2016 Shoreland Survey

Special Report for RLPOA Members

A survey of the riparian zone of Round Lake (WBIC 2395600) was completed in August 2016. Methods were modified from a draft protocol developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Surveyors estimated percent cover of shrub/herbaceous plants, tree canopy, impervious surfaces, and lawn at each tax parcel. All data were collected from a boat cruising slowly along shore. Presence and absence of runoff concerns were recorded and human modifications in the bank zone were estimated in the number of linear feet along shore. Maps were created of the percent cover in order to identify areas of concern based on their potential to impact water quality. Areas of concern had high impervious surface cover, high lawn cover, and/or low shrub/herbaceous cover.

Results suggest there are very few impervious surface concerns within the 35-foot riparian corridor. It should be noted, however, that the impervious surface cover does not include most buildings since the current statewide standard for setbacks is 75 feet. Estimating percent cover of impervious surface beyond 35 feet can be difficult depending on visual obstructions. It is also difficult to know a structure’s size when observing from a boat. Results also suggest lawn cover is high in some areas and shrub/herbaceous cover is low in some areas. Maps revealed that the areas of high lawn cover are also those with low shrub/herbaceous cover, as would be expected. It is these areas that could be mitigated to protect water quality. Lawn and stairs/trails to the lake were the most common runoff concerns present in the riparian zone. Rip rap was the most common human modification in the bank zone.

Management recommendations include 1) Identify areas where improvement in riparian cover is a realistic possibility and reach out to those landowners. 2) Include regular appeals in newsletters and the website that call property owners to be stewards of water quality by having shoreland cover that is more shrub and herbaceous plants and less lawn. 3) Help and encourage landowners of newly developed sites to keep shoreland buffers and minimize impervious surface and lawn cover.

The full report with maps can be found here.