"Are you passionate about the well-being of Elkhart Lake and the safety of boaters who enjoy its waters? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you! The Elkhart Lake Improvement Association is currently seeking individuals to join our board or volunteer their time to support critical initiatives, such as water quality monitoring and the installation/removal of Slow No Wake buoys. Your involvement can make a significant difference in preserving the beauty and safety of our beloved Elkhart Lake."  

For more information email us at

Elkhart Lake's Downtown Night huge Success

Elkhart Lake's Annual Downtown Night was held on Tuesday, August 15th after getting washed out on the 14th (3.9 inches of rain).  The proud board members of the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association didn't let it dampen our sprints while educating the public on how we "Keep Elkhart Blue".  Some of the topics covered were:  Our on-going watershed study, Invasive Weed Abatement Program, Quality Water Testing and Clean Boats/Clean Water Program, just to name a few.  While we were at it, we signed up 4 new members to help with ELIA's future efforts.

Smith: Wake surfing drawing more scrutiny, calls for restrictions in Wisconsin

As wake surfing has become increasingly popular, it has drawn more scrutiny as well as calls to limit the activity on Wisconsin lakes.  Wake surfing can dislodge aquatic vegetation and erode shores.

Paul A. Smith  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

These boats are also having an impact on Elkhart Lake!  Want to learn more? Read the whole article by "Clicking Here".

ELIA Annual Meeting

The Elkhart Lake Improvement Association held the Annual Membership meeting on June 9th, at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.  There were 118 members who attended the informative event. If you want to see what you missed you can check out the Power Point Presentation that was given.

A special thank you to General Manager John Steffes (also an ELIA Board member) and the Osthoff Resort for the first class setup that they provided us.

ELIA receives dnr grants

ELIA has recently received 4 DNR grants for calendar 2023.  These grants which require matching funds will help Keep Elkhart Blue in the coming years.

The first grant covers our Clean Boat Clean Water Program (CBCW) for another year.  This onsite educational program helps inform boaters coming onto and leaving the lake about invasives.  CBCW activity has been in place for over a decade.  CBCW also provides information to boaters about the lake and rules of the road while they are enjoying the lake.

The other three grants break new ground and are part of an overall watershed assessment project that ELIA is working on with the DNR, Sheboygan County Planning and Environment, and the Lake shore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP).

Grant 1-Elkhart Lake Best Management Practices - Native Shoreline Gardens

Partnering with property owners, ELIA is administering a grant to implement best practices from Wisconsin's 2019 Healthy Lakes & Rivers Action Plan.  This will include 350 sq. ft. of native plantings, diversions, rock infiltration, and/or rain gardens which will be designed and installed in various location along the lake.  All funded best practices, required contracts that must remain in place for 10 years and include minimum operation and maintenance requirements as a condition of the grant.

Grant 2 - Elkhart Lake Habitat Restoration - Prairie Installation & Tree Planting

ELIA is sponsoring a lake protection project to install a 25-acre prairie restoration on the Schaff property, located on a direct drainage area on the south side of Elkhart Lake.  Specific project activities include: 

Grant 3- Elkhart Lake Runoff Management - Feasibility Study & Concept Design

ELIA is sponsoring a project to develop a conceptual plan for the Neuses Bay Tributary BMP installation for Elkhart Lake.  Project final deliverables include:  Agenda and minutes for the Annual Meeting, and a conceptual design plan that includes methodologies, data complied and collected, and modeling results. Specific project activities include:

10 tips for safer boating this season

Paul A. Smith

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


To read this informative article "Click Here".

National Operation Dry Water campaign July 1-3 in Wisconsin

Boaters should expect to see more Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens and other law enforcement officers on Wisconsin waters July 1-3 as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign.

Wardens and other participating law enforcement agencies will be educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating and the need to wear life jackets, according to the DNR.

Alcohol use is a leading factor in recreational boating fatalities and nearly 80% of fatal boating incidents involve drowning, with many victims failing to wear a flotation device.

