A draft of a Rock Lake management study being prepared by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission should be done by the end of September, the biologist/planner preparing the document said.
Beverly Saunders, a senior specialist and lake planner for SEWRPC who is writing the plan, explained the process and what will be addressed in the plan at a meeting held at Salem Town Hall Tuesday.
About 20 people attended. Craig Helker, water resources biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, also was in attendance, mostly in an observational role, though he did address some questions regarding permitting and aquatic plant control.
Saunders said she expected the plan to be completed by the end of September. She then will solicit comments from the DNR. Another meeting with the public will be held — probably in October — to review the draft before the plan is finalized.
Once it is completed, the plan will help guide permitting for aquatic plant control for five years, Helker said.
The subject areas to be addressed as outlined by Saunders were diverse and extensive. They included: Water flow and spillway maintenance, blue green and floating algae, aquatic plant management, water quality, wildlife – including fish and birds, lake restoration, shoreline maintenance and other miscellaneous areas of concern.
In the end, the plan is advisory, not regulatory, Saunders said. But it will offer a plan for managing the lake and will be referenced by the DNR in issuing any permits.
The ultimate goal will be to have a lake that works better for residents and others that use it.
“A healthy lake is one that functions well without a lot of maintenance,” Saunders said.
Saunders said she has been out on the lake and has talked to some residents.
Salem and the Rock Lake Restoration Association are sharing the cost of the study.