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Lake Tides

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​Volume 34 No. 4 Fall 2009  

How the Economic Recession Is Affecting Wisconsin Lakes
"Naturalized" Shorelines: Where Is the Biggest Restoration?
Why Not Go Natural? Addressing Six Concerns About Maintaining A More Natural Lakeshore
Quality in Monitoring
On the Look-out for AIS
CLMN Superstars
Wisconsin's Winged Gems
Apology to GLIFWC
Henegar Becomes McFarlane
Not Welcome Here! New DNR Rules Aim to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species
Keeping Lakes in the Family: Children's Books Help Us Share the Magic of Lakes

How the Economic Recession is Affecting Wisconsin Lakes

You would be hard pressed to look at any type of US news media and not find a story about the “Great Recession”…jobs lost, banks closing, industry shutting their doors, property values declining…these are sobering times. This recession is having an impact globally and certainly has changed many Americans’ lives. The economic downturn has hit state and local government finances hard. Much of the trouble stems from decreased tax revenues, leading to major budget shortfalls. Forty-four states have experienced a decline in revenues.

They say every storm cloud has a silver lining, so let’s look at both sides of this economic downturn and its impact on our lakes.

Lake Grants

Fortunately, grants for lake planning, protection and aquatic invasive species are funded from a “segregated” appropriation. Being separate from the general state budget provides some protection for lake grants. Segregated appropriations cannot easily be used for purposes other than those for which they were created. In other words, cutting the budget for grants would not provide relief to the overall operations budget of state government. This is great news for all the organizations using grant funds to restore and protect their local lake(s). These lake grant funds come from a small portion of the excise tax on gasoline. The amount received is based on a formula that considers the number of motorized boats registered in WI (about 639,000 boats). A prolonged economic downturn could result in fewer boater registrations that would reduce the amount of revenues collected. So far there is no clear trend in this direction. Another positive aspect for lakes is that federal revenue opportunities are on the rise due to stimulus packages with a rekindled emphasis on conservation and environmental protection.


Wisconsin announced that it would have to make even more and deeper cuts to the state budget than formerly expected as sales tax revenues declined for the first time since their inception in 1962. One of the consequences for state employees is mandatory time off (furlough), resulting in over a 3% pay cut each year for the next two years. This means each state employee will be required to take sixteen days without pay in the next two years. State agencies and institutions are scrambling to adjust schedules and work loads.

Hire & Travel Freeze

While the money for grants will remain available, hiring freezes and reduced travel budgets may affect the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) ability to provide technical assistance to grant applicants. This may mean that the processing and administration of grant awards could also be slowed. However, the economic downturn does not seem to have impacted the ability of local sponsors to raise matching funds and apply for grants!
Overall the Water Division of the DNR implemented a 10% work load reduction strategy to better align the current complement of reduced staff with an appropriate work load. Providing assistance to lake organizations, attending meetings and participating in workshops account for a large portion of DNR staff time. All staff will be directed to reduce these activities by approximately 50% in the next two-year work plan. This is equivalent to about 2000 hours, or one full-time statewide position each year.
The Lakes Partnership, made up of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL), DNR and UW-Extension is strategizing ways to fill in outreach and education gaps created by these workload reductions. They are planning more efficient ways of delivering and supporting outreach education, which will probably mean more use of electronic distance learning techniques to pass on education and information. We are seeing a number of “work-arounds” for state employees with state-wide responsibilities, which require extensive traveling. Face-to-face meetings, which require travel, are being replaced with techniques such as live, online meetings. WAL is also trying to maintain levels of service despite cutbacks. One tactic has been to try to reduce reliance on DNR funding, which supports work such as lake classification education. To that end, the WAL Board is working on fundraising plans, in the hopes of building alternative funding streams that will support outreach and other work impacted by state funding cuts.

Lake Property

The value of lakefront property seems to be holding but not rising as fast as it did in the past. Several years ago, property values in northern Wisconsin were rising by double digits annually. In surveys, people cited investment as a key reason for purchasing lake real estate. The recession has brought about a slower turnover in lake homes, which has lead to an older demographic of ownership. Aging owners on a fixed income (or worse, a declining income due to poor stock and bond market performance), may be stuck with high property taxes in a slow market. The plus side is we may get more for our money as businesses are forced to compete harder for limited dollars. Professional service contracts may become much more competitive, and interest rates are low, which may present a good time to bid projects or remodel a home.

