Native Habitat and Shoreline Preservation / Restoration

Benefits of a Healthy Shoreline

  • Provides suitable habitat for microorganisms, fish, amphibians, insects, water fowl, and small mammals.
  • Provides life sustaining food, protective cover, and spawning, mating and nesting habitat.
  • Filters water run-off and decreases nutrient loading into lakes and rivers.
  • Limits the effects of wave action that may re-suspend sediments and destabilize banks.
  • Positively contributes to water clarity.
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The Land Side - the Riparian Zone

  • May contain a mix of grasses, sedges, wildflowers, shrubs and trees.
  • Naturally occurring influencing factors: soil type, water supply/moisture, topography, available sunlight, climate.
  • Impacted by upland impervious surfaces, buildings, other land disruptions; also lake or river characteristics and use.
  • Fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide use negatively impacts riparian zone biodiversity—their use is to be avoided.

The Water Side - the Littoral Zone

  • Aquatic plant types may include, emergent, floating leaf, and submergent; e.g. pickerelweed, water lily and elodea.
  • Naturally occurring influencing factors: substrate, wave action, slope, available sunlight, climate.
  • Impacted by riparian and upland zone characteristics and use; also lake or river characteristics and use.
  • Removal of native plants and woody debris negatively impacts littoral zone biodiversity—this practice is to be avoided.

The Shorelines of Manitowish Waters

Onterra LLC Lake Management Planning data of Manitowish Waters’ shorelines:

  • Onterra LLC compiled shoreline data as part of the Manitowish Waters Chain of Lakes Comprehensive Management Plan, Dec. 2019.
  • Shorelines of ten lakes above the dam and three lakes below the dam were field surveyed.
  • Shorelands associated with the shorelines were assigned to one of five descriptive categories from “urbanized to “natural/undeveloped”.
  • All lakes had portions of shorelands in at least three of the five descriptive categories.
  • Information is available for the thirteen lakes considered as a whole and for the shorelands of each individual lake.
  • The shoreland information is available on the Management Plan Excerpt page

Assess Your Shore

  • The Healthy Lakes & Healthy Rivers Program offers Score My Shore:

    • Score My Shore is an on-line questionnaire-based evaluation tool.
    • Individuals may fill out the form anonymously.
    • Questions are included on the physical aspects of a lake or river property as well as how the property is managed.
    • The questionnaire is available on the Score My Shore page

Manitowish Wates Chain of Lakes 2019 Comprehensive Management Plan

To access the full 500+ page Manitowish Wates Chain of Lakes 2019 Comprehensive Management Plan, please use the following link: