PACRS is about working together to make a positive change. In order for positive change to take place it is very necessary that trust and partnership be the cornerstone of any discussions. It’s important that working together becomes the way, not the exception. These two attributes, trust and partnership played a significant role in the accomplishments and projects listed on this page.


  • PACRS donated $1,000 to the River Alliance of Wisconsin. PACRS receives guidance and support from the River Alliance all year long. River Alliance has developed the Wisconsin Water Agenda which lays out the 12 elements needed to achieve clean water in Wisconsin.  You can sign up for updates on this program by following this link:
  • PACRS donated $1,000 to support UW Extension Cover Crop conference held February 20th 2020 in Stevens Point, WI. 400 area farmers attend this conference and shared their experiences with no-till and cover crops.  This is important to PACRS as these practices keep soil where it belongs, on the farm.  Phosphorous attaches to soil.  When there is soil runoff these particles enter our waters and cause algae blooms.
  • PACRS took a lead role in sponsoring the 2020 Wisconsin Land and Water State Conference held in Green Bay, WI in March 2020. This organization is a non-partisan 501(c) 3 focused on supporting the efforts of best practices in the Land and Water Conservation Departments in all Wisconsin counties.
  • PACRS donated $1500 to Consolidated Musky Club for stocking of muskies in Lake Petenwell. PACRS also donated $1500 to Muskies Matters for stocking of muskies and perch in Castle Rock Lake.

PACRS supports the 14 Mile Creek Watershed Committee in Adams County. Their 9 Key Element Plan approved by the EPA and WI DNR in July.  This watershed is extremely important to our lakes as the creek drains into Lake Petenwell.  The plan has a 65% reduction in phosphorous to meet the WI River TMDL.  The 14 Mile Creek Watershed is 55,000 acres of which 50% is cropland.

  • The WDNR reported the monitoring station at Biron Dam has a decrease in phosphorous over the past several years. The Biron Dam is downstream from Mill Creek where the Farmers of the Mill Creek Watershed have been implementing best practices of cover crop and no till.  PACRS recognizes their efforts have improved the health of soils over the past 5 years.
  • PACRS awards Roth’s Golden Acres in Wood County with our Conservation Award. The Roth’s are very conscience about their farm management and soil loss.  They have been practicing no till for over 10 years.
  • PACRS sponsored the Central Wisconsin Farm Profitability Expo. The virtual sessions started in December.  Over 4 months, the series will have speakers that address farming practices that our conservation minded and profitable.


  • The Wisconsin River Basin TMDL has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The TMDL is an effort that began with PACRS over 11 years ago.  In 2020, 1/3 of the waste treatment plants in our watershed will come up for permit renewal and new phosphorus limits will go into place.  The Wood County Land and Water Conservation Department wrote a 9 Key Element Plan for the Mill Creek Watershed.  The plan was also approved by the EPA.  This watershed now qualifies for funds to make changes on the land that ultimately result in less runoff and improved water quality for our lakes.
  • PACRS donated $1,000 to the River Alliance of Wisconsin. PACRS receives guidance and support from the River Alliance all year long. Our donation went towards sponsorship of their “River Bash” held in September.
  • PACRS took a lead role in sponsoring the 2019 Wisconsin Land and Water State Conference held in Lake Geneva in April. This organization is a non-partisan 501(c) 3 focused on supporting the efforts of 350 Land Conservation Departments.
  • Restaurant placemats for Petenwell and Castle Rock Lakes were updated with current information and 20,000 placemats were distributed to lake area restaurants. The placemats educate the public on what the TMDL is and what landowners can do to promote conservation.
  • PACRS donated $1,000 to Muskies Matters for the purchase of pit tags and pit tag readers. Pit tags are very small chips that are put under the skin of stocked musky.  The readers are used to scan fish for the chip.  This provides valuable information about the fish to Muskies Matter as well as the WDNR.
  • PACRS donated $1,000 to the Consolidated Musky Club in Wisconsin Rapids. Their club stocks fish on Petenwell Lake.
  • Rick Georgeson gave a presentation to the Wood County Citizens Ground Water Group in April. His topic was “Successful Engagement with the Agriculture Community”.
  • PACRS President, Rick Georgeson, provided testimony at the Water Quality Task Force Committee Hearing on June 12, 2019. Rick’s presentation to the legislators focused on the values of Petenwell and Castle Rock Lakes. When are waters are impaired, there is a loss of recreational use, health issues, decline of property value, tax revenue and a negative impact on businesses and tourism.
  • PACRS Fundraiser was once again held at Petenwell County Park. PACRS raised $3700. Which will be used to support water quality projects.
  • PACRS members attended the Farmers of Mill Creek Field Day held December 4th. Rick Georgeson gave a presentation to the attendees regarding our relationship with the Farmers of Mill Creek and the algae issues that plague our lakes.  50 high school students attended and could see why the farmers efforts were so important to conserve their land and our waters
  • PACRS was a sponsor at the Discover Farm Conference held on December 11th in Wisconsin Dells. The theme this year was “Looking Ahead with 2020 Vision”. How farmers can keep water clean.  Approximately 200 people attended this year conference.  Our logo was on the conference brochures.


      • January 2018 – PACRS donated $2,000 to Wood County for the purchase of a no-till drill that would be used by any farmer in Wood County.
      • February 2018 – PACRS awarded John Eron and Wallendahl Farms with signs of recognition for their efforts for land and water conservation practices on their farms.
      • March 2018 – Healthy Soil Healthy Water Workshop held in Marshfield.
      • March 2018 – The Wisconsin River TMDL is drafted and open for public comment. Patrick Oldenburg is chosen by the DNR to manage the TMDL project.
      • April 2018 – PACRS receives $2800. in donations from Thrivent Choice Customers. PACRS was approved in 2018 as a non-profit in which customer can donate their funds.
      • June 2018 – PACRS received a donation of $1961.from the Duck Creek Watershed Advisory Group. Their group was dissolving and they donated their remaining funds to PACRS.
      • June 2018 – Farmers of Mill Creek held their field day on June 20th. Members are invited to see demonstrations on inter-seeding cover crops.
      • June 2018 – PACRS donates $1,000 to Muskies Matters for their pit tag and pit tag reader project. This will allow the group and DNR to retrieve data on fish that were stocked.
      • August 2018 – PACRS holds a Pontoon and Politics event that celebrates the Wisconsin River TMDL. Politicians, businesses and members gathered at the Germantown Town Hall to hear the latest update.  Lunch and a tour of Castle Rock Lake followed on the Crusin Turtle from the Dirty Turtle restaurant.
      • September 2018 – PACRS Annual Meeting and Fundraiser was held at Petenwell County Park
      • October 2018 – PACRS donates $500.00 to Central Wisconsin Nature Foundation to help offset their costs for their Water Walk on September 15th. The walk is to raise awareness of how important water is in our lives.
      • December 2018- PACRS receives a grant of $1500. from the Alliant Energy Foundation for our restaurant placemat project.


      • Helped sponsor Heathy Soil Healthy Water Conference with 130 attendees at Midstate Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. 50% of attendees were agricultural producers.
      • Support continues for the Clean Boats Clean Water program on both Petenwell and Castle Rock Lakes.


      • Participated in the 5th Annual Wisconsin River Water Quality Symposium held in March 2015.  Grant money that made the Symposium possible in prior years was no longer available. PACRS raised $5,000 from sponsors so this event could be held.
      •  PACRS brochures and holders were distributed to over 30 area businesses raising awareness of our mission and encouraging membership.
      • Held first annual funding raising event in September at Petenwell Coounty Park.
      • Support of Clean Boats Clean Water programs continue on Petenwell & Castle Rock Lakes
      • Wisconsin River Power Co completed a ¾ mile stretch of shoreline stabilization on Castle Rock Lakes. Encouraged by PACRS,  300 lineal feet of sturgeon spawning habitat was incorporated into this project.  Larger boulders for channel catfish were also added.  PACRS members worked with WRPCO on this project.
      • A face to face meeting with DNR Secretary, Cathy Stepp was held in October. PACRS and 4 additional citizens groups met with Secretary Stepp to discuss the implementation of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) water quality study. Implementation is to start in 2016-2017.


      • Invite county conservationist to speak at monthly PACRS meetings to keep awareness of county issues.
      • Recruit new board members in order to keep diversification within PACRS.
      • Hold Pontoons & Politics in 2014 for local county officials.
      • Finished new website and brochure.
      • Support continued for Clean Boats Clean Water on Castle Rock and Petenwell Lakes. Over 600 hours were spent at boat landings and 1,054 boats inspected.


      • Secured extended state funding, by working with area legislators, to conduct a water quality study of the Wisconsin River. The study is referred to as Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL. Read more in the project section of this page.
      • Challenged the DNR on the implementation of new phosphorus rules.
      • Received a DNR River Planning Grant to grow our organization.
      • Successfully negotiated with the Department of Natural Resources and the Domtar paper manufacturing plant for a stricter phosphorus limit for Domtar’s Rothschild facility.


      • A mechanical “profiler” that automatically collects water quality data and sends to the WDNR was installed with PACR assistance.
      • Successfully encouraged Wisconsin DNR to implement a water quality study for Mill Creek,a tributary to Petenwell/Castle Rock.
      • PACRS volunteers worked Clean Boats, Clean Waters boat inspections at several landings on Petenwell and Castle Rock.
      • ABC NEWS ran a segment in September 2012 interviewing PACR board member Tom Koren about blue-green algae conditions and the impact


March 10, 2011 PACRS becomes 5013c non profit status

      • Installed 1,500 native plants near devil’s elbow to help take up nutrients and provide habitat. This project was done in partnership with Wisconsin River Power Company, Wisconsin DNR, and Adams County Land Conservation. Repeated in 2012.
      • Collected and identified species of blue-green algae for research conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is tracking the algae phenomenon.
      • Received River Champion Award from River Alliance of Wisconsin.


      • PACRS was successful in keeping phosphorus rule in place by engaging in letter writing campaign to legislators.
      • 2nd Pontoon and Politics In attendance were DNR Sec Kathy Stepp, Rep Ed Brooks, Julie Lassa, Scott Krug, Herb Kohl’s assistant Colleen Thomas, and Tom Petri assistant Time Lakin
      • Began Carp Catch for testing at Wisconsin Department of Hygiene to determine dioxin and pcb levels.
      • Reached out to several other watershed and river friends groups and organized tours of farms and manufacturing facilities to learn more about water quality problems and to share our concerns about it.


      • Held our First Pontoons and Politics tour of Lake Petenwell with area legislators to highlight the effects and negative impact of summer algae blooms. Rep. Marlin Schneider and other elected officials attended.
      • Collected data for 4 years on water clarity and other measures of water quality for local, state and federal agencies making management decisions about Wisconsin River
      • Succeeded in getting a new winter “drawdown” established for Lake Petenwell, designed to improve water quality and fish habitat, by working with Wisconsin DNR and Wisconsin River Power Co.
      • Attended and spoke at DNR public hearings in Eau Claire, Appleton, and Wausau in support of proposed phosphorus rule

Draw Down

In the winter of 2009, WRPCO (Wisconsin River Power Company), WDNR (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) and PACRS (Petenwell And Castle Rock Stewards), worked collaboratively to delay the winter draw down on Lake Petenwell in an attempt to have aquatic plants re-establish themselves.

Restoring the aquatic plant community in the littoral (between the high and low water levels) zone would improve fish and wildlife habitat as well as attenuate nutrients that otherwise could create serious algal blooms on the reservoir every year. A mutual agreement to postpone the draw down to after February 10 was reached. The winter of 2010 was the first year of the delayed draw down and then again in 2011 and 2012.

WRPCO will again implement the delayed drawn down on or about February 10, 2014, as long as safety is not an issue. After the vegetation survey is taken, we will have completed a 5 year study to determine if the delayed draw down is effective at stimulating aquatic plant growth.

PCO, planted aquatics in the upper reaches of Lake Petenwell in the summer of 2012 and 2013. These sites are not included in the plant surveys regarding the draw down.
We appreciate the cooperation and efforts WRPCO and WDNR have provided on this study.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), together with many public and private partners throughout the basin, are working to improve water quality of the Wisconsin River, its reservoirs, and tributaries. The water quality improvement study will be undertaken in the form of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The TMDL study and implementation plan will provide a strategic framework and prioritize resources for water quality improvement in the Wisconsin River Basin. The Wisconsin River TMDL study area spans Wisconsin’s central corridor from the river’s headwaters in Vilas County to Lake Wisconsin in Columbia County, covering 9,156 square miles – approximately 15 percent of the state. Under existing conditions, many reservoirs and tributaries in the Wisconsin River do not meet water quality standards due to excess pollutant loads, meaning they are not suitable for their designated uses, such as fishing, wildlife habitat, and/or recreational activities such as boating and swimming. The Wisconsin River Basin total maximum daily load (TMDL) will determine the total amount of phosphorus and suspended solids that can be discharged into the river, its tributaries and reservoirs, and still meet water quality standards and develop a plan for achieving the needed reductions.

The study, which is slated for completion in 2017, was the result of local residents and business engaging their legislators by providing pontoon rides on Petenwell and Castle Rock Reservoirs in 2008. After these elected officials observed the water quality problems firsthand, the state legislature allocated funding for a water quality improvement project, and directed the WDNR to develop a TMDL. The TMDL incorporates various components including water quality monitoring, modeling, and an allocation process which will require proportional reductions in phosphorus upstream to achieve phosphorus goals in Petenwell and Castle Rock.

To learn more about how the WDNR and their partners are working to improve water quality in Petenwell and Castle Rock as well as the rest of the Wisconsin River Basin, please visit