map with bays named


The identification in Little St. Germain Lake of Curly-leaf pondweed in 2002 followed by Eurasian watermilfoil in 2003 and the high cost of managing these invasive plants was a wake-up call to other St. Germain area lake organizations. The public was learning how quickly invasive species can harm a lake and the importance of keeping them out of water bodies not yet infected. In response to this new awareness, the St. Germain Town Board formed a "Town Lakes Committee" in 2003. The committee consisted of representatives from Big and Little St. Germain Lakes, Lost and Found Lakes and Alma and Moon Lakes. The purpose of the committee was to bring local lake organizations together and allow them to function as an advisory extension of town government. By doing so it was believed the committee could accomplish objectives for the good of all town lakes that individual lake organizations might not undertake.

One of the first priorities of the new committee was to contract with a professional lake consultant to conduct aquatic plant studies in the eight lakes represented by the five lake organizations serving on the committee and to develop long range aquatic plant management plans for the same lakes. State grant funding was applied for and awarded to cover 50% of the $33,350 project. Of the remaining balance, half was paid by the participating lake organizations based on a shorline formula and the other half was provided by the town board from room tax revenues. The nature of the project and the method of cost sharing demonstrated a unique partnership of local property owners, town government and a State agency (Dept. of Natural Resources). Other project followed in subsequent years.

Vilas County's Land & Water Conservation Department hired a full time limited term Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator in 2004 to provide county-wide guidance in public awareness, prevention and management of AIS. One of the goals of the project coordinator was to work with the town boards of all 14 Vilas County towns in establishing and supporting town lakes committees, using the sucesses of the St. Germain committee as a template. The concept caught on quickly. By the end of 2007, town committees across the county had been awarded in excess of $470,000 in additional State grant funds to help offset the cost of AIS prevention and management programs.

Vilas County maintains a website for its AIS county-wide partnership. The activities of town lakes committees is one feature of it. Detailed information regarding the activities of the St. Germain Town Lakes Committee can be found by clicking HERE (this link exits the Little St. Germain Lake District website).