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Wisconsin Lakes Partnership

2010 Convention Archive

Concurrent Sessions IV

April 1, 2010
1:30-3:00 pm

Water Quality and Ecological Health along our Waterways

Techniques Used in Measuring Groundwater in a Lake

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Groundwater is a source of water, minerals, and potentially contaminants to many of Wisconsin’s lakes. The contributions that groundwater makes relative to the overall water budget of a lake, can vary by lake type, soil, and geology. A study of Mirror Lake in Waupaca County revealed that the diversion of surface water runoff away from the lake resulted in groundwater contributing more than 80% of the lake’s water budget. This talk will cover methods that can be used to learn about the quality of groundwater that is feeding a lake and where groundwater is entering/leaving a lake. Knowing this information may provide insight into actions that could improve lake water quality. Areas identified with significant groundwater inflow to a lake may be considered “critical” and protected by purchase of conservancy easements, changes in zoning, and/or education of landowners.
Presenter: Nancy Turyk, Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Stevens Point

Community Well Water Testing: What We've Learned from 20 Years of Testing

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

While many private wells in Wisconsin provide safe drinking water, some exceed the drinking water standard for nitrate, are bacteriologically unsafe, or have detectable levels of pesticides. For 20 years the Center for Watershed Science and Education has conducted community drinking water programs all across Wisconsin, an example of citizen monitoring at its best. In this session, we will show how the water test results have been used to identify local groundwater concerns, present a case study that illustrates the effects of land-use and geology on groundwater quality, show how routine testing by well owners can help to identify trends in groundwater quality, and lastly illustrate how increased knowledge generated by this program has enhanced groundwater management capacity in local communities.
Presenter: Kevin Masarik, Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Stevens Point

You, Your Lake and Groundwater

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Both you and your lake depend on groundwater. In this presentation, we’ll take a look at this mysterious substance. We’ll examine the journey of groundwater from rain to lake. We’ll explore how the changes to chemistry that result from the atmosphere, rocks and soil, and even our household use can change groundwater. Finally, we’ll examine how those changes might be important to our lake and what we can do to help our groundwater
Presenter: Paul McGinley, Center for Watershed Protection and Education, UW-Stevens Point


New Knowledge on Shorelands & Shallows

Rush Lake: Restoration of a Deep Water Marsh

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Rob McLennan, a Wisconsin DNR Watershed Supervisor in the Upper Fox River Basin, will discuss restoration efforts on Rush Lake, a once highly degraded deep water marsh, impounded by a dam on the lake’s outlet stream. Recently the ecological health of Rush Lake became severely degraded due to human-induced, artificially stable water levels and the action of rough fish. This resulted in severe declines of bulrush and other aquatic plants, water quality, and the fish and wildlife communities of the lake. In 2000, local concerned citizens and representatives from local, state and federal governments began meeting to discuss the problems and solutions for Rush Lake. This session will cover implementation of a drawdown and other management actions which have resulted in restoration of aquatic habitat and water quality, and the status of Rush Lake as a premier waterfowl hunting destination.
Presenter: Rob McLennan, Upper Fox River Basin Watershed Supervisor ,Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Shoreland Restoration: Getting to the Roots of the Issue

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

This session will explore the collective wisdom, discoveries and new directions of specialists in shoreland restorations. Attendees will learn what to include in a site evaluation and how to treat the shoreline as a system and bioengineering tricks-of-the-trade. This session will also cover plant selection - the littoral root of shoreland restoration success (pun intended). New research on the social dynamics of the shoreland site owner, neighborhood and local units of government will also be highlighted.
Presenter: Mary Blickenderfer, Extension Educator, University of MN-Extension


Waterfront History, Policy and Regulation

Water Law and Policy Updates

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

This session will highlight current legislative activity important to Wisconsin’s lakes. It will touch on proposed legislation to reform State groundwater laws, new statewide shoreland management rules, and bills passed this Session on nutrient management and boating regulation. Important court cases that the Wisconsin Association of Lakes is involved in and/or tracking will also be discussed.
Presenter: Bill O'Connor, Legislative Counselor, Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL) and Attorney, Wheeler, Van Sickle and Anderson, S.C.


