The Mission of the Association is to provide education about the lakes, water quality, and water-related issues as well as to protect, maintain and enhance recreational opportunitIes on our chain of lakes.


2023 Meeting Schedule May 13th Sat, Sheps 10am June 10th, Sat, Backwoods 10am July 8th, Sunny's 11:00- Brat Feed August Hawk's 12th, Sat, 10am


Pay your membership dues today! Click below to download the Lake Dues form

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               Meetings are always the 2nd Saturdays of May June July & August

Saturday May 13th Sheps 10am

Saturday June 10th Backwoods 10am

Saturday July 8th Sunny’s 11:00am start time- Brat Feed to follow

Saturday August 12th, Hawk’s 10am with board Elections


May 2023 Membership – Association Newsletter

FROM THE PRESIDENT: Karl Nordin 715-577-8692 karlnordin61@gmail.com

Association Membership and Prospective Members,

For the last several years, we have tried to get our first Membership Newsletter out to as many of you as we can. We feel our process for getting Lake Home Addresses is good, but we know occasionally we still miss someone. Therefore, once you have read this newsletter, please check with your lake neighbor to make sure they have received a copy. We want everyone to have the opportunity to join the organization which represents their voice on our Chain of Lakes. One question I get every year with the membership newsletter is, “Why am I getting this newsletter in print and by email?” For those who were members last year, you will be getting this first newsletter both by an email and in a mailed version. This is ONLY for the May membership newsletter. We have decided to do this in order to make it as easy as possible for everyone to renew their membership. Please see the 2023 membership form at the end of this newsletter and pay your 2023 membership by our second meeting, June 8th. Unpaid memberships after this date will be removed from our mailing list, therefore you will not receive newsletters after this date. Once again, all members will receive a free association calendar in 2023. You can pick up your calendar at a lake association meeting or with your lake representative after the first meeting of the year. Thanks to our Calendar sponsors, Chris Butterfield with Woods and Water Realty, Bischel’s Septic, K & L Prop Repair, TSB Lakefront Restoration and Diving and Gerald Staniszewski with Re/Max Affiliates. Thank you again to Linda Carpenter for her graphic design expertise in putting the calendar together. Also, thank you to John Kowaleski for getting the sponsors and lastly, thank you to all the members who submitted such great photos from around our chain of lakes.

We continue to keep the membership dues very reasonable as we don’t want it to hinder anyones desire to be an active member. Membership to your lake association encourages healthy lake practices and encourages property management to support the future health and vitality of our lake ecosystem and shoreline community. That being said, we do know there are many of you who desire to pay/give more when you send in your membership dues and this is welcomed and allows our organization to continue to support projects on our lakes. On the membership form, if you wish to have a receipt for larger donations you can check the box and John Kowaleski will get a receipt for the contribution to you.

Sitting down to write this first newsletter of the year, it is with mixed feelings. Happiness, as I look out the window and watch the last of the ice breaking up and melting away. Sadness, as my weather app. keeps sending me notifications every hour or so that is telling me that in the next two days we will be again hit with a powerful winter storm predicted to drop anywhere from 5-10 inches of heavy wet snow.

Lastly, spring and the return of open water brings a sense of optimism. Optimism for another great year of recreating on our great chain of lakes. Optimism for this year’s projects, and hope that this year we continue to increase the membership so that everyone who is eligible to become a member will become a member.

The lake association board decided to switch our Lake Days to every other year so we are hoping to bring it back in 2024 pending being able to schedule with Arrowhead Bible Camp. We do have some other projects that are off to an early start in 2023 and I would like to share just a few. The first week of April, ICOLA was a Silver Sponsor to Rusk County’s Wildlife Restoration Association’s (WRA) Banquet. This organization’s fundraising banquet raises thousands of dollars to support projects throughout Rusk County and has in the past assisted our association with multiple projects.

Walleye Committee project with the DNR- with help from your lake board representatives. In Mid April, the Lake Board Representatives were asked to keep the DNR updated on the ice conditions so a netting survey could be completed. Several members of our Walleye Committee have been asked to take part in the 2023 DNR Netting Survey. We will share results of the survey as they become available. The walleye committee also completed their shoreline substrate study at the end of 2022. This substrate report was then provided to the DNR providing them an outline of the shoreline substrate around 100% of our lakes.

Buoys: In efforts to promote safe boating we have started an annual replacement of our aging buoys on the Chain. The crew is slated to have the buoys placed before opening fishing weekend.

Pontoon: We continue to maintain the lake association pontoon which is used for projects throughout the year. Its most frequent use is putting in and taking out the buoy’s. Thanks to Rick and Deb Krahn for providing a storage location and to Rick for periodic maintenance.

Shoreline Restoration: In 2022, thanks to a very generous donation from an association member we established the Shoreline Restoration Committee and Shoreline Restoration Fund to assist property owners with their very own restoration projects. See article to follow on how you can apply for funding. The Invasive Species Committee will be continuing their work in 2023 to work to stop the spread of Purple Loosestrife. They plan to obtain more beetles in 2023 and work to address areas on the chain where heavy stands of Purple Loosestrife are located.

AED Reminder: Please remember we the Association has provided 3 AED’s for public use in case of a Cardiac Emergency. They can be found at Shep’s, the Backwoods and Hawks. This past winter one was used. Unfortunately, it was too late in this case, but you never know when it will save a life.

Lastly, I would like to welcome new board members Kristi Thoreson and Larry Bins. Kristie is our new secretary, and Larry is our new Clear Lake board representative. A huge thank you to the on-going support of our current board members, and thank you to the out-going secretary Alec Christianson and past Clear Lake Representative, Tom Slowinski, for their volunteer service to the organization over the last several years


May 13, 2023 @ 10 AM Shep’s

June 10, 2023 10 @AM Backwoods

July 8, 2023 Brat Feed 11 AM @Sunny’s (Note the one hour later start for the Brat Feed)

August 12, 2023 10 AM @ Hawks *Will need to hold elections for Vice President, Treasurer, And Lake Reps for McCann and Chain Lakes

ICOLA Shoreland Stewardship Project – Grants Available

The Island Chain of Lakes Association, Inc is able to offer up to $750 to members of the Association andlandowners on Chain, Clear, McCann and Island Lakes reimbursement for three simple shoreland stewardship practices. Native plantings along your shoreline; rain gardens on your property, and reimbursement for rain barrels to collect and store runoff from your roof surfaces. These three practices help to maintain and improve our water quality. (We are not reimbursing for rip rap or for labor costs, but we are able to fully reimburse you for the costs of native plants, shrubs, and trees – up to $750.)

Spring is nearly here, and this is a great time of the year to apply. The growing season is just around the corner. We have 5 properties that have been approved and are in the process of doing some plantings. We have a few more that we are waiting to receive applications on. You may use a landscape service, or make this a small DIY with friends or family. We recommend that you start small, start early, and have a plan – which we can help you put together. The funds can accommodate up to 20 more applications on the existing funds. Any small effort to restore your shore will be of benefit to all!

There is a simple application process needed prior to seeking the funds. Please contact Carol Hakala or your Association board for more information or with any questions.(carolhakala@gmail.com – 715-353-2733).

COME JOIN ICOLA’S FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/groups/447896983490573/ CONSIDER LEAVING A LEGACY If the Island Chain of Lakes, and the Island Chain of Lakes Association, have been an important part of your life, consider including a gift in your estate planning. Naming the Island Chain of Lakes Association in your will, trust, or by beneficiary designation. Your Legacy Gift will keep living on to support future generations and projects to help maintain, protect and improve our Chain of Lakes Recreational opportunities well into the future. If interested please consult your financial advisor will assist you in setting this up.Screenshot 2023-04-23 at 1.09.20 PM

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Order online! Please visit


Screenshot 2023-04-23 at 1.13.10 PMAvailable to purchase: tees, sweatshirts, and a variety of hats. New this year are beach towels and TALL apparel. In order for the items to get ordered/processed in a 3-4 week timeline the online store must close on Monday, May 15th @ midnight! If you have any questions, please contact Mary Baldeshwiler-Nordin @715-829-2542 or mbbaldesh@gmail.com


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Annual Budget Report 2022

To view click here:Lake Assoc financial Ending June 30, 2022

Shoreline Restoration Application and Projects

Click Here to view the: Packet for ICOLA Stewardship Project

July 2022 Association Newsletter

FROM THE PRESIDENT:                                                                                                                 Karl Nordin 715-577-8692       Karlnordin@gmail.com

Lake Association Members,

I hope by now you all have been able to start making new lake memories. It seems this time of year is about recapping memories and capturing moments of time to reminisce about in the future. Students have graduated, parents have hosted their parties, and they are starting to think about the next steps in life as they head off to college, the military, or the workforce.

Families and friends are gathering at the lake, maybe waterskiing, tubing, fishing, or just enjoying a leisurely pontoon ride. Campfires are lit, with stories being shared, songs being sung, marshmallows roasted and s’mores assembled. Oh how we love summers at the lake!

