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Concurrent Session 2
60 minutes

April 6, 2017 ~ 11:00 am-Noon

Agenda subject to change.

Mindful Management of Aquatic Invasive Species - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

Evaluation of Management Techniques for Starry Stonewort in Wisconsin

Little is known about the efficacy and impacts of management techniques used to attempt to control starry stonewort. A variety of management techniques have been used in small scale trials on a handful of Wisconsin lakes in 2015 and 2016. The efficacy and impacts associated with the management trials will be presented, and research from around the Midwest will be discussed.
Scott Van Egeren, Statewide Lake and Reservoir Ecologist, WI Department of Natural Resources


The Science Behind the ‘So-called’ Super Weed: A Decade’s Worth of Studies Helps to Understand the Effects of Eurasian Watermilfoil on Wisconsin Lakes

In the early 1990s, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum; EWM) was described in a report to the legislature as: “A super weed capable of stopping a speeding boat [which] has a chokehold on Wisconsin lakes”. In order to better understand the impacts of EWM in Wisconsin, Department of Natural Resources staff compiled a decade’s worth of data collected on hundreds of waterbodies across the state. Specifically, this presentation will discuss the current statewide distribution, abundance, and genetics of non-native milfoil in WI, the results of a long-term Eurasian watermilfoil monitoring project, as well as a discussion on the efficacy and selectivity of currently utilized management techniques. The results may surprise you, and challenge some commonly-held beliefs about this invasive aquatic plant species.
Chelsey Blanke, Research Scientist, WI Department of Natural Resources
Michelle Nault, Water Resource Management Specialist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Bringing Policy Makers to the Watertable - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

Public Trust Doctrine and Lakes

Rooted in the Wisconsin Constitution, the Public Trust Doctrine has guided the development of water law in this state for over 150 years. Through this session, you will learn what the Public Trust Doctrine is, how it has evolved over time, and what role it will likely play in deciding some of our current debates over water use. With this understanding, you can help your neighbors and fellow lake lovers appreciate the legacy of law and court decisions that gives all people a stake in clean, healthy water bodies.
David A. Strifling, P.E.  Director, Water Law and Policy Initiative, Marquette University

Citizens Minding Our Waters - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

Healthy Lakes: Marketing, Planning & Implementing Projects on Lake Minnesuing, Douglas County

Join us to learn how the ensure your lake project will be successful! We'll discuss the step by step process of marketing/merchandising to your lake stakeholders as a sponsor, packaging your grant application, and everything in between. Discussion and question/answer session will follow.
Jim Giffin, Treasurer of both the Lake Minnesuing Association and the Lake Minnesuing Sanitary District and a graduate of Crew 11 Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute


Creating a Healthy Lakes Rain Garden

In this session, we will share the adventure of designing, building, and planting a 250 sq. ft. rain garden at our home on Beaver Dam Lake. The effort is supported by a 2016 Healthy Lakes Initiative grant sponsored by the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association. In addition to rainwater, the garden is irrigated by run-off from a roof downspout 40 ft away. Guidelines for site selection and rain garden size are reviewed. The challenges of excavating a less-than-perfect site, backfilling with amended soil, hardscaping for water dispersal, and berm construction will be described. Native plant selection to achieve diversity of both root system and bloom time is then discussed. Lastly, we  will show how the rain garden integrates with mature moist prairie and woodland gardens on the property to provide nectar, nest, and larval sites for a diverse population of indigenous invertebrate species at a time when their global habitats are shrinking.
Carolyn Aita, Professor Emeritus UW-Milwaukee and summer resident of Beaver Dam Lake

Mindful Connections: Rivers, Lakes, Groundwater and Watersheds - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

Community Capacity Assessment - Preparing for Planning

Watershed plans and projects can’t be implemented without the cooperation and involvement of community members. Often the capacity for a community to be involved at the levels needed is not adequate for successful implementation. What is community capacity, and how can it be assessed, developed and cultivated? Join us to learn more about this very successful process.
Daniel Zerr, Natural Resource Educator, Lower Chippewa Basin, UW-Extension


