DNR to conduct hearing on Winnebago water quality

How is the water in Lake Winnebago?

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will begin accepting comments on the Total Maximum Daily Loads for Total Phosphorus and Total Suspended Solids in the Upper Fox and Wolf Basins (TMDL Study) on November 30, 2018. A public informational hearing is scheduled on December 12, 2018 in Oshkosh. DNR will accept comments through January 18, 2019.

"We will outline the changes that were made based upon comments received during the earlier listening sessions and informal comment period," said Keith Marquardt, a DNR water resources specialist who is managing the project. "In addition to those changes, we also added material to aid in implementation efforts."

One of those additions is a summary of allowable phosphorus loads for agricultural sources expressed in pounds per acre at the edge of the field. This information supplements existing implementation models such as SnapPlus. The effort required integrating the TMDL analysis with thousands of separate SnapPlus model runs.

"Incorporation of this information will really aid implementation by allowing agricultural producers to evaluate the management options needed to protect water quality at the field scale," said Marcia Willhite, chief of the Water Evaluation Section.

The public informational hearing will be held December 12, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the James P. Coughlin Building located at 625 E. County Road Y in Oshkosh.

A copy of the public hearing version of the TMDL Study and supporting material will be posted on the website on November 30, 2018.

For those who are unable to attend the public informational hearing, comments on the TMDL Study, may be submitted by email to Keith Marquardt or by mail to: Attn: Keith Marquardt, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 625 E County Road Y, Suite 700, Oshkosh, WI 54901-9731

Verbal comments received during the public hearing and written comments received prior to the close of the comment period will be considered prior to making a final approval and submittal to EPA. Written and verbal comments carry the same weight. The final TMDL Study report will include a summary with response to comments. will be included in.

The Upper Fox and Wolf River Basins (UFW) are two separate basins that converge within a series of pool lakes in Winnebago County before finally flowing collectively into Lake Winnebago. All the surface water drainage to Lake Winnebago is contained within these two basins. Lake Winnebago outlets into the Lower Fox River Basin, where it eventually flows into Green Bay.

The UFW TMDL study area spans Wisconsin's east central corridor from the headwaters in Forest County and the city of Portage to Lake Winnebago, covering 5,900 square miles, approximately 10 percent of the state.