COLA requested in March 2016 that WDNR set an upper-limit of 10 ppb for phosphorus for LCO as a means to preserve the two-story fishery. WDNR did not act, so COLA and the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of the LCO Tribe joined in legal action brought in Dane County Circuit Court to force the agency to set an appropriate phosphorus standard. In 2017, WDNR settled with COLA and the LCO Tribe and agreed to set a new phosphorus standard.
After five months, WDNR reversed course, reneged on the settlement agreement, and instead claimed that the existing 15 ppb phosphorus limit was adequate for Lac Courte Oreilles.
The Court did not appreciate WDNR’s disregard of its ruling, and, after WDNR’s protracted series of appeals, the Court demanded on July 2, 2019 that WDNR develop an appropriate phosphorus standard for Lac Courte Oreilles. Action from WDNR still awaits.