It has been my absolute pleasure serving this community since its creation in Feb. of 2010.  Due to inactivity, time constraints and costs, the forums here at have been set to a “read only,” state.

The site has always been by the boaters for the boaters and we wanted to insure that there was a place to continue to have the Boating Community come together.

A Facebook Group seemed like the best option as we can have multiple admins and everyone can post / discuss things in a common fairly well known interface.

These forums will remain online until further notice.  There is a wealth of knowledge here on many different subjects.  Feel free to use the search function and link back to it as a reference source at your leisure.

If anyone here would like their user account deleted you are able to do that from the Profile area.


Here is the link to the archived forums:

Here is the link to the Facebook Group:






The date was Nov. 14, 1813. British Colonel Robert Dickson arrived on Lake Winnebago’s Garlic Island, and established an encampment with his group of 27 fighting men. Dickson’s goal as an “Indian Agent” for the British in the War of 1812 was to recruit the support of Native Americans against the Americans in the battle that basically was over the fur trade. Dickson’s goal was to use gifts and merchandise to gain support with tribes located in the corridor from Green Bay to Prairie du Chien.

Weather conditions prevented this group from completing their travel to Prairie du Chien that cold November, so Dickson and his troops set up camp on Garlic Island. Nearby on the mainland was a Menominee village that soon became reliant on Colonel Dickson for goods and supplies.

As winter pressed on, conditions became more difficult. Supplies from Green Bay were not able to get through, creating a serious situation for Dickson, his men and the local Menominee’s. “Although Dickson and his men were themselves often on the edge of starvation, both his natural humanity and strategic considerations compelled him to feed the Indians as well as he was able” (source: Illinois in the War of 1812).

Letters from Colonel Dickson to his lieutenants and others describe the rapidly deteriorating conditions. On March 15 he wrote, “…I am heartily sick and tired of this place. There is no situation more miserable than to see objects around you dying with hunger, and unable to give them but little assistance. I have done what I can for them, and will in consequence starve myself. With best wishes. Yours truly, R. Dickson” (source: Garlic Island War Letters, 1813-1814, Colonel Robert Dickson).

It was soon after, provisions arrived as spring allowed travel routes to become more accessible. Dickson and his men eventually continued their trek southward.

The result of the War of 1812 as stipulated in the Treaty of Ghent is that American forces prevailed.

Here, on Nov. 14, 2013, the 200th Anniversary of the arrival of Colonel Dickson, a few local citizens joined the Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society to commemorate this historic occasion on Garlic Island. On hand for the dedication was Richard Keene of Neenah, Archaeologist Richard Mason of Neenah and Randy Domer of the Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society. Two flags were hoisted onto the flagpole located near the waters edge. First, the American flag followed by the British flag. The flags were raised by Keene and Mason, followed by a commemoration read by Domer.

Historic Garlic Island is located on Lake Winnebago near its west shoreline, north of Asylum Bay between Oshkosh and Neenah.

via Garlic Island celebrates bicentennial | Post-Crescent Media |



FOND DU LAC (WITI) – The Fond du Lac Fire Department has taken delivery of two Mercury inflatable rescue boats and a tandem trailer by working jointly to with Mercury Marine and Mr. Marine.

The FDLFD will use these assets not only along the south shore of Lake Winnebago, but in the rivers that wind throughout the city, retention ponds, and in areas of flooding.

The FDLFD has previously deployed waterway resources not only in rescues, but has served to locate victims, deploy booming for hazardous materials spills in Lake Winnebago and rivers, ice rescue, assisting the Fond du Lac Police Department in water investigations, and submerged boat and vehicle incidents. Fire department members will undergo “hands-on” training in the coming weeks so they are prepared for deployments.

The tandem trailer concept was brought to Fond du Lac Fire Department through its partnership with Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) which developed this boat rapid deployment model.

via Fond du Lac Fire Dept. receives two rescue boats |



KAUKAUNA — Imagine boating down the lower Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Wrightstown.

For the past three decades, that’s been a pipe dream. By spring 2015, it will be a reality.

The Fox River Navigational System Authority has begun a $3.3 million project to restore and reopen three Kaukauna locks — Nos. 1, 2 and 3 — for boating. Restoration of a fourth Kaukauna lock — No. 5 — will be bid separately later this summer but also will be finished by the 2015 boating season.

“The restoration of the Kaukauna locks is part of the final phase of the overall lower Fox River lock restoration project that began in 2005,” said Harlan Kiesow, CEO of the Fox River Navigational Authority, which was created by the state.

Upon the reopening of the shuttered Kaukauna locks, only one obstacle — the Rapide Croche aquatic invasive species barrier near Wrightstown — will prevent boaters from traveling between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay.

The Rapide Croche barrier will remain sealed, but the navigational authority plans to construct an overland boat lift and cleaning station to clear the obstacle. That work is scheduled for 2015-17 and would be the last piece of a puzzle that hasn’t been together since the 17-lock system was shut down in 1984.

“The opening of the lock system should not only provide boating opportunities but will also foster recreational and historic tourism, as well as promote community waterfront economic development,” Kiesow said.