Economics of Shoreland Management

The Behavior and Lake Services Valuation of Shoreline Residents in Vilas County

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

What would you be willing to pay for increased water clarity, green frog conservation, open space, control/prevention of invasive species, and increased fishing quality? We will take a look at what folks in Vilas County said in response to this non-market valuation analysis. This type of valuation and the perceived economic benefits of lake amenities, including resident’s lake knowledge and behavior may be useful to government and community organizations seeking to stimulate cooperative effort to maintain or improve lake health.
Presenter: Kathryn G. Anderson, UW-Madison Center for Limnology/Agriculture and Applied Economics

Youth Protecting Wisconsin Waters: The Department of Workforce Development Boat Inspection Initiative

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

In the summer of 2009, an increase in watercraft inspectors was made possible by a new project and partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Forty-nine young adults who were unfamiliar with aquatic invasive species (AIS) or outreach efforts were given the opportunity to become educators and help protect Wisconsin’s lakes by working as inspectors. With the support of numerous partner organizations and outstanding supervisors, these young adults, known as the Water Force, conducted boat inspections in 23 counties. Many of them gained valuable work experience and insight into their career interests, while lakes with an AIS presence gained some much needed boat inspections. Join us at this session to learn how our partnerships were key in the evolution of the Water Force project and discover what lessons were learned for future inspection efforts.
Presenters: Jeff Bode, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Erin McFarlane, UW-Extension Lakes


The Land and Water Interface

What Changes in Lakes as Water Levels Decline?

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Buzz will explain how a combination of lake type, geography, weather and human use has lead to particularly low water levels in some Wisconsin lakes.  He will review some of the geological history of Wisconsin, beginning 10,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated, leaving Wisconsin with over 15,000 lakes. Buzz will share examples from the Northern Highlands lakes region to emphasize declines in summer rainfall over the past five to six years, which for some lakes has produced a prolonged drought.  He’ll tell us how large deep lakes are often low on the landscape, such as Trout Lake, and that they receive water from many sources and show less impacts and change during drought periods.  Conversely, he’ll also show us how lakes high in the landscape, such as Muskellunge and Sparkling Lake, show a “top of the hill” effect when groundwater levels drop.  Sorge will provide us with examples of the drought effect on the four types of lakes based on water source and type of outflow: seepage, groundwater drainage, drainage, and impoundment.  Buzz will also highlight chemical ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus and how they can affect water clarity of lakes, with increasing phosphorus leading to more algae production. 
Presenter: Buzz Sorge, Lake Management Coordinator and Planner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Changes in Habitat with Declining Water Levels

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

As lake levels decline, some floating and submersed aquatic plants will be stranded above the water line and, at the same time, may grow deeper into the lake basin. Dead wood, important habitat for algae, fish and invertebrates will be stranded above the shoreline and no longer a part of the lake food web. Sedges and other land plants may colonize newly exposed shorelines, but this new real estate will also be prime habitat for terrestrial invasive species. This session will detail the changes in lake ecosystems as the water levels drop and how humans should treat these fragile habitats with care
Presenter: Susan Knight, Aquatic Biologist and Assistant Scientist with the UW-Madison Center for Limnology Trout Lake Station

Declining Water Levels in Northern Wisconsin’s Lakes: Natural Variations and the Implications of Climate Change

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

The recent unusually dry weather patterns have made low lake levels particularly noticeable. This session will discuss larger forces that are also at work on our lakes: climate change, water use and land use changes. Snow cover, rainfall, seasonal average temperatures, individual lake characteristics, and our society’s water use all play a role. Providing an overview of factors affecting lake levels in northern Wisconsin, this seminar will suggest strategies for adapting to a changing climate.
Presenter: Tim Asplund, Limnologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Human Dimensions of Shorelands and Shallows

Winnebago County Conservation Expo: Selling Shoreland Stewardship to a Wider Audience

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

During this session Keith Marquardt will share the experiences and information he has learned coordinating the Winnebago County Conservation Expo. The presentation will cover the genesis, planning, coordinating, implementation, and results of the past three Expos (2007-2009). The Expo is designed to inform, educate, provide resources, and most importantly, engage the general public in water quality issues and promote conservation practices. The Expo’s message is that conservation can be done by everyone and that relatively simple practices are economical and effective at improving our water resources.
Presenter: Keith Marquardt, Project Technician, Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department

