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Post-Millpond Drawdown Study Still In Progress

The study to evaluate post-drawdown conditions of the Forestville Millpond continues. Conducted by the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department (SWCD) in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the study’s results will be used to assess changes in water quality, clarity, depth, the aquatic plant community, and the overall health of the waterbody following the drawdown that involved opening the dam to remove water from the pond. Project deliverables will include a final report on the collected data and an analytical comparison to historic results.

The overarching goal of the evaluation is to assess the physical parameters of the Forestville Millpond and quantify key water quality parameters to compare current conditions to pre-drawdown conditions. Assessment of current water conditions are vital to future management decisions, as well as determining the effectiveness of efforts made in the millpond and throughout the watershed.

At this point in the current study, water samples have been collected and are being analyzed at the state lab, and a vegetation study has been completed. A bathymetric survey – a survey that maps the depths and shapes of the underwater terrain – is planned for the spring.

The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership will assist in the outreach efforts, especially downstream on the Ahnapee River with the restoration efforts at Olson Park and Crescent Beach in the City of Algoma. 

When the Door County Board of Supervisors accepted a grant in April from the Department of Natural Resources to help fund the $13,787.76 project, Greg Coulthurst, SWCD conservationist, said he anticipated the project would not be completed until close to the end of 2024.