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SAWM board members and volunteers are at work year-round to deliver on our vision and mission.  Our efforts are performed in collaboration with the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, UW Extension, College of Natural Resources Stevens Point, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Association of Lakes, all of whom we have excellent working relationships with.  We also contract with Onterra, LLC, lake management planners and aquatic environmental specialists, for guidance on planning and strategies for maintaining the ecological integrity of our waters.


Here is a summary of some of the things we have done over the last several years and will continue to do to maintain the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of Shawano Waterways so that property owners can enjoy all that our waters have to offer.

Monitoring activities

SAWM constantly monitors water quality through a variety of activities throughout the year, including the following:

  • Track current invasive species and watch for new potential threats.

  • Regularly collect samples from streams that flow into Shawano Lake and ship to the Lab of Hygiene in Madison, WI for analysis of sediment and nutrients, including phosphorous.

  • Regularly measure water clarity through SECCI disk readings and measure dissolved oxygen levels at various water depths with equipment purchased and maintained by SAWM.

  • Take regular samples of water in areas where chemical treatments have been applied to measure effectiveness.

  • Coordinate the Clean Boats Clean Water program, including the training and staffing of volunteers at specific boat landings throughout the summer months utilizing Shawano High School students.

Grant activities

SAWM has been successful in writing and obtaining grants totaling over $500,000 in recent years from the Wisconsin DNR to subsidize the cost of activities necessary to maintain the integrity of the Shawano Waterways, including the following:

  • Phase I Trial Treatment/Phase II Large Scale Treatment to control EWM invasive plant – 2014/2015/2016/2018

  • Update Aquatic Plant Management Plan – 2014

  • Clean Boats Clean Water – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 

  • Lake Management Plan – 2019-2021

  • Healthy Lakes Program - 2020, 2021

  • Weed Harvester equipment upgrades – 2019

  • Buoy and Navigational Lights Upkeep and Replacement - annually


Native Aquatic Plant Control

SAWM undertakes several activities annually to control native aquatic plants to ensure lake activities can be enjoyed by boaters, swimmers and fishermen, including the following:


  • Implementation of the Aquatic Plant Management Plan, including oversight of the targeted treatment of the invasive Eurasian water milfoil through contracting for chemical application, grant requests from DNR and other local municipalities, and post-treatment monitoring.

  • Acquire and maintain equipment for aquatic plant harvesting activities.  Harvesters cost approximately $250,000 and were purchased by SAWM with the assistance of DNR grants.

  • Hire, train and pay staff to operate harvesting equipment during the summer months.

  • Skim floating weed beds and remove from the lake to reduce the amount of weeds that would otherwise float to shore or interfere with boat navigation.  This also removes a harmful source of nutrients that would otherwise facilitate additional undesirable aquatic plant growth.

  • Provide private weed cutting services to SAWM members at cost.

  • Chemically treat buoy lanes throughout the lake to facilitate boat navigation.  A SAWM member voluntarily maintains the necessary licensing credentials.  SAWM acquires and pays for the required DNR permits.



In addition to collaborating with the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, UW Extension, College of Natural Resources Stevens Point, Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, SAWM maintains partnerships with various other stakeholders, including the following:


  • Waterways Association of Menominee and Shawano Counties (WAMSCO).  SAWM collaborated with other local lake community organizations to form this organization in 2015.  WAMSCO facilitates education, research, cooperative resource sharing and best practices between organizations, individuals, government bodies and the general public of Menominee and Shawano counties.

  • Local communities, including the Shawano County Board, City of Shawano, Town of Wescott, Village of Cecil, and Town of Washington and the Town of Richmond.  SAWM board members provide regular updates to these municipalities on the health of Shawano Lake and our efforts to maintain it.

  • Local business organizations, including the Shawano Chamber of Commerce and local Rotary Club.  The lake has a significant impact on the Shawano economy and local businesses, who have a vested interest in maintaining the Shawano waterways as an attractive community asset.

  • Other local entities, including local media (radio and print), Shawano Ski Sharks, local fish clubs, and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

  • Shawano Community High School.  SAWM has partnered with the school to involve students in monitoring activities, particularly the Clean Boats Clean Waters program, where students perform 200 hours of inspections annually.


Member Services

SAWM is heavily dependent on the support of its membership to be able to fund the activities necessary to maintain the health of the Shawano Waterways.  Services provided to members and activities undertaken to ensure best practices are followed include the following:


  • Annual membership drive and communications to the approximately 1,370 waterfront property owners on Shawano Lake, the channel and the Wolf River.

  • Annual meeting to update the membership on current and planned activities.

  • Weekly email newsletter to regularly provide information on SAWM activities as well as inform members of local community events as well as support our business partners.

  • Monitor legislative activities that impact the waterways and communicate them to the members.  We are your eyes and ears to issues that can directly impact you as a waterfront property owner.

  • Fund continuing education opportunities that directly impact the waterways for board members and volunteers, including training for stream monitoring, attendance at the annual Wisconsin Lakes Conference, participation in the Wisconsin Lake Leaders program, and participation in Wisconsin DNR conferences and training opportunities as well as other seminars, workshops and conventions.

  • Meet monthly in open board meetings to discuss current issues and concerns and develop strategies to address them.  The time and place of the board meetings will be listed in our email newsletter, on our website, and on our Facebook page.

  • Clean Boats Clean Waters

  • Maintain a website and Facebook page that is accessible to members and non-members.





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