Farmer-led Councils

This session will discuss producer-led water quality improvement efforts happening throughout the state, why and how they're effective, and provide an update of what these groups have accomplished so far.
Rachel Rushmann, Producer-Lead Watershed Protection Grants Program Coordinator, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Wade Moder, Farmers for Upper Sugar River, Upper Sugar Watershed Association

Presentation: Farmer-led Councils (PDF)

Water on Our Minds: Social and Psychological Connections to Water - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

A Peace of Mind: Mental Restoration in Urban Outdoor Settings

Today, about half of all health care consultations are related to stress and serious stress-caused illnesses. Although stress can be the result of many different factors, it is known that unhealthy urban environments are a contributing factor in worsening mental health, including living spaces that are deprived of life and exposure to the natural world. However, high quality urban environments can also provide opportunities for people seeking ways to find balance in their lives, whether consciously or unconsciously. This presentation will review the state of knowledge on the associations between mental restoration and the physical environment and discuss design principles aimed at increasing contact with nature in the built environment.
Kristin Thorleifsdottir Ph.D., MLA, assistant professor in Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Design Studies, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison

Minding the Science of Water Research - Thursday, 11:00 am-Noon

Inland Fisheries Habitat Management: Lessons Learned from Wildlife Ecology and a Proposal for Change

The habitat concept in inland fisheries has been less studied than wildlife ecology. Since 1950, the cumulative number of publications about “freshwater or inland habitat and fisheries management” has been 60-95% less than those considering “habitat and wildlife management”. We provide a perspective comparing inland fish and wildlife habitat management systems and highlight lessons from wildlife ecology that could benefit inland fisheries. We reason that wildlife habitat management has become widespread and accepted because humans share habitats with wildlife and positive/negative responses to habitat restorations/loss are directly observable. We recommend that inland fisheries habitat studies and restorations include opportunities for humans to directly observe the ecological benefits of such practices. Although aquatic habitat conservation and restoration may not solve management issues as rapidly, it will promote long-term sustainability and resiliency of diverse inland fish populations.
Greg Sass, Natural Resource Program Supervisor, WI Department of Natural Resources


Trouble in Paradise: Long-term Trends in the Natural Production of Wisconsin Walleye

Walleye are an iconic fish species throughout Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. This talk will present results from a recent analysis showing a long-term decline in the natural production of Wisconsin walleye. Similar trends are being observed in nearby regions including Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. The specific causes for walleye declines remain largely unknown, however a myriad of hypothesized and interacting drivers have been identified including: lakeshore development, warmer lake temperatures leading to increased abundances of warm-water species (like bass), pollutants, and harvest. Summaries of recent results on these topics highlight several ongoing research efforts in the state aimed at understanding and managing walleye through this emerging challenge. Strong collaborative research among managers, the public, different states and nations, and scientists that addresses natural resource problems that are regional in scope and lack simple solutions, like declining walleye, is highly important.
Andrew Rypel, Natural Resource Research Scientist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Understanding Cisco Decline in Wisconsin’s Inland Lakes

Ciscoes (Coregonus artedi) are a cold-water fish species of high social and ecological importance in the lake ecosystems they occupy. Ciscoes typically occur in Wisconsin’s deepest inland lakes that contain high quality oxythermal habitat. Unfortunately, cisco populations appear to be declining throughout the Midwest due to habitat loss. The goal of our research was to determine what primary abiotic factors are contributing to the statewide decline in cisco occurrence. We used historical and contemporary occurrence data to model cisco persistence. The model exhibited an overall classification rate of 71% and showed high relative importance of growing degree days, maximum depth, and percent forest cover in watersheds. Because multiple biotic and abiotic factors differentially contributed to the extirpation of cisco, it was difficult to model cisco persistence. Despite this limitation, we were able to identify factors that biologists can realistically manage, such as natural land use, to prolong cisco persistence.
Tim Parks, Research Scientist, WI Department of Natural Resources


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