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Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring



Aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring involves searching the lake for aquatic invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, rusty crayfish, and others. The frequency that volunteers perform AIS monitoring varies, but most volunteers do this a few times per year. Most volunteers conduct AIS monitoring in high-risk sites around their lakes (like boat landings) to detect early populations of AIS. Early detection of AIS is crucial for effective, inexpensive management, so these volunteers are incredibly valuable. 

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Videos

​​Starry Stonewort Identification          

 AIS Monitoring Protocols (coming soon)

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Training Manual


NEW! Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detectors Handbook

Click here to download the PDF

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring

Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Training Manual (AIS Monitoring Procedures)  (revised April 2014-contacts updated Feb. 2016)  (full version​​​, 18MB PDF)
Individual chapters
Chapter 9 - Freshwater Jellyfish Freshwater jellyfish are no longer considered a priority species for AIS monitoring.
Weevil field guide - full color

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Forms


Aquatic Invasives Surveillance End of Season Report (3200-133) 
Use this form for general AIS monitoring on your lake (formerly 3200-124).

Aquatic Invasives Surveillance End of Season Report - Fillable PDF Version (3200-133) 
Use this fillable PDF to enter AIS monitoring data electronically.

Aquatic Invasives Surveillance for multiple locations (3200-130) 
Use this form for general AIS monitoring in more than one location on the same day.

Aquatic Invasive Plant Incident Report (3200-125) 
Use this form to record any new AIS plants in a waterbody (only use if the AIS has not previously been found on the waterbody).

Aquatic Invasive Animal Incident Report (3200-126) 
Use this form to record any new species of AIS in a waterbody (only use if the AIS has not previously been found on the waterbody).

To get a list of AIS by lake: (exit UWEX Lakes)

To get a list of lakes by AIS: (exit UWEX Lakes)

Crayfish (quantitative) Monitoring Report (3200-129) 
Use this form if you are trapping (use one form for each area of the lake trapped) or netting crayfish. 

Plant Bed Density Report (3200-132) 
Use this form for recording density readings of invasive plant beds, once the invasive has been found and confirmed. Use one form per plant bed.

Purple Loosestrife/Wetland Invasive Plant Monitoring
Use this form to track the abundance of wetland invasive plants.

Waterflea Tow Monitoring Form (3200-128)
Use this form to track the presence/absence of spiny or fishhook water fleas using a plankton net.

Zebra Mussel Monitoring Forms

Quantitative Monitoring Report (3200-127)
Use this form to track the abundance of adult zebra or quagga mussels in lakes where larvae or adults have previously been detected (requires use of sampler plates - use one form for each plate).

For a list of ALL monitoring forms, click here (exit UWEX Lakes) 

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Resources


Aquatic Invasive Species: A Guide for Proactive and Reactive Management (Vilas County)


This delightful, large-format field guide to aquatic plants in North America is accessible and inviting to general readers, yet detailed enough for use by botanists and natural resource managers.

Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest (Fourth Edition)

Over 570 high-resolution, color photographs fill this easy-to-use field guide. Beginners to the world of aquatic plants will enjoy the easy descriptions and abundant photographs, while more advanced biologists will appreciate the comprehensive treatments, dichotomous keys, and other resources. It covers 164 species in total, including both native and non-native species, over 20 species of macro-algae (Chara, Nitella, etc.), and an appendix of non-native species in nearby states that are threatening to invade our region in the future.




AIS fact sheets

Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea)



  What else can volunteers monitor?

For more information contact

Paul Skawinski, Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Educator

(715) 346-4853

Or go to

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources site

at (exit UWEX Lakes)​​​​​​

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