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DNR wants more water released into the Manitowish River

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Logo (From Wisconsin DNR).
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Logo (From Wisconsin DNR).

VILAS COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The state DNR said Friday that more water should be released from a dam in far northern Wisconsin, in order to preserve loons and other wildlife in the Manitowish River.  

A draft order calls for the Rest Lake Dam in Vilas County to reduce the river's water level by one foot each fall, instead of the annual three-and-a-half foot drop that's been in place since the 1930's.  

The DNR issued an environmental assessment a year ago, which showed that the dam's current operation has caused a number of ecological problems.  

Meanwhile, a number of property owners along the Manitowish River fear higher ice levels in the water -- along with the potential for ice damage on their shoreline properties.  

The DNR says it will not impose the new order for a year, to give landowners time to adjust.

Also, before the final order is issued, the DNR will hold public meetings on the proposed change on June 27th. Those sessions begin at 12:30 and 6 p.m. at the town hall in Manitowish Waters.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)