May

25

APPLETON — If all goes as planned, the Fox River will see brisk traffic this boating season. And if an advocacy group can raise the necessary funds, it should also be safer.

Friends of the Fox wants to place buoys in the water from lock one near the Memorial Drive bridge in Appleton, downstream north to Little Chute. Its goal is to have the navigational aids in place by July 1, in time for the weekend opening of locks one through four in Appleton.
“It’s always much better to have something in the water that you can follow and to know exactly where to go so you don’t hit bottom,” said Candice Mortara, Friends of the Fox president.
The group received the Appleton Common Council’s approval to move forward with plans last Wednesday and will work with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to identify each buoy’s location.
When they are all installed, there could be as many 10 new buoys, guiding boaters to channels and away from running aground on a bunch of rocks. The cost for each device, with chains and weights, ranges from $700 to $800. The group has sought assistance from the Appleton Yacht Club, which last year made a few purchases.

The navigational aids were removed in the 1980s when the locks closed.
About 18 months ago, as the reopening of the locks grew more certain, the group’s navigational safety committee launched a plan to make the river safer to boaters. Other organizations did not want to assume the responsibility of installing the buoys, said Peter Hensler, Friends of the Fox vice president.
“We are carving out and devising ways for people to use the waterways,” he said.
In addition to opening locks one through four in Appleton, the Fox River Navigational System Authority this year also is opening the Little Kaukauna, Menasha, De Pere and Cedar locks. The Appleton and Cedar locks will be open on weekends from July 2 to Sept. 5.
In a move that is sure to bring business to riverfront eateries and shops, the authority plans to install temporary floating docks for boaters who opt to stop along the waterway. One of those floating docks is adjacent to the S. Olde Oneida Street bridge in Appleton.

“I’m a firm believer that as these things (locks) all open up, there’s not going to be a huge number of boaters that are going to be going all the way from Winnebago to Green Bay, but there’s going to be a lot of boaters who are going to go from Winnebago to Appleton or they are going to go from Appleton up to Little Chute or Kaukauna,” Hensler said. “People will be able to utilize and enjoy the river as we create destinations along the river.”
Friends of the Fox also is supporting a deal between Appleton and Canadian National Railway to close three downtown railroad crossings in exchange for two riverfront trestles.

via Group installs buoys to enhance safety during boating season | Appleton Post Crescent | postcrescent.com.

May

23

The low bid to construct transient docks along the Marion Road segment of the river walk urban trail system came in several hundred thousand dollars below what the city of Oshkosh budgeted for the project.

Lunda Construction, of Black River Falls, made the low base bid of $877,019 to construct the docks, almost $100,000 less than Radtke Construction’s $971,337 bid. Over a two-year period, the city has budgeted $1.15 million for the project and received a $335,000 recreational facilities grant via the state that will help fund the project.

“It’s always a good day when the bids come in lower than budgeted,” Oshkosh Community Development Director Allen Davis said.

The bids also included alternatives to use composite deck material, a new softwood called kebony that lasts longer or another treated wood called ipe (e-pay) for the decking on the docks. Those options enhance the appearance of the docks and would extend the lifespan.

Lunda’s bids for:

  • Composite deck materials would add $72,389 to the project cost.
  • Kebony would add $113,754 to the project cost. And
  • Ipe would add $237,332 to the project cost.

Davis said the potential upgrades will be reviewed by staff and presented to the Oshkosh Redevelopment Authority when it reviews the bids and awards a contract during its next meeting on June 15. He added that the low bid also gives the city an option to consider doing the entire project this year instead of splitting it into 2011 and 2012.

“We will probably have a recommended alternative, but we need to review bids first,” Davis said. “We were hoping the bids would come in lower so we could explore the alternatives and save the city some money. I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point.”

via River walk docks bids come in under budget | The Oshkosh Northwestern | thenorthwestern.com.

May

18

Free Vessel Safety Checks (VSCs) will be provided by the Door County Sail & Power Squadron, beginning May 28 in conjunction with National Safe Boating Week.

Safe Boating Week is Saturday through May 27, and its goal is to heighten awareness among recreational boaters of the importance of always wearing a life jacket.

A VSC is a courtesy examination of your boat to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by State and the Federal regulations. The vessel examiner is a trained specialist and is a member of the United States Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The examiner will also make certain recommendations and discuss specific safety issues to ensure safe boating.

