Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Concerned citizens bite on state motor trolling proposal

Concerned citizens bite on state motor trolling proposal

By Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 1, 2014
Among conservation matters, changes to deer hunting rules typically draw the strongest reactions in Wisconsin.

That will likely be true for as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

But for at least one day, our “other religion” took a back seat to an angling issue.

Meeting Wednesday in Green Bay, the Natural Resources Board heard not a single objection to a proposal to sharply reduce antlerless deer permits in northern Wisconsin, but it got an earful from folks opposed to motor trolling in the same region.

The public input prompted the board to modify a rule presented by the Department of Natural Resources.

The issue at hand was an expansion of motor trolling in Wisconsin. The DNR proposal, which 62 percent of voters supported at the spring hearings, would allow motor trolling with at least one line per angler statewide and three lines per angler in most counties.

Under current regulations, 19 counties allow motor trolling on all waters, 45 counties allow it on one or more waters (105 total waters) and eight counties don’t allow the practice.

DNR fisheries staff presented the rule change to: simplify regulations by eliminating confusion about where trolling is allowed; allow anglers in moving boats to simultaneously trail suckers and cast lures; eliminate the need for disabled anglers to apply for trolling permits; and provide additional fishing opportunities for anglers who might have difficulty fishing by other means.

Moreover, the agency presented data that showed motor trolling had no biological impact on fish populations, specifically muskies.

But a half dozen residents of northern Wisconsin voiced their strong opposition to expanded motor trolling.

“I’m very much against the one-line trolling proposal,” said John Dettloff, a fishing guide and resort owner from Couderay. “I’m concerned it’s going to put additional stress on our already-fragile musky fishery.”

Dettloff also said it could “hurt the aesthetics” of some north woods waters by increasing boat traffic.

“Please don’t let the genie out of the bottle,” Dettloff said. “Once trolling is allowed I feel it’s going to be very difficult to reverse.”

Art Long, Jim and Ann McComas, Rich Reinert, and Anthony Rizzo also expressed their displeasure.

Only one angler, John Aschenbrenner of Laona, showed up to support the proposal at Wednesday’s meeting.

Many people in the fishing community probably felt they had spoken with their vote at the spring hearings.

“I think Wisconsin needs more opportunities like this to get more people involved in fishing,” Aschenbrenner said.

The board debated several changes to the DNR proposal, including removing Vilas and perhaps other counties from the rule.

DNR fisheries manager Tim Simonson said the agency’s musky committee had been working on the issue for three years.

“We wouldn’t recommend anything that we thought would be detrimental to musky populations,” Simonson said.

In the end, the board decided to approve the proposal under a three-year sunset provision and by limiting the number of lines per boat in certain waters.

Beginning in 2015, the rule approved Wednesday would:

• Allow motor trolling with at least one line per angler on all inland waters in Wisconsin.

• In 55 counties, all inland waters would be open to motor trolling with up to three lines per angler.

• In the remaining 17 counties—on waters not currently open to trolling—trolling would be allowed but would be limited to one line per angler and no more than two lines per boat, which means no more than two anglers trolling at a time. This portion of the rule would affect Door, Florence, Fond du Lac, Iron, Jackson, Lincoln, Marathon, Marquette, Menominee, Milwaukee, Oneida, Ozaukee, Sawyer, Sheboygan, Vilas, Washington and Waushara counties.

The three-year sunset clause means the new rule, which would take effect next year pending legislative review, will revert to the current rule in 2018 unless the board takes additional action.

The DNR would use the coming years to gather data on catch rates, harvest rates and fish populations on waters affected by the expanded trolling opportunities to help guide recommendations on any permanent motor trolling rules.

“Trolling has generated always generated some controversy,” Simonson said. “We’ve addressed it by presenting the most objective data possible. Assuming the legislature doesn’t change anything, we’ll approach the three year period the same way, monitoring the changes and presenting information to the decision-makers.”

Antlerless quotas: The board approved the DNR’s plan to prohibit hunting of antlerless deer in all or part of 19 counties this year. The move is designed to help deer herds recover after two consecutive severe winters, according to the agency, and it has received broad public support.

The zero quotas would cover the entire northern forest region and part of the central forest. In addition, the rule approved antlerless quotas and permit levels for counties throughout the state. In a change resulting from the deer trustee report, bonus antlerless deer tags this year are specific to counties and private or public land.

Each 2014 deer hunting license includes one antlerless tag that may be used on any property in a farmland zone during any season. Extra tags (if available) must be purchased for $12 each.

