East Alaska Lake has a long history of serving the greater community with rich aesthetic and recreational opportunities. A check of the lake’s historical background reveals significant pollution from cheese factory discharge, agricultural runoff and tile discharge, failed septic systems, use of lawn fertilizers and little or no riparian buffer areas. All these accumulations of pollutants have led to a lake with high levels of nutrients, particularly phosphorus. The phosphorus-rich lake sediments fuel the yearly growth of many types of algae and deteriorate the lake ecosystem.
Starting Tuesday, October 18 a barge-like boat will spray 89,000 gallons of nontoxic alum on East Alaska Lake to lock up phosphorus already in the lake to keep it from fueling algae blooms in coming years. The treatment caps more than a decade of work by the Tri-Lakes Association, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other local partners to reduce new phosphorus entering the lake. Altogether, these efforts will help deliver clearer water for swimming, boating, fishing and other recreation.
Total expenditure for the treatment is estimated at $214,000. Monetary support to cover this cost is provided in by Tri-Lakes Association members at large ($44,000) and grants from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($170,000).
Tri-Lakes Association, organized in 2001, is a non-profit conservation group whose mission is to improve the waters of Kewaunee County’s three largest inland lakes: Krohns Lake, East Alaska Lake and West Alaska Lake.