To the Editor:

Rush Lake’s claim to be “the largest prairie pothole east of the Mississippi,” may be in trouble.

Before the recent spread of invasive cattail, Rush Lake was already shrinking according to USGS Maps. USGS could easily erase vast additional acreage.

Fancy titles aside, what would this mean for the environment, wildlife and people?

I led the failed Rush Lake planning project which was ended in 2020; I was president, treasurer, and board member of Rush Lake Watershed Restoration, Inc. (RLWRI) until April 2021. RLWRI released a report entitled “Rush Lake’s Uncertain Future: What Now?” after the project ended. Page 11 of this report, available for download at, addresses the acreage concern.

There is hope. A consultant spoke on behalf of Ducks Unlimited at RLWRI’s April 2021 meeting. They communicated that over $250,000 in grants have been awarded to them to conduct large-scale burning and more on Rush Lake in the near future.

RLWRI plans to discuss this important project at its public summer meeting. RLWRI plans for the public summer meeting to be Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Nepeuskun Town Hall.

Anyone who cares about Rush Lake, the local environment, or wants to better understand how Wisconsin’s lakes are managed, should take interest in this meeting and the aforementioned report.

I believe that Rush Lake’s prospects depend on someone taking ownership and actively managing Rush Lake. This report and public meeting delineate how this may come to be.

— Brett Helmbrecht


(1) comment

Dale Failor

Humans are destroying Rush Lake as much as nature. Allowing Deer Farms in the area is cutting off natural path ways of wild life and creating a shortage of wild life viewing to people who come here for this reason. Man kind is natures biggest threat. Rush Lake needs help in both man kind matters as well as natures problems. The DNR is not doing their job on protecting a wild life area that needs to be.

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