The other day when my wife and I were out for a walk we passed by one of our neighbors’ places and saw their grandkids at the end of their driveway. The kids were out making their own memories catching frogs from one of the vernal ponds by the road. Each year, these ponds host a distinctive variety of habitat, plants and animals. One of the kids called us over to show us how amazing and long the Bull Frog’s legs were that he caught. I’m sure this will be a memory the three kids will carry into adulthood. I can’t reiterate enough how precious and fragile our lake environment is! In order for us to continue to share memories and create new memories with future generations, we must continue to do all we can to promote a healthy lake ecosystem. I am grateful to all those before us who preserved the lake for our continued enjoyment today.

As we head into the busiest lake time of the year (the 4th of July weekend) please keep in mind while making memories that it is essential to be courteous to one another on and off the lake. If you drink in excess, don’t drive (on or off the lake). Always practice safe boating, plan extra time when heading out on the lake for the fireworks so you don’t have to rush. If/when setting off fireworks please practice extreme safety both for yourselves and for everyone’s property so as not to burn peoples boat canopies, trees and other habitat. We are going into the 4th extremely dry so fire risk will also be high.

Per the Rusk County Water Patrol Officer (Guidance to boat lighting on the 4th) Boaters are not to have any lights on their boats except for their navigation lights. This means only the Red/Green front lights and the white backlight. Boaters are not allowed to use under boat lighting, flashing lights, or drive with their docking lights on.

Let’s make sure 2022, is another year of making great memories, and be the person or family that is remembered for the kindness you share with one another.

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Saturday, July 2nd at Dark, hosted by Shep’s Northshore Bar and Campground

SUNDAY, July 3rd at 10 pm, across from Sarah’s Smile, Bonacorda/Higgins families

Hello Lake Friends!!

First we would like to thank everyone for your continued support of the fireworks on Chain Lake and for your generous donations that help us cover the cost of the show! We love seeing everyone out on the lake enjoying the show! We can’t wait for the 4th!

In the past, you have been kind enough to support our yearly fundraiser for our children. Our kids both have a genetic disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia. It is a life shortening, progressive, degenerative neuro-muscular disease that has no treatment and no cure. I ask for your help once again this year as we continue to raise funds so research can continue to find a cure for FA. You can make a donation and learn a bit more about our cause here: https://give.curefa.org/team/429487

We thank you for your consideration and can’t wait for the 4th of July celebration.           See you on the lake!


William and Heather Bonacorda

June 10, 2022

Hello Lake Association Friends!

We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your generous support of the fireworks on Chain Lake. The cost of the fireworks has been rising for some time, and your donation is so helpful in allowing us to continue our favorite tradition.

We appreciate you taking a minute for our annual reminders:

● Fireworks will begin at 10:00 pm. Please remember we do not control the weather and

will delay if the winds make it unsafe to begin.

● DO NOT pass between the island and Sarah’s Smile at any time during the show.

● Please stay 1000 feet away from the island at all times.

● Watch out for each other. Be careful and have respect for others as you are on the water

after the show.

The 4th of July is always a highlight at Sarah’s Smile. It will be a bit bittersweet for us this year because it was Mike’s favorite holiday and we all miss him terribly, but we will do our best to make sure the show is the best yet! We love seeing you out to share in the fireworks with us each year, and appreciate everyone who stops by the house in the days just before and after to say hello. Fly the flag, be proud, and God bless America!

See you on the 4th!                                                                                                               Respectfully, William & Heather Bonacorda




Sales Code: ICOLA222

Deadline: Monday, July 11, 2022 (11:59pm)


● Important Phone Numbers

o Rusk County Sheriff 715/532-2200 Call with any lake abuse and/or boating and jet

ski issues

o DNR Satellite Office Ladysmith 715/532-3911

o Forestry Department 715/532-2113 Call with any boat landing issues


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CALENDARS (May 2022 -May 2023) still available for pickup!

On your honor system, with paid dues, they are available at one of the bars (Shep’s, Hawks, Sunny’s or the Backwoods). They are also available for pickup at John and Linda’s house on Chain Lake. Additional calendars are $5.

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I. Call to order – President Karl Nordin called the meeting to order at 9:59 a.m. and opened with the pledge of allegiance.

II. Karl asked for new members to identify themselves. Dave and Lori Bushendorf from Chain Lake were welcomed to the ICOLA.