“Boating while impaired continues to be a problem on our waterways,” said Lt. Darren Kuhn, DNR boating law administrator, in a statement. “As law enforcement, it is our duty to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers and anyone enjoying our waterways have a safe place to spend their time. The tragedies that result from these boating under the influence incidents are 100% preventable.”

In Wisconsin, it is illegal for boaters to operate a vessel if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The DNR recommends to designate a sober operator if alcohol is part of a group's day on the water.

Since Operation Dry Water started in 2009, law enforcement officers across the nation have taken law enforcement action against 4,700 impaired operators, preventing dangerous and potentially devastating consequences, according to the DNR.

Boaters can learn more about boating under the influence by visiting Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Elkhart Lake Tourism offers "Keep Elkhart Blue" tips

The Elkhart Lake Tourism Commission recently published suggestions that will help Keep Elkhart Blue, titled "The Elkhart Way."  Here is one excerpt from their post.

"Leave only footprints…it’s the Elkhart Way

The lake — It’s the gem of our village, and when we all treat it like one then we all reap the benefits. Beach day? Leave it how it was when you arrived, if not, better. Boating? Respect “no wake” zones and hours, inspect your boat before you enter the lake and after you leave the lake. Remove. Drain. Dispose. We can all do our part in keeping Elkhart blue."

For more information on this initiative, follow this link.

Amazon Smile

   Haleluya Hadero


Amazon is ending a charity donation program it ran for a decade in its latest cost-cutting move.

In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said the program, called AmazonSmile, will shut down by Feb. 20 because it had “not grown to create the impact” the retailer had hoped. The program allowed Amazon to donate a small percentage of eligible purchases to a charity selected by shoppers.

The decision also comes as the Seattle- based company is laying off workers and axing different areas of its business in an effort to trim costs.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said earlier this month the layoffs at his company will impact about 18,000 employees. Jassy said the cuts will mostly affect the company’s retail division and its PXT organizations, which handle human resources and other functions.

The company said charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program will be provided a “one-time donation equivalent” to three months of what they earned last year through the program. They’ll also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes, it said.

Wisconsin residents have become increasingly concerned about the impact of wake boats on wildlife, habitat and other boaters. 

Public concerns about damage caused by wake boats in Wisconsin have resulted in requests by Natural Resources Board members for action, including new laws, to address the issues. Wake boats are power craft with special ballast tanks designed to increase their displacement and create larger than normal waves for surfing or tubing. Several thousand pounds of lake water are commonly taken into the tanks to increase the wake. Use of the boats has increased markedly in recent years, according to Darren Kuhn, DNR boating law administrator. “(Wake boating) is definitely a hot topic and it is definitely a growing sport in popularity,” Kuhn said at a recent NRB meeting in Madison. It’s also drawing more scrutiny. Issues arise when the wake poses a danger to other boaters, habitat and wildlife, according to several state residents who have testified at board meetings over the last year. The prop wash can also scour the lake bottom and damage aquatic vegetation. Further, the ballast tanks present serious risks for transfer of aquatic invasive species. The DNR has urged boaters to be aware of the risks and problems caused by boat wakes and to take steps to reduce big wakes. “The problem is the wakes create a safety hazard to everyone else using the lake, damage the environment, destroy personal property and erode the shoreline,” said Jeff Meessmann of Presque Isle at the September board meeting. Kuhn, the DNR’s boating law administrator, gave the board a presentation on enforcement issues related to wake boats at Wednesday’s meeting. Several state statutes apply to wake boats, Kuhn said. All boats are required to proceed at no wake speed when within 100 feet of any shoreline, dock or pier. Second is a law regulating wake which states “no person shall operate a motorboat so as to approach or pass another boat in such a manner as to create a hazardous wake or wash.” Third are statutes pertaining to AIS, including one that requires anyone who removes a boat from any inland or outlying water to immediately drain all water, including from ballast tanks. Violations of those statutes result in civil forfeitures, or citations, Kuhn said. Wake boat operators also could be charged with a potential criminal violation called “negligent operation.” It states no person may operate or use any boat in a careless, negligent or reckless manner so as to endanger that person’s life or property or the life, property or person of another.” DNR wardens have direct authority to enforce all of those laws statewide, Kuhn said. Board member Bill Smith said the DNR was called to take up the wake boating issues as part of its public trust responsibilities to protect the resources. “This is an issue that is developing rapidly and it might be a lot more effective and efficient to address it on the front end instead of presented with problems down the line,” Smith said. 

Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  

ELIA Seeks your input on the Elkhart lake Comprehensive Lake Management Plan

Here is the link for the Draft Elkhart Lake Comprehensive Lake Management Plan. Please provide comments on the Draft Elkhart Lake Comprehensive Lake Management Plan by Oct 24, 2022. Direct comments to Sarah Majerus at (920) 627-3183,, or Melissa Curran at (920) 841-1072, 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking boaters to help stop the spread of invasive, nonnative plants and animals in our waters. (To learn more, click on the link above)   

Elkhart Lake Study Seeks Your Input 

The Elkhart Lake Improvement Association (ELIA) is in the midst of a comprehensive lake watershed survey to assess impacts that are negatively affecting the water quality of the lake. And you can be an important part of the input that is being collected. All responses will be anonymous so there will be no use of any of your personal information. (Survey will be open through Sept. 16, 2022)


Here is an online link that will connect you to a short survey that will help capture a variety of Elkhart Lake user information. User input is an important part of the overall data base being created for this project. If you prefer a hard copy for your submittal, you can contact ELIA and a copy will be sent to you.


The goal of this assessment study is to help identify critical areas around the lake where improvements can have the most positive effect on maintaining and improving lake water quality.


The survey is being managed by Stantec, an environmental engineering firm which has been contracted by ELIA to perform the assessment work. This is being done through funding support from the Catharine B. Stayer family foundation, and is coordinated with the Sheboygan County office of Planning and Conservation and the Lakeshore Natural Resource  Partnership 


Based on assessment results, ELIA will be applying for DNR grant funding to help implement prioritized improvement projects.


Keeping Elkhart Blue is a long-term effort. The lake is in good shape but keeping it that way is critical for enjoyment by generations to come. Thank you for taking part in the survey and please feel free to raise questions or include any observations you may wish to share. Send your questions or observations to:  Contact ELIA.

Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting

Harvesting of Eurasian Water Milfoil (Invasive Weeds) took place on August 22, 23, and 24 in various areas around the lake.  For a full report, "Click Here".

Invasive weed treatment

There was a herbicide treatment applied to two areas of the lake late Monday afternoon, June 27th, 2022. It was in the outlet bay and Neuses bay. People in those bays should not use lake water on plants for 14 days. 

This, in combination with diver assisted suction harvesting, has decreased our concentrations of two invasive weeds while not decreasing the native weed population.

Osthoff supports Elia

On April 22nd, the Osthoff Resort Condo Owners recognized and supported the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association at their Owners Social.  The owners  hosted a ‘Wine Pull’ fundraiser and awarded ELIA with $1,000 check! 

Thank you to the Osthoff Resort and all the owners who supported this event, your generous support is truly helping to "Keep Elkhart Blue."

Water Quality issues caused by runoff

These photographs, taken in March of 2022, show that residential development and upstream agricultural areas are both significant contributors to water quality issues by runoff of nutrients. Runoff from the Shoreland Road County pipe is shown in these pictures during early spring runoff.

Elkhart Lake Water is Healthy but Mercury Contimination Remains an Issue

Elkhart Lake remains listed for mercury-contaminated fish tissue, and have been listed for that since 1998. The source of the mercury is listed as atmospheric deposition.  For more information on this subject, click here to read the Plymouth Review article. 

ELIA’s Annual Members Meeting was held at Quit Qui Oc Pavilion on 

August 5, 2021

The meeting was a success with many Members in attendance to hear committee reports, recent activities and the state of the Lake.  Meeting Minutes are found here. 

