Geneva Lake is one of Wisconsin's largest (5,262 acres) and deepest (140-foot maximum depth) lakes. The Lake is renowned for good water quality and hosts a remarkably diverse array of high-quality recreational opportunities. For its size, Geneva Lake has a very small watershed (less than 30 square miles). Nevertheless, human actions occurring on and near the Lake and within its watershed can negatively affect Lake health. As a result of this concern and the Lake’s long-term popularity, Geneva Lake has been the subject of many studies completed by federal and state agencies, Walworth County, local municipalities, various universities and schools, an array of Lake-focused groups, and volunteers. Furthermore, the Commission completed numerous studies over the past decades providing valuable insight to Lake-related issues. Most salient to ongoing lake management are a 1985 water quality study and the 2008 lake management plan.
In the past 15 years, new data has been generated, action has been taken to address identified issues, new threats to Lake health have emerged (e.g., new invasive species and changing weather patterns), and other issues have gained prominence on account of changing conditions or changing perceptions. Considering these changes, Geneva Lake stakeholder organizations are updating the Lake’s management plan with the Commission’s assistance and with funding through a Chapter NR 193 Lake Management Planning grant awarded to the Geneva Lake Conservancy. As grantee, the Conservancy is the organization ultimately responsible for executing the grant scope. However, a host of organizations and entities are integral to and encouraged to participate in the planning process.
Topics that will be addressed in this management plan include the following:
- Inventory lake data and management actions
- Aquatic plant community
- Water quality
- Tributary sediment deposition
- Boat traffic and activity
- Bigfoot Creek study
- Past lake management efforts
- Quantify stakeholder perceptions and foster cooperation
- Conduct lake user survey
- Stakeholder outreach
- Enhance stakeholder collaboration
- Inventory watershed condition
- Delineate and characterize Lake watershed
- Study select tributaries
- Windwood Creek demonstration
- Examine stormwater infrastructure
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