III. Karl advised that the secretary’s report had been emailed to everyone and asked the members if there were any discrepancies found. No one identified any discrepancies and Jeff Pippenger motioned to approve the report and Tom Frank seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

IV. Treasurer John Kowalewski advised that the current ICOLA membership is 234, with 217 members and 17 associate members. He said the ICOLA has a new fund, the Shoreline Restoration Fund, thanks to a donation made by Joseph Stienessen on behalf of the Presto Foundation. He gave the treasurer’s report as follows:

a. Unrestricted funds total – $22,412.90

b. Walleye account – $19,454.99

c. Land acquisition – $15,344.33

d. Shoreline Restoration – $15,000.00

V. The committee reports were as follows:

a. Walleye committee – Rod Steege advised that the committee has concluded the

shoreline survey on all four lakes and the results were sent to the DNR.

b. Invasive species committee – Tom Frank advised that the beetle production is going very good. Ten plants were planted with eight of them growing. Tom anticipates mid-July as the release time for the beetles as they should know by then where the most productive locations to release the beetles will be.

VI. Karl advised that the board had discussed the Clear Lake boat landing concerns brought up at May’s meeting. At the board meeting it was noted that the landing ramp is tilted due to erosion at the end of the ramp, presumably caused by boaters “power loading/unloading” their boats at the landing. The County Forestry Dept was notified of the issue.

VII. Karl advised that the board had discussed the sunken boat lift in McCann Lake and the DNR Hotline will be notified as the ICOLA lacks the jurisdiction or authority to remove private property.

VIII. Karl reminded everyone that elections will be held at August’s meeting for the offices of President, Secretary, and Island and Clear Lake Reps. He encouraged anyone interested in any of the positions to contact him as he believes new people bring new ideas.

IX. Karl reminded everyone that the firework displays will be Saturday, July 2, 2022 at Shep’s Northshore Resort and Monday, July 4, 2022 on Chain Lake. He also advised that at May’s meeting it was approved to increase donations to Shep’s to $1050 and the Bonacordas to $1000. A member questioned why Shep’s got the $50 for the permit fee while the Bonacordas did not and it was advised that the Chain Lake display is in Chippewa Co which does not require a permit. Alec read a letter from the Bonacordas to the members regarding their appreciation of the ICOLA member support and safety requirements for the displays.

X. Reminders on the safety near the launch locations – Alec read this in the above item.

XI. Karl asked about other old business and no old business was brought up.

XII. Karl reminded everyone that the ICOLA board is always looking for projects to support and if anyone has any ideas for a project or projects, to please contact him.


XIV. Karl advised that Joseph Stienessen, representing the Presto Foundation, donated $15,000 to the ICOLA for the purpose of shoreline restoration. A committee consisting of Karl, John and Carol Hakala met to discuss the criteria for disbursement of the funds to members. They looked at the DNR and Rusk County criteria as well as Joe’s request that disbursement is easy, to assist in developing ICOLA criteria. Karl advised that anyone interested in being on this committee should contact him and that being on the committee does not disqualify a member from receiving shoreline funds.

XV. Karl thanked Jeff and Jeanine Rossow for taking over the organizing responsibilities for the brat feed.

XVI. John inquired at the board meeting about the ICOLA participating in the “Adopt a Highway” program. John had contacted the DOT and learned that there were two, two mile sections of Hwy 40 available. Karl inquired about persons interested in participating in the program and a decision to commit to participating was postponed until the number of persons interested in participating was determined.

XVII. Karl reminded everyone that July’s meeting will be on July 9, 2022, at 11 AM as it will be the brat feed at Sunny’s.

XVIII. Karl asked about other new business.

a. John reminded everyone that the 2022 Northwest WI Lakes Conference is on June 17, 2022, from 9 AM to 3:45 PM at Spooner High School. Registration closes on June 12, 2022. John said that he will be attending the conference and anyone interested in attending should contact him.

b. LaNette Flunker, who had brought up concerns about vacation rentals (VRBOs) in the area, advised she had done some research and learned that all 72 of WI counties have regulations regarding VRBOs. Rusk Co currently has 19 permitted VRBOs and six in the permitting process. Notices are submitted to neighbors of properties in the permitting process and she thought the notices were sent to properties within 500’ of the requesting property. She said that any county resident can attend the public hearing for the permit by physically going to the courthouse or by phone or teleconference. She said that property owners are responsible for “keeping the peace.” Linda Carpenter brought up a concern for septic systems not being able to handle the number of renters at some VRBOs. Tom Meisner, the Big Bend Town Chairman, advised that the town currently can only put a room tax on VRBOs; however that tax MUST be used for tourism advertising and cannot be used for road improvements. Karl reminded everyone that the ICOLA has no jurisdiction regarding VRBOs.