Good Bye, Baby Boomers

While unemployment is up, so is retirement, as the 76 million or so Baby Boomers start to close out their careers. Many employees in state agencies and institutions will be retiring in the next few years. When the state’s hiring freeze is lifted and jobs are refilled, there will be more opportunities for younger people. Recent graduates will bring new energy and fresh ideas for protecting our natural resources. There may also be an increase in the number of recent retirees looking for rewarding part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities that would allow them to apply their years of lake experience. You can look at this as “a lake half full or half empty” story (inside joke for northern lake people ☺). We have much to be thankful for, and there is not much to gain by getting caught up in the doom and gloom of yesterday’s news. For all of us who work to protect our lakes, it is important that we continue to think in the present and near future.

The Postitives:

  • The recession may mean less development pressure on sensitive lakes.
  • A recovering economy may mean new opportunities and ways of dealing with old issues.
  • A younger generation filled with energy and ideas is ready to push on.
  • Citizens, local lake organizations and local units of government can still find opportunities to take advantage of changing times to protect the lakes they love.

In the 10,000+ years since the ice brought these lakes, they have witnessed much. On that scale, a blip in an economy will hardly be noticed.

By Robert Korth, UWEX Lakes, Carroll Schaall, Wisconsin DNR, Jeff Bode, Wisconsin DNR, Karen von Huene, Wisconsin Assoc. of Lakes

"Naturalized" Shorelines

Where Is the Biggest Restoration?

Native vegetation along the lakeshore provides habitat for wildlife, filters pollution out of stormwater runoff, and enhances the natural scenic beauty of Wisconsin’s waters. In the last 10 years, the notion to turn away from manicured lake lawns for a more natural lake-friendly landscape has really taken “root.” With the help of state grants, local incentive programs and technical assistance, lake shores throughout Wisconsin are undergoing a significant change for the better.

To help gauge this renaissance, I conducted an unscientific and informal poll of my co-workers and partners asking, “What is the biggest shoreline restoration project in the state?” Of course “biggest” can be judged many ways. The table below summarizes the results but as you will see, each project has unique features that make them all winners.

Lakeshore Restoration
Lake Name ​Big Green ​Bony ​Found ​Rock
Lineal Feet​ ​7,000 ​2,176 ​1,540 ​1,065
​% of Total Lake Shore ​6% ​16% ​8% ​2%
​# of Properties ​80 8​ ​14 ​1
​Minimum Width (Ft.) ​varies ​35 ​35 ​35
​Tree drops (<5ft x 4in) ​0 400​ ​0 ​0
​Rain gardens ​0 ​2 ​3 ​0
​Deed restricted ​0 ​7 ​0 ​all
​10 yr. Contract ​all ​1 ​all ​-

Green Lake

The Green Lake Association (GLA) began their Revitalization of Shoreland Vegetation Project (RSVP) in 1999 with a start-up grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program has no minimum size requirements for participation; landowners are free to determine how much of their lake front will be “naturalized.” Financial assistance is capped at $1,000 per property and requires the landowner to sign a 10-year maintenance agreement. GLA also certifies landscapers and lawn and tree care companies in shoreland restoration. Add the Green Lake Conservancy Foundation’s 15 protected properties with 15,000 feet of water frontage to the total and nearly 20% of Green Lake’s 21 miles of shoreline are being conserved.

Bony Lake

Bony Lake, by most measures, can make a legitimate claim to the title with their ambitious effort. Spearheaded by lake resident and WAL Director Carol LeBreck, with technical assistance from Bayfield County Land and Water Conservation Department, the project’s eye-popping characteristic is its aggressive use of placing wood in the lake to improve aquatic habitat. You can tell Carol is an avid fisherperson. As the smallest lake in the sample at 191 acres, the project has a big relative impact with 1/6 of the total shoreline restored and more coming.