The DNR will sell 149,475 private land and 23,020 public land antlerless tags this year. The disparity is intended to prevent over-harvest on heavily hunted public properties.

The sales will be staggered, similar to the way leftover spring turkey permits are sold. Forest zone permits will be sold Aug. 18, central farmland zone permits Aug. 19 and southern farmland permits Aug. 20. All sales begin at 10 a.m.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The pipeline passes under the Rock River south of Fort Atkinson just north of Lake Koshkonong

Pipeline upgrades affect Rock, Walworth counties

Enbridge, the Canadian energy company, is upgrading pumps that service the oil pipeline that travels through Wisconsin. Some officials and residents are concerned about the possible impact.
By Catherine W. Idzerda

TOWN OF LIMA--More crude oil will flow through the northeast corner of Rock County and Walworth County if a Canadian energy company gets the go-ahead for upgrades.

Enbridge, an energy company based in Calgary, Alberta, hopes to complete upgrades to four pumping stations--including one in northeast Rock County--in 2014 as part of a project to increase its ability to move crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to refineries in the Great Lakes region. A second phase of pump station upgrades is planned in 2015.

Supporters see the Wisconsin pipeline and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf Coast as critical tools in reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Enbridge's Delavan pump station is located off  Highway 59 in the town of Lima in Rock County, about 25 miles northwest of Delavan.

From that station, the pipeline heads in two directions: southeast through Walworth County toward Chicago and south.

The pipeline, which is referred to as Line 61, has been in use since 2009.

“Around that time, there was an economic decline, and the economy was a little slack,” said Becky Haase, Enbridge spokesperson. “Things are changing. The economy is getting back on its feet.”

The pipeline has been carrying about 400,000 barrels per day.

Demand is up, and the company wants to increase the flow to the pipeline's capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day. The revamped pipeline is scheduled to be in operation in 2016.

According to Enbridge, its pipelines are:

-Built with high-quality steel pipe and are factory- and field-tested.

-Inspected at every weld, “far exceeding the required 10 percent sampling mandated by federal regulation.”

-Pressure-tested with water “at levels above the authorized operating pressure.”

-Monitored 24 hours a day by computerized systems and controllers. Flow-rate alarms and abnormal changes in pipeline pressure would prompt either a computerized shutdown of the line, or control room operators would shut down the system “within minutes.”

The last statement doesn't reassure environmentalists and others who remember the 2010 pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

On July 25, 2010, alarms went off in Enbridge's control room indicating that a pipeline had burst.

Three shifts of pipeline operators misinterpreted those signals, according to a 2012 report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The safety board blamed the company for failing to follow its own safety protocol, and it also blamed the federal government for failing to give its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration the “staff or regulatory muscle to safeguard the public,” according to a 2012 National Public Radio story.

At the time, Deborah Hersman, NTSB chairwoman, said it wasn't until “17 hours and 19 minutes after the rupture that a worker from a local gas utility found the spill and notified the Enbridge control center.”

More than 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into wetlands, a creek and the Kalamazoo River.

As of April 2013, the spill has cost more than $1 billion to clean up. That's in part because the pipe was carrying tar sands, a type of crude that is much heavier than  regular crude.

In order to travel through the pipeline, the crude oil is diluted with a lighter hydrocarbon mixture that is not unlike gasoline, said Stephen Hamilton, the Michigan state ecology professor who serves as a science adviser for the Kalamazoo spill.

When a spill occurs in water, that material evaporates quickly, he said, and the remaining crude floats briefly before sinking to the bottom.

That evaporation releases a variety of chemicals, including benzene, a substance that causes health problems ranging from nervous system issues to cancer.

Enbridge also paid $1.1 million to settle claimsby the DNR and the state Department of Justice that numerous environmental laws were broken during construction of the initial phase of its pipeline system in Wisconsin in 2007 and 2008. The forfeiture involved more than 100 environmental violations in 14 counties.

An Enbridge spokeswoman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the company has spent more than $4 billion in the past two years to upgrade safety and inspection of its pipeline system and other related costs.

For Jefferson County Board Supervisor Walt Christensen, “it's kind of hard to rank” the potential dangers of the pipeline.

“My understanding is that the pipeline was built to handle the volume and pressure described in documents as 1.2 million barrels per day,” Christensen wrote in an e-mail. “However, that was six years ago, and since then we have seen a lot of pipeline failures.

"I believe the high number of failures reveals a greater risk than anyone planned for and so the risk-benefit ratio should be re-examined before allowing the pipe to be stressed at full pressure.”

Christensen's resolution opposing a DNR air permit for the project and asking for an environmental assessment passed at the Jefferson County Board's May meeting.

Among the resolution's points:

-The pipeline passes under the Rock River south of Fort Atkinson just north of Lake Koshkonong.

-The material transported in the pipeline is tar sands, which is more corrosive and acidic than traditional oil and leads to about 3.6 times more spills per mile.

-The DNR only held one public hearing on the issue, and that was in Superior.

-Failure would constitute a “significant threat to the waters and property values of Jefferson County because at peak operation, this pipeline will carry more oil than the proposed Keystone Pipeline.”

Along with the possibility of a big spill, Christensen is concerned that the pipeline could be—and perhaps already is—an “oozing menace.”

Given the amount of crude traveling through the pipeline, even the most sensitive system might not pick up small leaks, he said..

The only approval that Enbridge needs is from the DNR for an air permit for work on its Superior pumping station. The comment period on that request has ended.

The DNR has 60 days to make a decision, according to a story in the Journal Sentinel.  The decision would be delayed if the DNR conducts an environmental analysis, the story said. .

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Pipeline is under Rock River near Fort Atkinson

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Monday, June 02, 2014

So Close….

Lake Level =


.84 Inches from being BELOW the SNW trigger….

But it's raining.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Volunteers needed to monitor health of Rock County streams

Volunteers needed to monitor health of Rock County streams

Anna Marie Lux
May 28, 2014

Jennifer Du Puis/jdupuis@gazette
Chuck Heidt, a Water Action Volunteer, measures the cloudiness of Turtle Creek in Beloit after a heavy rainfall Wednesday. Heidt has been a part of WAV for 12 years.


What: Free volunteer training to become a stream monitor

When: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 31.

Where: Turtle Creek Parkway, 6528 S. Smith Road, Clinton.

Details: Pre-registration is required. Call Nancy Sheehan, Rock River Coalition stream monitoring coordinator, at 608-515-9434 or email

For information on Rock River Coalition, visit

For information on stream monitoring, visit

ROCK COUNTY--Chuck Heidt doesn't mind getting his feet wet, especially if it ensures good fishing for smallmouth bass.

He samples water from Turtle Creek in Beloit monthly from April through October.

Chuck is not with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Nor is he a biologist. He is a volunteer who has monitored the creek for 12 years.

“I fish throughout the state,” Chuck said. “That's part of my interest in water quality.”

Chuck measures important elements of stream health including temperature, water clarity and dissolved oxygen.

Sound interesting?

Three agencies are hosting a workshop Saturday at Turtle Creek Parkway, Clinton, for people who want to learn how to monitor streams.

Volunteers will become part of an important statewide network.

“There has been a large budget cut with the DNR for the whole Rock River Basin,” said Nancy Sheehan of the nonprofit Rock River Coalition. “We only have two stream biologists to monitor more than 2,000 miles of tributaries. This is why we really need citizens to get involved.”

The coalition's mission is to educate and to provide opportunities for people to improve the river basin.

Sheehan coordinates volunteer stream monitoring. She shows people how to use equipment provided by the coalition. She also teaches them how to determine water quality by identifying insects in a stream.

The coalition and Rock County Land Conservation and Rock County Parks departments organize the workshop, which is open to anyone who cares about clean water.

“The work is important,” said Anne Miller of the land conservation department. “Streams need people to care about what happens in watersheds and to keep them healthy.”

The river basin has five active teams of citizen monitors, she said.

More are needed to provide accurate and long-term information.

Volunteers can choose a stream based on personal interest or proximity to their homes. They also can have them assigned. Monitors are needed on Fisher Creek in Rockport Park, Otter Creek on Vickerman Road and the west branch of Raccoon Creek in Beckman Mill County Park, Sheehan said.

“We have sites that have been previously monitored by volunteers,” she explained. “When trying to determine trends in water quality, it's nice to have 10 years of data.”

Volunteers enter information into an online database. Anyone with web access can view the data by county, stream or site name.

The DNR is notified if a stream shows a decline in water quality.

“If oxygen ratings are low, for example, I contact stream biologists,” Sheehan said.

She encourages people to get involved.

“By returning to one site, you become an expert about that stream,” Sheehan said. “You also fall in love with a place and become a true advocate for it.”

- See more at:

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Sprinkles to buckets: Farm fields welcomed rain

Sprinkles to buckets: Farm fields welcomed rain

Tuesday's hit or miss storms delivered 1.65 inches of rain at the Janesville Wastewater Treatment Plant while the National Weather Service reported readings of only 0.05 inches in Milton and 0.5 inches at Beloit College.

