Serving the interests of
Lac Courte Oreilles
and Little Lac Courte Oreilles,
Sawyer County, Wisconsin


COLA Annual Meeting

Saturday, June ?, 2017
St. Francis Solanus Mission 13885 Mission Rd., Stone Lake, WI 54876

To help us provide seating & refreshments, please RSVP:


COLA Summer Picnic

Saturday, July ?, 2017
Trails End Resort



Report on the 2016 Fishkill

Click HERE to access the final and complete report on the 2016 LCO fish kill prepared by COLA in association with the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - October 6, 2016.

COLA has been working to resolve the problem of excess phosphorous in LCO and the affect it has had on the lake’s unique cold water fishery, increasing algae and aquatic plant growth and loss of musky and walleye spawning habitat.

One source of these excess nutrients are cranberry bogs which require millions of gallons of water throughout the year. The water is pumped into the bogs directly from lakes and other waters on which these operations are located. But, that deep water is not needed all the time, so each time a bog is flooded with lake water for a frost protection, pest control, or harvesting, the water level needs to be adjusted down again. The excess water is returned back to the lake, potentially containing phosphorus, nitrogen, and pesticides all used in the growing of cranberries. The impact is visible in the May, 2016 aerial photo of Stucky Bay. Click here to view.

The solution is a closed system where the water that is drained from the bogs is pumped to a constructed holding basin rather than back into the lake, thereby giving cranberry growers the ability to store and re-use the water they need to grow and harvest cranberries. Two forward thinking LCO growers have recently implemented closed systems. Click here to view. Two bogs down and two bogs to go. Progress is being made. To view the press release thanking these growers, click here to view.

The Golf Tournament scheduled for September 17th has been cancelled.

 The COLA Letter to EPA Supporting Midwest Environmental Advocates Petition for Corrective Action can be found under the 'Impaired Waters' tab. Click on 'Background' or click HERE to go directly.

The 2016 COLA Annual Meeting presentations can be viewed under the 'About Us' tab. Click on 'Meetings' or click HERE to go directly.

The May minutes have been posted under the 'Minutes' tab or click HERE to go directly.

From Kim Becken, UW Extension Lakes Partnership, Stevens Point, WI  54481

Introduction to shoreland zoning and recent changes to required shoreland lot sizes.

From Kim Becken, UW Extension Lakes Partnership, Stevens Point, WI  54481

Changes to shoreland setbacks, vegetation protection and impervious surface standards.

Why Shoreline Restoration is a Big Deal.

The phosphorus criteria currently applied by the Wisconsin DNR to Lac Courte Oreilles and Musky Bay are not sufficient to restore and protect the aquatic life and recreational uses. The proposed total phosphorus Site Specific Criteria for Lac Courte Orielles, to be applied as a lake-wide average in its entirety including Musky Bay, is 10 μg/L. This is more protective than the existing water quality criterion of 15 μg/L applied to Lac Courte Oreilles and the 40 μg/L criterion applied separately to Musky Bay by the Wisconsin DNR. Click on the 'Site Specific Criteriion for LCO' tab for more information.

The April minutes have been posted under the 'Minutes' tab

COLA issues Press Release: 'Assembly Bill 600'. Click HERE to view.

COLA issues Press Release: 'Lake Association Foots $200,000 Bill for DNR Study'. Click HERE to view.

From The Guardian: A cranberry politics primer by a Washington, DC based tribal rights attorney. Click HERE to view.

COLA issues Press Release on Shoreland Restoration Grant. Click HERE to view.

COLA Issues Press Release on Saving Lac Courte Oreilles Monster Musky and Walleye Fishing. Click HERE to view.

COLA Comments on the Northwoods Beach Public Reserve Strip Draft Ordinance. Click HERE for redirect to Town of Bass Lake web site.

COLA Issues Press Release Supporting the Resolution to Protect the County’s Right to Govern its Own Lakes.  Click HERE for details.

The July minutes are posted under the "Minutes" tab.
The 2015 COLA picnic photos are available under the "Photos" button, top left. Be patient; the photos take awhile to load.
The first six issues of Short Ears, Long Tales are available under the "About Us" tab.

The Battle For Clean Water Continues

Under Revision. Check back later.

Annual Meeting Summary

Update on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Response to COLA TMDL and SSC Documents
After three years of study and a year of waiting on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for review and comment, COLA is releasing the draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study report that has been prepared to address the “impairment” of Musky Bay and the continuing decline in water quality of the LCO lakes.   COLA has also been informed by the WDNR that it will take them “two or more years” to consider advancing COLA’s proposed “Site Specific” phosphorus criteria for LCO that is intended to set the bar for preservation of the LCO lakes for many generations to come.

Learn more

Lac Courte Oreilles Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study Report

View PDF

COLA objects to the Wisconsin Legislature, Joint Committee on Finance action to gut County shoreland regulatory authority
Without any public notice or input, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has included a provision in the Wisconsin state budget bill that would prohibit every county across Wisconsin from enacting shoreland zoning ordinances stronger than the state minimums. Currently every county is protecting, preserving, and in many cases improving its lakes—i.e. trying to keep pace with growth and development—in ways that are backed by proven conservation principles. This provision threatens to remove longstanding safeguards from one of Wisconsin's finest resources—our lakes. Click the link below to view the letter; COLA’s request to the WI Joint Finance Committee to drop the offending provision.

View PDF

Check out the educational buffer zone video on Shue's Pond.

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival on tour
From our friends at the Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust: Wild & Scenic Film Festival on tour. The Park Center, Hayward, WI, Saturday, April 11, 2015, Doors open at 6 PM – Films begin at 7 PM

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Two Conservation Easements on Lac Courte Oreilles
Couderay Waters Regional Land Trust announces two Conservation Easements on Lac Courte Oreilles

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Connected Waters: A History of the Battle for Clean Water

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