Rock Lake

Rock Lake’s claim to the title consists of one large parcel of former farmland that became Korth County Park. Jefferson County Water Resources Management Specialist Patricia Cicero noted that, in many places, the restored vegetative area extends several hundred feet inland. The project consists of 12,983 native flowers and grasses, 780 shrubs (8 species), 60 trees (14 species), and was supported by 286 volunteer hours. Perhaps there should be a category for individual parcel.

Found Lake

The Found Lake project is the first step of the Wisconsin Lakeshore Restoration Project led by DNR Research Scientist Michael Meyer. The Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department sponsors much of the work with cost-share dollars and technical assistance in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The Found Lake sites are part of this larger study which is conducting a long-term research effort that includes additional sites on other nearby lakes. They are evaluating different restoration techniques as well as monitoring changes in wildlife usage. Nine of the 14 properties are incorporating various bio-engineering techniques including biologs, sediment logs, EnviroLok bagsTM, as well as water diversions and rain gardens. A companion research project is being planned to look at what effects restoration has on the quality of stormwater runoff.
You can see that each effort excels in different ways. It was a fun, friendly little competition that will expand in the future as the number of shoreland restoration projects continues to grow each year. Contact me to report on your project, or for more information about shoreland restoration in Wisconsin.
By Carroll Schaal,
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Why Not Go Natural?

Addressing Six Concerns About Maintaining A More Natural Lakeshore

It is well known that increased shoreland and residential development around our lakes has the potential to negatively impact natural scenic beauty, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat. While lakeshore home owners frequently see their individual property changes as small and insignificant, lake experts are finding that the cumulative effect of these landscaping decisions is negatively impacting many of Wisconsin’s over 15,000 lakes.

Natural resource and communication professionals from Burnett County, UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been exploring how lakeshore property owners think about having a more natural shoreline and what is preventing residents from managing their shorelands in a more lake-friendly manner. Based on focus groups and surveys of property owners at Long and Des Moines lakes in Burnett County, the authors identified six main concerns residents have about allowing a more natural shoreline on their land, and identified solutions for respecting property owners’ priorities while also promoting the long-term health of their lakes. Although the issues highlighted below come from people with property in Northwest Wisconsin, it is believed that many of these concerns will be relevant to property owners across the state.

Watching Kids Swim

One of the highest rated barriers to restoring buffers was an obstructed view of the lake and a reduced ability to see children or grandchildren while they are playing in or near the water. One option to address this concern is the strategic planting of low growing native shrubs and grasses that still provide a view of the lake and the ability to watch over their children. With a little research, parents and grandparents can learn how to get the best of both worlds on their property - a clear view of their children to assure their safety along with a more natural shoreline to protect water quality and natural habitat.

Life’s a Beach and We Like It

Another significant concern expressed was the perception that having natural shoreline plants would prevent their property from having a sandy beach. While that may be true for very extensive beaches, statewide standards allow for a 35 foot access corridor and use area. It is important for lakeshore property owners to realize they can strike a balance between their desire to recreate by the water and protect the quality of their lake.

Ticked Off by Ticks

One concern about maintaining a natural shoreline was that people were worried that having a buffer would increase the prevalence of nuisance insects such as ticks. Including the use of mulched paths or mulched yard edges, which ticks avoid, can help people prevent ticks on their property and encourage more natural lake shorelines.
Protect the Habitat of Your Favorite Animals
Another area we examined was what wildlife people enjoy seeing most, with the intent of explaining how specific native plants and natural habitat contribute to the well-being of their favorite animals. Surveys in Burnett County indicated that eagles and loons were animals people wanted to see more abundantly around their properties. Some lamented the loss of lake frogs and wished more were around for the kids to enjoy. Knowing specific types of habitat that will attract birds, frogs or other desired lakeshore animals (for optimum nesting and survival of their young) may encourage some property owners to protect specific sites or habitat features.


Most of the lakeshore property owners we interviewed really like wildlife. On the other hand, most said they are not interested in attracting certain kinds of animals to their property – most notably geese. Many property owners are okay with watching geese fly overhead or swim in the water, but they do not like them congregating on their lawns and leaving nasty green goose droppings. Lawn-loving geese will be deterred from spending too much time on shoreline property with areas of 20 to 30 inch tall vegetation because they fear that natural shoreline vegetation may harbor predators.