GUEST SPEAKER: Lia Landowski (Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at Beaver Creek Reserve) Lia was introduced after Karl had called the meeting to order and she did her presentation at that time. Lia advised that aquatic invasive species (AIS) grants used to be dispersed under the Aquatic Education Prevention and Planning (AEPP) program and were competitive grants in which counties competed for the funds. The AEPP program has since been replaced with the Lake Monitoring and Protection Network (LMPN) program which has non-competitive grants in which all 72 WI counties now receive funds. She said the services the LMPN program provides are:

1. Lake Volunteers:

a. Monitor water quality

b. Other testing if volunteers interested in doing

2. Clean Boats, Clean Water: which does boat inspections at boat landings

3. AIS programs and outreach:

a. Providing input for surface water grants request (not writing the grants)

b. Water monitoring

c. Assist DNR with AIS responses

d. Purple Loosestrife biological control

e. Grant technical assistance

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June 2022 Association Newsletter


Karl Nordin 715-577-8692 Karlnordin@gmail.com

Association Members,

What an outstanding kick off to our 2022 association calendar year. First we had a successful Area Lake Days in April at Arrowhead Bible Camp and then we had a packed house at our first meeting on May 14, 2022, at Shep’s. I am excited by the reports and activities from the Walleye Committee and the Invasive Species Committee and the projects they are working on this year (see minutes for their report/activity). I am also excited about the lake education that was shared at Area Lakes Days.

I was lucky this year to take in all three Area Lakes Days speakers. It was interesting that all shared a very different message but they also all had an overarching theme of doing all we can to protect our natural resources today! If we wait until tomorrow, it might be too late. Speakers stressed the need to ensure we do what we can do as individual property owners to protect and maintain the ecosystems in and around our lakes, shorelines, and marshlands.

I have always admired life long learners and I strive to be one as well. New knowledge helps me grow both professionally and personally. I’m relatively certain that we all have been around the young child that asks why after everything you tell them. I don’t know what happens as we age, but it seems like we sometimes stop asking why and seeking out answers. I sometimes even have to admit that I too get stuck in my ways. We should try not to accept our natural instinct to think “It is just the way I do it” without constantly questioning if there is a better way.

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “I did then what I knew to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I think that learning how to protect our shorelines, the water, and the ecosystem when moving from the city to the lake is an exact example of this. As I listened and learned from each of the Area Lakes Days speakers I found myself asking, “What changes am I willing to make now that I know better?” Am I willing to incorporate best practices around my property to not only benefit my frontage, the ecosystem, but also benefit my lake family? Will our practices today ensure that we all have the opportunity to enjoy and recreate within this beautiful chain of lakes while protecting it for those who get to enjoy it in the future?”

I will leave my remarks by challenging you all to be open to new learning and I ask you, what are you willing to do differently this year, to protect our precious resources?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi


I am grateful and excited to announce that the Association has received $15,000 from Joseph Stenison through the Presto Foundation, to open a Shoreline Restoration Fund for our Chain of Lakes. We are currently developing the criteria that will be shared with the membership soon. Once that has been developed, I will let you know how you can apply to become considered to receive money from this fund to support projects on your Lake Property.

If you would like to also make a personal contribution to this fund please send your contribution with a memo noting you want the donation to go to the

“Shoreline Restoration Fund” to…

John Kowalewski – Treasurer 30961 117th St New Auburn, WI 54757

Area Lake Days- Saturday April 30, 2022

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I. Call to order – President Karl Nordin called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and opened with the pledge of allegiance.

II. Karl asked for new members to identify themselves. Four new members (memberships) were identified as: a. Greg and Gail Lemmer on Island Lake b. Rod Olson, an associate member (lives on Plummer Rd) c. Jackie Hannon on Chain Lake d. Fred and Jackie Weisenburger on Island Lake

III. Karl advised that the secretary’s report had been e/mailed to everyone and asked the members if there were any discrepancies found. No one identified any discrepancies and Linda Grefsheim motioned to approve the report and Mark Schmitt seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

IV. Treasurer John Kowalewski advised that the current ICOLA membership is 210, with 197 members and 17 associate members. He said the 2022 Lake Days netted the ICOLA $1,620.90. He gave the treasurer’s report as follows:

  • a. Unrestricted funds total – $24,182.30
  • b. Walleye account – $19,453.07
  • c. Land acquisition – $15,342.82 d. Total – $58,978.19

