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Contact(s): Kendall Kamke, DNR Oshkosh Fisheries team supervisor, 920-424-7880,; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084,
February 2, 2016

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has accepted a $90,000 donation from the Lake Poygan Sportsmen's Club to construct a breakwall at the mouth of the Wolf River where it enters Lake Poygan.

The donation will advance an approved Department of Natural Resources project totaling $378,700 to create a 1,170 foot long breakwall extending from the shore into Lake Poygan. This structure will be the first of a number of similar structures to be built between the river's mouth and the "Boom Cut" navigation channel.

The broken limestone structures will dissipate wave energy, stop erosion of the shoreland marsh edge and allow rooted aquatic plants to take root and grow, forming a quiet water area with quality habitat for fish and wildlife. This first structure will serve as an engineering test of the construction technique and will be the cornerstone, anchoring the structure to the shoreline.

Justine Hasz, DNR fisheries bureau director, said when completed, the entire project will protect 400 acres of critical habitat including deep water marsh and an eroding marsh edge. The area receives little boat traffic because of the shallow water and the project is not expected to affect navigation in the area.

"We are grateful to the Lake Poygan Sportsmen's Club for the group's generous support on behalf of this project," Hasz said. "The club has worked in partnership with the department over many years and this donation again highlights the important role stakeholder groups play in supporting habitat restoration."

Kendall Kamke, fisheries team supervisor in Oshkosh said the project will protect and start to restore important habitat that has been lost over time.

"The project will benefit fish and wildlife in Lake Poygan and the entire ecosystem in the upper lakes," Kamke said. "In turn, that is good for all recreational users of the area and will contribute to the local economy."

The project has been 15 years in the making and has strong local support, said Pat Gorchals, vice president of the Lake Poygan Sportsmen's Club.

"The Lake Poygan Sportsmen's Club has always been focused on protecting, restoring and enhancing the habitats that define Lake Poygan and the Winnebago system and we have a long history of projects to that end," Gorchals said. "Good quality habitat affords our members and the public the opportunity to further enjoy the outdoor things they love. Partnering with the DNR on these types of projects is a natural fit with our mission."

To learn more about the Lake Poygan fishery, which features a healthy population of lake sturgeon among other species, visit DNR.Wi.Gov and search "Lake Poygan."

Last Revised: Tuesday, February 02, 2016

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