Lake Fairs: A Great Way to Engage the Public

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

The Lac du Flambeau Tribe began hosting annual lake fairs in the Lac du Flambeau community beginning in 1996.  Every year since, they have brought together families, agency personnel, tribal representatives, musicians, artists, and others to celebrate lakes and their importance to local life and culture.  So why do they still do it? Come find out how the lake fairs pay dividends by building partnerships, linking people together with common lake interests, and sharing cultural history and the arts between diverse neighbors.
Presenter: Brian Gauthier, Lac du Flambeau Tribe / UW-Extension Vilas County Community Resource Development Educator and Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Natural Resources Department


Lake Organization Capacity Building

Clark Lake Watershed Study: Building Partnerships to Achieve Protection Goals

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

In this session we will look at an example from the Clark Lake Advancement Association (CLAA) to learn about the steps involved in successfully carrying out a comprehensive lake and watershed study and subsequent management plan. CLAA used a series of DNR lake planning grants over several years to stage out their planning process. Their project began with a survey to identify key issues that were important to the lake community. In Clark Lake's case it was: water quality, boating in shallow waters, loss of bulrushes, and watershed management. No one lake organization can do it alone, as issues are complex, and solutions impact more than just lake residents and lake organizations. Find out how CLAA engaged others in the community to resolve complex issues and share in solutions.
Presenter: Paul Schumacher, Clark Lake Advancement Association/WAL Board

Rock River Coalition's Regional Groundwater Flow Model

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

The Rock River Coalition (RRC) was responsible for bringing together 17 municipalities and organizations to support development of a regional groundwater flow model for the Rock River Basin. This model, called GFLOW, was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with RRC, to simulate the groundwater flow system and groundwater/surface water interaction. The objectives of the regional model were to improve understanding of the groundwater flow system and to develop a tool suitable for evaluating the effects of potential regional water management programs.
Results from the model show: 1.) groundwater flow directions, 2.) groundwater\surface water interactions, as depicted in a map of gaining and losing river and lake sections, 3.) groundwater contributing areas for selected tributary rivers, and 4.) areas of relatively local ground water captured by rivers.
Joe Dorava, as President and then Past-President of the Rock River Coalition, took a major role in the coordination and development of the Groundwater Flow Model for the basin. The RRC envisions that this tool will help basin communities make better decisions about siting high capacity wells, and address emerging water supply and water quality concerns in the Rock River Basin.
Presenter: Joseph Dorava, Vierbicher Associates Inc.


Working with Citizens for Healthy Shorelands

Engaging Citizen Volunteers in Water Monitoring

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Streams and wetlands are rich in near shore habitat. Volunteer monitors in Wisconsin assess the presence and condition of these waterbody types. Over the past 12 years, they have conducted water and habitat monitoring, and/or amphibian and macroinvertebrate assessments, at more than 600 sites statewide. We'll talk about the Water Action Volunteers Program, the types of monitoring that citizens are conducting in this program, their findings, how their monitoring is related to shoreland issues, and what the future may hold for monitoring efforts in our streams and wetlands.
Presenter: Kris Stepenuck, Water Action Volunteers Program Coordinator, University of Wisconsin - Extension

The Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership: Promoting Collaboration to Advance Stewardship Statewide

Thursday 1:30-3:00 pm

Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes. Most are high quality resources highly valued by society for recreation and as places to live. These cultural demands place significant stresses upon these ecosystems, often resulting in undesirable changes. The large number of lakes coupled with limited management funds and staff necessitates innovative management approaches. One such approach is a partnership. The purpose of the recently formed Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership (MILP) is to engage state and local agencies, Native American Nations, outreach institutions (universities and other educational institutions), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, industries and citizens in a collaborative effort to ensure the quality, sustainability and ecological diversity of lakes, while considering society's needs. MILP promotes communication and cooperation between partners, communities and citizens interested in the management of Michigan's inland lakes, educating leaders, and strengthening stewardship efforts. Attend this session to learn more about the expanse of efforts MILP supports. Learn more about MILP at
Presenter: Dr. Jo Latimore, Michigan State University, Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife


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