Saturday, September 12, 2020

Winter Buoys in Place

Here's a note from Bobbi about the buoys by the island . . .

wanted to let you know that Tom switched out the fair weather Island Buoys with the Winter Ice Spar Buoys yesterday. These ice spar buoys, located at the dedicated GPS locations for the buoys on file with the WDNR, will act as place holders during the winter. They extend about a foot above the surface of the lake. This will make returning the fair weather buoys to their exact location much easier in the spring. Thought residents should be aware they will be out on the lake in the winter. "

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Birch Lake Photos

Here are some beautiful pictures
Ann Marie sent to me that she'd
taken by the lake.

Beaver Trapping

"The Birch Lake Association Board would like to inform the Membership that new beaver trapping efforts are now taking place in the Tambier Creek area leading to Tamarack Lake. The Trapper has requested that lake residents refrain from navigating the Creek area until he has completed his work there to ensure your safety. Updates will be provided as quickly as possible. Please share this news with your Lake neighbors."

This notice came from the association secretary on June 23. When it is completed I'll post an update.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Big Bear

Be careful when you're going outside. Looks like the bears are waking up. Here's a picture of one going through our front yard last evening.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Birch Lake Annual Meeting & Picnic Cancelled

"The Birch Lake Association Board hopes this note finds our Members, their families, and friends healthy and safe during this extraordinary time as we face the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as individuals, families, and as a Nation.

Your BLA Board held a conference call Board Meeting on Saturday, April 25, 2020 to determine the best and most responsible course of action regarding our upcoming Annual Meeting scheduled for May 23rd and the Annual Picnic scheduled for September 5th. The Board unanimously decided to cancel this year's Annual Meeting and Annual Picnic out of an abundance of caution for everyone's safety."

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Safer At Home Order

Just a quick reminder that the State of Wisconsin has a Safer At Home Order in effect.

If you right-click on the link below, you'll be given the option to open it in a new tab. That's the one I find most easy to use. If you just click on the link, it will open but it closes the main page.You can also copy this address and look at it later.

Currently all the libraries, bars, restaurants, schools and non-essential businesses are closed.

Both Vilas and Oneida counties have asked that people who are seasonal residents and those who are out of town currently stay out of the area until the virus spread slows. Our limited hospitals and medical staff just can't handle an increase. If you do return, you need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Here's a link to the Vilas County Covid-19 page. It has additional information about the virus and ways to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors.

With our aging population and limited health care facilities up north, it's important to remember to follow the safer at home guidelines.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

More Wolf Kills

Since I posted the last entry about the deer kill, there have been three more deer killed. One was on our driveway last week. One was on the lake. One was last night on a neighbor's driveway.

A West Birch lake resident saw six wolves on the lake. Later they saw a coyote going across the lake with a deer leg in its mouth.

Please be alert and stay safe. Also keep your pets on leash for their safety.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Wolf Kill

Just a quick note to keep your eyes open. We had an apparent wolf kill in our front yard this morning.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

River Otters at the Library

Here's an event at the Winchester Library. Give yourself a chance to "chill" after the holidays --

Knowledge at Noon on January 2 from 12-1, here at the Winchester Library, Licia Johnson will speak on the Incredible World of the River Otter. We may not always seen them, but we can see the signs they leave behind in winter! Join Licia as we dive into the incredible world of the river otter, exploring all their funny behaviors, signs and unique adaptations,. 

We hope you will join us. Dessert and coffee or water will be served. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Water Level Gauge Removal

The water level gauge was removed today. As soon as Emily sends out the last graph, I'll post it on the site.

They were also able to compare the lake levels to sea level on all but one lake. When that information is reported I'll post that on the blog also. It should be interesting to see how we compare.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Bear Alert

Just wanted to let you know to keep and eye on your pets and children. There's a big bear roaming around East Birch Lake Rd. Our neighbors saw it at 6:30 this morning. The raspberries are really starting to pop out so it might have been after those.

Monday, July 08, 2019

AIS Survey

The DNR and the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission will be conducting AIS surveys on lakes this summer.

Fish Trap and Crab Lakes will be surveyed by the DNR staff.

