Harvesting Updates - 2022 archive
Updates provided by Bob Fohey, Supervisor and Gary Kershaw, Harvest Chair. Questions and comments are appreciated. Contact Bob Fohey at 262-313-8894 or email@example.com
Week of 7/25
5 more weeks of weed harvesting remain -- our crew is still intact and doing well!
Our storage building was completed this week, see pictures of the 45’x60’ building and our new office/parts storage building.
East side: We stayed down in Segment 2 all week clearing all shore weeds and opening up laterals to the channel, we should finish up on Monday and move to town in Segment 1. Machine #6 will be down Monday A.M. to take care of a Hyd leak on one of our motors but hope to have it back up and cutting before noon. Weather has cooperated but could sure use some rain as lake levels continue to drop.
West side: We cut in Segment 7 by the campgrounds all week until this morning, due to the floaters moving east from this Segment we decided to stop for a day in Segment 6 to make sure this area is cleaned out again. We should be moving back down to Freedom Launch on Monday and will be there for the rest of the week or more. Minor issues with the cutter but for the most part everything ran ok. Freedom launch was worked on during the week and the area we park the conveyor had asphalt laid down, this will make it much easier on us going forward. This will be our 3rd time through the (3) Segments.
We had our Monthly Harvest meeting last Saturday, we had 3 property owners come from the West side of the causeway and no one from the East side. With all the people that live on the lake it’s somewhat disappointing that more people don’t show up.
Week of 7/18
We have 6 weeks left in the cutting season.
Notice: We’ve had people lately drive in to the district property and then turn around and drive back out not knowing what they want or who they may be. We’ve had some items missing not knowing what happened to those items. We are asking anyone that may want to visit the site to see the progress of our building or any other reason to call Gary Kershaw or myself to schedule a time to come over. No one is saying you can’t stop over we are just asking you to schedule a visit. We thank you for your cooperation on this matter.
News: Our trusses finally arrived on Tuesday so building will start back up on our storage building, should be completed by the end of next week. We will be hauling in fill to level out ground and get electric to building by end of August. Recommendations on anyone who does electrical work would be appreciated.
Harvest meeting: Saturday, July 23 at 9 a.m. at district site. Everyone is encouraged to come.
East side: Started out in Segment 3 again this week and due to high weed content we stayed there all week trying to get things cleaned up as well as possible. Weeds were really backed up on South side of lake and we were getting cutter loads in 15 to 20 minutes which made it hard for the transporter and dump truck to keep up. We should be back down in Segment 2 on Monday working on doing the same in that Segment. Equipment has been affected by the heat this week and we will need to replace the solenoid/starter on machine #5, part is on order should be here next week. We are still able to run it just can’t shut it off until the end of the day or it won’t restart.
West side: We are still down in Segment 6 this week property owners are socked in with weeds and we are finally seeing some light there, we’ve been taking 10 to 12 loads a day from that area. Machine had a minor issue on Tuesday with the middle conveyor, we were down for a few hours making adjustments. We are still experiencing intermittent issues with the conveyor motor that is hard to diagnose but we are getting by. We will be moving down to the campgrounds Monday morning. This means we should be back up to Freedom landing mid next week.
Week of 7/11
News: Storage building posts are in and are awaiting trusses which should be here on Monday.
Caution: Please be careful on the roads around the lake, we still have turtles crossing to lay their eggs and we have quite a few fawns that haven't learned to stay off the roads.
Lake weeds: Weeds will grow 10 to 12" per day when the water warms up, sun shines all day, and temps are close to 90!
East side: We finished up early in the week in Segment 1 and moved back down to hwy C landing and Segment 3. There is a backup of weeds in that area so we have plans to stay there all week to get this cleaned up. The hot weather is coming this week and that means the weeds will grow even faster.
West side: We finished up on Segment 5 Thursday and moved down to Segment 6, we concentrated around the trestle on Thursday and will start working our way west on Monday. Having issues with the engine on the conveyor but hope to work through it, this thing is 34 yrs old and needs replacing soon. Hope to get to the campgrounds by the end of the week.
Staff is still at full strength and everyone that started the season is still working hard for you. Knowledge of the lake and machines has gotten much better as time goes on. Couldn't ask for a better group of employees!
Week of 7/5
News: Our office building has been delivered and our new storage building will start being erected on Monday the 11th.
East side: Segment 2 was finished this morning and we moved downtown to Segment 1, this means we have been in all 3 Segments twice this yr. The Laterals should be more visible now and easier to navigate, Segment 3 still needs the laterals cut similar to the others and we will get to that next week. One of our harvester operators was off this week on a preapproved vacation. Dan B. filled in during his absence, this left the west side short but the east side was in need of his services. We also continued to maintain Segment 4 this week with Mike.
West side: We are in Segment 5 and there was only one day of harvesting in this Segment this week due to Dan being on the east side. We will be back at it on Monday and hope to be down on Segment 6 by the end of the week.
Misc: It was a short week due to the 4th of July but we will be back at full strength next week. Equipment for the most part operated with little to no issues this week even with all the hot weather. The lake level is dropping and some areas are getting difficult to navigate. We also have a large batch of Duck weed that is covering much of the lake and as you know the harvesters are unable to pick this up.
We continue to struggle to get a permit from the town dump to be able to get rid of our garbage, hoping the board members can get this resolved sooner rather than later.
Week of 6/27
You can call Bob Fohey at 262-313-8894 anytime between 7am and 4pm Monday thru Thursday for questions, comments, or concerns. If there is no answer, please leave a message and I will return your call. Any other time please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a reply within 24 hrs during work days. Emails received Friday thru Sunday will be taken care of on Monday morning.