The lower Fox River lock system was once key to Wisconsin’s shipping and paper industries but was closed as those industries declined and maintenance costs grew.

The navigational authority took over management of the system from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2004. Since then, the authority has reopened to boaters the Menasha, four Appleton, Cedars, Little Rapids and De Pere locks. The Little Chute locks have been restored but are not open to boaters because of a required bridge replacement on Mill Street.

“Everybody has been waiting for this for a long time,” Kiesow said. “They are getting excited about it.”

The Boldt Co., based in Appleton, has been hired to restore the Kaukauna locks to their 1930s style. The project includes repairing the locks’ mechanical systems and rebuilding the locks’ walls, gates, chambers and guard houses.

The Wisconsin Historical Society and Legacy Architecture of Sheboygan are working with Boldt on the historical preservation. All 17 locks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“We’re just repairing what we can and replacing what we can’t to make sure the locks work and function properly,” said Jennifer Lehrke, principal architect and consultant at Legacy Architecture. “However, we’re also matching old parts and ensuring the locks retain their historical value.”

Reed Rodenkirch, project manager for Boldt, said his crew will try to replicate the outstanding workmanship of a bygone era.

“I consider it sort of working in an outdoor museum,” he said. “We are actually building a museum display for the public.”

— Duke Behnke: 920-729-6622, ext. 32, or; on Twitter @DukeBehnke

via Unlocking the locks | Appleton Post-Crescent |



On a windy July afternoon amid a fleet of sailboats, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Todd Miller dived into the tumultuous waters of Lake Winnebago, the state’s largest inland lake and the only source of drinking water for more than 200,000 people.

With waves crashing on his back, Miller grabbed hold of a 4-foot-wide, 3-foot-tall solar-powered water monitoring buoy and hooked it to a chain attached to one of four 262-pound metal weights that will hold the buoy in place.

Through research financed with a $750,000 five-year grant from the National Institution of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Science Foundation, Miller hopes to learn more about dangerous toxins produced by blue-green algae in the lake and whether these toxins end up in the drinking water of the cities of Oshkosh, Appleton, Neenah and Menasha.

Little is known about the conditions that lead to the production of the toxins, known as cyanotoxins, and the four cities that derive drinking water from the lake don’t know if the toxins end up in their water.

But ingestion of some toxins can be fatal.

In 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the Journal Sentinel that the toxins were a low-priority item and weren’t being dealt with because of a lack of resources.

Twenty years later, not much has changed.

Last month, Miller, an assistant professor at UWM’s Zilber School of Public Health, and his students deployed one of two homemade buoys equipped with sensors that measure physical variables, like water and air temperature, and blue and green algae pigment levels in the lake. Every five minutes, a modem on the buoy will send data collected by the sensors to the Miller Lab website.

The Miller Lab also is sampling water at each of the four cities’ water plants at various stages of the treatment process to determine what level of cyanotoxins, if any, are in the drinking water. Through his research, Miller hopes to better understand the conditions around the occurrence of these toxins. He hopes to construct a model that will help water plants prevent human exposure to the toxins.

While acute poisonings are well-documented, chronic exposure to low levels of cyanotoxins in drinking water is not. The toxins are known to cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, gastrointestinal illnesses, joint pain and damage to the liver — even cancer in extreme cases.

Since 1998, the EPA has listed cyanotoxins on three consecutive lists of contaminant candidates to regulate in drinking water.

“The EPA has this process: put stuff on the list and figure out the data gaps. Unfortunately, they hit the current federal financial squeeze and moving through that process has gotten more difficult,” said Alan Roberson, director of federal relations for American Waterworks Association.

Conducting the research to assess the occurrence of the toxins nationwide and develop a standardized analytical method to determine appropriate toxin thresholds for drinking water would cost millions of dollars, Roberson said.

No human deaths caused by algae toxins have been confirmed in the U.S. and not all algae blooms produce them. But there are documented fatalities in other countries, like Brazil, where 60 dialysis patients died in 1996 due to the presence of toxins in the water supply.

In 2003, a Dane County coroner’s report determined anatoxin-a, a neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria, to be the culprit in the death of a Cottage Grove teenager who died after swallowing water in an algae-covered golf pond the prior summer. Today, officials still question the validity of the findings.

In Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago is the only inland lake used for drinking water. Mark Werner, section chief at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, said cyanobacterial algae blooms are not much of an issue in Lake Superior or Lake Michigan, where the City of Milwaukee derives its drinking water.

“It’s fairly safe to say that the removal is pretty good at surface water plants in Wisconsin, but it’s not something that is regularly on our radar,” said Steven Elmore, chief of public water supply at the state Department of Natural Resources.

Elmore pointed to studies conducted in the late 1990s, including one specific to Lake Winnebago, that showed treatment processes were effective at removing the toxins.

“It’s really up to the U.S. EPA to say this is something that we’re going to regulate,” he said.

But Miller pointed out the concentrations of toxins detected in the raw water were rather low back then, much lower than they are today.

“The problem is that you have a lot of dissolved organic carbon or other stuff in the water that can inhibit the breakdown of the toxins,” Miller said.