Arch Morton Jr. was starting to get a little worried when recent rains kept missing his farm fields southeast of Janesville. Then Mother Nature dropped 3.5 inches of rain on his farm Tuesday.

JANESVILLE--Arch Morton Jr. was starting to get a little worried when recent rains kept missing his farm fields southeast of Janesville.
Then Mother Nature dropped 3.5 inches of rain on his farm Tuesday.
“It's really good timing to get a good rain right now,” he said.
He finished planting soybeans Friday.
“It's really going to help those come up—not only to get going but to come up,” said Morton, who farms corn, soybeans, alfalfa and winter wheat in the towns of La Prairie and Harmony. “The ground was starting to get dry.”
Tuesday's hit or miss storms delivered 1.65 inches of rain at the Janesville Wastewater Treatment Plant while the National Weather Service reported readings of only 0.05 inches in Milton and 0.5 inches at Beloit College.
Morton's neighbor got 4 inches while a neighbor two miles away only got 2 inches, he said.
“It's very common in summer thunderstorms that some people get a lot of rain if they're right under the cell but places even a mile or two away don't get nearly that much,” said Bob McMahon, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sullivan.
Parts of Dane and Rock counties saw more than a couple inches of rain while the Dane County Regional Airport's 1.46 inches set a record for the day, McMahon said. Walworth County reports ranged from 0.23 inches in Delavan to .03 inches in Elkhorn and Lake Geneva.
Precipitation in the Madison area was only slightly below normal before the storms, McMahon said. The 11.75 inches for the year is 0.43 inches above normal, he said.
“With the cold weather and the frost being in the ground, farmers want to work the fields,” he said. “If you have crops in, rain is good. If you haven't gotten them in and the fields are wet, you can't work them, and that's not good.”
The showers left some standing water in Morton's fields, and it was still too wet for him to check out Wednesday, he said.
Pleasant, sunny weather over the next few days will help dry any standing water in fields, McMahon said. The forecast calls for a high of 77 today and the low 80s Friday and Saturday, with no rain until Saturday night or Sunday.
The timing of Tuesday's showers was key, Morton said. Before the rain, the extended forecast didn't look promising, he said.
“For most everybody, they'll say it was a really good rain,” he said.
Farmers are better off getting an inch of rain, then more a few days later, he said.
“But you can't always get it exactly when you want it,” he said.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grab a Bucket

Lake Level - 778.68

We need to drain 2 3/4 inches per day to get below the 778.00 Trigger by the weekend.

Any Predictions?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day - Remember the Reason

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thank you Vets!

Thank A Vet This Weekend

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

maybe next weekend below SNW trigger of 778.00


High water forces Aqua Jays to cancel May 25-26 water ski shows

JANESVILLE—High water on the Rock River means no Rock Aqua Jays water ski shows Sunday and Monday.

The club's first show of the 2014 season was scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday. A 1 p.m. Memorial Day show also was planned.

Both are canceled.

President Tim Cullen said it is not practical or safe for the skiers to be on the water.

Show Director Aaron Schoelzel will evaluate the situation Monday and decide if the show schedule will resume Wednesday.

Biweekly shows are at 7 p.m. through Aug. 6. Shows start at 6:30 p.m. starting Aug. 13.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shipwrecked Cove Opens This Weekend (Not sure I like this name for Newville)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lake Has Crested (Again)

Yesterday = 779.63
Today = 779.57

However We are STILL 3+ feet OVER DNR Summer MAX Lake Level Mandate.

Expect Memorial Day Weekend to be SNW on the Rock River.

Lake Koshkonong will be Full Speed.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Despite heavy rain to the north, only minor flooding expected along Rock River

Despite heavy rain to the north, only minor flooding expected along Rock River

By Neil Johnson
May 13, 2014
JANESVILLE—Widespread, gully-washing rains on Monday dumped between 2 and 6 inches of rain into the Rock River basin, but weather forecasters expect only minor river flooding in Rock County.

On Tuesday, river gauges on the Rock River at Afton and Lake Koshkonong showed water levels within 6 inches of reaching minor flood stage. Forecasters expect the river to peak Friday at 9.1 feet at Afton and 10.3 feet at Lake Koshkonong.

That means low-lying farm fields along the river likely will get swamped with floodwaters.

