Nuisance levels of Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) are often treated with herbicides, but biocontrol using milfoil weevils is an enticing alternative treatment. We tested the effectiveness of milfoil weevils for control of EWM under natural lake conditions. In 2013, we began a field experiment in four lakes, stocking weevils in two beds and leaving two additional beds as controls in each lake. Background weevil densities were highly variable among EWM beds and were often greater than the densities stocked. Weevil damage to EWM was common and correlated to weevil density. However, growth of EWM was independent of weevil density and the biomasses of native plants and EWM were independent of stocking treatment. In a survey of 35 lakes from northern Wisconsin, weevils were more common in lakes with EWM that had not been treated with herbicides than in EWM lakes treated with herbicides or in lakes with northern water-milfoil and no EWM.
Integrated Pest Management:
Manual Removal of Eurasian Water-milfoil on Silver Lake
Learn about the partnerships, resources, and people that are “pulling” for Silver Lake, Waukesha County. A volunteer-driven Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) hand-pulling effort by the Silver Lake Management District and lake advocates has targeted a shallow water site that is now EWM free, as well as a deeper water location requiring SCUBA divers to remove the plant. In 2014, the Silver Lake Management District received a Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc. funding assistance award sponsored by the We Energies Foundation to conduct a Eurasian watermilfoil hand-pulling project utilizing scuba divers. See the process and equipment in action: underwater video of volunteer SCUBA divers from Underwater Connection in Delafield hand-pulling the EWM plants, the plant transfer to the above-water support team for secure disposal, as well as before and after video of both the shallow water and deep water locations.
Nate Rice, Silver Lake Management District
Panel Discussion: Integrated Pest Management Strategies
Join us for a panel discussion among staff and citizens who have experience with utilizing various methods to manage Eurasian water-milfoil and other invasives.
Jodi Lepsch, Water Resource Management Specialist, Wisconsin DNR
Amy Thorstenson, Executive Director, Golden Sand Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc.
Nate Rice, Silver Lake Management District
Susan Knight, Research Scientist at Trout Lake Station, UW-Madison
The Past, Present, and Future of the Secchi Dip-In
Originally called “The Great American Secchi Dip-In”, the first year of the Dip-In recruited 826 participants from six lake monitoring programs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Secchi Dip-In was created to enable volunteers to submit water clarity measurements to an online database and see how their data compare on a variety of scales, from regional to international. The program has also been utilized for volunteers to begin monitoring efforts and to increase monitoring efforts within their communities. In the midst of underfunded state volunteer monitoring programs, the Secchi Dip-In has served as a place for volunteers to continue submitting their data. The Secchi Dip-In is grateful for Wisconsin’s twenty-one years of participation and submission of more than 5,000 water quality measurements. This talk will focus on trends in Wisconsin’s water transparency and how it compares nationally.
Lauren Salvato, North American Lake Management Society
Citizens Monitoring Stream Flow and Lake Levels in the Wisconsin Central Sands
Citizens can collect much-needed, high quality streamflow and lake level data when appropriately recruited, trained, and deployed. In 2013 and 2014, conservation departments from five counties recruited volunteers to monitor stream flow and lake levels. Center for Watershed Science and Education (CWSE) staff trained volunteers to use professional grade OTT MF Pro flow meters. Throughout the Wisconsin Central Sands, volunteers and county staff monitored 73 stream sites monthly and 44 lakes bimonthly and entered data into the DNR SWIMS database. Join us to see how this amazing volunteer effort has evolved.
Jessica Haucke, Associate Research Specialist, WEAL Lab and Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Stevens Point
North Temperate Lakes Long-term Ecological Research Network
How do we know when shifts in walleye populations or ice duration are unique to a single lake or due to larger scale perturbations? Or, if the shifts are part of a natural cycle or indicative of a directional change? Wisconsin is home to the nation’s longest running ecological lake research program, the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (NTLLTER) Network. For thirty years, this program has measured physical, chemical, biological, and social variables in lakes in the Northern Highlands and Yahara Watershed. This long-term information, combined with experiments and modeling approaches, helps us understand different human impacts and environmental changes that shape the past, present, and future of lakes. In this talk, learn the importance of long-term monitoring data, how these data might be useful to your lake’s management, and how information from your lake might help understand the future of Wisconsin’s lakes.
