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Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

Message to CLMN volunteers - Updated June 8th, 2020

Dear CLMN volunteers,
Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the complications associated with COVID-19. Many of the Regional CLMN Coordinators and myself are still working remotely and cannot send out sampling supplies or conduct in-person trainings. However, we know that some of you have your sampling supplies for the 2020 season and could resume collection of your water chemistry samples. If this is the case for you, you may resume chemistry sampling with your late June sample. The State Lab of Hygiene is ready to accept and process your samples. We have been told that the chemistry data may take a bit longer to get into the database this season, but lab analyses are able to proceed as normal. In addition to chemistry sampling, all other types of CLMN monitoring can resume as well, but with the same caveat that you already have the necessary equipment/supplies and training. We will not be training any new volunteers at this time.
As our Regional CLMN Coordinators are able to get back into their offices and gain access to their volunteer supplies, they will continue to send them out to you. They will get them to you as soon as possible, so please continue to be patient. 
Also, please remember that you are under absolutely no obligation to conduct any monitoring this year for CLMN, and please do not travel to lake homes just to collect water quality data. The safety of yourself and others should be top priority. We would still encourage you to distance yourself from others while monitoring, and follow all local guidelines as well as those from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thank you for all that you do for Wisconsin's beautiful lakes.

Paul Skawinski
CLMN Statewide Educator
UW Stevens Point / Extension Lakes

How else can you still assist as a CLMN volunteer during this time? 
Please take this time to review your 2019 annual reports for accuracy. Click on your county, then on "Details" next to your lake name to see various reports from each year that your lake has participated in CLMN. 

Enter any data you have remaining from the 2019 season.

Watch the 2019 and 2020 CLMN webinars if you missed them. A playlist including all of the CLMN webinars to date is located HERE

Inventory your equipment. Will any of your equipment require repairs or replacement this season?

Record observations for your lake, such as water level, algae blooms, wildlife sightings, storm events, etc., if this can be done safely from your home or property.

Depending on state or local restrictions at any given time, you may be able to continue monitoring water clarity, aquatic invasive species, native aquatic plants, and some aspects of chemistry monitoring like water temperature, color, and perception. However, please understand that you are under no obligation to participate in any monitoring this spring. 

Review our staff response to volunteer comments provided as part of the 2019 CLMN volunteer survey. See the response document HERE:

As always, thank you for all that you do for Wisconsin's lakes. Much of the water quality data we have for Wisconsin lakes and streams is thanks to you, our volunteer partners. We are in strange times indeed, but we will get through this together and get back to regular activities soon. Hang in there, stay safe, and please contact us with any questions you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are CLMN monitoring activities still ok to do?

Yes. Most monitoring activities that can be done while following any state or local restrictions can still be done. However, water chemistry sampling is still on hold for some volunteers as we continue to send supplies out to volunteers. Not all of our local coordinators are able to get into their offices yet to send supplies out. We encourage all of our volunteer partners to keep their own safety as the top priority, and follow local orders and the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

Can I get replacement equipment right now?

DNR and UW staff are working remotely at this time, and restrictions are in place that limit access to our offices, work-related travel, and expenses. Most of the local CLMN coordinators are not yet able to send out new equipment, but please do still contact your Regional CLMN Coordinator to let them know about any equipment needs so that we can address those needs as soon as possible.

Are there online training resources I can learn from while I wait for monitoring activities to resume as normal?

Yes. Click the bold text below for some training options:
CLMN Webinar Series - This link takes you to a YouTube playlist of all of our CLMN webinars so far from Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.
Water Chemistry Monitoring Tutorial video - This link is a video that demonstrates how to conduct water chemistry monitoring as a CLMN volunteer.
Water Clarity Monitoring Tutorial video - This link is a video that demonstrates how to conduct water clarity monitoring as a CLMN volunteer.
CLMN Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detector Handbook - This easy-to-read guidebook covers how to conduct aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring as a CLMN volunteer, and provides a full-color guide to common and uncommon invasive species of our lakes, streams, and wetlands. The PDF is available for free download.

For more information contact
Paul Skawinski, Statewide 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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