Not Everyone Likes the Wild Look

Part of our research also looked at how people wanted their lakeshore property to look. We wanted to know whether some people were more willing to just “let it be” and allow natural, native vegetation to take over or whether property owners preferred a look that was more clearly controlled. Not surprisingly, some liked to let native vegetation just “go wild” while others liked to be much more in control of the vegetation on their property. Fortunately, there are lake-friendly options for both. Expert advice and educational materials on lakeshore landscaping plans can show how to let more natural elements emerge in the shoreline area while allowing some flexibility to plant native shrubs in an organized manner to fit a more manicured yard. Many property owners are surprised at how elegant planned plots of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers can look in their yards.
For more information on this project, contact John Haack by telephone at 715-635-7406 or by e-mail at
By John Haack, Basin Educator,
UW-Extension and Bret Shaw, Environmental Communication Specialist, UW-Extension

Quality in Monitoring

Ever wonder how accurate your Secchi readings are? Ever wonder if there are shortcuts that can be taken in Secchi monitoring? In 2008, we asked volunteers to collect Secchi readings three consecutive times following the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network protocols. We found that following protocol improves the accuracy of the data.

We know there are factors we cannot always control.

  • Solar angle - Secchi reading values vary due to solar angle and the earth’s tilt over the summer. Did you know our Secchi reading values can vary by about 6% due to solar altitude changes in mid summer? When comparing May through September data, this increases to 15%.
  • Waves - sometimes we have to make due with what Mother Nature gives us. Did you know five-inch waves can decrease your reading by 10%?
  • Surface reflections off the water
  • Observer vision characteristics 

There are ways to minimize variations in our data.

  • Monitor from 10 am-4 pm. If readings are taken outside this 6-hor time frame, we increase the variability in the data.
  • Monitor on calm days to reduce the affect of waves.
    Anchor the boat to prevent drift and to allow the disk to drop straight down alongside the boat.
  • Monitor on the shady side of the boat to minimize surface reflections.
  • Monitor on sunny to partially sunny days.
  • Remove your sunglasses when taking your readings. Sunglasses can increase the depth that you can see your Secchi disk. For consistency, and so we can compare data from one lake to another, please remove your sunglasses.
  • Position your body as close to the water as is safe. Try to kneel or sit so you are close to the surface of the water.
  • Follow the descending/ascending (2 clothespins) protocol.
  • Variability in readings is less when averages are taken as compared to just taking a descending or ascending reading. (In 2008, our worst case was 1-meter difference between one descending reading and the average of the two readings. Luckily, only 4.5% of samples were more than 0.5 meters different than the average).
  • Secchi depth readings can change up to 17% of the maximum reading if the averages are not used. The percentage of difference can be important for assessment purposes and will be more important for lakes with low Secchi depth readings.
  • Repeat the process. Taking two or three measurements will result in a more accurate reading. We gain accuracy with repetition.
  • Always monitor at the same site so we are not comparing data from the center of the lake to data collected in bays.
  • Make sure to match the observer’s name with his/her readings to minimize discrepancies in observer vision characteristics.
  • Ideally, Secchi readings should be taken every 10 to 14 days.
The deep hole site observations include water color, whether it is cloudy or murky (remember the disk is held one foot below surface for these observations), and your perception of the amount of algae in the water. Feel free to jot down weather notes and other observations at any time.
Contact Laura Herman at if you are interested in repeating the 2008 study for your lake in 2010. She can provide you with the data form to keep track of your results.

On the Look-out for AIS

Where do you go and what do you do if you find something “odd” in your lake and you think it might be an invasive? Good news, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has created a web site for folks to find out just what to do and where/how to send a specimen. Click on " It is a plant" or "It is an animal" depending upon what you find, then follow the step-by-step procedures. Once the plant or animal is taken to the DNR, they will get the sample to the experts to verify the identification. Then, the plants will go to an herbarium and the animals will go to the zoological museum to be vouchered. This way, there will be a permanent record of the find. If you are just looking to see which lakes have an aquatic invasive species, visit  Thanks for being on the look-out for aquatic invasives.