College Student Creates ELIA Video

Hannah Feltes, a junior majoring in elementary education at UW-Platteville, recently approached the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association Board of Directors seeking permission to do a short video on our organization. Hannah, who is from the Elkhart Lake area, shared that one of her college professors gave an assignment to create a video on something that they are interested in and passionate about. 

We are honored that Hannah recognized the importance of the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association and the history of our beautiful lake.  A special thank you to Hannah for her time and effort putting together this video.

Weed Treatment Occurring today! 06/17/2021

The lake will be treated today for Eurasian Water-Milfoil (EWM) and Curly-Leaf Pondweed (CLP).  The crew will be in the outlet bay and Neuses Bay for weed treatment and then in Sheboygan Bay for an algae treatment. There will be signs posted on the shoreline of affected areas. Yes, you can swim tomorrow and all weekend.

The DASH crew also will be coming soon and they will attack smaller patches of EWM and CLP that were identified last Fall.

Check Out Our New Video Of Beautiful Elkhart Lake

A special thankyou goes out to Austyn, Randy, and Dawn Bella (pictured above) from Bella Custom Design who made this video possible.

See the Video

Elkhart Lake Improvement Association Receives Impact Award

Initial 1968 ELIA Board of Directors:

ELIA was honored to receive the 2019 “Elkhart Lake Area Impact Chamber Award” thanks to all past & present ELIA Board of Directors, Members, & Volunteers!

Elkhart Lake Improvement Association P-Filter In the News

Sheboygan County and the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association teamed up to install a phosphorus filter bed to reduce phosphorus levels entering Elkhart Lake.  The Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine is featuring a article on the joint venture in their Fall 2019 magazine.  You can read the complete article by clicking here. 

In the Depot Dispatch: June, 2018

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “ELIA to kick off summer with Members Meeting.” The article discusses our annual meeting on June 15th, 2018 at Three Guys and a Grill East. Also, see “News from Elkhart Lake Improvement Association” article on boating safety regarding ski spotters, clean boats/clean water and an area speed limit change

Read the Article

Amazon Smile Helps Keep Elkhart Blue

Amazon seems to be everywhere these days, even in the small village of Elkhart Lake. If you have been making purchases through, then there is an opportunity for your purchasing power to help Keep Elkhart Blue.

Amazon has a sister website called Amazon Smile, which is their charity arm. Instead of going to the website, go to, log into your account, select Elkhart Lake Improvement Association Inc. as your charity to associate with your purchases, and proceed to make your purchases on the Amazon Smile site. Amazon will donate .05% of purchases (excluding shipping, taxes, fees), to ELIA.

Select Charity: Elkhart Lake Improvement Association Inc

For more information on Amazon Smile:

In the Depot Dispatch: March, 2018

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “ELIA works to keep Elkhart Blue.” The article reviews ELIA’s 2017 efforts and 2018 plans, as well as includes a New Year letter to members regarding the phosphorus filtration system, clean boat/clean water program, and bouy upgrades.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: September, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information about the organization’s participation in Downtown Night.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: July, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Boating rules will be enforced on lake.” The article discusses lake boating rules. It also talks about the removal of invasive species educational program from 6/30/17 to 7/4/17,  where boaters were rewarded with a microfiber towel stamped “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers”.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: June, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Our Lake has important rules!” The article discusses, lake safety, boating rules, regulatory buoys, and boating signs. It also details information about the Annual Meeting

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: May, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Keeping our lake safe – ELIA learns from convention” The article details ELIA’s participation in the Annual WI Lakes Partnership Convention. It also discusses ELIA’s participation on a legislative visit. More information also pertains to boating regulations on the lake.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: April, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Clean Boats – Clean Water – EL Improvement Association aims to keep lake clear.”

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: February, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “EL Improvement Association reflects on a successful year.” The article is a letter from ELIA President John Schott.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: January, 2017

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Lake turnover phenomenon explained.” The article discusses lake turnover/flipping with an illustration of the process.

Read the Article

In the Depot Dispatch: September, 2016

In this month’s Depot Dispatch, look for ELIA information in the article “Lake Association aims for good of all.” The article lists ELIA Committees, mission, BOD’s & contact info.

Read the Article