Large Scale Lake Planning
An aquatic macrophyte (plant) survey in Mason Lake was conducted using a modified Point Intercept (PI) method during the summer of 2014 by staff of Adams County LWCD and Golden Sands RC & D. This was a follow-up to the vegetation studies of Mason Lake done in 2009, 2005, 2001, 1998, and 1992. A study of the diversity, density, and distribution of aquatic plants is an essential component of understanding a lake ecosystem due to the important ecological role of aquatic vegetation in the lake and the ability of the vegetation to characterize the water quality (Dennison et al. 1993).
Two aquatic macrophytes (plants) surveys in Mason Lake were conducted during the summer of 2009 by Water Resources staff of the West Central Region - Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Adams County Land and Water Conservation. These were a follow-up to the prior vegetation studies of Mason Lake completed in 2005, 2001, 1998, and 1992. The two aquatic surveys were done using alternate methods: one by the transect method, in order to match changes from the 2005 results, and one by the point intercept method to establish a new baseline for further aquatic plant surveys. A third survey (using the PI method) was conducted by staff of the WDNR during the summer of 2010 to further check the development of Najas minor, the invasive discovered in Mason Lake in the 2009 PI survey.
Mason Lake is located in the Town of New Haven, Adams County, WI, in the Town of Douglas, Marquette County, and in the Town of Lewiston, Columbia County, in the south central part of Wisconsin. The largest part of the impoundment lies in Adams County. The impoundment (man-made lake) has 855 surface acres, maximum depth of 9, with a surface watershed covering 28 square miles. The Town of Douglas owns the dam forming Mason Lake. A dam was first installed in 1852-1853 to operate a sawmill. The primary soil types are loamy sand, sand and silt loam away from the lake. Loam and muck are more common around the lake itself. Loamy sands tend to be well-drained, with water, air and nutrients moving through them at a rapid rate. Runoff, when it occurs, tends to be slow. Loamy sands have little water-holding capacity and low natural fertility, although they usually have more organic matter present than do sandy soils. Sandy soil tends to be excessively drained, no matter what the slope. Water, air and nutrients move through sandy soils at a rapid rate, so that little runoff occurs unless the soil becomes saturated. Getting vegetation started in sandy soils is often difficult due to the low available water capacity, as well as low natural fertility and organic material. Silt Loam soils are usually well-drained, with water and air moving through them at a moderately slow or slow rate. Runoff tends to be rapid. Available water capacity, natural fertility and amount of organic matter are moderate. There are difficulties with waste disposal and vegetation establishment because of slope and seepage.
Adams County proposes to develop a comprehensive lake management plan for Mason Lake. Major project elements to include: 1) water quality sampling, 2) lake condition response modeling, 3) comprehensive lake mapping, 4) stakeholder and public involvement, 5) analysis and plan development. The Department will be provided a draft management plan for review and approval. Upon approval, the plan will be distributed to local libraries, fedearl state and local agencies, the Peppermill Lake District, Town of Jackson and will be made available for public review at the Adams Co. Land and Water Conservation Department office. The DNR will be proviced both paper and electronic .pdf copies of a final report on the project.
Lake Management Plan Development
Water Quality Modeling