DNR sets meetings to share information on Balsam Row dam, introduce steps for Wolf River...

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. By Central Office October 7, 2016

    Contact(s): Justine Hasz, DNR fisheries bureau director, [email protected], 715-896-9558; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, [email protected], 608-770-8084

    SHAWANO, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Menominee Tribe, will hold three informational meetings this month to share information and introduce the process for development of a fisheries and water resources management plan for the Wolf River in a project area running from Keshena to Shawano.

    The Wolf River, 225 miles long, is one of two National Scenic Rivers in Wisconsin with a watershed that covers 12 counties in northeastern and northern Wisconsin. From its source at Pine Lake in Forest County, it flows down to the Winnebago pool lakes. In addition to providing habitat for lake sturgeon, its upper reaches hold wild rice as well as other important fish and game species.

    The Wolf powers the Balsam Row hydroelectric dam, which is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This dam, currently owned by Wolf River Hydro, is also known as Upper Shawano dam in DNR's dams database and as Shawano Project P-710 through FERC.

    The upcoming meetings will kick off discussion of a management plan for the section of the river stretching from Shawano to Keshena Falls. The meetings - set to run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in Menasha, Oct. 18 in Keshena and Oct. 19 in Shawano - will review progress on various dam license requirements and explain how the current sturgeon capture and transfer system functions.

    "We encourage citizens and stakeholders to come and learn more from these meetings," said Justine Hasz, DNR fisheries bureau chief. "The fall meetings will establish the process through which DNR hopes to engage with stakeholders in the collaborative development of the management plan."

    Of particular interest to fisheries stakeholders will be an overview of sturgeon restoration efforts by DNR and the Tribe above the dam, including current efforts to move sturgeon via trap and transport methods. The meeting also will provide informational items on various levels of regulatory authority and requirements for fish passage including project concepts, current design elements and related submittals to FERC.

    Presenters at the meeting will include representatives from DNR's fisheries and FERC coordinating teams as well as a representative from the Tribe. The initial round of meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.:

    • Monday, Oct. 17, in Menasha at the Stone Toad, 1109 Oneida St.;
    • Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Keshena at Menominee Indian High School, School Theater, N500 Wisconsin Highway 47;
    • Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Shawano at Shawano City Hall, Community Room, 127 S. Sawyer St.

    To learn more about the Balsam Row dam and Wolf River management plan process, visit DNR.wi.gov and search "Wolf River Management Plan."

    Last Revised: Friday, October 07, 2016