An auto-sampler attached to one buoy, located near the Oshkosh plant’s raw water intake, will collect at least two daily water samples that researchers will test for about two dozen possible cyanotoxins. Back at the lab, cyanotoxins in the raw water samples will be measured, but because the technology cannot detect all possible variations, researchers also will use a zebra fish assay to detect unknown toxins and overall water toxicity.

Wayne Carmichael, professor emeritus at Wright State University who has studied cyanotoxins over the past 40 years, said nearly half of the states have some kind of response strategy in place to monitor cyanotoxins. But it isn’t a nationwide problem.

Over the past four years, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has run a surveillance program that documents human and animal illnesses potentially linked to algal bloom exposure. In 2012, the program received 33 reports, five of which were for animals.

In Dane County, public health officials regularly monitor the water at recreational beaches and if there is an indication that a bloom is developing, they will issue an alert or health advisory. When levels of microcystin reach 20 micrograms or higher per liter, the beach is closed.

Every time Dane County sees large algae blooms in recreational waters, public health officials find that the toxin levels in the blooms are rather high — “greater than we expect,” says Kirsti Sorsa, program manager for the Department of Public Health for Madison and Dane County.

“There hasn’t been any significant move toward setting nutrient levels. All we’re doing is a better job of recognizing it,” Carmichael said. “We should be doing more.”





All boat traffic through Oshkosh will be shut down next week, cutting restaurants and other waterfront businesses off from key customers during a 120-hour construction blitz on the Fox River railroad bridge.

The river will be impassable for five days between midnight Aug. 18 and midnight Aug. 23 while Canadian National Railway, which owns the bridge, removes and replaces the main span that opens and closes to boat traffic.

The job will put a cap on nearly two years of reconstruction work on the 114-year-old structure that supports an average of 25 freight trains every day. The company said the new bridge will improve boating access to the river by widening the pass-through and allow trains to move across more quickly.

Boaters and riverfront business owners said they hope for improved access, but they’re frustrated the work is taking place in the midst of peak tourism season. Vacationers may find themselves confined to Lake Winnebago and unable to access restaurants and marinas on the Fox River and the upstream lakes. At the same time, Oshkosh residents who keep their boats along the river won’t be able to go out on Lake Winnebago.

The cutoff is the latest in a string of complaints boaters have with CN railroad over its operation of the bridge, said Ron Kelbert, 60, president of Lakeside Harbour Dockominiums Association in Oshkosh.

Kelbert said the company has not listened to boaters’ complaints about long wait times for the bridge to open — it will close 30-45 minutes before trains arrive — and he worries the company will disregard boaters during and after the bridge work.

“I guess we thought at some point, since we’re almost to the end of the season, why not just wait another month?” he said. “If they have one thing go wrong it could push the date to another day, another week, another month. To boaters, every day in the summer is precious.”

Restaurant owners expect to take a hit in both lunch- and dinner-time customers, said Jay Supple, Chief Executive Officer for the Supple Group, which owns Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant.

“Anybody on Lake Winnebago that’s coming this way obviously can’t get to us… It’s not just us. It’s all the restaurants on the river that flows from Oshkosh down to Winneconne,” he said. “I understand they have to do it, and it’s great we’re getting a new bridge, but I’m just surprised they’re not doing it in September.”

CN railroad spokesman Patrick Waldron said the company wants to finish the work before Labor day. He acknowledged the disruption and said the company cooperated with the U.S. Coast Guard to limit impact on the waterway by working only on weekdays.

“This is a very large portion of the project we’re doing all at once to minimize the interruption to the boat traffic,” he said.

Minimizing disruption

The U.S. Coast Guard has been notifying area boaters and organizations of the bridge closure so there are no surprises next week, said Scot Striffler, bridge program manager for the Ninth Coast Guard District, located in Cleveland, Ohio.

“They’re not going to be able to get through there, so I’m sure it will impact folks for this five-day period. That’s the nature of the work, and we’re doing all we can to minimize that impact,” he said.

The payoff at the end, however, will be greater access for boaters.

The old bridge was made up of three steel through-trusses that span 480 feet across the river. The center section consists of a swing span that twists horizontally in the center to allow boats through one of two 64-feet wide navigation channels.

The new, $27 million bridge will replace the swing span with a vertically-lifting bascule span that will open to a single 125-foot wide navigation channel.

Much of the new bridge is already in place. The bascule span is the only section not yet installed.

The construction schedule has been set up to ensure boaters will be able to pass through the bridge normally on the weekends.

Boaters appreciate that, but still, “it’s an inconvenience,” said Dave Pable, 56, who owns a small fishing boat he keeps at Kubasta’s Landing along the river.

Pable said he he could still access Lake Winnebago by pulling his boatacross town on a trailer , but that would defeat the purpose of paying to rent a boat house directly on the river.

“I’ll be shut down for August, but I’ll find another way to go fishing,” he said.

The bridge closure will also affect Becket’s and the Ground Round restaurants, which just had their river access restored last week when the river walk was completed.

“I wish it wouldn’t take a week,” Becket’s co-owner Kris Larson said about the bridge work. “It certainly will inhibit access, but it will be better when it’s done. Luckily, boaters know about it and can prepare for it.”

Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel General Manager Dan Schetter said awareness among boaters should minimize the impact on Ground Round at River’s Edge’s business.

“A lot of our traffic comes down the river from the west,” he added.

Adam Rodewald writes for Oshkosh Northwestern Media. Northwestern reporter Jeff Bollier contributed to this story.

via Bridge work will shut down boat traffic on Fox River through Oshkosh | Appleton Post-Crescent |




Good afternoon. I’m writing to notify everyone that CN RR has provided the schedule for the removal and replacement of the bridge in Oshkosh. The floating of the new bridge span and removal of the existing swing bridge via barge is scheduled from 2359 on August 18 to 2359 on August 23, 2013. The swing bridge is expected to be removed by noon on August 21, with the new span already in place but not operational. The waterway would essentially be impassable throughout the entire period, but small craft that can pass under the new bridge (approximately 6 feet vertical clearance) in the closed position would be able to pass between noon on August 21 and 2359 on August 23.

We request that this information be distributed as widely as possible in the local area. We will issue our Broadcast and Local Notice to Mariners with this information, but request additional outreach be done for local users.

Please feel free to contact me at the number below, or Lee Soule at (216) 902-6085, with any questions, and thank you in advance for getting this information out.


Scot Striffler
Bridge Program Manager
Ninth Coast Guard District
(216) 902-6087
Fax: (216) 902-6088



APPLETON — High Cliff State Park would more than double in size and get $11.3 million in upgrades under a proposal by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The draft master plan calls for the addition of 1,820 acres to the 1,195-acre park on the northeast shore of Lake Winnebago. Its boundaries would extend to Wisconsin 55 to the east and Calumet County Park to the south if the state acquires the additional land — which is in the hands of more than 100 landowners — at an estimated cost of about $9.1 million.

High Cliff, one of the state’s smaller parks, is Wisconsin’s fifth busiest, bringing in about 417,000 visitors annually, said Carolyn Morgen, park superintendent.

“What happens is the property just gets used a lot, it gets loved a lot,” Morgen said. “We would love to be able to expand and offer people more recreational opportunities.

“It is exciting. We also understand that it is for willing sellers only and it’s going to be a long process.”

The public can hear about the plan and comment on the park’s future at a May 7 meeting at the Sherwood Community Center. The master plan will be submitted to the state’s natural resources board for approval in June, Morgen said. Plans for specific projects will be drawn up once the master plan is approved.

While the park expansion could take years, work on upgrades to the park’s dated infrastructure and facilities could begin soon. Repairs to the park’s showers could start as early as this year, Morgan said.

Other projects, including a $1.5 million expansion of the family campground, will be prioritized based on need and available funds.

Morgen said it likely will take three to five years before bigger projects — such as the estimated $5.5 million marina upgrade — appear on the construction calendar. Funding can hold up the timeline, but projects can be paid for with state dollars, grants and donations, she said.

“I think there is a lot right now, and I think a lot of what happens with High Cliff is going to depend on the economy,” Morgen said. “If we have to wait for state funds, they’ll just get pushed back.”

High Cliff State Park’s last master plan was approved in 1982. It is supposed to be revised every 10 to 15 years once the plan’s goals are met, Morgen said.

The draft master plan calls for High Cliff to share a border with Calumet County Park and offers options to connect the two parks if complete land acquisition does not occur.

Frank Wasdovitch, Calumet County Parks Department director, said plans to connect the two parks through a trail system have been in the works for about a decade, but have stalled in recent years.

“We think it would be beneficial for both parks to be connected so there is an off-road type trail so people could safely go between the two parks,” Wasdovitch said.

The park’s northern neighbors are optimistic that plans for park expansion and improvements would increase business in Sherwood, said Village President Jim Rath. A portion of the state park is within the village’s boundaries, he said.

“We hope to have visitors spend more time and become a true destination for the people visiting High Cliff State Park,” said Rath, who plans to attend the May 7 meeting to learn more about the proposals. “The park is a treasured asset of the area.”


Park master plan proposes doubling High Cliff’s size, millions in upgrades | Green Bay Press Gazette |



APPLETON — If you’re concerned about zebra mussels, boat landing fees, walleyes, algae blooms or swimmer’s itch that can accompany a dip in Lake Winnebago, a new five-county collaborative wants to hear from you.

Backed by a $50,000 matching grant from the Department of Natural Resources, the group is in the first phase a project to protect all aspects of the system that connects Lake Winnebago to Lake Poygan, Lake Winneconne, Lake Butte des Morts and parts of the Fox and Wolf rivers.

The five counties — Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago — hope to build on local public feedback to identify key issues with the Winnebago System.

“Usually a government entity comes up with a proposal and then you have to respond to it,” said Mike Lizotte, president of the Winnebago Lakes Council. “This way, we might go about identifying threats to the system, or just gather a public wish list.”

The group has an interactive Web portal designed to gather feedback with surveys and discussion boards at So far, invasive species, algae blooms, water quality and boating fees have attracted the most attention.

A series of public meetings also will gather input from fishermen, boaters and others who use the system. The Appleton meeting is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Atlas Coffee Mill, 425 W. Water St.

