Lake Gogebic Adaptive Management Plan

Well thought out and effective efforts to care for a lake have to begin with a good framework to guide the work. The Lake Gogebic Adaptive Management Plan (LGAMP) is just that. The underlying logic of the plan is to establish a baseline of information in each of a number of categories. As time passes and comparisons are made we can judge how something may have changed in any one of the categories and adjust accordingly. As an example the presence of Eurasian Water Milfoil may be detected, which would be a significant change. A new survey would reveal how great a deviation from the baseline the change is and the information regarding degree and location of the change will guide the corrective efforts that need to be taken. The LGAMP is a living document that will serve the lake well. It is a collaborative effort between the LGIA and White Water Associates, a nationally recognized environmental firm. The adaptive management concept is intended to provide for long-term stewardship of the lake. The plan is included here in its entirety for you to read. You’ll recognize that the well being of Lake Gogebic becomes the responsibility of everyone who looks to it for their enjoyment, in whatever form that may take. We are all stewards of this marvelous body of water and we invite you to make this plan yours.

In August and September of 2014, White Water biologists Angie Stine and Caitlin Clarke conducted surveys for aquatic plants, aquatic invasive species (plants and animals), and large wood habitat in Lake Gogebic as part of a project funded by Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties Resource Advisory Committees (RACs). This work is part of the overall efforts by the Lake Gogebic Improvement Association (LGIA) to implement the Lake Gogebic Adaptive Management Plan that was created by White Water Associates in March of 2014.

Building on aquatic plant survey work that White Water conducted in 2013, the effort in 2014 included a fine-scale aquatic plant survey within a one-quarter mile radius of five boat landings on Lake Gogebic. Stine and Clarke conducted the field work in accordance with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources “point-intercept” method for aquatic plant surveys. This will allow mapping of the native aquatic plants beds in Lake Gogebic.  These plants are important habitat features.

Along with the point-intercept survey, White Water conducted a thorough survey for aquatic invasive plant and animal species in Lake Gogebic, especially in areas most likely to contain these unwanted plants and animals. Part of the AIS survey work involved Angie Stine snorkeling at the boat landings, visually surveying for aquatic invasive species (invasive mussels or snails, rusty crayfish, and aquatic invasive plants like Eurasian watermilfoil). No zebra mussels, rusty crayfish, or aquatic invasive plants were observed.

In the vicinity of each boat landing, Caitlin Clarke assessed the amount of large woody material (an important habitat feature) in the shoreline and shallow water zones of Lake Gogebic. She also  looked for terrestrial invasive plants along the water’s edge.

On one of the outings to Lake Gogebic, Stine and Clarke met with Phil Wirtanen for a short workshop on how to identify the AIS called Eurasian watermilfoil. Teaching Lake Gogebic stewards how to identify AIS is an important part of monitoring for these species in the lake. Early detection of AIS sometimes allows a rapid response and control of the species.

Over the course of the 2014-15 winter, White Water biologists completed a formal report of the 2014 field work. This has become part of the information that LGIA and others concerned with Lake Gogebic can use to ensure a healthy future for Lake Gogebic.