Randy Stowe, lakemanager@gmail.com

1. After the lake iced-up in December, a question arose as to the possible presence of dredging pipeline still extending across the main body of the lake. Further investigation determined that while the vast majority of the dredge pipeline had been removed from the lake, or was moved to the northwest area of West Bay, a section of pipeline at the summer 2016 pipeline crossing was still in place. This crossing location is still marked by “no-wake” buoys, and all sections of this pipeline segment are fully submerged below the ice / lake level. The dredging booster pump that was being used last summer at W. Wonder Lake Road has been temporarily re-located for the winter to the dredging staging area at Wonder Marine.

2. Winter lake users are again reminded of the presence of the rip-rap “collars” around Wickline Island and O’Brien Shoals, and that snowmobiles / ATV’s are not allowed on the Wonder Lake Dam embankment.

3. The Wonder Lake Sportsman’s Club conducted an invasive brush-clearing project of Yacht Club Island on January 14th, similar to what was accomplished on Strom Island over last winter. This work will help to set the stage for the up-coming island rip-rap project being funded in part by the Illinois EPA (IEPA) Section 319 grant. Another work day will be scheduled if safe ice conditions occur. Volunteers will (as always) be welcome.

4. After the last few months of uncertainty coming from Washington DC regarding the viability of approved Federal environmental grants, the IEPA has indicated that, until they hear otherwise, the current Section 319 grants for Wonder Lake shoreline and upstream watershed projects are still alive and kicking.

5. The 32nd Annual Illinois Lakes Management Association Conference, March 30 to April 1, 2017, to be held at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, IL is fast approaching. Given the proximity, this would be a great opportunity for WL folks to learn more about a wide variety of lake topics. For more details: http://www.ilma-lakes.org/conference.

6. The County and the Village recently adopted an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), intended to clarify how permits for shoreline projects are to be handled. The MPOA attorney is currently reviewing the IGA, as it includes the MPOA in the approval process. Lakefront landowners should be aware that the ability to do any shoreline work without first securing the proper permits, and not getting caught, are pretty slim.

7. The lack of snow this winter, if not followed by spring rains, may have an effect on lake water levels later this year. Folks are reminded that real-time information from the Nippersink Creek stream gauge at Thompson Road can be viewed through a link at the bottom of the MPOA website under “Watershed Links”.

Chicago sees least amount of midwinter snow since 1900 – Tom Skilling
• We're more than three-quarters through the heart of winter — mid-December through mid-February — and Chicago has had an extremely rare midseason snow drought. The official Chicago observing site at O'Hare International Airport has recorded just 0.6 inches of snow since Dec. 19, making this the second least snowfall during that time period since snow records began here in 1884. The only time less snow fell during this midwinter period was 117 years ago, during the winter of 1899-1900, when just 0.3 inches of snow was recorded.