Lizotte said not all suggestions will result in expensive, publicly funded projects.

“I hope somebody has some brilliant idea that doesn’t cost a lot of money and we can use it as a way to work together,” Lizotte said. “The real benefit from this may come in working together and trusting each other in our mutual interests.”

Julie Schmelzer, director of resource management for Calumet County, said the project could lead to broader recognition of the 132,000-acre Lake Winnebago that supplies water to more than 250,000 residents.

“Locally, people view the lake as a good recreation source for fishing, but the water quality might have hurt other opportunities for swimming and other activity,” she said. “We have one of the largest inland lakes in the country and it could continue to bring us economic opportunities, but not if we don’t deal with water quality, invasive plants and blue green algae together.”

After the data-gathering, the team will filter through the material.

via ‘Winnebago Waterways’ aims at protecting lakes | The Oshkosh Northwestern |



Residents in Fond du Lac, Calumet, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago counties will be asked to participate in upcoming stakeholder sessions to talk about issues that affect the Lake Winnebago System.

Calumet County, working with the neighboring counties, was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to begin the process, which will include surveys, focus groups and meetings.

The public and focus group meetings are tentatively scheduled for late December and early January and will be held throughout the project area to accommodate Winnebago System users. Online surveys will also be available.

Many issues affect Lake Winnebago, including blue green algae, invasive species, weeds, varying boat launch fees and a general overall lack of coordination to address matters of concern.

Although the DNR, non-profit organizations and conservation groups have done their best to address specific issues, there lacks an overall lakewide approach to managing Lake Winnebago and the pool lakes that comprise the Winnebago System.

The Lake Winnebago System includes the waters and surrounding watersheds of Winnebago, Butte de Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan lakes, encompasses four counties, four cities, four villages and 20 towns, and has economic and health impacts on municipalities further downstream in Outagamie County.

• To receive notification of the surveys or meetings, send contact information to:

via Lake Winnebago may get some help | The Oshkosh Northwestern |



There is a petition submitted to the Oshkosh city council to make the Fox River slow-no-wake from the Butte-des-mortes bridge to Lake Winnebago (all of Oshkosh). This would roughly triple the current slow-no-wake distance.

If this concerns you, there is a preliminary meeting Monday at 6:00 to talk about it. The petition is being presented to the City Council at 6:00 Monday Sept 10th.  This is a preliminary meeting held by the parks dept. Oshkosh city hall room 410. With enough opposition, the issue might be killed right there. Please be there!  (Note correction to meeting time and location.)

Please get involved.

For more information and discussion on this please see the following forum post:



PIPE— One person was injured Sunday when a boat caught fire and sank in the Lake Winnebago entrance to the channel leading into Columbia Park.

According to police scanner reports, a caller told the dispatcher around 3:50 p.m. that a boat in the mouth of the channel was on fire and that all people on board had evacuated before it sank.

One person on the 19 1/2-foot boat sustained burns and was advised to seek medical treatment.

The owner of the boat, Steve Schoepke of Fond du Lac, said the engine backfired and burst into flames. Schoepke described the boat as a 1977 Checkmate jet boat.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department towed the damaged boat out of the channel and over to where a large crane from Whealon’s Towing of Fond du Lac could retrieve it from the water.

Columbia Park is located on the east shore of Lake Winnebago at N10340 Calumet Harbor Road west of Pipe. The park contains boat slips and a launching area, as well as a harbor wall used to dock boats.


Oshkosh – The Winnebago County Sheriff Department responds to a boating accident on the Fox River near the Wisconsin Street bridge in Oshkosh on Saturday afternoon. According to scanner reports, one person was injured when the boat struck an object in the water.



Riverwalk is proceeding on schedule.

The first concrete walk was placed last week. The entire walkway from the hotel to the east side of center court should be finished in the next three weeks or so and then the installation of docks in that area will commence.

Demolition along the Beckets seawall will commence after Labor Day.

The new center court landscaping plan is close to being finalized. Additional trees, plantings and benches will be incorporated. The existing pavers will be removed and concrete will be poured. During this time, center court will be closed to the public. We anticipate the relandscaping of center court to occur sometime in October.

Again, please remember to stay away from the construction zone/water and do not go past any fence or barricade line. Work will continue most of the winter (weather depending). The City will be performing water/sewer line work for the hotel at the intersection of Ceape and Commerce sometime in the near future.

Deb Fenzl



This is a reminder / notice of the temporary security zone on Lake Winnebago for EAA Air Venture. This security zone is Monday July 23rd through Sunday July 29th from 8AM to 8PM every day.

This is a no entry zone, patrolled by the USCG. The purpose of this no entry zone is to facilitate the takeoff and landing of sea planes during EAA’s Air Venture. The zone is usually very clearly marked with large orange buoys.

View EAA Security Zone in a larger map

Below is an excerpt from the USCG “Code of Federal Regulations.”

61) EAA Airventure; Oshkosh WI.
(i) Location. All waters of Lake Winnebago bounded by a line drawn from 43°57 30″ N 088°30 00″ W; then south to 43°56 56″ N 088°29 53″ W then east to 43°56 40″ N 088°28 40″ W; then north to 43°57 30″ N 088°28 40″ W; then west returning to the point of origin NAD 83 .