The GLIFWC will be surveying a number of lakes in Vilas County -- including Birch. The other lakes in Vilas County are Annabelle, Big Crooked, Jag, Lake Laura, Mamie, Manitowish & No Mans Lake.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Winchester Picnic in the Park & Boat Parade

Mark July 6th and 7th on your calendar . . . Those are the dates of the Annual Winchester Boat Parade and Picnic.

The boat parade starts at 6 PM at the bridge and the Picnic in the Park is on Sunday, July 7, from 12 PM to 3 PM. There's always great food, fun and games.

Once again, the Friends of the Library are sponsoring the Cake Walk. Folks donate cakes, cupcakes and desserts and the kids play a "ring-around-the rosy" game to see who wins a treat. If you'd like to donate a treat to the game, please have it at the Park by noon.

Hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Lake Tides Newsletter & Lake Levels

Emily Heald, Water Program Coordinator at North Lakeland Discovery Center, sent an email out last week about and interesting article . . . 

"Katie Hein, the scientist who has been analyzing our lake level data, wrote an incredibly interesting article in the most recent publication of Lake Tides."

UWSP/UW Extension Lakes    You can find the newsletter at this site. You can also subscribe to the newsletter and receive it whenever it is published.

Emily is also our contact at the Discovery Center for the lake level monitoring. Here's a link to the Discovery Center that explains the procedure.

Discovery Center Citizen Lake Monitoring

Every spring they come out and install a gauge right off the shoreline. The gauge is calibrated so that readings from day to day and year to year can be compared.

This is a photo of the most current page in the monitoring booklet. On May 11 the zero point was calibrated at 305.3. You add the reading (65) to the zero point and the initial reading for 2019 was 370.3. If you add the 305.3 to the reading from today (56), you'll come up the actual level of 361.5.

At the end of each month, we submit a photo of the current month and we receive a chart (see below) that shows the lake levels for that month added on the past data.

This year Emily asked if there was one year for which she could do a graph showing the change in levels. I think 2014 is an interesting year. It started out at the highest level and, in five weeks, they had to come out and re-install the gauge in deeper water. They installed the gauge on 5/13/14 and the actual elevation was 395.7 (333.7 + 62 cm). On June 21 the actual elevation was 343.7 (333.7 + 10 cm).

As you can see from the graph, the water level kept falling throughout the summer and started climbing around August when the rain started coming again. The other interesting thing about 2014 is we had 4" of snow on October 31, a day before they took the gauge out.

The highest point since 2014 was last summer when all the docks started floating away.

There's another change this year that should be interesting. A few weeks ago they came out and did a reading that will enable them to compare our lake level to sea level and to lakes around the world. As soon as we get some information I'll post it on the blog.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Winchester Library and Town Events - June

I received an email from the Betty at the Winchester Library with a long list of events going on at the library and in town throughout the month of June. Thought I'd post it on the blog in case you're up here and need something to do.

 Summer Library Hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays 10-3; Thursday 9-6 and             Saturday 10-12. Copying and faxing are available during those times.
June 3 – Town Board meeting at 7 pm, Town Hall

June 4 – Lions Board meeting at 6, Library

June 6 – Jasmyn Schmidt addresses questions and answers about Composting and Recycling at 2, Library
June 8-Rainbow Lake Association meeting at 9, Library
June 9 – Legion Auxiliary meeting at 5, at Legion Post/Bingo

June 12-15- Our Annual Book Sale; $1.00 a bag on Saturday

June 17-Book Club – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, here

June 18 – Kid’s Programs start; Picnic, Worm Race and Litter Pick up From 11-12, Library

June 19 – Garden Maintenance begins at 9 in Memorial Garden, here

June 20- Free Lunch – a Cook Out at 11:30; then Susan Corrieri, Vilas County Elder Specialist, will speak on the ABC’s of Medicare and answer questions at noon, Library

June 21 – Basket Weaving 10-3, Dianne Mockler, Library

June 22-Hiawatha Lake Picnic and Meeting, 8:30, here

June 25-Container Gardening for Kids, 10:30; Jaime Martindale from UW-Madison on Visualizing History Through Aerial Photography  at 2, Library

June 27- Attorney Long from Sturgul and Long Law Office in Hurley addresses Elder and Trusts issues at 4.

