Monday, August 30, 2021

 Weedy Waters Update

BLA vice-president, Mark Nymo, spoke with Alex Smith on August 24, 2021.  Alex is the water biologist with the DNR from the Spooner office.  Mark described our concern about the floating mats of weeds in areas of Bear Lake and also described his observations from Sunday when he paddle-boarded the southeast bay of the lake.  Alex indicated that he has visited most of the large lakes in this area and has found similar conditions in most of the lakes,  specifically, large floating mats of narrow, ribbon-like weeds. He said the other lakes have not noted this problem previously either.  He indicated that these mats are not wild rice but are a plant called a variety of names including wild celery, eelgrass, and tapegrass.  The official name is Vallisneria Americana.  The plant grows beneath the surface, but as the leaves become longer they float on the surface.  The roots are small and easily pulled up from the bottom, so high water or even wave action from storms or boats will cause large numbers to dislodge from the bottom, float and congregate in the mats that we see.  While paddle boarding, Mark could see large areas of these grasses growing in the bay that were not yet disrupted from the bottom.  Alex said that the early ice-out and near constant sunny days this summer have provided an ideal environment for these grasses to grow much more extensively than usual, and thus we, and other area lakes, have much greater incidence of the mats this summer.  There is no harm or regulation in removing these mats, but he said it would be very labor intensive.  The removed plants would need to be placed on shore.  The only mechanical means of removing plants that are attached to the bottom is by hand raking, with a limitation of 30 feet along a shoreline and out to 3 or 4 feet or so from the shore.  Because Bear Lake has areas of wild rice, no chemical treatments are allowed.  Perhaps the best we can hope for is that next season has a later ice-out and more cloudy days.

To confirm Alex Smith’s conclusions, Mark kayaked to the rice beds on August 25th.  The wild rice plants are very different from the eelgrass found in the bay.  Wild rice has a round stem with rather broad leaves while the eelgrass is flat, narrow, and ribbon-like.  The wild rice also is loaded with the actual rice kernels at this time.  There are tiny white seeds are coming from the eelgrass.  Eelgrass clumps that are attached to the bottom are sending up corkscrew-like leaders with seed heads on them that have these tiny white seed particles.  

Friday, May 21, 2021

2021 Bear Lake Association Events

 2021 Bear Lake Association Events

Upcoming 2021 General Membership Events...

Annual General Membership Meeting

Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
Haugen Area Historical Museum - Outdoor  Pavillon

Annual Picnic

Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.
Camp Phillips - Main Dining Hall (Map)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

2020 Picnic Cancelled, Annual Meeting Re-scheduled

Dear Bear Lake Association members and friends,

Based on the current increase in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and elsewhere, we have decided to cancel the picnic to avoid any chance of spreading the virus and uncertainty over how many people would attend. Nevertheless, we are still required to have an annual meeting and we need to fill three board of directors positions. 

We will have a brief business meeting only and not have a speaker as we have in the past. The meeting will be held at the pavilion behind the Haugen Historical Museum at 10AM on Saturday, August 22. (map)

The meeting will include a discussion of the Association’s plans and operations, election of three directors and questions and answers from attending members. We currently have two board candidates and are in need of a third. Please consider serving on the board — it truly is a great way to learn about the issues we face as lake property stewards and an opportunity to get to know your neighbors. We hope to have a good turnout and discuss issues of concern to our members. We should be able to maintain good social distancing and encourage everyone to wear masks.

Additionally, we would like to bring you up to date on the Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) boat inspection program that the Association has been supporting to help prevent the introduction of invasive species into Bear Lake. We have two college-age inspectors (Anakah and Sawyer) who do most of the inspections and one high school-age inspector (Robert) who fills in as needed. They typically work 6 am to noon Saturday and Sunday and are doing a great job helping to preserve our lake resources. 

It’s been a busy summer — CBCW stats as of the end of July are:

  • 302 - Total number of boats inspected
  • 60 - Number of boats that had been on other waters within the last 5 days
  • 740 - Total number of people contacted
  • 264 - Hours of paid inspector time
  • 58 - Hours of volunteer inspector time

Please continue to keep an eye out for invasive species on the lake. A resident recently spotted a purple loosestrife flower in a place it has not been seen before. She photographed, bagged, pulled it out by the roots and disposed of it. It’s important we stop these plants from reseeding whenever possible. Let us know if you come across any suspect plants so we can keep track of where they are.

We’ve also included a copy of the annual Treasurer’s Report.

Hoping this finds you and your loved ones in good health.

Your Bear Lake Association Board,

Doug Peterson, Mark Nymo, Bea Evans, Dawn Smith, Marie Prince, John Sturtevant & Mary Vinopal

Thursday, June 25, 2020

2020 Bear Lake Association Events

Upcoming 2020 General Membership Events...