CLMN Superstars

Wisconsin is fortunate to have many talented and knowledgeable people acting as Citizen Water Quality Scientists on their lakes. We would like to highlight some of the accomplishments of the volunteers in the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN). If you would like to see a CLMN volunteer acknowledged in Lake Tides, please send information to Laura Herman, CLMN Statewide Coordinator at or to your regional CLMN Coordinator.

Fall 2009 CLMN Superstar

Jill Graf is the water chemistry and clarity volunteer on Moccasin Lake in Vilas County. Jill is a nationally recognized educator, founding science teacher of a college preparatory high school and author. She recently published the book Savannah’s Eco-Adventures: Field Guide to Aquatic Insects. This field guide shows the basics of scientific research while investigating a fascinating and diverse group of organisms. It is a wonderful book that helps children and young adults appreciate the world of aquatic insects, but it is not for those with entomophobia!

Wisconsin's Winged Gems

A winged feat of nature’s engineering patrols the water’s edge. She dips and dives in midair, effortlessly maneuvering with extraordinary precision.

Though fragile in appearance, this intricate insect is actually a resourceful hunter and commonly sits loftily atop the insect food chain. This skilled predator is none other than the dragonfly. With over one hundred species in the state, dragonflies are an integral member of Wisconsin’s aquatic ecosystems. Dragonflies are vastly fascinating insects, and many have imaginative names, such as the harlequin darner, eastern amberwing, Halloween pennant, cherry-faced meadowhawk, and ebony boghaunter.

Dragonfly Basics

Dragonflies are usually found near aquatic environments due to their reliance on standing water for breeding. Adult males generally guard their own breeding grounds and mate with females who venture into their territory. Females tend to lay their eggs on aquatic vegetation and nymphs emerge from these eggs after an incubation period. Dragonflies spend a majority of their lives underwater as nymphs but eventually metamorphose into the more eye-catching adults. Successful dragonfly breeding depends on a healthy lake ecosystem with superior water quality. In particular, each species of dragonfly has its own preferences about the size of the water body, with tendencies to breed only in areas with certain substrate characteristics, water flow regimes, and appropriate pH. Dragonflies also favor waters with varied aquatic vegetation and elevated dissolved oxygen levels. The diversity of dragonflies in Wisconsin is amplified due to the specific adaptations of each species to fill different niches within ecosystems.

Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly

With so many vibrant dragonflies humming around the state, it may be easy to overlook some of the struggling species. The Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) is currently the only Wisconsin dragonfly listed as both a state and federally endangered species, recognizing that the species is in danger of becoming extinct.
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly was historically found in Alabama, Indiana, and Ohio but now has most likely been wiped out in those states. This dragonfly is currently found in limited areas of Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Hine’s emerald dragonfly has recently been documented in Door, Kewaunee, and Ozaukee Counties by the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI).
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly requires a fairly specialized habitat that tends to be frequently disrupted by human activity. These dragonflies live in spring-fed marshes that have high calcium carbonate concentrations, or in sedge meadows that are situated above dolomite bedrock. Destruction of these wetlands to make way for development is a great threat to the Hine’s emerald dragonfly. Wetland contamination due to pesticides and other pollutants also degrades dragonfly habitat. A decrease in the quantity or condition of groundwater is yet another potential menace to this dragonfly population.

Other Struggling WI Dragonflies

Some dragonflies are classified as endangered in Wisconsin but are not endangered at the federal level. The warpaint emerald (Somatochlora incurvata) is one such dragonfly. The NHI has recent reports of this dragonfly occurring in Adams, Jackson, Juneau, Langlade, Ozaukee, and Wood Counties. The extra-striped snaketail (Ophiogomphus anomalus) and Saint Croix snaketail (Ophiogomphus susbehcha) are also Wisconsin endangered species, with NHI records showing populations of these two dragonflies scattered across northern Wisconsin. The extra-striped snaketail and Saint Croix snaketail are also each listed as a federal species of concern. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Glossary, “species of concern” is an informal expression for a species that may soon be in need of conservation action.
Other dragonflies are classified as threatened in Wisconsin. A threatened species is one that seems likely to soon become endangered based on scientific evidence. The pygmy snaketail dragonfly (Ophiogomphus howei) and spatterdock darner dragonfly (Rhionaeschna mutata) are currently threatened in Wisconsin.

