year of 139,300 and hatched out 97,500 fry which we released into the lake on May 7, 2019. This brings our total of fry released in the lake for the last 10 years of our hatchery operation of 10,461,700 fry. Randy Schmidt, Rich Pergande, and Paul Gettelman would like to thank all volunteers that came down to help with the hatchery this year: Rick Klawieter, Gary Walker, Randy Schultz, Justin Kohn, Gene Weber, Dick and Don Krueger, Tim Dauma, John Hoffman, and the local DNR staff, Dave Bartz and Scott Bunde.


d.     Shallow Lake Study Group

The WDNR Ted Johnson helped secure a group of LPPRD board members, volunteers and wildlife professionals to study the lake to develop a plan for protecting and rehabilitating the lake. This group met three times. This group came back to the board with a clear message direction to improve the east end of Puckaway and apply for grant dollars. This group reviewed the Army Corp of Engineers wind fetch study and concept designed for improving the east basin as water quality filter area. The goal of LPPRD is to apply for lake grants. The board will need to move quickly. There are grants from $200,000 to possibly up to or just over a million dollars. The plan was to start with rehabilitation of the east/west dredge bank.

e.      State Grant Protection and Improvement Update

Grants are up to about $200,000 per year from the state, and possible that we might get some other grants. We have $100,000 from Ducks Unlimited. We could possibly free up some more money on the dam project. Typically on a grant, you have to have 25% up front, and then later you get reimbursed after the work is done.

A study done by the Army Corp of Engineers in 2018 shows that there’s turbine in water and without proper weed growth and barriers, water turns over and brings sediment into the water and also takes the nitrates from the bottom of the lake and stirs them up and kicks it out down the river. The water coming into the lake is fairly clear and when it leaves Puckaway, it’s dirty. The Lake Management Plan and Shallow Lake Study Group is working to solve this problem. We are in the process of rebuilding the east-west dredge bank, because it’s the easiest and least expensive, and the most we can gain at this point. We are also thinking about putting islands in that east basin to break the wind. At this point, we don’t know how to do the islands; we may only start with a couple, some, or all of them in at the same time. These islands will help with more fishing structure and habitat on one side of that because it will stop the wind from blowing in there and will be the delta going out of Puckaway to filter that material out.

As we go for grants, we have to be specific as each grant is individual. The LPPRD board meets on it and discusses each grant item that’s going to be repaired. We are getting help from Derek Kavanaugh and Paul Gunderson from Green Lake County, and they are doing our engineering, and hopefully our construction. The LPPRD is in discussions to get that done. The grant application is a work in progress but the LPPRD board will take the grant level to what we can for improving the lake.

f.       Website and Facebook Improvements

The LPPRD website and Facebook page needs improvement for better and faster communications and ease of use. We either need a volunteer study group or an outside consultant to maintain and update our sites. The board will continue to explore options for improving its use of technology.

g.      Need for Volunteers

Sign-up sheets were provided for people to volunteer for the following:

       Tern Rafts: We have one tern raft that needs to be removed and repaired behind the dredge bank. We have been given $500 to get this nesting platform back on line. We also have another pontoon to be prepped to make a third raft. A good Saturday work crew could make this happen. Spend some time with your neighbors and help an endangered Common Tern population. This would be an expansion to the Common Tern colony and help with the endangered tern. We need volunteers to move and place rafts in the Spring and Fall plus maintain them.

       Water Quality Technicians: We need to have a minimum of two people volunteer and make a major time commitment for training on water quality testing equipment and also in sampling four times during the Spring through the Fall for water quality samples. The DNR will train these individuals. This could be a great stepping stone for a young person looking to college in environmental studies. The district may help fund these volunteers that are committed to do this work for a number of years. Water sampling is a key for the District to identify improvement on water coming in and out of the Lake system.

       Fish Hatchery: We need some special volunteers beginning in March that have a flexible schedule to be willing to be trained and understand out hatchery. Weather conditions can be a challenge for our workers. Things happen rather quickly during the walleye spawning. Our goal is to increase the number of nets set by the DNR and get back to our goal of 1 million fry release per year. Not many lake districts have hatcheries. Our hatchery is here to protect the walleye population using Lake Puckaway when poor natural spawning occurs or weather/water conditions affect the walleye population. We also have a lot more users on the lake which could impact our walleye population.


II.          Open Public Comment (30 minutes)

Public comments varied for 30 minutes. They covered topics of the nitrates coming into the lake, carp removal from the lake, phosphorus levels in the lake, channel buoys, drawdown and the Lake Management Plan.


I.          Proposed 2020 Budget and Tax Levy

Chair McCulloch reviewed the proposed budget for 2020 as follows:





       Projected Unexpanded Revenues

from FY 2019 …………………………………………11,000

Anticipated Donations ………………………………..200

Anticipated Interest ……………………………………600

Tax Levy Recommended ………………………..34,200

Administration ………………………….……..5,000

Lake Management ………..…..………….13,500

Hatchery ……………………….………………..8,000

Rough Fish ………………………..…………..10,000

Lake Improvement/Water Quality …..5,500

Tern Raft & Survey ………..…………………4,000

Operations ……………………………………..41,000


TOTAL REVENUE                                                $46,000

TOTAL EXPENSES                                        $46,000

Probable equalization for 2020 will be $.30/$1,000 or $30 on $100,000 home/property.

Note: Grant Budget (Funds transferred from savings) = $50,000





EAGLE Checking Account …………….……24,201.30

LPIA Hatchery and Buoy Account …….…6,915.15

Money Market Account …...….............93,052.82

CD Total ………………………………………...142,975.59

TOTAL COMBINED FUNDS                $267,144.86




Proposed Tax Levy for 2020 …..…….….$34,200

                           for 2019 .....…………$34,900

for 2018 …..…......…$35,000



II.          Budget Hearing and Adoption of the 2020 Budget

Deb Flagel made a motion to adopt the budget for 2020, seconded by Mark VanderWaal. Motion passed unanimously.

--- 15-minute break ---


III.          Election of Commissioners

Two commissioners’ terms are up (Kurt McCulloch and Jeff Kimber). One commissioner resigning (Gene Weber). Chairman McCulloch passed the gavel to Keith Barnes for the elections.

The first election was for the term of Kurt McCulloch. Mike Raddatz made a motion to nominate Kurt McCulloch; seconded by Jeff Kimber. No opponents. Motion passed unanimously.

The second election was for the term of Jeff Kimber. Keith Barnes made a motion to nominate Jeff Kimber; Mike Raddatz seconded. Bob Schweder made a motion to pass a unanimous vote. Motion passed unanimously.

For Gene Weber’s vacancy, Willy Stalker was appointed by Kurt McCulloch, seconded by Keith Barnes. Motion passed unanimously.


IV.          Annual Meeting Review by the Board and Election of Officers

       LPPRD board officers were elected to the board:

Chairman: Kurt McCulloch nominated by Jeff Kimber/1st Keith Barnes/2nd Roger Swanke

Treasurer: Keith Barnes nominated by Bob Schweder/1st Jeff Kimber/2nd Kurt McCulloch

Secretary: Jeff Kimber nominated by Keith Barnes/1st Bob Schweder/2nd Roger Swanke

       For website/Facebook clean-up and maintenance, Melissa Barnes will put together a proposal for technology administration fees for LPPRD board review.

       Next meeting will be held July 13, 2019 at Marquette Town Hall at 10am.


V.          Adjournment

a.      Meeting motioned to close by Kurt McCulloch/1st Keith Barnes/2nd Roger Swanke