Wisconsin Lakes Partnership
2009 Convention Archive
Concurrent Sessions II
March 19, 2009
3:00 - 3:50pm
Understanding Impacts of Invasives
Invasive rainbow smelt in Sparkling Lake: management experiments for addressing effects on food webs and fishes
Approximately 20 lakes in Wisconsin have been invaded by rainbow smelt, and hundreds more are vulnerable to invasion. In invaded lakes, rainbow smelt often negatively impact native fishes including yellow perch, cisco, and walleye. These impacts may cascade throughout the food web to alter other parts of the lake ecosystem. In this talk (which is aimed at lake users, managers, and scientists) we review scientific research concerning what kinds of lakes are vulnerable to rainbow smelt invasion and what impacts smelt may have when they do invade. We also discuss lessons learned from recent efforts to manage rainbow smelt in Sparkling, Fence, and Crawling Stone Lakes (Vilas County).
Presenter: Chris Solomon, UW-Madison Center for Limnology
Removal of rusty crayfish from Sparkling Lake: effects on the lake ecosystem and future prospects
Rusty crayfish were introduced to northern Wisconsin in the late 1950s, and have since spread throughout Wisconsin. Rusty crayfish negatively affect native crayfish species, aquatic macrophytes, benthic invertebrates, and sport fish populations. They can also reach extremely high densities, becoming a nuisance for property owners. Therefore, interest exists in developing methods for controlling or removing rusty crayfish from lakes where they have established. In this talk we describe an intensive rusty crayfish removal program in Sparkling Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin. Crayfish were removed by trapping throughout the summers from 2001-2008, and sport fish regulations were also changed to increase predation on crayfish by smallmouth bass. The density of rusty crayfish has decreased to the lowest levels observed in Sparkling Lake since rusty crayfish invaded, and native crayfish populations have recovered somewhat, although not to historical levels. Macrophyte cover has increased throughout the lake, as has the density of bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish. We will discuss ongoing work aimed at understanding the long-term impacts of this removal program, and to determine if any management actions now could prevent rusty crayfish populations from rebounding once the trapping stops. We will also discuss the potential application of this work to other Wisconsin lakes.
Presenter: Gretchen Hansen, UW-Madison Center for Limnology
Management & Control of AIS - Research Findings
Evaluation of Chemical Control Methods to Manage Aquatic Invasive Plants
This session will provide an overview of recent projects conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the WI DNR and others to evaluate the effectiveness of adjusting timing, dosage, and formulations of aquatic herbicides to offer more selective control of invasive plants like Eurasian water milfoil and curly leaf pondweed, while lessening unintended damage to desirable native aquatic plants. Results from a number of chemical control projects in Wisconsin will be reviewed. We'll also talk about how to choose the best management approach— whether you're dealing with a pioneering invasion or a lake with long established invasives.
Presenters: Dr. Mike Netherland, US Army Corps of Engineers Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, and John Skogerboe, US Army Corps of Engineers Eau Galle Aquatic Ecology Laboratory
Getting Kids on Board with AIS: A Program for Young Children
This session will take the participant through what is a fast paced, hands-on, integrative program. The program features: reading a story; listing the children's favorite activities in lakes or rivers and what they know about keeping that water safe; identifying problematic weeds and water on a real boat with post-it-notes; making a visor; learning a song; making a page in a book that will become a part of the libraries permanent collection; and receiving a gift bag to take home. This gift bag has stickers in it that they are to give away to any adult they know who owns a boat or fishes. Participants will receive samples of materials, lesson plans for implementing the program in their area, suggestions for initiating the program, and a Q and A time.
Presenter: Judy Ruch, Town of Presque Isle
Country /Regional AIS Coordination Strategies
Establishing a Communication Strategy
Vilas Country Town Lakes Committees Education Outreach Initiative - Many AIS public awareness methods have been implemented with the aid of AIS grant funding throughout lake rich Vilas County by recently formed Town Lakes Committees. This presentation will explain the concept of Town Lakes Committees and will highlight the innovative methods that have been employed to raise public awareness of AIS to a very high level for anyone living in or visiting Vilas County.
Presenter: Ted Ritter, Vilas County
Calumet County's AIS Communication Strategy - Calumet County is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, with Lake Michigan a mere 25 miles to the east. The County has few inland lakes or Lakes Associations, but has a huge population of residents who recreate on Lakes Winnebago and Lake Michigan. Many of these same residents trailer boats "up north". This presentation will outline some methods used to increase AIS education and public awareness throughout Calumet County and the surrounding region.
Presenter: Diane Schauer, Calumet County
Invasives at the Water's Edge & in the Great Lakes
Meeting the Challenges of Invasive Species in Wetlands
Wetlands are akin to kidneys for our land, providing us with valuable ecosystem services such as water storage to prevent flooding, buffers to anchor uplands, and filtration to protect ground and surface water quality. They are also vital homes to a rich array of plants and wildlife. Our wetlands are not only threatened by draining and filling for development, but also by invasive species. Invasive species can quickly crowd out valuable plants, changing high quality wetlands into monocultures with little habitat value. This session will discuss the challenges of managing invasive species in wetlands, new invasives on the horizon to be on the watch for, what we’re learning about ecological restoration of these vital systems— with practical examples, and a successful example of biological control with purple loosestrife.
Presenter: Brock Woods, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/UW-Extension Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Program Manager