Reviving Vulnerable Populations

Dragonfly population recovery methods come in many shapes and sizes. The addition of a species to state or federal protected species lists safeguards the species and raises public awareness. Official classification on such a list makes it illegal to harm, harass, collect, or kill the species in question without special permits from state or federal agencies.
Species-specific recovery plans are created in order to maintain the continued survival of endangered species. Further research is often still conducted during this process to determine the very best techniques to manage for threatened and endangered species and to protect and restore preferred habitats.
Dragonflies in Wisconsin’s

Lake Ecosystems

The vigor of the dragonfly population in an area can speak volumes about the condition of nearby surface waters. Dragonflies depend on high-quality aquatic habitats for breeding. Some of the same water quality factors that are important to these insects, such as high dissolved oxygen levels, suitable pH, diverse aquatic vegetation, and appropriate rate of water flow are central to lake health as well. The correct combination of these factors is unique to each dragonfly species. Through the defense of lake ecosystems, lake enthusiasts can ensure the future of dragonflies, some of Wisconsin’s winged gems.
By Megan Stranz
Student, UW-Stevens Point


Wisconsin Entomological Society Miscellaneous Publication No. 2
June 1993 - Updated July 2003 - Checklist of Wisconsin Dragonflies
By William A. Smith1, Timothy E. Vogt and Karen H. Gaines 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - Endangered Species Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) Fact Sheet
FWS threatened and endangered species glossary

Apology to GLIFWC

We would like to extend our sincere apology to the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission for neglecting to give them credit for much of the information in our summer issue’s article “The Rice Moon Rises Again.” Please find a corrected version on our website at

Henegar Becomes McFarlane

Don’t be confused when seeing the name Erin McFarlane on material for Clean Boats, Clean Waters and other UWEX Lakes information. It’s that same energetic individual that we’ve been lucky enough to have as part of our lakes team for the last 21/2 years. Please join us in congratulating Erin on her recent marriage to Dan McFarlane. From all of us here at UWEX Lakes, we wish you both a wonderful life together!  Cheers!

Not Welcome Here!

New DNR Rules Aim to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species

Wisconsin has acquired a new acronym. Have you heard the term “NR 40” floating around in conversation recently? Wondering what it’s all about? Chapter NR 40 is a new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administrative rule that classifies invasive species and provides guidelines for their prevention and management.

Here are some key facts about the rule:

  1. It applies to both terrestrial and aquatic species. In 2001, the Legislature directed the DNR and the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species to create rules to identify, classify, and control invasive species. The goal was to have a comprehensive regulatory framework that would prevent invasive species from reaching Wisconsin and enable quick action to control and eradicate new species before they became established. The new invasive species classification rule does exactly this.
  2. It classifies the riskiest species. The rule establishes two categories of regulated species. Prohibited species are not yet found in Wisconsin or not widespread here. With certain exceptions, the transport, possession, transfer and introduction of Prohibited species is banned. The goal is to keep these species out of Wisconsin or eradicate them if they are found here. Restricted species are generally problematic, but more widespread in Wisconsin. The goal in this case is to limit their further spread. Restricted species are also subject to a ban on transport, transfer and introduction, but possession is allowed, with the exception of fish and crayfish. Any species not listed as Prohibited or Restricted is not regulated by this rule.
  3. It closes off pathways for spread. In addition to the classification system, the rule mandates some across-the-board prevention measures for water users. These measures mirror very closely the prevention steps that have long been recommended for the prevention of aquatic invasive species, but represent a significant expansion of the law. The rule requires water users to remove attached plants and animals and drain all water from equipment before launching, after loading, and before transporting on a public highway.
The invasive species classification rule went into effect on September 1, 2009 after several years of intensive work by the DNR, the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species and dozens of stakeholder groups.
To learn more about the rule, visit  

Illegal to Transport

After gaining momentum for several months, Senate Bill 123 (SB 123) passed the state legislature in late September, and was signed into law by Governor Doyle in October. SB 123 clarifies and strengthens a number of invasive species laws, including NR 40.
Informally referred to as the “Illegal to Transport” bill, SB 123 contains uniform and soundly-worded language that makes this law easier to understand and enforce.
DNR conservation wardens can issue tickets under NR 40, but with SB 123 in place, any law enforcement official will be able to order the removal of aquatic plants and animals from boats, trailers, and vehicles, as well as issue citations and forfeitures for non-compliance.