June 28 – Basket Weaving with Dianne Mockler, 10-3, here

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Lost Swim Raft

This raft floated up on Jay and Helyn's dock today (May 21). If this is your raft, you can contact them at the phone number in the Birch Lake directory or at jhwoolf (at)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019 Field Trip Guide & Annual Meeting Information

Here's Bobbie's latest email with a link to field trips all around the state of Wisconsin.

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has shared its 2019 Field Trip Guide offering remarkable Field Trips for you and your family to enjoy throughout the state of Wisconsin. I have attached a few of the trips taking place in the Vilas County area you may be interested in attending. Check out the entire guide at: 

If you enjoyed John Bates' presentation at our Annual Meeting a few years ago, he will be leading Field Trip #172 Old Growth Forest Hike in Iron County in August.

If you plan to renew your membership at the Annual Meeting on May 25th, please bring along a completed Membership form to turn in with your payment. This will guarantee your entry in this year's Association Directory

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Lake Level Monitoring

Spoke to Bobbie a couple days ago about the monitoring of the lake level. We started in 2010. Here's a link to the Discovery Center page that describes the program. After the level is installed this spring, I'll post the water level on the blog.

Lake Level Monitoring -- Discovery Center

Original Lake Level Monitoring information sheet -- This is an old link that shows the process of installing the gauge and reading the levels. I think you should be able to zoom in on the print and make it easier to read.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Ice Out 2019

All the ice went out last night, April 25, and here's a picture from this morning. You can see how high the water level is this year. I usually mow lawn down as far as the birch tree and light pole.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Birch Lake Association 2019 Annual Meeting

Here's the information for the annual meeting this spring . . .

Birch Lake Association
Annual Meeting
Saturday, May 25
Winchester Town Hall
Hwy W

8:30 AM
Sign in & Coffee
Meet & Greet
Renew Your Membership

9:00 AM
Guest Speaker -- Alan Schwoegler
30 Year Loon Ranger for Loon Watch
a Program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

Sharing his knowledge of loons their ecology and best practices for
living with loons on our lake.

Business meeting to follow.

If you google "Loon Watch", you can see their website and get some more information before the meeting.

Thursday, January 03, 2019


I was listening to WPR yesterday and the wildlife guy was talking about bobcats. A couple weeks ago one walked through our backyard. It was pretty early in the day. By the time I got my camera ready, it was already in the woods and the pictures weren't very clear.

Ann Marie said she had a picture from their trail cam. So here's a picture from the 24th that she sent to me.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Birch Lake History Book Presentation

If you missed the talk at the Winchester Library, you still have a chance to hear about the history of Birch Lake.

There will be a presentation at the Presque Isle Library on August 31 at 11 AM.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Birch Lake Picnic September 3, 2018

Just a quick reminder --

Birch Lake Association Picnic
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Noon to 3 PM (eating at 12:30)
Winchester Town Park

If you're planning on attending, please RSVP Bobbie either by email or by phone listed on the most recent newsletter.

If you'd like to help set up, please arrive by 11:15.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Birch Lake History Talk

 Just a quick reminder --

The authors of the Birch Lake history book will be doing at talk at the Winchester Library on Thursday, July 19, at 4 PM. There will be extra copies of the book if you need one.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Courtesy No-Wake Zone

Due to the recent rains and the resulting high water levels, we ask, as a courtesy, that you maintain the lake as a "no wake" zone to prevent shoreline erosion and further damage to docks and equipment and watercraft on piers.

We'll keep monitoring the level and inform you of any changes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Heavy Rains and Water Levels

The heavy rains didn't bypass Birch Lake this past weekend. Our rain gauge showed a total of 7" from Friday through Sunday. We've been tracking the lake level for the Discovery Center since 2010. The only time the water level was higher was when they installed the gauge in May 2014.

If you can't make it up here to check out your dock or boat, you may want to contact a neighbor on the lake and ask them to take a look.