The Cattail Award honors those who are dedicated in various ways to the WACF — time, money and talents.
This year’s meeting had a record attendance with more than 75 individuals attending to hear the state of the watershed reports and guest speakers Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Center for Lakes & Streams; and Jed Pearson, biologist with the Indiana Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Bosch’s presentation focused on current and future research on Lake Wawasee. He stated through generous donations from local residents, Lake Wawasee is the most thoroughly studied lake in the state. He touched on the objectives of the center: education, collaboration and research. He also addressed the center’s participation in the two chemical spills on Lake Wawasee.
Research continues on the economic impact, types of algae in the lake, water clarity which a unique opportunity was given when the state issued a no-wake order for several weeks. This allowed the center to see what was causing the diminished lake clarity as the summer progressed. The result was it was not boat action or seawalls, but algae growth. Additional studies will include attempts to forecast blue-green algae blooms, working with agriculture toward common lake goals, lake water levels, year-round sampling of stream inflows and outflows, weekly lake sampling, analysis of potential historical trends and more to come.
Pearson presented a fish and fish habitat summary on the Turkey Creek watershed lakes. He provided a brochure for guests to review providing a fish summary from 1998-2013, a habitat summary from 2000-13, and plant summary. The lakes where studies were conducted included Harper, Knapp, Moss, Hindman, Gordy, Rider, Duely and Village. All total 25 different species were found, 14 of which were sport species.
The study included fish lengths, number of predators, insectivores and omnivores. The research also discovered the loss of cisco, a fish living in clean lakes.
State Of The Watershed
Heather Harwood, WACF executive director, reported on work occurring at the center to remove invasive species, treatment of starry-eyed stone-wart on Wawasee and Syracuse lakes.
Dr. Joan Szynal, incoming chairman, provided the healthy shoreline report, stating a lake survey has been conducted. That study has shown 65 percent of the lake shores are concrete, 21 percent glacial stone and 11 percent natural. “Our goal in five years is to have 50 percent with glacial rock,” she stated. Szynal stated a map showing the type of shorelines is available on the WACF’s website under the healthy shoreline tab.
Diana Castell, ecology committee chairwoman, once again utilized her teacher background to present a brief ecology lesson. Pam Schumm, also on the ecology committee, announced a fun interactive study with fourth-graders Sept. 14, 15 and 17 at the center.
Other reports were heard from Tom Yoder and Dave Brandes on the $5 million capital campaign, focusing on four parts: education, ecological remediation, land acquisition and endowment fund.
Additionally Kay Young, president of the Wawasee Property Owners Association, presented a $1,000 donation to WACF for use at its discretion.
Terry Clapacs and Joan Szynal were announced as the incoming co-chairpersons along with the appointment of Bob Fanning to the board.