Keeping Lakes in the Family: Children's Books Help Us Share the magic of Lakes

As we prepare again for the holidays, here is a second installment of lake-related books to share with that special child in your life. See pages 14-15 of the Fall 2008 Lake Tides for more children’s books about lakes. Curl up to read some of these wonderful stories together and reveal your own lake experiences. While these books may have been designed for children ages 4-8, they’re a great fit for anyone who enjoys wonderful illustrations and fun stories. These fun, educational options also make great gifts for your local library or school, where many people can enjoy the magic of lakes.

Fishing at Long Pond

Written by William T. George and illustrated by Lindsay Barrett George
Katie is fishing with her grandfather on Long Pond and her anticipation of catching her first bass is further enhanced by the enchantment of all that they see around them. The exquisitely detailed paintings in this book treat young readers to a realistic glimpse of the flora and fauna that surround a pond. As Katie patiently awaits that first nibble, both she and her grandfather quietly watch the water come alive with the sights and sounds of the animals’ activity before catching a single bass, just enough for dinner. Also see Beaver at Long Pond by the Georges.

Eliza and the Dragonfly

Written by Susie Caldwell Rinehart and illustrated by Anisa Claire Hovemann
When a dragonfly lands on her toothbrush, Eliza journeys with her Aunt Doris -- who happens to love all manner of bugs -- to a nearby pond. Although Eliza’s initial reaction is a none-too-enthusiastic “Eeeewwww!” she and Aunt Doris are soon swept up in the hidden world of dragonflies. Every day, Eliza visits the baby dragonfly, wondering when it will crawl out of the pond and fly away. The author’s charming text reveals the wonders that can be found in a local pond. The reference section that follows the text provides valuable information on the habitat and lifecycle of dragonflies.

The Raft

Written and illustrated by Jim LaMarche
At first Nicky isn’t excited about spending the summer with his grandma in the Wisconsin woods, but he changes his mind after discovering an old raft in the water near her cottage. He soon realizes that his grandma is marvelously unconventional in unexpected ways. Being a solitary artist among her other gifts and talents as an independent spirit, Grandma allows Nicky to ease into what he will enjoy in his own way. When he learns to pole the raft, Nicky notices faded images of birds and animals on it. He begins to realize the variety of wildlife moving nearby in the water and along the shore by day and also by night. Later on, his grandma provides art materials so the boy can sketch what he observes. LaMarche’s exquisite paintings illustrating this handsome, singular story evoke a quiet, secluded Wisconsin river during summertime and encourage more than one type of observation.

On Sand Island

Written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by David A. Johnson
Young Carl lives with his sister and fisherman father in a close community on Lake Superior’s Sand Island. He longs to push off in his own boat to a place where the quiet is “filled with water and sky,” and with the help of his neighbors, he builds a rowboat, enjoys a blissful day on the lake, and returns to a “newest boat” celebration. A subtle, beautifully crafted story about hard work, simple joys, and the small, warm communities of the historic upper-Midwest.

Ducks Don’t Get Wet

Written by Augusta Goldin and illustrated by Helen K. Davie
After explaining briefly how ducks waterproof themselves by preening their feathers with oil, this well-designed book goes on to discuss how and why ducks live near water, with particular attention to how different species find food under water. The text is well focused throughout and discusses the habits of several types of wild ducks. Children who have an opportunity to observe ducks firsthand in the wild will now be able to recognize and understand various aspects of their behavior, and may even start distinguishing between species, thanks to Davie’s accurate, realistic watercolor paintings.

