Archives for December 17, 2019

MLA Mission Statement

McKenzie Lakes Association



To provide a united voice for the future of the McKenzie Lakes


To maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the McKenzie Lakes and their surroundings for the collective interests of the members and the good of the general public.

History of MLA

Started in 1990, MLA presently has over 300 dues paying members.  The MLA encompasses members from all three of the McKenzie Lakes (Big, Middle and Lower).  Some of the major accomplishments of the Association has been to commission a USGS water quality baseline study of the lakes, developed and funded an Aquatic Plant Management Plan for all three lakes, monitor water quality of the lakes on a monthly bases, work to control  Purple Loosestrife, an invasive plant species on Big and Middle McKenzie Lakes, provide roadside clean-up in the spring and promote Shoreline Restoration programs.

The Association has monthly meetings from Memorial Day to Labor Day with the annual election of officers and board members at the July meeting.  Meetings are held at the McKenzie Landing, County Road E, Big McKenzie on Saturdays starting at 9:00 am.

MLA 2019 Booya

BOOYA 2019


On behalf of the McKenzie Lakes Association, I want to take this opportunity to thank all who helped with this year’s Booya.


A special thanks to George and Terry, who make the day work, to Chris Rahn, our MC, who kept things moving, Doug McCreadie, our retiring Master Booya Chef, and to Lisa who kept me going in the right direction. A big thanks to all who volunteered with food prep, ticket sales, cooking, manning the food tent, manning the beverage tent, selling bucket tickets, selling paddles, manning the membership booth, manning the clothing booth, and, not least of all set up and cleanup by the 6:00AM boys and the rest of the crew.


Another big thank you to those who generously donated food, money, and prizes.


And finally, thanks to all who came to support and enjoy the event. It was a wonderful day. Most importantly, we reconnected with neighbors and made new friends. It’s all about our lakes community.

As a side benefit, we made some money.



Ann Powers


Zebra Mussels Update -2019

Zebra Mussel Update:

In the fall of 2016, a suspected Zebra Mussel (ZM) was found on a removed dock and verified by the Wisconsin DNR.  McKenzie Lakes Association applied for and received a DNA Rapid Response Grant to assess, monitor for ZM, and to educate the public about the presence of the ZM.  The grant runs for three years and we are in its final year.  The MLA was invited to be part of the ZM Management Team made up of state, federal and county representatives.  The ZM Management Team objectives were to provide guidance and resource management to the local area to help contain and prevent the spread of ZM.

During these last two years MLA was instrumental in passing an amended transport law in Burnett and Washburn counties, where watercraft must be decontaminated before entering or leaving a lake or river.  Our Association also designed and set-up decontamination stations at each of the public boat landings on the three McKenzie Landings.  Volunteers maintain these stations throughout the year, making sure that fresh bleach is always available in the sprayers.

Under the RRG, the MLA set up a monitoring procedure using sample plates to monitor the population of ZM over time.  Volunteers placed 40 sampler plates throughout the three lakes and at the end of the season counted the number of ZM on each plate.  These counts where used to provide a density measurement for each of the lakes.  Big McKenzie (BM) showed a density measurement in 2017 of 10/sq. ft. and in 2018 a density of 55.5/sq. ft.  In Middle McKenzie (MM) during 2017, ZM were found at two different monitoring sites.  Based on this finding MM was designated by the DNR that MM had an established population of ZM.  In 2018, the density was still very low 0.22/sq. ft.  In Lower McKenzie (LM) monitors have yet to find a ZM on any of their monitoring plates.

During 2019, MLA will continue to monitor for ZM using plate samplers, maintaining the decontamination stations and doing watercraft inspections at the public boat landings on BM and MM.  Additionally we will be working with the DNR to do veliger tows, underwater substrate surveys, and this year have added, eDNA.  eDNA analysis is a monitoring method to determine if the DNA of ZM can be detected in the environment (the water).  The Wisconsin Department of Health has set-up the test to be performed in their laboratory.  Besides the three McKenzie Lakes, lakes in our area designated as highly susceptible to ZM populations will also participate in the testing protocol.

In 2018, ZM adults were collected from BM and sent to the Minnesota AIS Institute at the U of M to determine the possible origin of the ZM.  Testing was completed early in 2019 and the Big McKenzie ZM population more closely aligns with populations found in Wisconsin’s lakes.

As we complete the last year of the RRG, it will be important to continue the programs we have started.  Monitoring using plate samplers should continue to determine the status of ZM population.  Will it continue or will it stabilize or decline over time?  Also, decontaminations stations need to be maintained and used, not only to prevent the spread of ZM from the McKenzie Lakes chain but also to prevent the introduction of other invasive species that could be just as detrimental as ZM or even worse.

Urgent Need for MLA Volunteers





October 11, 2019

Dear MLA Members:


At the last MLA meeting the participants voted to proceed with applying for a DNR Clean Boats/Clean Waters Grant to support boat inspections at the landings on all three McKenzie Lakes.  Acquiring grant dollars is a crucial objective that will help advance our goal of clean boats and clean waters.  To that end we are requesting you to participate in conducting boat inspections.

Our experience has shown face to face interaction, educating boaters on the methods to battle the spread of invasive species, goes a long way.  Without boat inspections we are creating a large gap in our efforts to control the spread of invasive species.

Your intention to commit to serve as a paid or volunteer boat inspector is needed TODAY. Please indicate your degree of participation on the form included with this correspondence and return to Sandy Swanson via email or postal mail, NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 15.


Here is what else you need to know:

  • Paid inspectors are hired as contract employees and work at least one 4 or 5-hour shift per weekend. Pay is $12 per hour.
  • All inspectors, paid or volunteer, will be provided a brief training session.
  • The goals are to protect the health of our lakes and to educate boaters on the dangers of spreading aquatic invasive species.
  • Members and non-members are eligible to help in our efforts. HOWEVER, a broad membership base will provide a solid foundation for a sustained volunteer program of inspectors.




McKenzie Lakes Association Aquatic Invasive Species Committee


Urgent_Need_for_MLA_Volunteers Form 

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