(ii) Enforcement date and time. The last complete week of July, beginning Monday and ending Sunday; from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

via Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:.



The DNR will be cracking down on drunken boaters this weekend.

Wardens will be out on Wisconsin waters Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign.

The legal blood-alcohol level limit is 0.08, the same as for driving cars.

During last year’s Operation Dry Water, the DNR says patrols spent 1,684 hours, contacting 1,870 boaters. There were 14 arrests for boating under the influence, along with 162 other citations and 599 more warnings.

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

via DNR targeting drunken boaters June 22-24, 2012.



Warning issued for blue-green algae:

 OSHKOSH – It’s not hard to spot it. It sometimes looks like a sheen of blue-green paint on the water.

But it’s what you can’t see that health officials are warning the public about.

“There’s a possibility that as the algae grows, it creates toxins, people get into the toxin, their animals get into the toxin,” said Jeff Phillips, Winnebago County Health Department.

Different from your normal benign green algae, toxins created by blue-green algae can cause irritation, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. In severe cases, it can even cause nerve and liver damage.

Phillips says this potentially harmful type of algae blooms because the Lake Winnebago system is perfect for growing it.

High levels of nutrients, like phosphorus from some fertilizers and pesticides, primarily come from farm and yard runoff.

Eventually forming mats of algae, it can travel long distances, even down the Fox River.

For something that happens every year, are the concerns that surround it blown out of proportion? Well, at least one scientist doesn’t think so.

“I think people tend to forget, year to year, that there is a hazard associated with blue-green algae. It’s important, for every public health issue, to remind people that it’s here,” said Rob McLennan, DNR water supervisor.

Fisherman John Gorski knows that it’s here. But he says you just learn to live with the conditions of the lake.

“Like I said, every year, it’s like that. Depends on the wind. Today it was out of the west, it’s blowing it to the other side of the lake, so. It’s pretty clear today,” said Gorski.

“Is there a cost that we see?” asked FOX 11’s Bill Miston.

“I think there is, I think it kind of goes back to the people that utilize the lake for recreation, that live around the lake. The only way we can ever get a handle on the blue-green algae is really to stop the nutrient flow,” Phillips responded.

And Phillips says that will take everyone’s help and time.

The DNR says it is making an effort to reduce the number of algae blooms each year. It is studying how to reduce the amount of nutrients from area runoff coming into the Lake Winnebago system.

Experts say you can keep your family and pets safe by following these steps:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, skiing, or coming into contact with blue-green algae blooms.
  • Keep children away from algae blooms. They are more likely to transfer material from their hands to their mouths than adults.
  • Talk to your neighbors to make sure they are aware of any potentially threatening conditions.
  • Keep pets away from algae contaminated water.

If people or pets touch the algae, they should was thoroughly with clean water. Contact your health care provider or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you begin to experience any physical symptoms that could suggest exposure to the toxins. Contact a veterinarian if pets become sick.

via Warning issued for blue-green algae on Lake Winnebago.




Lake Winnebago – The recent warm spell has intensified the threat of blue-green algae on Lake Winnebago. The algae produces a toxin that can make people and animals severely sick after simple contact.


And it’s showing up unseasonably early.


Several weeks early, blue-green algae blooms are popping up on the lake. The Department of Natural Resources is issuing a warning to people on the water to avoid contact.


Diane Cappozzo of the Fond du Lac County Health Department advised, “People have to be aware that it can cause physical symptoms, and if they’re in areas where they think blue-green algae is present they really need to make sure they’re rinsing off well after you get out of the water and make sure you’re not swallowing it.”


The problem is tied to several days of intense heat.


Algae has been a problem in Lake Winnebago for years, but normally is doesn’t show up until late July. That change was brought on by a warmer than average spring and now days with temperatures in the 80s and 90s.


“Typically when we get to this point in the summer, when we get these hot sunny days, there’s plenty of nutrients in the water, and the blue-green algae starts to bloom and rise to the surface, and where the blue-green algae concentrates is a function of the wind direction,” DNR Water Resources Supervisor Rob McLennan said.


So far, the algae is mostly isolated to the northeast corner of Lake Winnebago.


The DNR expects the algae blooms to expand over the next few weeks.

“It just depends on the character of the summer as to how long it stay out there and to what degree it becomes a problem,” McLennan said.

via Blue-green Algae Blooms Unseasonably Early on Lake Winnebago – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News.



NEENAH — The city’s Landmarks Commission has received confirmation that the Kimberly Point Lighthouse has been designated to the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The commission nominated the lighthouse structure due to its iconic role in the history of the community.

The fully operational lighthouse, located at the Northern point of Kimberly Point Park, was constructed in 1945 and is considered of local historical significance for its association with Neenah’s history of water recreation. The structure is one of only two surviving park improvements funded by the city’s prominent paper manufacturers. The other is the distinctive 1922 Doty Park bridges.

The lighthouse was increased in height by 10 feet in 1954 to increase the lantern’s visibility and slightly altered due to vandalism in the 1970s, when the first floor windows were enclosed.