Examiners will be at SkipperBud’s Quarterdeck Marina, 705 Quarterdeck Lane, Sturgeon Bay, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 28. Subsequent Saturdays, VSCs will be conducted at additional area marinas. For more information, contact VSC coordinator Tom Fox at (920) 854-2417.

For more about the Door County Sail & Power Squadron, its seminars and classes, and civic services such as free VSCs, visit www.usps.org.door.

via Free vessel safety checks planned in Sturgeon Bay | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.

May

18

Called Phragmites, this common reed grass has sprouted up along the shores of Lake Michigan, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is undertaking a three-year, $805,600 initiative to curb the plant’s presence.

The DNR will begin spraying 3,600 acres along 118 miles of shoreline properties in Brown, Door, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto and Sheboygan counties in August but needs permission from property owners no later than June 1, saidHeidi Springborn, invasive species coordinator for the Phragmites shoreline control project with the DNR.

The DNR will hold public information meetings leading up to the spraying, including a 7 p.m. session June 7 at the Municipal Services Center at 12781 Velp Ave. in Suamico.

The plant endangers rare and native animal and plant communities, which is one of the most important reasons to combat it, Springborn said. The plant also is a nuisance for property owners.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of frustration from the public,” Springborn said. “They pay a lot of money to live on the shoreline, and what do they have to look at?”

Phragmites also can be a fire hazard.

Because of the plant’s aggressive nature, the DNR will spray again in 2012 and 2013 under the grant initiative to further reduce its growth.
The DNR will use a chemical herbicide that Springborn said would not harm fish or other animals in the targeted areas.

The June 1 deadline to return the permission form is important for planning purposes, but Springborn said residents who miss it should still contact her to try and plan a spraying.

“If we don’t reach them by that June 1 deadline, that does not mean it’s the end all,” she said. “I just want to know who is out there that I may be missing.”

via DNR to hold meetings on Phragmites spraying along shores of Lake Michigan | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.

May

17

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18TH, 2011

6-7:30 P.M.

Wednesday night at Lakeside Marina is geared towards the women in our boating community. We have designated Wednesday night as a time to not only get over the fear of your boat, but to get proper instruction on operation, functions, and safety of your boat. This event will be limited to the first 15 women signed up by the day of the event. You can sign up with any one of our sales team. No need to bring anything besides yourself, as everything will be provided by the marina. Take this as an opportunity to educate yourself and enjoy a night out with the ladies at Lakeside Marina.

For more information or to just sign up call Tom or Tommy at 920-231-4321

May

16

I’ve added Dianne’s summer boating Events list to the “Calendar of Events,” at http://www.boatingwinnebago.com/calendar-of-events/

In the very near future I’ll be adding the summer concerts for The Fin & Feather and Nauts Landing.

If you know of anything else boating related going on or are someone that would like to add your events to the calendar, please let me know and I’ll add it or give you access to the calendar so you can add events.

Look forward to seeing everyone on the water this summer!

May

11

Mark Gehrke, of Hortonville, is among a group of paddling enthusiasts who will soon embark on the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle 2011, retracing the historic route taken by early explorers.

More than three centuries have passed since Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet traversed the Fox and Wisconsin rivers as a route from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and beyond for early settlers.

On June 5, the pair’s historic 1673 crossing between the rivers will be celebrated with the first of eight paddle events this year during the Canal Days festival in Portage, where the Wisconsin and Fox come close to each other.

Gehrke, 47, plans to participate in most of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle segments covering 120 miles of the two rivers this summer. He was one of more than 400 canoeists and kayakers who participated last year on one or more of the 12 segments covering 120 miles of the Fox River.

“I love going through the Fox Cities on the Fox River,” Gehrke said. “There is a lot of natural beauty along the river banks right in the heart of the Valley.”

The Fox River segments include the popular Park-to-Park Paddle from Neenah to Appleton on July 23, a new moonlight paddle Aug. 12 from De Pere to Green Bay and a paddle through the Appleton locks during Octoberfest on Sept. 24.

“One of the purposes of the paddles, in addition to getting people out enjoying the rivers, is to draw attention to the effort to get National Park Service recognition as a national heritage area,” said Dave Horst, an event organizer. “Fees and sponsorships last year raised $6,000 after expenses for the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway river trail improvements.”

via Historic paddle events retrace route of early explorers | wisconsinoutdoorfun.com | Wisconsin Outdoor Fun Wisconsin Hunting, Fishing, Camping| Wisconsin Hiking, Biking, ATV.