The Yellow Lakes and River Association (YLRA) directs all its efforts to representing the interest of the property owners on the Yellow Lakes and on the Yellow River by working in concert with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), North American Hydro (NAH) and the Federal Energy Commission (FERC). The YLRA is a volunteer organization without any direct control or authority over those organizations. We work in concert with the above organizations by bringing to their attention the concerns of property owners on the Yellow Lakes and River. And assist them when ever possible.
The YLRA cannot control the lake level. The NAH dam at Danbury has a very specific license to pass a given volume of water and a very specific target level to maintain at the reservoir just before the dam. They have no responsibility to maintain the lake level, though they do their utmost to monitor and maintain a set level of 929.7 mean sea level (MSL). When you call NAH, you are calling to alert them to an existing condition you observed. They will expend every effort to alleviate the problem. However, there are circumstances where alleviating a specific problem is impossible because it is beyond their control. Heavy rains or drought are examples where the lake level will fluctuate and take time to respond to a reset gate height at the dam.
When a change in gate height at the dam is made to compensate for a rise in lake level, natural restrictions in the river create a long response time for the lakes to return to their set level of 929.7MSL. These natural restrictions consist of shallow areas of 30 inches or less and weed growth later in the season.
FERC opposes any remediation of the river to reduce or remove the obstructions and increase flow on the grounds it will disturb the natural environment of this “small, slowly rolling, quite river rich in history and quality wildlife and wild rice habitat”. FERC also describes this as a “canoeing and kayaking river”. Quotes are from FERC.
The YLRA has accomplished the following:
1- Dredged the channel between the lakes thus increasing water flow and storage capacity for spring snow melt and heavy rain run off.
2- We are in the fifth year of a six year grant to test the water quality five times per year (May, June, July, Aug, and Sept). We test for chlorophyll, phosphorous, water temp, secci test, and oxygen. We have specific test points on Yellow and Little Yellow.
3- Installed monitoring cameras at all three public boat launches to reduce the possibility of aquatic invasive species entering our lakes.
(Except for #7, we do not have the authority to enforce these goals. It is only by working in concert with NAH, WDNR and FERC that we can enlist their participation in meeting our goals.)
1- Maintain consistent lake level, throughout the seasons throughout the waterway
2- Preservation of our shoreline
3- Maintain and/or improve Yellow Lake water quality and clarity
4- Maintain and/or improve our fishing and recreation
5- Maintain and/or improve our great natural resource
6- Expend every effort to reduce the risk of Aquatic Invasive Species being introduced into our waters.
7- Improve Membership growth