Sip a coffee while birdsong greets the day. Take a refreshing swim, leisurely paddle, exhilarating water ski or test your sailing skill. Spend your time angling for pan fish, walleye or a big northern. Dry land is waiting for biking, family walks or exploring nature in one of the adjacent county and state parks or the Ridges at Logan Creek. Relax at the end of the day; drink in the sunset to the tune of a thousand frogs backed by the quiet lapping of the waves and rustling in the trees. Each day entirely summarized by a sigh of contentment, here, on the quiet side.
Each of these many gifts begins with Clark Lake and its surrounding lands that must be protected and preserved by a delicate balance between development and nature.
Here are a few tips to minimize our effect on the habitat and lessen threats to Clark Lake.
Protecting the Lake Water Quality and Habitat
The lake bed consists of sand, small stones, boulders and marl. The marl, is a calcium carbonate deposit that buffers the acid in the lake. Despite appearing as a murky bottom it is not pollution.
CLAA has created a walleye spawning reef by adding fresh stone to sanely areas as part of our continuing efforts to improve fish habitat.
The wetlands that surround much of the lake both filter pollutants from our water and reduce erosion. They are vital for lake health and should be preserved.
The ''weeds" visible along and parallel to the shore are mostly bulrushes. They have a deep root system and stabilize the lake bottom, provide shoreline protection from erosion and provide habitat for beneficial species. They should be protected and not disturbed.
Reduce Impermeable Surface
These include buildings, patio, packed ground and driveways. Discuss with your builder how to limit these spaces and options to ameliorate their effect.
Nature's Alternative to a Lawn
Lawn grass lacks the deep, complex roots required for healthful water filtering and reducing erosion. A void planting lawn within 35 feet o f the ordinary high water mark or using fertilizer within 50 feet of the shore. Instead, consult a landscape specialist and choose native plants to protect your shore and the lake.
Tree roots help stabilize our shore land. Their leaves trap water and reduce damaging run off.
Manage your shoreline so trees frame a water viewing area of no more than 30 feet wide.
Generally cutting any tree within 35 feet of the shore requires a permit. Contact the Door County Planning Commission for ordinance details.
Trees that fall into the water are excellent habitats for fish and other animals and plants. We encourage you to leave them where they lie. CLAA is replicating this natural process through the DNR sponsored "Fish Stick" program.
Rain Water Run-off
Rapid rain water run-off contributes to both erosion and reduced water quality. Protective measures include: a lush leafy canopy: limited impermeable surfaces; water run-off containment areas: deep, complex root systems; and limited shoreline disruption.
Both Jacksonport and Sevastopol have noxious/ invasive species control ordinances. It is the property owners responsibility to identify, treat and eradicate invasive plants such as phragmites. The CLAA does phragmities control on an annual basis at no cost to the land owner.
Clean Boats/ Clean Water
Invasives or other noxious flora and fauna can hitch a ride on watercraft used in already infested areas. Follow appropriate inspection and cleaning procedures whenever you move water craft from one location to another. Don't forget, this also applies to your canoe, kayak and paddle board.
Water Level Variability
Water level will vary by several inches during the year. Property where there is a very shallow grade will see the shoreline move in or out several feet or even yards.
When the level drops, in some areas boats with a draft of more than even modest depth may be impossible to launch.
Others have had serious shore line erosion or other damage from both ice shoves and high water in the spring.