More rain is expected later this week, but unless the area sees continued heavy rainfall, forecasters say it's unlikely flooding this spring could approach anything close to floods of 2008 and 2013.

According to National Weather Service data, Rock County had 2.3 inches of rain Tuesday. Areas along the Rock River farther north, such as Watertown, saw nearly 6 inches of rain.

All that water is moving downhill toward Rock County, but Rudy Schaar, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Sullivan office, said the Rock River can mostly handle it.

“We were lucky. The river has been on the high side, but it was mostly within its banks before the Tuesday rain event started,” Schaar said.

He said rains expected later this week are factored into the predicted crest later this week.

“If we get the next round (of rain) that's predicted on Thursday, if we get some thunderstorms that cause a few more gully washers in the basin, it could get more significant, but right now, it's nothing major,” he said.

Rock County residents have been getting accustomed to the annual threat of floods.

In April and May 2013, Rock County had 13 inches of rain, most of which happened in a span of about two weeks in early April. That caused major flooding in Rock County, where floodwaters on the Rock River reached 11.5 feet at Lake Koshkonong and Afton.

So far this spring, Rock County has only seen about half that amount of rainfall.

In 2008, when the Rock River surged to a record high 13.5 feet at Afton, 21 inches of rain fell between April and June. That came after a winter during which the area recorded 84 inches of snowfall.

“That year, the snow melted rapidly. Then, there was a very wet spring and early summer. Basically, the whole area started out as very saturated, and river levels were high to start with. There was no place for the water to go," Schaar said.

This past winter, Rock County had 60 inches of snow, but Schaar said the snow melted much more slowly.

Rock County Chief Deputy Barb Tillman said the sheriff's office plans to have patrols monitoring river levels every day this week.  

“You look at past history of flooding, but you have to go out and look in the field to get firsthand knowledge,” she said.

Weather patterns may be different every spring, Tillman said, but what doesn't change is the fact that water runs downhill.

“We're kind of watching Jefferson County to see how (heavier rains there) could impact Rock County,” she said.

Tillman said the sheriff's office emergency management department has planned to meet with officials in the town of Milton, town of Fulton and Afton on Wednesday to form a plan in case any areas along the river need sandbagging.

“As it stands, we're in good shape. We've got a supply of sandbags on hand, and we're working with the town chairs to make sure we can meet all their needs,” Tillman said.

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Friday, May 09, 2014

Water Level Dropping Slowly

Lake Level 779.02

A drop of 4 1/2 inches since May 1st.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

New ordinance means changes for Rock River boaters - Jun 2013

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Newville's 'Break in the Weather' party a rite of spring

Newville's 'Break in the Weather' party a rite of spring

 23  8  0  Comments Comments  Print Print
Neil Johnson
April 26, 2014
NEWVILLE—It didn't matter that the Rock River was an icy 43 degrees on Saturday.

That's a lot warmer than the air temperatures during many days of this past winter.

And if you jumped in the frigid river, as five people did during a belly-flop contest at Anchor Inn in Newville on Saturday, you weren't worried.

You got a double-shot of liquid courage beforehand: a sip of cinnamon-flavored whiskey, and cheers from 1,500 people who were celebrating the color of your undies and the start of a new spring.

The belly flops and other southern Wisconsin revelry—beer, brats and live bands playing 1970s and 1980s classic rock—went on Saturday at the Anchor Inn as part of the tavern's annual Break in The Weather party.

The long-running event in Newville—and its heralded Rock River belly-flop contest—is as familiar to Edgerton-area residents and Lake Koshkonong vacationers as the Groundhog Day woodchuck “Punxsutawney Phil” is to Punxsutawney, Penn.

For residents and Lake Koshkonong vacationers, the Break in the Weather party, which runs from noon until after midnight, is an annual rite. The ice is finally off the Rock River, and the season of fun has returned to Newville.

“Look at the buds popping out on that thing,” a tattooed man in a leather and denim motorcycle jacket said to his friend. He was pointing to a tree on the riverfront veranda at the Anchor Inn. “Isn't it nice to see that?”

It was an unexpected Walt Whitman moment for a motorcycle dude, but hey—it has been a long, nasty winter.

Anchor Inn owner John Kinnett smiled from the tavern's deck, which overlooks the river. On the back lawn, people sipped Leinenkugel beer, a group played beanbag toss and two Walleye fisherman putted past in a boat. The sky was blue and the temperature 60 degrees.

Not a heat wave, but compare it to the weather Jan. 26, just three months ago: a low of 7 below with 3 inches of snowfall.

