May 26, 2010

Prolonged drought having severe impact on some northern lakes, flowages

WDNR - Eight straight years of drought in northern Wisconsin is causing many people to ask what is happening to the fish, wildlife and recreation dependent on water.

A 12-month drought cumulative effects scale -- known as the Palmer Drought Index (exit DNR) -- shows below average precipitation again for 2010. The May index has northern Wisconsin in the moderate to severe drought category.

Deep Lake
Water levels are down 15 feet on Deep Lake in Washburn County.
WDNR Photo

The water deficit crosses most of the northern part of the state. Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Manager Dennis Scholl said the Rainbow Flowage in Oneida County is down 13 feet while Deep Lake in Washburn County is down 15 feet, one of the worst examples of the lack of precipitation. Most water bodies in the north are affected.

Although humans cannot do anything to avoid a drought, people can learn some valuable lessons from dry periods that guide responsible use of water. Whether we have a drought or not everyone should always conserve water and treat the natural resources with respect.

Please read full at WDNR