Jessica Corman, Post-doctoral Research Associate, Center for Limnology, UW-Madison
Native Plants and Rain Gardens
This presentation will include before and after photos (and the designs) of 9 Healthy Lakes Projects on the Cloverleaf Lakes. Lisa will talk about the process used to go from interested landowner to installed project, and explain what must go into a successful Healthy Lakes shoreline restoration or rain garden (i.e. certain plants, using trees and shrubs, erosion control, and local zoning permits, etc.). Participants will see how projects can be created that they will really enjoy and maintain.
Lisa Reas, Consultant, LJ Reas Environmental Consulting Corp.
Bill Foley, Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association
Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is highly involved with citizen science projects that focus on the health of the Fox River watershed. In 2003, the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program was established. The program is a collaboration among university scientists and high schools in northeast Wisconsin. Currently, there are seven streams monitored by eleven schools within the watershed. This past year, UW-Green Bay and UW-Extension have partnered with the Town of Scott to monitor Wequiock Creek. Learn their findings and how this unique partnership has made a difference for this watershed.
Whitney Passint, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Lower Fox River Watershed
Bobbie Webster, Natural Areas Ecologist, Wisconsin DNR
Erosion Modeling and Citizen Science Working Together in the Sugar River Watershed
Data collected by citizen scientists are combining with EVAAL (Erosion Vulnerability Assessment for Agricultural Lands) modeling to highlight agricultural fields most susceptible to runoff in the Upper Sugar River Watershed. Wisconsin Action Volunteer (WAV) monitors performed total phosphorus testing throughout the watershed in 2015, and students from UW-Whitewater spearheaded the modeling efforts using data that is largely free to the public. Learn about the benefits of EVAAL modeling, the components needed to create it, and how it interacts with data collected by WAV volunteers. Find out how this data will be used to educate farmers on best management practices and funding resources to make real changes on their land.
Wade Moder, Director of the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association
High Water Pants at Ripon High
SEEING IS BELIEVING! Twenty-two charter school students roll up their pants and wade into Big Green's problems. Learning about everything from road salt to fall leaves, the class issues a "report card" on watershed management. The report card forces them to start making connections and seeing the big picture and leads them to notice how many aspects of their lives -- from lawn care to cow manure to a neighbor's high capacity well -- impact Green Lake. Water quality monitoring, storm drain stenciling and the watershed report card are great excuses for media coverage. Come learn about this experience and gather a few tips for multiplying the impact of our work by making sure our communities know about it!
Kat Griffith, Lumen Charter High School, Ripon, WI
Danika Steggall, Lumen Charter High School, Ripon, WI
High School Outreach
Citizen involvement needs to start with the younger people of communities. Bill Nye said, "Everyone you know, knows something you don't". This quote drives my teaching, and, through the idea of networking, students have made strong connections between their actions and their neighbor’s actions and how it can affect the environment. What can you do? A lot of people are aware, but are not too sure what steps they need to take to get involved. One of the biggest and best connections can be with your local schools. You can help mold the youth to be stewards.
Jesse Schwingle, Lumen Charter High School, Ripon, WI
Using Social Marketing to Improve Shoreland Health
Many strategies have been employed over the years to reach out to property owners about the management of healthy shorelands. Some strategies have included regulations, while others have focused on educational efforts. Most efforts were “expert driven” with professionals sharing their knowledge. The social marketing campaign conducted during summer 2015 tested the concept of volunteers having conversations with their neighbors about healthy shorelands. A partnership comprised of citizen volunteers and county and university staff worked together to develop materials and the tailored strategies needed to carry out this experimental effort on 22 lakes in central Wisconsin. The 36 volunteers reported they were well received by neighbors, which allowed for good conversations about their lake and shorelands. We will provide an overview of this project, a summary of its outcomes, and recommendations for future similar projects.
Nancy Turyk, Water Resource Scientist, UW-Stevens Point