V. The committee reports were as follows:

  • a. Walleye committee – Rod Steege advised that the committee has been conducting night and daytime surveys on Island and Chain Lakes. Active spawning has been seen once the lake temperatures reached 47 degrees with moist Walleyes in the 14” to 16” range but some as large as 20”. The DNR stocks 10 Walleyes per acre in the odd years so no Walleyes were stocked this year but they should stock our lakes in 2023. Some Muskies were stocked and there is a Musky Club that will help stock. Rod advised the DNR will be doing a complete substrate survey of Walleyes in 2023.
  • b. Invasive species committee – Tom Frank advised that personnel form the Beaver Creek Reserve have been very helpful in advising and helping the committee with Purple Loosestrife (PL) beetles. The beetles, which only eat PL, help control the expansion of the PL but do not kill the PL. Tom advised that at the south end of the Island/McCann channel there is a “big dip” which he believes may have been the result of the beetle killing off PL which had killed of the natural habitat there. Tom is hoping the committee can get beetles this year and they can begin raising beetle for the ICOLA. Linda Carpenter advised that she used to be on a lake with PL and the beetles and the beetles killed the PL and then died, doing no ancillary damage. Karl added that Lia Landowski, an Aquatics Invasive Species Coordinator, will be the guest speaker for the ICOLA June 2023 meeting. Any questions can be directed to Tom Frank at tgf1500@gmail.com.
  • c. Karl advised that the ICOLA Lake Days were very successful despite of the poor weather.

VI. Karl reminded members that the ICOLA Store is open until midnight on May 16, 2022. He said that the store must open and close so that orders can be processed. Members can pay for shipping to their homes or during the ordering process select “PICK UP” as an option, Mary will pick up the orders and hand them out at the next ICOLA meeting. VII. Karl wanted to thank the following persons/committees:

a. Lake Days thanks:

i. The ICOLA board (Alec Christianson, John Kowalewski, Sandy Johnson, Tom Slowinski, Ted Hakala, Rick Krahn and Jeff Pippenger) for their planning, set up work at the event.

ii. Arrowhead Bible Camp for their hosting and supporting the event.

iii. Kent Gierhart and Tom Frank from the Invasive Species Committee for manning the ICOLA table at the event.

iv. The speaker sponsors:

  • 1. Jerry Stanisewski (REMAX Realty)
  • 2. Jerry Salter and family (TruBilt Auto Body)
  • 3. Chris Butterfield (Woods and Water Realty)
  • 4. TSB Lakefront Restoration and Diving

b. John Kowalewski and Linda Carpenter for their work on putting together the ICOLA calendar and Jerry Stanisewski, Chris Butterfield, TSB Lakefront Restoration and Diving and K & L Props for sponsoring the calendars.

c. Kent Gierhart and Tom Frank for helping out manning the ICOLA table the entire day.

d. Rod Steege for handling the Walleye committee. Karl added that the Walleye Committee and Invasive Species Committee both produce maps of their respective topics and Karl thought maybe the maps could be combined into one product.

e. Todd & Sandy Johnson, Ralph & Carol Deluga, Mark Schmitt, John Kowalewski and Linda Carpenter for stuffing the envelopes for the May newsletter.

f. Ralph Deluga, Mark Schmitt, Mike Kasel, Rick Krahn, Rod Steege, Tom Meisner and John Kowalewski for assisting in repairing, upgrading and emplacing 24 buoys.

g. Rick Krahn for the winter preparation and storage of the ICOLA pontoon.

h. Rick Krahn for summer dockage of the pontoon. Karl added that the ICOLA has a pontoon because the buoys are very dirty when transporting, emplacing and removing as well as in the past some private boats damaged lowered units emplacing the “hazard” buoys.

i. Darrel Bauman for his support in repairing and welding ICOLA equipment as needed. j. Stephanie Barber for assisting in updating the ICOLA website and Bob Jensen for IT support in advising and repairing web related problems.

VIII. Other old business.

  • a. The ICOLA was a silver sponsor for the Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) and collaborated with the WRA on project. All money the WRA raises stays in Rusk Co.
  • b. Karl advised that the ICOLA has moved away from applying for lakeshore restoration grants from the DNR due to onerous rules the DNR has for the grants which are labor intensive. Karl said that one of the speakers at the ICOLA Lake Days was from the Lake Wissota Assn and their group paid $50,000 for a group to help write and document their grant requests. Mark Schmitt added that the Rusk Co. Conservationist has a $10,000 fund for such support but that the grants are a “matching funds” grant. Karl said the deadline for the grant is September 1, 2022.
  • c. Tom Frank requested that a round of applause be given to Karl and Mary for all the work they do for the ICOLA. The request received a resounding response.

