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​Wisconsin Lakes Partnership

2008 Convention Archive

Concurrent Sessions I

 Friday, April 18
1:00 - 1:50pm 

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: Coming Soon to a Lake Near You?

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

Aquatic invasive species have been arriving in the U.S. for years.  Over 50 years ago, sea lamprey control began in the Great Lakes and is ongoing at a cost of nearly $19 million annually.  Had we foreseen the devastating consequences and costs of the sea lamprey on our Great Lakes ecosystem, to what lengths would we have gone to prevent its spread?  Today, with over 180 non-native species in the Great Lakes, many of them now pose a threat to our inland waters due to movement of boats, boaters, trailers, and equipment.  This presentation will review the pathways by which aquatic invasive species have entered the Great Lakes, the impacts of some of these species, the pathways via which these organisms spread to inland waters, and efforts to prevent their introduction and spread.
Presenter:  Phil Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant

Water Law

Legal Updates

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

Should Wisconsin courts protect lakefront property owners from water pollution that restricts navigation and damages the lake ecosystem?  Should it matter if the type of pollution isn’t subject to state permits?  How much water quality damage should be tolerated before the courts order the polluter to stop?  Learn more about key questions that have been presented in a major case pending before the Wisconsin court of appeals.  In this session legal counsel for the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, Bill O’Connor, will discuss this and other recent court cases of interest to lakes.  This session will also include discussion of pending legislation affecting lakes and lake organizations, and a question/answer session for attendees to quiz the veteran water lawyer.
Presenter: Bill O'Connor, Wheeler, Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C.

Lake Science

Time to "Get Down" with Lake Levels

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

Fluctuation of water levels on lakes and rivers is natural and has been occurring since the lakes were formed.  Many aquatic plants, and the fish and animals that depend on those plants, need these times of low water levels to repopulate, reclaim, and essentially restore the lake ecosystem.  The process of fluctuating water levels is as natural as the lake itself.  When it is possible to control levels on flowages, fluctuating water levels is a viable tool for lake management, and can been used to create habitat and manage non-native species.  We will explore the positive side to lower water levels and what role they play in the dynamics of a lake’s ecosystem.  We’ll also show a real world example in Wisconsin where lake level management has proven to be effective in non-native control on Lake Alpine.
Presenters: Mark Sesing and Scott Provost, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Citizen Involvement

It Works for Our Community: The Unified Lakes Commission

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

The Eagle River Chain of Lakes, located in Vilas County, is comprised of 11 inter-connected waters.  The chain contains about 62 miles of shoreline, and over 1,400 riparian properties rest on its perimeter.  Efforts to manage Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) within the chain have met mixed results.  In order to move forward, a unique partnership consisting of four area municipal governments was formed to oversee lake management efforts for the chain, the first of its kind in Wisconsin.  The Unified Lakes Commission holds regular public meetings, assists in sponsorship of DNR grants, and serves as a means to collect the finances needed for lake projects.  Join us to learn more about how the commission was formed and how it serves our community well.
Presenters: Steve Favorite, Eagle River Unified Lakes Commission and Carolyn Scholl, Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department

Flora and Fauna

Help Us Find Wisconsin's Freshwater Sponges & Jellyfish

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

Approximately 8,100 species of sponges and 10,000 species of Cnidaria (jellyfish and related critters) occur worldwide, mostly in marine habitats.  About 14 freshwater sponges and a single freshwater jellyfish have been found in Wisconsin lakes and rivers.  Often overlooked, these animals fill important ecological niches.  This session will introduce convention goers to these fascinating components of Wisconsin’s fauna, including their identification, basic biology, zoogeography, and ecology.  The presentation will include an overview of research done in Wisconsin dating back to the early 1890s and report on current efforts to document these fauna using modern technologies.  The session will also offer tips to citizens interested in finding these creatures in their local lakes and introduce a new citizen monitoring and reporting program.
Presenters: Dreux Watermolen and Craig Roesler, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

Value of Lakes

Artists on Climate Change in the Northwoods: How Can We Reduce Our Carbon Footprint?

Friday 1:00-1:50pm

This unique outreach and education project brings together the compelling evidence of science, the interpretive talents of professional artists and the skills of educators to engage communities in learning about climate change in the Great Lakes region.  This session will highlight the section of the exhibit focusing on impacts of climate change on Wisconsin lakes, such as decreased ice cover, water clarity, fisheries and aquatic plants.  Learn how this project is a model for engaging communities in environmental issues by integrating art, science and education.
Funded by the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment and the Wisconsin Arts Board.
Presenter: Dolly Ledin, UW Center for Biology Education

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