“This, today, is a true break in the weather,” Kinnett said. “Even this spring, we haven't been able to string two warm days together. Yesterday was a good warm up. I bet the folks will pour in today.”

Kinnett said the annual party used to bring in 5,000 people, but now crowds have leveled off at about 3,000. Though floods have threatened the event, which has been run by different owners for 41 years, it has never been canceled, Kinnett said.

The crowd ranges from motorcyclists to locals to Lake Koshkonong vacationers returning to the area.

“It's great. This now is when you see all the usual groups come out. It's the first time we've seen many of them return from the winter. They're waking up,” Kinnett said.

Four Machesney Park, Ill., women stood under the tavern's big, white tent and danced to a classic rock cover band Pink Houses tear into a guitar, tambourine and fiddle breakdown cover of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

The women's brightly-colored toenail polish set off their new flip-flops and spring tops. They couldn't hear a word a Gazette reporter was trying to shout to them: something about a church song being played at a tavern tent revival.

The women just smiled at the reporter.

One town of Fulton police crew and three Rock County Sheriff's office squads were assigned to the party, which at one point in the afternoon had about 2,000 people.

In the past, the Break in the Weather Party has netted a handful of arrests, and on one occasion a man died when he tried walking home intoxicated from the event. A drunk driver hit him, said Rock County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Niles, who was on patrol Saturday.

The most common offense in the past, Niles said, has been people leaving the event and carrying their beer with them.

“It's mostly no big deal,” Niles said.

Jason Johns, a native of Oregon, Wis., the party Saturday was a big deal, though. Water dripped from Johns' head in beads after he belly flopped twice into the Rock River, once with a dollar bill stuck to his forehead.

Johns, an Iraq War veteran who was injured in action, said the cold river and the people at the Newville party made him feel alive.

“It's s---t like this that reminds me I've got nothing in the world to complain about. It's about living life,” Johns said.

- See more at:

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Police report no major incidents at Newville party

Police report no major incidents at Newville party

By Gazette staff
April 27, 2014
NEWVILLE—The Rock County Sheriff's Office said there were a few drunken driving arrests but no major public safety incidents linked to Saturday's “Break in the Weather” party in Newville.

The annual event, which is hosted at Anchor Inn, a tavern in Newville, ran all afternoon and evening and drew crowds between 1,500 and 2,000 people Sunday, authorities estimated. It included music and special events.

Rock County Sheriff's Sgt. Josh Lund said police arrested two people for drunken driving after they drove away from the event. He said police cited two people for carrying open alcohol containers off the grounds at Anchor Inn.   

Lund said the event had no disturbances reported, no underage drinking citations and there were no vehicle crashes involving people at the event.

One of the people arrested for OWI also was cited for a concealed weapons violation. Lund said the person had a rifle on the backseat of their vehicle. The gun was not in a case, but there was no ammunition in the vehicle, he said.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reporting Requirements of RKLD on the Dredge Project

The Corps authorized the carp gate as part of the permit issued to Mr. Brian Christianson on September 20, 2012. Please continue to work with the WDNR to their satisfaction.

In addition, please provide the required maintenance and monitoring reports for this site as indicated in the Corps permit and the Eco-Resource Consulting, LLC report dated January 20, 2012.  Monitoring reports are to be submitted to the Corps for a total of 3 years - 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Failure to submit the reports in a timely manner will result in non-compliance of the Corps permit.  Please submit the 2013 monitoring report (due 12/31/13) no later than May 15, 2014.  The 2014 report should be submitted by 12/31/14 and the 2015 report should be submitted by 12/31/2015.  As stated in my May 15, 2013 email to you, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Sigmarsson, and Mr. Christianson, if the performance standards have been met in 2015, no additional reports will need to be provided to the Corps.  If the standards are not met, additional maintenance and monitoring may be required.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Stacy Marshall

Stacy L. Marshall
Biologist/Project Manager
United States Army Corps of Engineers


Friday, April 25, 2014

Deputies to focus on Newville's Break in the Weather Party

Deputies to focus on Newville's Break in the Weather Party

April 24, 2014
NEWVILLE—Rock County sheriff's deputies will be focusing on the Newville area on Saturday, when the local taverns host their annual Break in the Weather Party.
The sheriff's office plans extra patrols to enforce traffic laws and local ordinances to deter drunken driving, according to a news release.
Similar efforts have been made in past years.
Deputies will also check taverns to ensure minors are not being served alcohol.
Intoxicated driving and underage alcohol consumption are the main targets for deputies, but they also will be on the lookout for aggressive driving, following too closely, speeding and failure to wear seat belts, according to the release.
“Sheriff (Bob) Spoden firmly believes selling alcohol is a legitimate business activity, but such action is a privilege to which very serious and specific responsibilities apply,” the release reads. “This same responsibility also pertains to persons choosing to consume alcohol. Therefore, Sheriff Spoden is asking everyone involved in this annual event to have fun but remain responsible.”
The weather forecast for Saturday is mostly sunny with a high of 56 and low of 38, with a chance of showers at night.



