Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Lake Metonga Association Banquet on Saturday

By Richard D. Ackley, Jr.

The Lake Metonga Association has been working very hard over the years protecting the water, the fish and wildlife, and the environment of Forest County’s largest lake, Lake Metonga.

The annual “WEEDS ‘n WALLEYES” Banquet, set for Saturday, October 13th, is the main fundraising event of the year. This fundraiser helps bring in important revenue to continue with many ongoing projects necessary to fight invasive species and keep the lake fish population stocked.

Lake Metonga is a 2,157-acre lake and has a maximum depth of 79 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings on the north and south ends of the lake, public lands and parks. Fish include panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. The lake’s water clarity is very clear with visibility down to 20 to 30 feet.

Several times throughout the year, studies are conducted to obtain information about the lake’s water clarity and chemistry. The testing is done in the deepest hole, in front of Charlie’s Lake Metonga Resort. Water clarity in the lake has been improving due to the activity of zebra mussels, an invasive species, which filter out plankton, thus depriving many native species of their food source. The data collected for water quality is posted through the Citizens’ Lake Monitoring Network, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Clean Boats – Clean Waters (CB-CW) Program is another very vital project for the Lake Metonga Association, which has CB-CW staff at both boat launches during busy summer hours to assist watercraft inspections entering and leaving Lake Metonga. This helps to deter the spread of invasive species by making sure boat trailers, and bilge and live wells are clean of any invasive species before entering and when leaving the lake. The association administers the CB-CW program with generous grant funding from the DNR and the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community.

In addition, the Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) Treatment Project has been in operation for several years. The Lake Metonga Association uses grant assistance from the WDNR to fund annual spot treatment of targeted EWM areas of the lake. These areas have typically focused on public access sites such as boat launches and swimming areas where safety is of greatest concern. As of 2018, the Wisconsin DNR has suspended use of chemical treatment for control of EWM in northern Wisconsin lakes. The completion of a lake management plan will now be required should treatment resume.

Ongoing community information and education offered by the Lake Metonga Association provides information to the community regarding the well-being of Lake Metonga at its annual meeting each year, plus a quarterly newsletter, website and information booths at various other community events.

According to local Crandon co-organizer, Gary Mueller, the banquet will feature hundreds of raffle prizes and auction items to bid on, giving everyone a chance to win and to have a great time. The event will start at 5:00 pm on Saturday, and is being hosted and catered by the Mole Lake Casino Lodge. Seating is limited so be sure and get your tickets early. Early Bird Specials and regular banquet tickets are available at all Lake Metonga Association events held throughout the year.

More information is available by emailing Gary and Chris Mueller or call (715) 478-2049.