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Thursday Concurrent Session 1
50 minutes

April 19, 2018 ~ 8:00-8:50 am

Your Lakes Convention will offer over 50 concurrent session options. Click here to view the different themes.

Agenda subject to change.

Aquatic Invasive Species - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am

General Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS):

*Two 25 minute presentations.

Finding and Stopping the Next Invaders

For more than a decade, Wisconsin’s aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring program has been building a strong network of staff, volunteers and partners. Our 5-year AIS monitoring effort found that the rate of spread has not changed and that many AIS are established. While we are refining management techniques for some established species, like Eurasian watermilfoil, preventing the spread of AIS and early detection remains important. Chapter NR 40 is just one tool to help stop the introduction of species that are not established in Wisconsin. We are also developing ways to monitor the various pathways AIS might take into Wisconsin. After these pathways are identified, targeted monitoring of the most vulnerable locations is vital. By using the best available tools, AIS are detected and, hopefully, stopped before they become widespread.
Maureen Ferry, Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Coordinator, WI Department of Natural Resources

Finding and Stopping the Next Invaders (PDF)          

Waterfowl Hunter AIS Outreach Campaign 2017

The Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program, Wisconsin DNR Water Guards, UW-Extension, and members of Wisconsin’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Partnership are slowing the spread of AIS in Wisconsin. Many species spread through pathways that have received less attention than recreational summer boaters. September 2017 marked the second season of the Waterfowl Hunter AIS Campaign. Approximately 800 waterfowl hunters were contacted directly and thousands reached through media. Many hunters realize the importance of stopping AIS but are still learning how they can play a role. Water Guards, assisted by local partners and volunteers, led the program at five major hunting locations. In other areas of the state, partners conducted outreach for the first time. UW-Extension staff and the WDNR Office of Communications provided a statewide press release and media alerts. UW-Extension and AIS partners developed communication tools now available to anyone who would like to expand their outreach in 2018.
Jeanne Scherer, AIS Outreach and Monitoring Specialist, UW-Extension & WI Department of Natural Resources
Chris Hamerla, Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc.
Samantha Olsen, Conservation Warden, WI Department of Natural Resources    


Ecology - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am

Reconnecting Rivers Through Culvert Replacement or Removal

A majority of Wisconsin’s 115 fish species, including trout, need to move throughout a watershed seasonally or at varying stages in their lifecycle to feed, find cooler water, avoid predators, and reach spawning habitat. Rivers, long and linear in nature, are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation thanks, in part, to our immense network of roads. All too common, where black lines and blue lines meet on a map, aquatic habitat is severed or fragmented which prevents fish and other aquatic organisms to move freely. Trout Unlimited staff and volunteers are working to restore connectivity within our trout streams through the replacement or removal of inadequate or damaged culverts. While improving the fishing, our efforts will also prevent road failures, a catastrophic scenario which poses great risk to human life and the health of our rivers.
Laura MacFarland, Great Lakes Stream Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited


People, Policy & Politics - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am 

Coming of Age: Transitioning from Lake Organization Formation to Building Capacity in Existing Organizations

Lake organizations have long been the linchpin of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership. They often serve as the primary local institution that brings together dozens, even hundreds of individual lakeshore property owners and other lake lovers to collaborate on lake management challenges. Over several decades, certain characteristics and practices have emerged that enable lake organizations to carry out their work more effectively and efficiently. UW Extension Lakes and Wisconsin Lakes are now engaging with all lake organizations across the state to share these practices and spur local leaders to review how their groups operate and consider what they might do in order to increase their capacity. This session will review the “mental model” that informs our lake organization capacity strategy and share examples of best practices that have come from Wisconsin lake leaders.
Mike Engleson, Director, Wisconsin Lakes
Eric Olson, Director, UW-Extension Lakes

Research - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am

Decades of Findings:

*Two 25 minute presentations.

Wisconsin’s Acid-sensitive Lakes 30 Years After Acid Rain Legislation

Acid rain is caused primarily by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, mostly from coal-fired power plants and pulp and paper mills. In 1986, Wisconsin passed Act 296, limiting emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. During this same time, a number of Wisconsin lakes were sampled to examine the extent of acid-sensitive lakes and evaluate their response to emission reductions over time. Much of this work ended in the 1990s. In the fall of 2016, 18 of these original lakes were re-sampled to examine how they’re changed over the past 30 years. The recent sampling has shown that these lakes have responded favorably with decreases in sulfate concentrations and increased buffering capacity. Additional unforeseen water chemistry changes have also occurred, particularly increases in dissolved organic carbon.
Steven Greb, Research Scientist, WI Department of Natural Resources


A Snapshot of Lake Health Across Wisconsin

In 2017, Wisconsin DNR participated in the National Lake Assessment, a survey of lake health across the entire United States. Fifty-two lakes in Wisconsin were randomly selected. From water chemistry to aquatic plants to shoreline habitat, everything was surveyed. The selected lakes provide an opportunity to inventory our state’s smallest and most remote lakes in addition to large lakes, which are more heavily influenced by humans. Get a sneak peek on the survey results and a flavor of the variety of Wisconsin lakes.
Katie Hein, Lake Monitoring Leader, WI Department of Natural Resources
Ali Mikulyuk, Research Scientist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Restoration - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am 

Improving Lake Water Quality with Alum: The Wisconsin Experience

Internal cycling of phosphorus occurs in all lakes; however, in some, the amount of phosphorus being released from bottom sediments can fuel algae blooms even when external nutrient sources have been minimized.  This phenomenon can occur in shallow and deep lakes.  In deep lakes this is apparent by a buildup of phosphorus in the hypolimnion which fuels algal blooms the following summer.  In shallow lakes it results in increased phosphorus concentrations in the surface waters as the summer progresses.  In some cases, an effective technique to reduce internal loading is the use of aluminum sulfate (alum) which binds phosphorus in the sediments and prevents it from entering the overlaying water.  Over 20 lakes in Wisconsin have been treated with alum since 1970.  We will discuss treatments that were successful and those that failed.  We will also describe how we determine if an alum treatment is appropriate for a lake and if so, how much alum should be used and the expected longevity of a treatment.
Paul Garrison, Research Scientist, Onterra, LLC. 
Tim Hoyman, Aquatic Ecologist, Onterra, LLC.


Watershed Connections/Water Quality - Thursday, 8:00-8:50 am

Understanding Watersheds:

What is the Water Telling Us About the Land?

This session will explore what the water in our lakes and our streams tells us about our land. In Wisconsin, the land “makes” water as the precipitation that falls on the land becomes the flow in our streams and the water in our lakes. Our streams “integrate” the water that falls on different parts of our land at different times. Finally, our lakes “store” water, sometimes for years, when the rate of water entering is small compared to the size of the lake. And that’s just the beginning. Because the composition of the water changes dramatically as precipitation works its way through our land, the land will also control the quality of the water moving into our streams and lakes. The result is a fascinating story but a complex task as we try to figure out what our water is telling us about the land.
Paul McGinley, Water Quality Specialist, UW-Extension


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