FOND DU LAC, WI (WTAQ) - Five Wisconsin counties are working together on a plan to improve the quality of the lakes on the Lake Winnebago system.
Calumet, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, Waushara and Winnebago Counties are applying for up to $100,000 in grants from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to study ways to improve those bodies of water.
Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan have a huge economic impact on the counties. In 2006, a study shows $300 million was generated just by fishing on the lakes.
"Collectively taking a look at everything that has gone on for the planning of Lake Winnebago, water quality issues and aquatic vegetation and seeing where we can pool resources to create an overall plan," Erin Gerred, Director of Administration for Fond du Lac County, tells FOX 11.
Calumet County will write the grant application and administer the funds if the grant is awarded. It will also help study the public health and economic effects of the Winnebago system.
One of the biggest issues boaters and fishermen would like to see tackled is cleaning up the weeds.
"I think the weeds are terrible in places on the outskirts like on the west end," Vern Bartles of Fond du Lac tells FOX 11.
The DNR will rank the Winnebago system grant request with other competing grants at a meeting next month. They are expected to make the grant awards in October. If the Lake Winnebago grant is selected, public input will also play a part in shaping the project.