History of MWLA

ais-lake-captain-deckhand1992 - 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."

First Decade Projects (1992-2002)
  • 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 Fall on the Farm (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 trainings
  • Partnership with NLS and NLDC for Purple Loosestrife Beetle Project
  • Improved communication with members through MWLA website, Facebook, and MailChimp e-blasts
  • Partnership with Walleyes for Tomorrow to install fish sticks for fish habitat.
  • Became owners of a 3/4-acre piece of shoreland property on Rest Lake to conserve for perpetuity.
  • Continues to meet with DNR and owners of the Rest Lake Dam in regard to the Memorandum of Understanding for the operation of the dam.

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.