Constructed of painted brick and wood boarding on the upper levels, it is decorated in elements of Colonial Period Revival and houses two public restrooms, along with a series of platforms that lead to the lantern and contemporary lighting mechanism.

Significance to community: Neenah’s early industrialists worked hard, but still made time for recreation which centered on Lake Winnebago – pursuing yacht racing in the summer and ice boat racing during winter months. Yacht racing began on Lake Winnebago around 1859 and over time became one of the premier Fox Valley sporting and social events of the early mid-20th century. Lake Winnebago continues to be a popular water recreation destination, so the Kimberly Point Lighthouse will continue to stand guard overlooking the headwaters of the lower Fox River and guide fisherman, just as it has for over 65 years.

For more information about the Landmarks Commission, contact Carol Kasimor at

via Kimberly Point Lighthouse gets historic designation | Appleton Post Crescent |



MENASHA — State Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens will remind boaters and anglers this weekend to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The wardens, DNR Water Guard and Clean Boats Clean Water will work with local county patrols in the Lake Winnebago area Saturday to raise awareness about the spread of invasive species.

The DNR will set up a portable station to wash down boats and trailers from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Jefferson Park in Menasha.

via DNR raises awareness of invasive species | Appleton Post Crescent |



The Lake Winnebago Quality Improvement Association will meet for the first time at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6 at University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, rooms 113/114, 400 University Drive.

The group’s objective is to improve the overall quality of Lake Winnebago for recreational purposes while preserving its natural resources and caring for the creatures that make the lake their home.

Fishermen, boaters, jet-skiers, windsurfers, birdwatchers and anyone interested in natural resources, wildlife preservation and conservation practices is invited to attend the charter meeting.

Fond du Lac County and the UW-Extension are co-hosting the meeting.

via Lake Winnebago improvement group meets Wednesday | Fond du Lac Reporter |



EUREKA – Boaters now have greater access across Northeast Wisconsin.

Renovations on the Eureka lock are complete and it is open to boater traffic.

The $300,000 project was spearheaded by the Berlin Boat Club.

It took about three years to complete.

The lock is located between Berlin and Eureka.

It opens up boating traffic to Lake Butte des Morts, through Oshkosh, into Lake Winnebago.

“It’s great for the city of Berlin. It connects us back up to the Winnebago system. I’m thrilled we’re now connected back to the Winnebago system,” said Berlin Boat Club treasurer Dick Schramer.

The Eureka lock will be open every weekend from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It can also be operated with 24 hour notice.

A grand opening is set for June 30th, which will include food, entertainment and fireworks.


Renovations complete on Eureka lock:

Lake News: Renovations complete on Eureka lock.



This summer the Railroad bridge in Oshkosh is under construction and we’ve already heard numerous complaints about the bridge being closed more than it’s open.

With the bridge being constrained to one lane this has become a concern and we wanted to make sure that all boaters have the proper information to contact the bridge tender directly and if that fails to know that you have the option / right to file a complaint to the US Coast Guard.

To contact the bridge tender directly you can hail them on channel 16.  If you do not have a marine radio or they do not respond you have the option to call them directly.  The bridge tender is required to carry a phone and answer it at all times of operation.  (8AM to Midnight.)  That number is 920-456-9864.

I have it on very good information that the head of bridge operation for the CN railroad is highly committed to responding to boaters this summer with the inconvenience they are unfortunately imposing.

If contacting the bridge operator directly fails or you are not happy with the wait times or see any unsafe behavior due to bridge openings being delayed, you can submit this form to the US Coast Guard and they will be meeting with the CN Railroad to review all complaints later this year.  (There is a reason the tender was required to be at the bridge starting last navigation season.)

train bridge – coast guard blank form

For more information or help from the members of Boating Winnebago please visit our forum by clicking here!




Sensational Summer Concerts
Leach Amphitheater, Riverside Park, Downtown Oshkosh
12 consecutive Thursdays from June 14th through August 30th
EVERY THURSDAY · 5:45pm to 11:00pm · Over 40 acts!
Plus REO Speedwagon Waterfest Finalé August 30
$8.00 before 6:00pm · $10.00 before 7:00pm · $15.00 after 7:00pm

Good News!
2 for 1 Admission before 6:00pm on 6 community nights:
June 14 & 21, July 12 & 26, August 2 & 23! Just 4 Bucks!

REO Speedwagon
$10 before 6:00pm (Gates open at 5:00pm); $15 before 7:00pm and $20 after 7:00pm
Special Patio Access or SPA Pass are available for $25 while supply lasts
Call 920.303.2265 x22 or email
Waterfest Season Passes are good for FREE Admission anytime all night.
Waterfest Day Passes will ONLY be accepted before 6PM as stated on the pass.
Best View Experience Admission is $25 and available in advance only.

Season Pass
$100 – Admit One at anytime in each of all 12 shows. A $185 Value!

