Fish Sticks Update 7/15/13

Hi Everyone, 

This year at the annual Mallard Lake Association meeting, Paul Cook was our guest speaker and gave a presentation on the implementation of our Fish Sticks project.  The presentation is very good and I asked Paul if I could post it on our web site.  He agreed and sent it to me to post.  Here it is.

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Fish Sticks Update 3/3/13

Hi Everyone,

Great News, we have successfully installed all five of the Fish Sticks locations on our lake.  The work was completed on Thursday January 24th.  We installed two sites near the public landing (one about 100 yards South and one about 100 yards East), two on the Northwest end of the lake, and one on the North side of the point.  The cost for installation was $1610.00 plus a few incidentals, which I think will be under $50.00.  I have paid the invoice for the installation and have started the paperwork for the reimbursement form the state of WI. (70%).  I have photos of the instillations on the Northwest end of the lake posted below.  I took pictures of all each installation and will post them soon.

The five installations are a great start toward increasing the habitat in our lake, which, according to the DNR, will substantially increase the fish quantity and size of the fish in our lake.  We would like to explore a second phase implementation and install another five, or more, fish sticks.  If anyone on the lake has the available shoreline and would be willing to allow an installation on their property, Please let me know. 

The participation for this initiative has been much greater than we anticipated. Thus far, we have collected $4,370 for this initiative from 30 property owners around the lake. We have additional funding for Lake Habitat and will be discussing how to best use the monies at the annual association meeting in June.


Fish Sticks Update 4/4/2012 

Hi Everyone,

First off, we would like to extend our great appreciation and a thank you to all the families who contributed to this project.  Your generous support and the contributions from 27 lake property owners and 1 non property owner contributed to a current total of $4,140.  The moneys collected will allow us to implement the project and begin a stocking program.  It’s still not too late, if you are considering a contribution for this, the excess monies will be used for additional stocking.

You may have noticed that the Fish Sticks have not been installed. Unfortunately the program has hit a road bump.  As we have stated on our web site and through previous letters, the plan was to implement the project in early March, this is the desired time frame for a fish sticks implementation.  Several state permits needed to be approved, there needed to be a public notification posted for 30 days, the Corp of Engineers needed to approve it and the work needed to be sent out to bid.  The final permit was granted and approved on March 12th 

In a typical winter, the ice would be over 24 inches on that date, but due to the warm winter, the ice thickness only reached about 15 inched at peak thickness this year.  Safety concerns forced the decision between the DNR and the contractor to postpone the project until the ice is safe.  This could mean the implementation will take place very late this year or, more likely, early next year.  The permits are good until March 12th 2015, so as soon as the ice is thick enough, we will implement.

The contact we have been working with from the state in Paul Cook.  Paul has driven most of the permits and permissions for this project and we have found him great to work with.  Paul will be our guest speaker this year at the annual association meeting, which will be held at 10:00am on June 9th at the Jackson Township Fire Hall.  We hope to see you there.

Thank you for your support.

Timothy W. Heuer

The Mallard Lake Association Board of Directors


 Fish Sticks Update 12/14/2011

Sorry I have not updated this for a couple months.

Things are moving forward and we have an estimated cost of $5,200 to install six configurations around the lake.  The state will cover 70% of this cost so our estimated cost will be $1560 for this phase of the iniative.  The second phase will be to stock bait fish (Fatheads) at a estimated cost of $1,500.  This cost will be our responsibility.  If we can secure enough donations to pay for this project, the Fish Sticks will be installed in Febuary and the stocking will take place in early spring.

The Board will be sending a letter and an email to the property owners on Mallard Lake to solicit funds for this project before the end of the year. 

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Fish Sticks Update 10/06/2011

Here is an update that I received from Paul Cook on 10/06/2001

Hey Tim,

Great news, I just heard from Jameson Wendel and he is giving us manual code approval for the fish sticks!  That’s really going to be a good deal for us going forward.
He needs one thing to get started… the names of the landowners for each piece of property where we are going to install fish sticks.  We can look up most of the necessary information here at the County of course, but I just wanted to touch base with you so I don’t miss anyone.

We have you, and do you actually co-own one property with Michael Brunner?  The other landowner was Gordie, I forget his last name??  And then I also do not remember the name of the gentleman on the point?  And of course Burnett County is the other landowner.  So we have a total of 4 pieces of land, yours, Gordie’s, the landowner on the point and the County.  I think I have that all right and if you can pass along those other two names I can get that information to Jameson shortly here.

Thanks! I am real pleased that it looks like this is going to be a go.




Fish Sticks Update 10/3/2011

Here is an update I received from Paul Cook this morning


I spoke with Jameson Wendel who is the area fisheries manager from DNR.  He is the guy who has to give us the permit for all the fish sticks.  He informed me there are only two ways to go about getting the permits.  Individual permits which cost $500 per landowner… obviously this is cost prohibitive, we cannot spend more or the same amount on permit fees that we are spending on the actual project work.  The other avenue is what he called a “manual code approval”.  This is basically where DNR gives themselves permission to have the fish sticks put in and there is no dollar cost associated with it.  However he did say that at that point, he becomes responsible for all the fish sticks that get put in under this manual code approval, which means he will have to dedicate staff time to oversee parts of the project and monitor the results to some extent.

