Randy Stowe, lakemanager@gmail.com

Lake Manager’s Report – December 2019

  1. The 2019 drawdown of Wonder Lake is now officially over. As of the beginning of December, water again began flowing over the dam spillway, allowing the sluice gates to again be fully closed. It is still expected that the lake level will still rise a bit more, as it usually maintains a normal pool from 3 to 6 inches above the spillway crest.

Lake Manager’s Report – November 2019

1. Despite the challenges posed by the heavy rains and early cold snap this fall, the MPOA contractor successfully wrapped up their repairs to the Wonder Lake dam spillway. In order to get to where the spillway leaks originated, the lake had to be temporarily drawn down roughly 5 and ½ feet. Concrete repairs were then completed on both the interior and exterior surfaces of the dam spillway where the minor leaks had been observed.

Lake Manager’s Report – October 2019

1. Believe it or not, the lake drawdown is underway. With the heavy rains experienced over the last month, Wonder Lake only returned to “normal” water level in the last few days, despite the gradual opening of the sluice gates in the dam over the past few weeks. Other than a forecast for some rain Thursday night and Friday, the 10-day weather forecast looks dry at the moment.

Lake Manager’s Report – September 2019

1. In March of 2019, the MPOA began announcing that a lake drawdown would be conducted in October of 2019. This will be the first Wonder Lake drawdown since 2007, and is being done in order to allow some needed concrete patching to be done to the Wonder Lake Dam spillway, as well as to complete some mechanical dredging in an area of West Bay that could not be accessed by the hydraulic dredge.

Lake Manager’s Report – August 2019

1. The Nippersink Watershed Association met and exceeded its fund-raising goal of $7,000, which enables the NWA to receive an additional $21,000 in grant funding from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) for the on-going Merchant Creek restoration project.

Lake Manager’s Report – July 2019

1. An enjoyable 4th of July holiday was enjoyed by all, including the Venetian Night, parade, WLWSST Ski show, fireworks, and the complete absence of dredge pipelines and equipment on the lake.

2. Yet another reminder that the MPOA will be conducting a temporary drawdown of the lake, slated to roughly begin at the beginning of October 2019, to facilitate needed maintenance of the Wonder Lake Dam spillway. Any in-lake equipment that lake front landowners need to have moved from the lake for the winter should be completed by the beginning of October.

Lake Manager’s Report – June 2019

1. The rip-rap portion of the shoreline stabilization project at the Wonder Center – North Park, as well as around Strom and Yacht Club Islands, is now complete. Seeding / planting of native vegetation to further help stabilize shoreline soils and protect water quality will be implemented soon. This project was largely funded by an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant. In order for the rip-rap to effectively protect the shoreline, it needs to stay in place, so folks visiting the islands should refrain from re-arranging the rock, or having rock tossing contests.

Lake Manager’s Report – May 2019

1. The shoreline stabilization project, being largely funded by an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant, is underway. Rip-rap shoreline protection will be installed at the Wonder Center – North park, as well as around Strom and Yacht Club Islands. It is expected that the project should be completed in the next few weeks.

Lake Manager’s Report – April 2019

1. The MPOA will be conducting a drawdown of the lake in the Fall of 2019 to facilitate needed maintenance of the Wonder Lake Dam spillway. The drawdown will also provide an opportunity for lakefront landowners to conduct clean-up activities along their frontage, or possibly implement shoreline stabilization practices.

Lake Manager’s Report – March 2019

The MPOA will be conducting a drawdown of the lake in the Fall of 2019 to facilitate needed maintenance of the Wonder Lake Dam spillway. The drawdown will also provide an opportunity for lakefront landowners to conduct clean-up activities along their frontage, or possibly implement shoreline stabilization practices.

Lake Manager’s Report – February 2019

1. Lake users are reminded that with the deeper water now present in the dredged portions of the lake, and the recent variations in temperature, ice formation on the lake so far this winter has been unpredictable at best. Please use extreme caution attempting to access the lake, unless you are positive of safe ice conditions.

Lake Manager’s Report – January 2019

1. The MPOA dredging project has been completed, barring some minor restoration of areas disturbed by dredging equipment, which will take place in 2019. As is typical in this type of project, funds for that work are being withheld from the final payout to the dredging contractor until that restoration work has been completed.