Lake Waveland Town Hall Meeting Summary
Lake Waveland's Lori Arts and the IDNR held an informative meeting last Wednesday evening, October 13th, at the Waveland Town Hall. The local Conservation Officer Blaine, and an IDNR representative led discussions about Lake Waveland's historical IDNR data and how that information is being used to help manage the growing Shad population in the lake before it gets completely out of hand. Approximately 25 guests ranging from Lake Homeowners, Cat-fishermen, Crappie/Pan-fish Fisherman, and Bass Club members.
The proposed course of action will result in the lake being lowered another 1-2 feet by the end of October to concentrate the fish so the IDNR can conduct a "selective" eradication. The lake will be sectioned off before a low dosage application of Rotenone is applied in each section. The IDNR will then observe the results throughout the day. Some sections may be re-treated to obtain the results they are looking for, which will be maximum Shad kill and minimum Sport Fish (Blue Gill, Sunfish, Crappie, Catfish and Largemouth Bass) losses. Up to 17,900 Largemouth Bass will be restocked depending on hatchery production. They will continue to stock 1790 Muskie annually and 2400 Channel Catfish biennially.
As of this meeting Lake Waveland is scheduled to be "Closed" on November 4th, 2010 for the "selective" eradication. No use of the lake will be permitted.
The even bigger topic of the evening was lake management so that all lake users have fair and equal time on the lake. Over the past three to four years Lake Waveland has gained the reputation of being a "Fish Factory" or a "Destination" to catch large numbers of quality fish. This is a double edge sword as it has led to some growing pains for park management. Conservation Officer Blaine commented that when he has been patrolling the lake he has been overwhelmed with complaints regarding the excessive number of boats on the lake at one time creating unsafe conditions for all of the lake users. Officer Blaine and others also reported seeing dead fish at the ramp and that they were possibly tournament release fish. Officer Blaine suggested that to help control boat traffic on the lake that the IDNR (Himself) could conduct a fishing tournament date drawing for organizations wishing to conduct fishing tournaments, but if he did it that the fees collected would go to the State. A better solution may be for Lake Waveland to develop and conduct their own fishing tournament date drawing program, which will allow them to set the fees, keep the fees collected, and customize the rules to meet the needs of "All" users of the lake. Everyone in attendance seemed to agree that something has to be done to manage the numbers of "users" on the lake at any given time. The park management realizes the need to get a handle on this situation and will be taking steps to develop a plan to manage the lake usage. The thing everyone will need to remember is that the resulting management of the lake that will evolve from this meeting, although it may be uncomfortable to implement and abide by, will increase the safety and enjoyment for all users and protect and preserve our natural resources for future generations to enjoy.