Henry the Impatient Heron

Written by Donna Love and illustrated by Christina Wald
Great blue herons catch their food by standing quietly in shallow waters. But as hard as he tries, Henry, a young, impatient heron, just can’t stand still. So Henry chases after fish, frogs, and salamanders, but they all escape before he can catch them. Luckily, Henry meets an older heron that explains the trick to catching a fish is to pretend you are a stick. Following the wise heron’s advice, Henry finally learns how to stand still and catch his own food. This book is filled with fun facts about great blue herons. It also teaches kids the importance of being patient and calm. Love’s simple text imparts an important lesson, while Wald’s fun, playful, yet realistic illustrations complement the narrative. Fact boxes and information about herons are appended. Lesson plans, quizzes, and additional support are all available at

Touch the Sky Summer

Written by Jean Van Leeuwen and illustrated by Dan Andreasen
Narrated by five-year-old Luke, this book tells of a vacation taken with his parents and older brother. Every summer they visit the grandparents at their cabin by the lake, noting with quiet satisfaction that “everything is just the same.” They swim to the raft, fish from the dock, spend a rainy day playing games by the fireplace, sleep out in a tent, and watch for shooting stars. Children who have visited lakeside cabins will enjoy the vicarious experience, related in a natural-sounding text that rolls along enjoyably from one small adventure to the next. The gracefully executed oil paintings lend an air of nostalgia.

The Magic Goggles: Discovering the Secrets of the Lake

Written by Lynn Markham (Center for Land Use Education) and illustrated by Anne Horjus from Baraboo, Wisconsin
Maggie and her little brother Tate are visiting their grandparents’ lake cabin when they discover two pairs of really weird, old goggles with leather straps in a dusty old trunk in the attic. Down at the lake with their goggles, the kids discover the magic goggles make them as light as a damselfly and let them see right through lily pads to the underwater forest below. When a mother wood duck befriends the duo and sees how they like exploring the shoreline, she takes them for a flying ride around the lake to get a bird’s-eye view. From this viewpoint they see that the deep blue jewel of a lake is surrounded by a forest of green, a summer camp, and a few houses located way back from the water. Based on what they’ve seen, Mama Duck explains how all the trees make the lake a good spot to raise a family. This book’s descriptive text and rich, detailed illustrations will boost readers’ understanding about the importance of forests around lakes, while luring them into discovering their own magic at the lake.


December 19, 2009 - Call for Posters Deadline, Wisconsin Lakes Convention
Have you been involved in any restoration activities for our state’s shorelands and shallows? If you would like to share your successes, conundrums and/or findings, apply to present a poster at the Wisconsin Lakes Convention. Just go to and click on “Call for Posters”. More details on page 10 of this issue.
January 1, 2010 - Early bird Deadline, WI Wetlands Association Conference
For more information:
January 29, 2010 – Nomination Deadline – WI Lake Stewardship Awards
Nominate an individual or group who dedicates time and talent to Wisconsin’s waters for this prestigious award (see page 11 for more details).
For more information:
February 1, 2010 – Application deadline for Lake Planning and AIS Control Grants.
For more information contact your DNR Lake Coordinator or go to
February 11-12, 2010 – WI Wetlands Association Conference, Eau Claire, WI
For more information:
March 8, 2010 – Early bird Deadline, Wisconsin Lakes Convention
For more information:
March 30-April 1, 2010 – 32nd Annual WI Lakes Convention, KI Center, Green Bay.
Agenda details and online registration will be available in January 2010. Register before the March 8th early bird deadline and save your hard-earned cash!
For more information:


If you think in terms of
a year, plant a seed; if in
terms of ten years, plant
trees; if in terms of 100
years, teach the people.
~ Confucius

Lake Tides -- 905032

College of Natural Resources
University of Wisconsin
800 Reserve Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Volume 34, No. 4
Fall 2009
Wisconsin Lakes Partnership
Editor: Amy Kowalski Design & Layout: Amy Kowalski
Contributing Authors: Patrick Goggin, UWEX; Carroll Schaal, DNR
Contributing Editors: Robert Korth and Erin McFarlane, UWEX
Photos by: Robert Korth (unless otherwise noted)
Illustrations by: Carol Watkins, Chris Whalen
The contents of Lake Tides do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of UW-Extension, UWSP-CNR, the Wisconsin DNR or the Wisconsin Association of Lakes. Mention of trade names, commercial products, private businesses or publicly financed programs does not constitute endorsement. Lake Tides welcomes articles, letters or other news items for publication. Articles in Lake Tides may be reprinted or reproduced for further distribution with acknowledgment to the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership. If you need this material in an alternative format, please contact our office. No state tax revenue supported the printing of this document.

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