IX. NEW BUSINESS X. Firework donations to Shep’s Northside and the Bonacorda family were discussed. 2021 donations in 2021 were $400 to each with Shep’s receiving and additional $50 due permit requirements.

a. After a discussion of whether the ICOLA should continue to support funding the firework displays Linda Grefsheim motioned to continue to support funding the events and Carol Hakala seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a unanimous vote.

b. After some discussion on a dollar amount to support the fireworks events Bonnie Bins motioned to donate $1000 each to Shep’s and the Bonacordas for their firework events and an additional $50 to Shep’s for their fireworks permit. Buck Paulsen seconded the motion and the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.

XI. Karl reminded the members that in August 2022 the following board positions were up for election:

a. President (incumbent: Karl Nordin) b. Secretary (incumbent: Alec Christianson) c. Island Lake Representative (incumbent: Rick Krahn) d. Clear Lake Representative (incumbent: Tom Slowinski) XII. Karl reminded everyone that the ICOLA board is always looking for projects to support and if anyone has any ideas for a project or projects, to please contact him.

XIII. Karl asked the members for any recommendations or suggestions for speakers for the upcoming monthly meetings. He reminded the members that Lia Landowski was the June 2022 speaker.

XIV. Karl asked members if there was any other new business. The following items were brought up:

  • a. Jerry Salter told members that on July 2, 2022 at about 9:30-10 AM at his lake property (30560 122nd St, New Auburn) there will be Yoga. Donations are accepted for the event which will be divided between Shep’s and the Bonacorda’s for their firework displays.
  • b. Larry Bins mentioned that beavers have been very active on the channel between Clear and Chain Lakes. John Kowalewski recommended Larry call the Ladysmith DNR office as there is a new warden in Rusk Co. Karl said that he had spoken with a trapper in the past who had told him not to shoot at the beaver as it will not get rid of the beaver but that “you will not see the beaver doing the damage.” Sandy Johnson said that Elsmore Hans, who lives on Island Lake, traps beavers.
  • c. Ralph Deluga advised the Clear Lake landing is very “rutted up.”
  • d. Don Gunderson advised that there was a “sunken boatlift” about 100 yards off the shore of the west side of McCann Lake. Discussion revealed the lift had been there about 7 or more years. The board will discuss options regarding the lift.
  • e. A member mentioned that lake owner s should avoid raking/blowing leaves or other yard waste into the lakes as leaves are high in phosphorous content, which is a major cause of algae.
  • f. LaNette Flunker advised that she had contacted Tom Meisner about an unlicensed rental property and that she was informed that there were about 20 rental properties on the lakes. She advised that it was a two bedroom house that rented for twelve occupants. Mark Schmitt said that short term rental require a “conditional use permit” in which the health department check out the properties and the number of potential occupants are determined by the size of the septic system and number of bedrooms.

XV. Karl reminded everyone that today is “stamp out hunger day” and that the USPS will collect donations at your mailbox.

XVI. Linda Grefsheim motioned to adjourn the meeting and Jeff Pippenger seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.

REMINDERS: ∙ Important Phone Numbers o

  • Rusk County Sheriff 715/532-2200 Call with any lake abuse and/or boating and jet ski issues
  • DNR Satellite Office Ladysmith 715/532-3911
  • Forestry Department 715/532-2113 Call with any boat landing issues


June 11, 2022 – 10 AM @ Backwoods Bar and Grill W14549 Plummer Rd Guest Speaker: Lia Landowski Rusk County Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Citizens Science Technician with Beaver Creek Reserve ______________________________________________________________July 9th, 2022 – 11:00 AM @ Sunny’s Bar- Brat Feed N 207 Park Lane ______________________________________________________________August 13, 2022 – 10 AM @ Hawk’s Bar 30994 122nd St Elections for President, Secretary, Island and Clear Lake Representatives

April May 2022
Membership Renewal Newsletter

Karl Nordin 715-577-8692 Karlnordin@gmail.com

Association Member and Lake Property Owners,

     Each year, I spend parts of the winter reflecting on lake life. My wife and I are fortunate enough to call our Chain of Lakes home year round. I often find myself pondering how the Lake Association can continue to make the greatest difference to our community as a Lake Family. I purposefully am using the term Lake Family as we are interconnected when we share the natural resources of the lake and the shoreline properties around the lake. Just like families, we are also not always as perfect as we wish we were, and we are also not always on the same page with issues that impact the lake and lake recreation.

