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April 28, 2015

MONTELLO, Wis. -- The public is invited to a celebration this Friday to mark the completion of the improved Andy Krakow Public Fishing Area and the reconstruction of the dam at Buffalo Lake in Montello.

The 45-minute program, beginning at 1 p.m., includes speakers and an appearance by the Wisconsin conservation warden honor guard. The honor guard will pay tribute to Krakow, a conservation warden with the state Department of Natural Resources who was killed in the line of duty 25 years ago.

The renovation of the dredge bank and spillway at Buffalo Lake, so named for the Buffalo grass that grows around it, began in 2012, as did work on the public fishing area.

DNR officials said the major reconstruction project - which includes improved access and lighting for boaters and shore fishermen as well as a rebuilt fishing dock, a rebuilt fishing wharf and two newly constructed fishing wharfs - came in on time and under budget.

"We are thrilled with this project," said Steve Miller, director of the DNR bureau of facilities and lands and one of Friday's speakers. "It is a testament to what we were able to accomplish with the support of elected officials and those members of the local community who helped form the vision for this invaluable resource and then chipped in to make it come true.

"Importantly, the rebuilt dredge bank, spillway and lock gates now meet modern safety standards. We had great support from area legislators and the governor's office in making this a priority for funding.

The fishing area where the celebration will take place Friday is on Lakeshore Drive in Montello, just west of Highway 22.

Important steps in the project involved reshaping and then installing a slurry cutoff wall along the length of the embankment, fixing the locking gate, connecting a fish passage and improving public use facilities, including piers, trails, boat landings, lighting, electrical outlets and an informational kiosk.

Partners for this project and event include the DNR, the Department of Administration, Marquette County, the City of Montello, Mead & Hunt and the Buffalo Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District.

For more information on Buffalo Lake, see the "Buffalo Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District" website (exit DNR). For those planning to attend, DNR staff has provided a map with specific locations [PDF].

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Brian Hefty, DNR Master Planning, 608-275-3214; Kate Fitzgerald, DNR Master Planning, 608-267-2764; or Ed Culhane, DNR Office of Communications, 715-781-1683.

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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