1992 - Incorporated in May, 1992 as the Manitowish Waters Lake Owners Association. Name later changed to Manitowish Waters Lakes Association with membership open to anyone in the Township within 1 mile of a lake or stream.
Original Officers: Bill Lambrecht, President; Bob O'Neil, Vice-President; Eleanor Butler, Secretary-Treasurer. Directors: Pete Rasey, Dick Grummon, Bert Cagney, Robb Warren, Herman Deisenroth, Dick Thoke.
Purpose: "to maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the Manitowish Waters Chain of Lakes and other waters in Manitowish Township for the collective interests of the members."
- Three-year walleye stocking program (with minimal DNR cooperation)
- Navigation and warning buoys purchased for strategic points in Chain
- Boating safety course/promotion of boating regulations
- Two Lakes Fairs at the Discovery Center: well water-testing, participants included regional environmental representatives.
- Initiated Trout Pond for kids
- Publication of Newsletter
- Participation in Wisconsin Assn. of Lakes & Vilas Co. Lakes Assn. meetings and conferences
- Monitoring of Clear Lake and Island Lake boat landings
Second Decade Projects (2002-2012) in addition to continuation of Newsletter:
- Annual 4th of July and Colorama events with Trout Pond, merchandise and informational bulletins
- Partnered with the Manitowish Chain Defense Fund (Rest Lake Dam)
- Assisted UW-SP study of fish spawning & migration in the Chain
- Provided content & testimony for Comprehensive Land Use Plan and rewrite of recently-enacted Town Zoning Ordinance
- Roadside trash pickups on Hwy 51, later on County K.
- Grants support and volunteer assistance for Rest Lake Park Shoreline Restoration
- Partnership with Town and North Lakeland Discovery Center to prevent and combat Aquatic Invasive Species by applying for DNR grants
- Volunteering at Boat Landings for "Clean Boats Clean Waters" campaign
- Recruitment of water quality monitors for all 10 lakes
- FIsh Habitat Project
- Sponsor of DNR Rest Lake AIS grant
Third Decade Projects (2012-2022)
- Continuation of multi-year Manitowish Chain Aquatic Invasive Species DNR Grants in partnership with the Town and North Lakeland Discovery Center (NLDC)
- Manitowish Waters Chain of Lakes Comprehensive Management Plan finalized
- partnership with the NLDC for AIS programs and trianings
- Partnership with NLS and NLDC for Purple Loosestrife Beetle Project
- Improved communication with members through MWLA website, Facebook, and MailChimp e-blasts
Leadership: Bill Lambrecht served as President until 1999. Tom Burlage served in 2000. Gayle Strand served from 2000 - 2003, Jack King 2003 - 2007, Karen Dixon 2007 - 2016. Bob Becker 2016 - 2019. Greg Holt 2019 - current
Membership: Current membership stands at 350+ households. Annual dues are $25.