     Hopefully, if you have been able to share the lake with family and friends you know that there is something special, and magical about the lake, and lake living. What makes the lake and lake living special for one person is not always what makes the lake special for someone else. This week, I took a walk with my neighbor and we were talking about this very topic. All year, people from around the lake call me to share concerns or actions they saw or experienced that did not meet their expectations of someone “following the rules.” This could be the experience of a fisher person who feels boats are coming too close to them while they are fishing, speed and reckless driving of boats or jet skis, wakes, people being careless around our natural resources, disrupting where loons nest, etc. My neighbor boiled our conversation down to what he called, “the code of ethics.” He went on to share that he just completed teaching a group of students hunters safety and that he shared with them that when you are out hunting the type of hunter you truly are is the type of hunter you act like when no one is watching. I think that is true too of our lake family and how we promote a positive shared experience on the lakes. What kind of integrity do we display as property owners and boaters?I look forward to having a focus in 2022 at our meetings to provide education on topics that will continue to promote best practices for our chain of lakes to ensure our lake community/family can operate in a way that makes everyone’s time at the lake one they will enjoy.

     With great hope, I look forward to this year.  Will we be able to continue to put the Covid Pandemic farther out of sight in our rear view mirror?  I am hopeful that this will also mean the ability to gather more freely and to actively participate in projects to promote and enhance our lakes.  I have been in communication with the committee chairs of the Invasive Species Committee as well as the Walleye Committee and both have voiced their plans for summer projects as well.  If you are interested in learning more about these active committees reach out to Kent Gierhart, Invasive Species Chair at khghart@yahoo.com or Rod Steege for the Walley Committee at bpkey2@gmail.com.


     As in the past, the Association board is supporting the use of snail mail for the first newsletter. This allows us to provide the Membership Form and updates to members and non-members alike. We strongly encourage you to fill out the membership form right away and send it in before you forget. This is to ensure your contact information is up to date and that you continue to get newsletters.

     Kindly return your membership by Saturday, June 11, 2022, as we will be updating our mailing list to finalize members vs. non-members so that only members will continue to receive association updates. If you chose to donate at the same time as your pay your memberships dues your canceled check will serve as a tax deductible receipt.

Other Association News

2022 Lake Association Calendars: Thanks to Linda Carpenter for her incredible design and layout again this year, members outstanding photos, and vendor sponsorships, we will be providing calendars again with memberships.  Calendars should be ready and available at Area Lakes Days – April 30th.

“Area Lake’s Days” (SEE COLORED ATTACHED FLYER) After a two year hiatus it is exciting that we are once again able to bring you Area Lake’s Days.  Area Lake’s Days is a free event with a suggested donation of $5-10 on the day of the event.  However, don’t let the suggested donation keep you away as we want as many to participate as we can.  I would like to thank the outstanding association board for their assistance with pulling this great event together.

Silver Sponsorship: The Island Chain of Lakes Association once again was a Silver sponsor for the 2022 Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) Banquet in Rusk County. This event took place on the first weekend in April and was a night filled with prizes, great food, and making money for the Rusk County Community. Each year, this event brings in many thousands of dollars and all the profits go to promote outdoor restoration projects throughout Rusk County. Congratulations to the WRA on another outstanding event.

Don’t forget to check our website: Islandchainoflakes.org

Walleye Committee Chairperson, Interested in being part of the Walley committee contact…

Rod Steege: bpkey2@gmail.com or 1-920-291-5073      UPDATE FROM THE 2021 Fall DNR FISH STOCKING

2021 Chain Lake                                                             Muskellunge Large Fingerlings 30 stocked, Average length 13.9 inch Walleye- Large fingerlings 4,541 stocked, Average length 6.2 inches

2021 Clear Lake                                                                  Muskellunge Large Fingerlings 7 stocked- Average length 13.9 inch Walleye large Fingerlings 1,025 stocked- Average length 7.3 inch

2021 McCann Lake                                                             Muskellunge Large Fingerlings 10 stocked- average Length 13.9 inch Walleye Large FIngerlings 1,257 stocked- Average Length 7.3 inch

2021 Island Lake Muskellunge                                                         Large Fingerlings 41 stocked – Average length 13.9 inch Walleye Large FIngerlings 5,969 stocked- average Length 6.6 inch

DNR reports they did not meet their goals for Muskellunge stocking in 2021,  The number of fish per lake stocked is determined by overall acreage of the lake.




Call with lake abuse and/or boating issues.



Call with boat landing issues


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