Sept. 28, 2015
Kaukauna, Wis.–The Fox River Navigational System Authority, (FRNSA) will reopen the closed Menasha lock in order move larger boats through the lock to Lake Winnebago en route to winter storage. The FRNSA is working cooperatively with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to manage the special lockage Thursday, October 1.
On September 3, the DNR asked to close the Menasha lock due to reports of finding an invasive fish called the round goby near the Neenah Dam. The Menasha lock is the southernmost lock on the system and links Lake Winnebago to the Fox River.
The round goby is an invasive species already found in the Great Lakes and the bay of Green Bay. The DNR is concerned the fish could invade the waters of the Fox River and be transmitted to Lake Winnebago, home to sport fishing species such as walleye and lake sturgeon.
According to Bob Stark, CEO of the FRNSA, the lock closure left many boaters stranded and unable to get to their home ports. “Many of these boats are too large to trailer and need to return to their home ports for winter storage,” Stark said.
The DNR is coordinating how the water will be chemically treated to ensure no goby can pass the lock during this special operation on Thursday, October 1. Officials from the DNR will be on site to manage the chemical treatment of the water to ensure the lock will be free of the goby during the transfer.
“We have identified several boat owners who will be moving their boats at this time, but there still may be boaters in the community who have not contacted us, so we ask that you get in touch with us as soon as possible.” Stark says this will be the only opportunity to move large boats through the lock before the end of the season on October 4.
Boat owners who want to move their boats through the lock are asked to contact the Authority at (920)759-9833 or email at [email protected].