Lake level = 779.46 today

Over 3 feet ABOVE DNR Summer Max.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Break in the Weather Party is Saturday!

Anchor Inn

38th Annual

Break-In-The-Weather Party

April 26th, 2014 BANDS

12:00 – 2:00    Dan Reilly (bar)

3:00  – 7:00     Pink Houses (tent)

6:00  - 10:00   TBA (bar)

8:00  - 12:00   Shot Gun Jane (tent)

ENTERTAINMENT 2:00 - ??    Belly Flop (into the frigid waters of the rock river)    

2:00 – 11:00     Shotgirls


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Check Out Emigail's in Newville

Emigail's Roadhouse brings bayou to little Newville

April 16, 2014
NEWVILLE—On the last weekend in April, “Break in the Weather” celebrations around Lake Koshkonong will turn the unincorporated hub of Newville into party central. The Anchor Inn will be packed with revelers enjoying live bands, beer and bar food.
Just across Highway 59, little Emigail's Roadhouse also will be at capacity. While it's not as flashy as its neighbor, Emigail's draws a devoted fan base. It offers smaller musical acts, a good bar and very good food that goes well beyond your standard bar food.
Emigail's specializes in Cajun food, and the staff does it well. Mitch, Lisa and Nancy joined us for a Tuesday night dinner recently. The weather hadn't broken yet, but Emigail's was doing impressive business for a typically slow night.
No doubt about it, people are there for the food. The place doesn't have much ambiance to speak of. The bar takes up most of the back wall, and a few tables are scattered on either side of the front door alongside the ATM, video games and jukebox. The service is friendly but not fancy.
The nondescript setting quickly becomes a non-issue when you see the dishes coming out of the kitchen. In our case, the neighboring table was more than happy to tell us what they ordered and their favorites.
We had to try the gator bites ($10), a basket of breaded, deep-fried alligator. Mitch found it a bit salty, but I didn't mind. The breading was nice and light, and the moist meat tasted like … chicken. But let's face it, eating gator is a much better story than chicken nuggets.
Mitch had the gumbo yaya with shrimp ($16), a Cajun favorite with andouille sausage, diced tomatoes and a choice of chicken or shrimp. He liked the flavor and the level of heat, which fell nicely between a kick and blazing hot.
The Guaymas shrimp ($16) was a milder dish featuring shrimp poached in a sauce of ancho chili, mushrooms and green onions, served over angel hair pasta. Lisa graciously shared her dish with the table, and it was a winner. The jumbo shrimp were tender and perfectly cooked. The pasta was nicely sauced, and the flavors well-balanced. Most of us liked it best of all the dishes ordered.
Nancy wasn't in the mood for spicy, so she ordered the “normal” deep-fried shrimp ($16), served with choice of side. The kitchen knows how to use the deep fryer; the shrimp were tender inside while the breading was light and crispy. The portion was generous, and Nancy left happy and full.
My husband, Richard, ordered the crawfish poboy ($10). The soft French roll was stuffed with breaded, deep-fried crawfish and sauced with a tasty, but not spicy, remoulade. It was a good sandwich.
I chose the jambalaya ($14) with a little trepidation because, unlike Richard, I don't particularly like crawfish. I'm glad I got over my reservations because Emigail's jambalaya is rich, spicy and satisfying. The crawfish tails enhanced the flavors of the rice, vegetables, andouille and chicken breast. The portion was huge, and the leftovers made for a good lunch the next day.
With its unassuming exterior and laid-back vibe, it's easy to forget about Emigail's. Next time you're in Newville, park your car just a little way away from the Rock River and pretend you're eating in the bayou. You'll be happy you did.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flooding Not as Severe as Predicted (So Far)

Koshkonong has Crested….