Bear Lake Regatta
Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 1:00pm

Note: The Regatta was originally scheduled for 7/4, but has been postponed to 7/18

The Bear Lake Regatta is an annual get together of the most fun people on the best lake in northwestern Wisconsin. The event consists of a boat parade around the lake, followed by the boats gathering together for drinking, dancing, and having a good ol' time. Themed boats and attire are REQUIRED to attend. Hope to see you there!
More info on Facebook

Check out our 2020 Newsletter for more.

Click here to join the Bear Lake Association or renew your membership.

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 Bear Lake Association Events

Upcoming 2019 General Membership Events...

Annual General Membership Meeting

Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 10:00am
Haugen Elementary School

Bear Lake Regatta

Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 1:00pm
The boat parade starts at the north point of the island at 1pm sharp. Themed boats and attire are strongly required to attend. After the parade, boats will gather in the middle of the lake for drinks and food.
More info on Facebook

Annual Picnic

Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 5:30pm
Cub World Camp Phillips (Map)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, March 30, 2018

2018 Lake Association Events

Mark your calendars for our 2018 General Membership Events:

Annual General Membership Meeting

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 10:00am
Haugen Elementary School

Annual Picnic

Saturday, August 25, 2016 at 5:30pm
Cub World Camp Phillips (Map)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Healthy Lakes Information

Linda Anderson gave a great presentation on the Healthy Lakes Program at our 2017 Annual Meeting. For your reference, here are some of the materials that she presented:
If anyone has further questions, Linda can be reached at 763-221-8136 or

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bob & Dorothy Moe win "Invader Crusader" Award

Longtime Bear Lake Association members, citizen-scientists, and all-around great folks Bob and Dorothy Moe were recognized by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council as 2017 "Invader Crusader" award-winners.

As most of you know, Bob and Dorothy have put in tons of work over the years to keep the Bear Lake ecosystem vibrant and healthy. They lead virtually all of our conservation efforts, including raising and deploying our Galerucella beetles (for purple loosestrife control) and submitting monthly water quality samples to the DNR. They are true champions of conservation, and we are all fortunate to share Bear Lake with them. Congratulations, Bob and Dorothy! Well-deserved!

From the WI Invasive Species Council:
Robert and Dorothy Moe have worked tirelessly to control purple loosestrife in the areas surrounding Bear Lake, protecting the Bear Lake Sedge Meadow State Natural Area and the lake’s wild rice populations from the effects of the invasive plant.

The Moes have donated many hours of volunteer work and the use of their pontoon boat and equipment to the Barron County Department of Land Services in order to control purple loosestrife on Bear Lake. Additionally, each year they have surveyed the lake and provided the department with detailed information regarding the locations and amount of purple loosestrife, then developed a plan on where to distribute Galerucella beetles raised on their property in order to best control purple loosestrife. Furthermore, the Moes are passionate about educating other Bear Lake residents on the impacts of invasive species. Their dedication to invasive species control and education has helped to ensure the health of the Bear Lake ecosystem for years to come.

Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting & Picnic

Mark your calendars for our 2017 General Membership Events:

Annual Picnic

Saturday, August 19th at 5:30 pm
Cub World, L.E. Phillips Scout Reservation
Bring a side dish or a dessert to pass Lona’s chicken and refreshments provided.

Questions? Call Lance Ritchie at 715-234-1645

Annual General Membership Meeting

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:00am
Haugen Elementary School

You may be interested in reviewing the Minutes from our 2016 Annual Meeting, as well as checking out the Improving Lake Habitat with "Fish Sicks" and the DNR and UW-Extension's Healthy Lakes Program info which was presented at the meeting.

Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference

Friday, June 16, 2017 from 9:00am to 3:45pm
Hayward High School
Click here for More Details

The all day program is a great opportunity for lake enthusiasts, local government officials and others interested in enjoying and protecting our lakes to take in a number of educational presentations, visit many informative exhibits and network with fellow conference attendees.

Keynote speakers are Aaron Thompson and Nels Paulson, who will present on the topic, “Change Society, Change Individuals, Change Water Quality: Why We Need to Focus on Community and Not Individual Changes.” Their presentation will discuss the community conditions needed to ensure healthy watersheds and lakes.

Members may also be interested in attending the Red Cedar Watershed Conference at UW-StoutNext year's conference will be on Thursday, March 8th, 2018.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Purple Loosestrife Control

Below are pictures from September 2016 when Justin and Bronson were on Bear Lake with Bob Moe in the Sheriff's Boat controlling Purple Loosestrife.

Check out our Invasive Species page for more info on identifying Purple Loosestrife, and what we're doing to stop its spread. If you'd like to help with these efforts, please contact Bob and Dorothy Moe at 234-7095.