This is where we are at a stopping point until Mr. Wendel decides what he can do.  He said he has to determine whether they have enough staff time to take this on as a manual code approval or not.  I am waiting for him to get back to me on this.  I don’t think we can go the individual permit route, so working with him is our only option at this point it seems.  I guess I was not aware that the permitting end of things is so tricky.  He did say they are trying to come up with a new system of permitting these fish sticks so the fee is much less expensive and so they do not have to go through this manual code approval process for something as simple as fish habitat work.

Anyway, that’s the long of it for now and I will keep you in the loop on what is happening with the potential permitting process.

I also asked if he could move Mallard Lake up in his fish shocking schedule.  He said it’s scheduled for 2016 and the last it was done was in the 1980’s, I believe he said ’82.  Once every 35 years doesn’t seem like much.  He seemed to think the snapshot of shocking once before the fish sticks might not give us much information anyway, since there are many different factors that affect fish population and size structure.  I see where he is coming from, but I would have liked to see it done anyway, however that looks like a dead end at this point.

Also I attached a couple of studies on fish sticks.  You can pass along any information from these that you might find useful.  I thought the study they did on the undeveloped lake in northern Wisconsin was very interesting.

Let me know if you have any questions and I will let you know what I find out on the permitting end of things.


Paul Cook

Burnett County LWCD



Fish Sticks Update 9/22/2011

I had a conversation with Paul Cook, from the WI DNR, this morning regarding our Fish Sticks project.  Paul has been working on our project with the WI Forestry folks for the past few weeks and he thinks he will be able to get enough trees from the public land near the lake access for several of the Fish Sticks implementations on our lake.  Paul is still gathering information to determine the cost of our project. 

He sent me several photos of a Fish Sticks project that was implemented up near Barnes WI on the Eau Claire chain of lakes and I posted them below.

I asked Paul for data surrounding the before and after fish surveys that were done on the Eau Claire chain of lakes so we can see the potential affect a program like this will have on our fish population.  Paul will be sending me that information in the near future and I will post it when it comes.

Tim Heuer

Fish Sticks Update 9/19/2011

Mark Hunter, Gordy Hesselroth and I met with Paul Cook on Friday September 2nd to determine where to place the trees for the fish sticks initiative we are exploring.  Paul wanted to determine how many trees would be needed at each site and identify trees that will be used as an anchor to the trees in the water.  It was a very positive meeting.  Paul will use the information he gathered to gather cost estimates for the project.  I expect we will receive the estimates be the end of September.  Paul has also committed to provide us with photos of a similar project he worked on in northern WI as well as the fish counts from before the project and several years after. 

Tim Heuer 

Fish Sticks Update 8/11/2011

Mark Hunter and I met with Dave Farris and Paul Cook (WI DNR) on Friday Aug 5th to discuss increasing habitat and structure in Mallard Lake.  There is a new DNR program called "Fish Sticks" which basically amounts to cutting down trees, hauling them onto the ice, stacking them on top of one another in a perpendicular configuration, tying them together with cable, and tying them to shore with a cable.  Dave and Paul thought that four of five of the fish sticks would be sufficient to add good habitat to the lake, but more would be better.  We identified several locations for these structures, one on each side of the public landing off the public land, one on the north end on the public land along Mallard Lake road, and one on the property line between the Heuer / Hesselroth properties.  We are looking for another property owner who would allow one of these structures to be installed.  

We are still working with Dave and Paul to find out the cost of these structures, but Paul told us that the State will pay for 70% to 75% of the project.

Another thing we are exploring to increase habitat is cutting big trees along the shoreline and letting them fall into the water.  According to Dave and Paul, this is legal to do, but they cautioned that a couple of their peer organizations may have a problem with this.  If anyone is interested in doing something like this, please let me know and I will coordinate the appropriate state offices to survey your property to mark which tree would be the best option.
Tim Heuer   

Fish Sticks Project 7/20/2011

Mark Hunter has been leading an effort to work with the Wisconsin DNR and explore ways to enhance the fishing (both amount and size) in Mallard Lake.  Mark has had several conversations with the folks in charge of stocking programs and habitat.  The general consensus of the experts is that Mallard Lake does not have enough food in it to support the growth and production of fish.

The reason for the lack of food is that the lake lacks structure and habitat for the smaller feeder fish to propagate.  So the first step toward better fishing will be to create a place for feeder fish to live and prosper.  

Mark has a meeting setup with Dave Farris from the DNR on August 5th to tour Mallard Lake and discuss options for increasing habitat and structure.  The recommendations from that meeting will be posted here to keep all of you in the loop. 


If any one would like to participate in this initiative, please contact Mark Hunter or Tim Heuer.