Lake Management

Comprehensive lake management underway on the Chain

The Eagle River Chain of Lakes Association has begun its next big project - a comprehensive lake management planning project for the entire lower Eagle River Chain of Lakes. The plan is phased. It was to span 4 years from 2013 through 2017. However, grant funding was not obtained for Phase 3 in 2015. ERCLA successfully reapplied for grant funding in 2016. The plan will now conclude in 2018. It kicked off in 2013 on Cranberry and Catfish Lakes. This multi-phased effort includes studies looking at the chain lakes as an ecosystem and not just focusing on its plant community.

The plans completed over the 5 year time frame include: Cranberry and Catfish lakes in 2013-2014; Eagle, Scattering Rice and Voyageur lakes in 2014-2015; Duck, Lynx, and Otter lakes in 2016-2017; Yellow Birch, Watersmeet, and the connecting Eagle River waters in 2017-2018.

Planning Committee

To complete this type of management plan, the study components of the projects include lake water quality analysis, watershed assessment, further studies of native and exotic aquatic plants, shoreland assessment, fisheries data, and a stakeholder survey. The project includes a stakeholder participation component to assure the plans represent not only the needs of the lakes and chain, but also folks that use and care for them. This survey was provided to each Chain household in 2014 to collect information on how the riparians use the lake, what changes they have seen on the Chain, and how they would like to see the system managed.

During each phase, planning meetings will be held with representatives from the respective lakes to discuss the results of that lake's studies and bring forth management issues the residents would like to include within the lake's management plan. By combining the technical aspects of the lake studies with the sociological information collected through the stakeholder participation component, specific plans will be constructed for each lake as well as the Chain as a whole.

Volunteers from each lake form the planning committees which will examine study results, conclusions and recommendations. They will establish management goals and actions including a timeframe. A project facilitator will be appointed from each management team. Fifteen of our riparians have volunteered for the management team, and they will be instrumental in evaluating recommendations and implementing actions. They are Terry Baker, Nancy Berg, Michele Bergstrom, Dave and Linda Damro, Cathy Hamilton, Sean Hamilton, Jim Hanrahan, Steve Linn, Bill Marohl, Larry and Sandy McKeon, Chrysa Murphy, Jan Schober, and Chris Soltis. These volunteers, along with Board members Carole Linn and Sue Saxhaug met with Onterra at two planning sessions during the summer of 2014. They reviewed initial drafts of the data results and conclusions presented by our consultants. Our planning committee's input was instrumental in evaluating that material and in helping draft action items for implementation of our plan.

This project will be funded through multiple grant applications which began in February 2013 and extend through 2018. Specifically, the Eagle River Chain of Lakes Association, with assistance from Onterra, will apply for WDNR AIS Education, Planning, and Prevention Grants that will cover 75% of the project costs. The grant has been fully funded. The 25% local share will be covered through cash and in-kind volunteer hours provided by the individual lake associations and ERCLA. This lake management project is required to receive state funding for Eurasian water milfoil control.


Click here for an overview of the project

Click here for the Chainwide WDNR approved Phase 1 and 2 comprehensive plan October, 2016

The Cranberry Lake WDNR approved plan is available at this time. Reading the Eagle River chainwide plan first will help you better understand the technical information provided in the Cranberry Lake plan.

Click here for the Cranberry Lake WDNR Approved Plan October, 2016


Fish surveys were conducted by the WDNR on our lake in 2013 and 2014. These results will be incorporated into our lake management plan.

Click here for Cranberry Lake Fish Information Sheet

Click here for Cranberry Lake Fish Creel Survey report