Monday, April 21, 2014

Rock River Flood Inundation Mapping Project Update

I wanted to let everyone know that Terry Zien, USACE St. Paul District, called me on Friday and advised that the USACE is still waiting for funding for the proposed Flood Inundation Mapping Project for the Rock River  (yes, it is still alive!)  The USACE is waiting for their FFY 14 budget and have been operating under a continuing resolution.  Those projects submitted last year are being considered for funding in the FFY14 budget.  Shirley Johnson along with WDNR have done some work, but can’t move forward until there is an approved budget.  Terry advised that they are expecting to receive funding soon.   

It’s like FEMA, we are still waiting for funding for last year’s PDM grants, yet FEMA is asking for applications for this year! 

In any event, I’m pleased that the project still has movement. 

Roxanne K. Gray
Mitigation Section Supervisor
State Hazard Mitigation Officer

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Imagine that - the Rock River could become a tourist attraction….

Maybe even protect the property tax base too

Embracing the Rock

Janesville appears ready to use the Rock River downtown as an attraction

By Marcia Nelesen


   After years of giving the cold shoulder, Janesville appears ready to snuggle up to the Rock River.

   Residents have shunned the natural resource that many planners have said could and should become the city’s major attraction.

   Doors of downtown businesses face away from the river, for example. Only one business, Main Street Saloon, takes advantage of the view with a back deck.

   Concrete walls keep floodwaters away, but they keep residents out of the river, as well.

   A majority of residents who gathered in April for a downtown redevelopment meeting identified the river as the area’s most important attribute, said Ryan Garcia, economic development coordinator for the city.

   The focus is 240 acres stretching from Traxler Park south to the Jackson Street bridge—an area with more than four miles of riverfront and one dam.

   A meeting Thursday will be the second of three and will offer maps for residents to see alternative uses for six redevelopment sites.

   The Rock River as an attraction appeared to be a common denominator of many of the suggestions from residents during the first meeting, Garcia said. Most of those who attended want to figure out ways to get people to and in the river, he said.

   Suggestions include a river rapids course for kayaking or an arcade in the lower level of the Olde Towne Mall that leads to a pedestrian river crossway and public space on the other side.

   At the meetings, the consultants from SAA Design Group of Madison—a landscape architecture and civic engineering firm hired with a $200,000 federal grant—urge people to think in different ways, Garcia said.

   The resulting plan will outline how the city could put the redevelopment plan into action, including the costs of suggested projects, available grants and changes in zoning, Garcia said.

   “This is an action-oriented plan,” Garcia said. “This is what you have to do to make it happen.

   “What we’re trying to do is create something behind their (business) buildings so they take it upon themselves to reorient themselves to the river,” Garcia said.

   “It becomes another front door.”

   Creation of a town square was another common focus, and the plans identify areas where that could happen.

   Each plan addresses the removal of the downtown parking plaza over the river. Residents believe additional parking must be provided near high-traffic areas, Garcia said.

   Anyone is invited to the second meeting, and Garcia said he hopes to see people who were at the first meeting, as well.

   Residents will be asked to suggest options for land use, such as preferred areas for public and commercial spaces and entertainment. For example, an area designated “naturalized” rather than “urban” might mean the concrete river walls would eventually be removed, Garcia said.

   A third meeting will be scheduled the week of July 18. The final plan will be presented to the plan commission in September and to the Janesville City Council in October.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lake Koshkonong Pelicans

Thanks to Jeff Brown for the photo.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carp Seiners and Pelicans


Yesterday my husband emailed about the dead fish and a pelican trapped in the fish nets.  This morning there is a dead pelican there.  We just want to pass this on, in case it is of concern to the Rock Koshkonong Association.

Bonnie Geyer


Monday, April 14, 2014

Observing the Carp Seiners

Mr. Christianson;                   April 13, 2014

On Friday the group completed a net activity and set up their pens in front of my  neighbor’s house. On Saturday morning I note that a majority of the fish in one pen are dead floating on their backs. The fish in the second pen were OK yesterday and seem to be OK today as well. I would believe there are more than 200 dead fish. The pens have become an attraction for the Pelicans. In trying to pull fish from the pen one was caught but now after 20 minutes it is loose and the Pelicans have left. My purpose in reporting this to you is that in case all these dead fish are not taken out but left in the Lake the death cause be known. Second leaving the pens up 24 hours or more risks Pelicans getting caught. If unable to free themselves and were to die we suspect publicity would be unfavorable. I do not know if the Pelicans would be attracted if there were not so many dead fish.

Jim geyer


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lake Levels to Jump


Monday, April 07, 2014

Nice Aerial View of Frozen Koshkonong


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Koshkonong Has Crested

So far, so good.

Just keep the rain away, and keep this slow warm-up, warming-up.