EAST SIDE: We finished up on Tuesday with Segment 3 and moved down to Buffalo Lake lodge, we should finish things on the South shore on Thursday and move to the north shore mid day. Wind direction changes have hampered things but it is something we just deal with. Water levels have receded over the last week and some shore lines are not accessible to the harvesters. We should finish up in Segment 2 by Wednesday sometime. For the most part equipment ran as it should.
WEST SIDE: We finished up down by the Campgrounds on Segment 7 on Monday and moved back down to Freedom launch and Segment 5. Things look good in that area and Thursday we are working to flush some of the piers out, we hope to get to both sides by end of day Tuesday. By end of next week we are hoping to be back down on Segment 6. Equipment is performing well so far with only minor adjustments being required.
The new group of people that has been assembled is really doing well, they’ve learned a lot and are getting more efficient every day. In my opinion it’s the best team of concerned workers this district has had in a long time. They appreciate the positive comments from all the lake property owners!
We had a load of gravel delivered this week from Dick Wampler and a local that volunteered to level it out with his skidsteer for us. This is needed to get ready for delivery of the new office/storage building which is coming on July 5th. Our larger storage building should start in the 1st half of July with an anticipated completion by the end of the month.
We signed up with Marquette County to get fuel from county garage, it’s approximately $1.50/gal less than the gas stations. Hopefully it stays that way and we should see some good savings.
Please enjoy a safe and fun 4th of July!
Week of 6/20
Introduction to team members
East side: Rich Mcfaul: Transport operator/Harvester, James Weber: Harvester, Larry Witt: Harvester, Mike Wergin: Harvester/Transport operator, Mark Carney: Truck driver.
West side: Dan Braaksma: Harvester, Matt Blouin: Truck driver.
Tom Spinnato: Utility person
Bob Fohey: Supervisor
East side: We completed Segment 1 in town on Tuesday and moved back down to Segment 3 (hwy C landing); we concentrated on the South shore due to heavy weed concentrations. For the most part things went well and all equipment operated as it should. Plan is to finish this by end of day Tuesday and move down to Segment 2.
West side: We finished up on Tuesday as well in Segment 6 and moved down to the campgrounds for Segment 7 on Wednesday morning. We were glad we did as the weeds were heavy and lake owners were having issues using their piers for fishing and boating. We had a hiccup late Thursday with our conveyor that stopped us but we should be back up on Monday morning. That conveyor was purchased in 1988 so it’s seen its better days. We hope to be back down in Segment 5 by Tuesday.
I visited a few lake owners during the week that had some concerns and for the most part I believe after conversation everyone had a better understanding going forward. If you have issues that aren’t being addressed to your liking please give me a call or send me an email, we can’t resolve your issues if we’re not aware of them.
Site updates: Our storage building/shed construction should start next month and our office/work shed will be delivered in the next 10 days.
We encourage all of you to come to the meetings for info or concerns, participation is good.
Week of 6/13
Building permit has been approved for our new shed (45x60) and our new office.
Our new Inland Conveyor was placed at the Lodge Monday and put into use, a few minor modifications are needed in the future but it’s working just fine.
Our Harvester #7 has been having problems with the alternator all week, a replacement was ordered and will be installed on 6/17. Thanks to Dan B. this week as he kept it cutting down in Segment 6 by alternating batteries.
Harvester #5 developed a Hyd leak and with the help of Jim W. we were able to get it back in action with only minor downtime.
We finished harvesting weeds in Segment 3 and moved down to Segment 2 on Monday, the guys did well and finished up today and due to high winds we moved down to Segment 1 this afternoon. We also harvested weeds up in Segment 4 with our old Aquamarine harvester and concentrated on the north shore for most of the week. Mike W. is one of our new employees and he’s really doing well. All equipment performed well with little to no issues.
Dan B. ran Harvester #7 in Segment 6 this week, he did really well on the west side of the trestle, he’ll be back at it Monday working on the east side and then moving down to the campgrounds on Segment 7. Machine ran well except for issues with alternator which we’ll take care of on Friday.
Weather and wind played havoc with us again this week but for the most part the guys were able to work through it, says a lot for the type of people we have this year!
You are seeing quite a bit of duck weed right now and that’s something the harvesters are unable to pick up, just making everyone aware.
If you have issues and need to get a hold of me you can send an email to email@example.com or call Bob Fohey (Supervisor) at 262-313-8894. Again, questions or comments are welcome.
Week of 6/6
East Side: Harvesting on East side of lake started in Segment 3, weather was a factor for a couple of days but the guys made the best of a bad situation. We are nearing the end of completing segment 3 and will be moving to Segment 2 (Buffalo Lake Lodge) by the end of the week. No major issues to report, be patient as we have (3) new harvester operators and training was not as good as last years. The DNR did not approve early cutting this year due to a cold, late spring. The guys are really doing a fine job so far with very little on the job training. Minor adjustments on equipment but no major problems.
West Side: Harvesting on West side of Lake started in Segment 5 like every other year, weather issues affected us as well. Some areas are too shallow to get the harvester into but Dan is doing his best to get in every area that needs harvesting. We will be completing this Segment this week and moving down to Hollenbeck’s landing in Segment 6 by end of week. Have had one issue on a harvester that popped up this week is the Tachometer stopped working. This isn’t a show stopper as the HATZ diesel engine is made to run wide open by the factory. The one problem we have is the hour meter isn’t working as well. We will investigate this as soon as weather allows. Other than that things are progressing as planned.