Pass Packs
$100 – 15 FREE Thursday ADMISSIONS before 7:00pm. A $150 Value!
Waterfest Passes are good ONLY BEFORE 7PM (except Aug 30, 6PM).
One Pass One Admission Before 7PM Only.
Day Passes will only be accepted for any purpose before 7PM.
Call 920.303.2265 x22 or email for Pass Pack,
Season Pass and SPA Passes
Season Passes and Pass Packs will be sold at
WILL CALL at 5:00pm all summer!

Special Guests
Teachers Night: June 14th – Bring School ID and get admitted FREE! All Night!
US Veterans: Admitted FREE anytime all season including
REO Speedwagon with proof of military service
Youths under 12: Admitted Free when accompanied by a responsible adult
Teachers and Veterans please register at WILL CALL


Foxy Shazam · Something Underground · The Revivalists
Community Night and Teachers are FREE!
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.

Hairball · Road Trip · Bad Habitz
Community Night
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.

TBA · TBA · Gazettiers


Here Come the Mummies · Fountains of Wayne · A Silent Film

Marcia Ball · Alex McMurray Band · Davis Rogan Band · Tin Men
5:00pm Start!
Community Night
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.

Winger & Warrant · Crankin’ Yankees

Boogie Knights · Boogie & The Yo-Yo’z · Salsa Manzana
Community Night
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.
EAA AirVenture visitors admitted FREE with convention wrist band


The Zombies starring Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent · Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express · Tin Sandwich
Community Night
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.

Night Ranger · Mt. Olive · Lucas Cates Band

The BoDeans · Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound · Warren Hood and The Goods

Boulder County Conspiracy-Super Group (members of Poco/Fire Fall/Spirit/JoJo Gunne etc.) · Sly Joe and the Jumbo Smooth Operators · The Dead Horses
Community Night
Admission 2 for 1 before 6:00pm.

REO Speedwagon · Copper Box · Cheeseheads With Attitude · Greg Waters & The Broad Street Boogie
Waterfest Finalé, 5:00 pm start!
Admission $10 before 6PM; $15 before 7PM; $20 after 7PM
$25 Best View (Best View tickets available in advance only)



Heavy rains over the weekend caused the City of Fond du Lac to send untreated water into Lake Winnebago from two locations.

Fond du Lac Public Works Director Jordan Skiff confirmed Monday afternoon that bypassing of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant occurred late Sunday morning. Water was diverted from the sewer treatment plant and from a section of town experiencing extreme volumes of water. Untreated water is diverted to avoid the backup of water in basements around the city.

“Part of (the problem) is the saturation of the soil,” Skiff said. “Sunday we had more intense rain. Thursday we had more actual rain, but spread out throughout the day.”

Skiff said the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was notified of the bypass.

Skiff said Monday that he is working to gather facts and complete a detailed report for the DNR.

The system was back to normal function on Monday. Bypass of the treatment plant was a temporary, emergency action.

City officials were made aware Sunday of some isolated cases of standing water in the streets. The area received more than an inch of rain Sunday and about a half-inch on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. That is on top of about 1½-inches of rain received on Wednesday and Thursday.

The intersection of Park and Merrill avenues was one of the trouble spots, including some portions of Johnson Street, Park Avenue, Amory Street and Rose Avenue.

“To my knowledge, the storm sewer was flowing fine — it was simply overwhelmed for a brief period before noon yesterday (Sunday),” Skiff said.

There were few reports of flooded basements due to the intense rains.

He said staff was working with a resident that was dealing with water in a basement without the help of a sump pump.

Public Works staff also received a few complaints of overflowing ditches. Skiff said he was not aware of widespread problems.

via Heavy rain forces City of Fond du Lac to bypass treatment plant | Fond du Lac Reporter |



Sailing 600,000 kilometers—more than 37,000 miles—is an impressive feat even aboard modern luxury yachts. It’s downright astounding to do it without using a single drop of oil.

At 102-feet long and 49-feet wide, the €12.5 million MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the largest solar-powered ship to sail the seven seas. It just became the first watercraft to circle the planet using nothing but the Sun’s energy.

Built by German boat-building firm, Knierim Yachtbau, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar cost €12.5 million. Its deck is covered in 5,780 square feet of solar panels—38,000 individual photovoltaic cells—producing up to 120kW of electricity. That’s fed to six massive Li-Ion battery blocks which, in turn, power four electric engines. These engines drive a pair of six-foot-wide, semi-submerged, counter-rotating carbon propellers—eliminating the need for a rudder and propelling the MS Tûranor at a respectable 14 knots. Granted, it can’t keep up with massive cargo ships like the Emma Maersk, but it also doesn’t burn 13 ounces of diesel fuel per revolution.

Since each engine only produces an average of 26 HP and the solar cells have a paltry 22.6-percent conversion rate, the MS Tûranor is designed for efficiency. Its 95 ton hull is built from a foam core sandwiched between layers of carbon fiber and resin. This makes for a lightweight but extremely durable hull while extensive hydrodynamic and aerodynamic testing have ensured minimal drag.

A crew of six piloted the Tûranor during its 585-day trans-oceanic voyage. It launched from Monaco on September 27, 2010 and sailed West for 19 months. This past Friday, May 4th, the boat came home. With a world record now under its belt, the Tûranor will be converted into a 40-passenger luxury yacht. Because, you know, Monaco.