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Thursday Concurrent Session 2
60 minutes

April 19, 2018 ~ 11:00 am-12:00 pm

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, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Starry Stonewort:

*Two 30 minute presentations.

Tracing the Movement of the Invasive Alga Nitellopsis obtusa (Starry Stonewort) and an Update on Bulbil Viability Studies

Nitellopsis obtusa (starry stonewort) was first collected in the New World in the St. Lawrence River, near Montreal, Canada in the early 1970s. Since that time, N. obtusa has been reported in inland lakes from Vermont to Minnesota. Nitellopsis obtusa is a threat to native ecosystems and recreational activities and has been listed as an aggressive invasive species by the USGS. We used DNA sequence data to analyze the origin and movement of N. obtusa across the landscape. Initial genetic analysis has revealed variation between populations in Europe, Asia and North America, with European origin likely. We will also present results of experiments examining the viability of bulbils, and treatments used to kill them in an effort to stop the spread of this invasive species. The results of this research inform invasive species management and treatment efforts and provide a better understanding of how aquatic invasive species are dispersed.
Robin Sleith, Research Technician, New York Botanical Garden
Kenneth Karol, Curator, Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics, New York Botanical Garden



Starry Stonewort Management in Wisconsin: Outcomes and Forthcoming Efforts

Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) was first discovered in Wisconsin in 2014. Since then, the Wisconsin DNR and partners have been using an integrated pest management approach to adaptively manage the invasive algae in seven infested lakes within the state. On each lake, unique rapid response management techniques have been carefully chosen, yielding results of varying success. To determine treatment methods, infestation size, lake type, and surrounding vegetation were considered. Attempted methods to control the invasive algae thus far include: chemical treatment, hand pulling, diver-assisted suction harvesting (DASH), and a lake drawdown. Some treatments, such as dredging, have been discussed but have not been attempted. This presentation will elaborate on the outcomes of the attempted management approaches on Wisconsin lakes, and discuss the integrated management methods that are forthcoming.
Bradley Steckart, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Washington and Waukesha Counties
Heidi Bunk, Water Resource Management Specialist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Ecology - Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm


*Two 30 minute presentations.

Modeling Cisco Stress across Midwest Lakes to Aid Management of Cold-water Fish Habitat

Climate changes have caused significant loss of biodiversity and changes in species distribution in lakes. In the Midwest, habitat of cold- and cool-water fish within a lake is constrained by both water temperature and dissolved oxygen, typically forcing these fish into deep waters during summer. Warming has further squeezed the available habitat within many lakes, and fostered prolonged periods of low oxygen in the bottom waters. At times, suitable habitat is lost entirely from a lake. Here we describe a new lake modeling effort aimed at understanding how ongoing warming will further reduce habitat of cold-water cisco (Coregonus artedi) across Midwestern lakes. We forecast changes in oxygen availability and thermal habitat under future climate conditions, and identify lakes where management of nutrient loads and forest cover may feasibly offset warming to protect suitable habitat for cold-water species into the future.
Madeline Magee, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Limnology, UW-Madison


Upper Mississippi River Restoration: Managing a Dual-purpose River for Fish and Wildlife Habitat

While many water resources provide a multitude of uses, few have been officially recognized by congress as both a nationally significant navigation system and nationally significant ecosystem. The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) received this designation with authorization of the Environmental Management Program (EMP) in WRDA 1986. EMP, now referred to as UMR Restoration (UMRR), is a partnership program where multiple river management agencies are involved in river restoration and monitoring. The most visible results of the UMRR are the 55 large scale Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects (HREPs) affecting over 100,000 acres of floodplain habitat on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. HREPs use a variety of techniques (islands, dredging, bank protection, moist soil units, etc.) to address physical drivers to achieve project objectives. The lessons learned through planning, design and construction of these projects can provide examples of how to successfully implement projects elsewhere.
Jeff Janvrin, Mississippi River Habitat Specialist, WI Department of Natural Resources


People, Policy & Politics - Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm 

Capacity Building:

Developing Science Based Knowledge, Communication, and Action on a Countywide Scale

Learn how Oconto County’s countywide lake study and planning processes are unfolding from the perspectives of a county extension educator, project coordinator/scientist, and a state lake specialist. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a countywide strategy for lake management, which identifies the steps needed to ensure that lakes and their watersheds are healthy into the future. This process involved conversations among county departments and key external partners. The strategy covers a variety of topics which includes the management of public roads, buildings, and lands, support for lake stewardship efforts, and distribution of information.
Nancy Turyk, Water Resource Scientist, UW-Stevens Point and Waters in Balance
Dale Mohr, Community and Natural Resources Agent, UW-Extension Oconto County
Brenda Nordin, Lake Biologist, WI Department of Natural Resources

Research - Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Decades of Findings:

Blue-green Algae Toxins

Blue-green algae are lake-dwelling neighbors you may wish you didn’t have. They grow in all lakes, but only develop to nuisance levels, called algae blooms, in certain conditions. Blooms can indicate the need for better management of nutrients within the watershed. Learn how you can coexist with blue-green algae while being mindful of their potential impacts on lake health and your health. Learn how to identify blue-green algae and other kinds of lake algae, and learn what conditions cause blue-green algae to grow to problematic levels. We will discuss the health impacts of the toxins made by some blue-green algae on animals and people who ingest, inhale, or have skin contact with blue-green algae. We will review health guidelines for blue-green algal toxins, and show you how to determine safe recreational levels of blue-green algae in Wisconsin’s lakes.
Gina LaLiberte, Statewide Blue-green Algae Coordinator, WI Department of Natural Resources
Amanda Koch, CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow, WI Department of Health Services


Restoration - Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm 

Restoration of Shallow Lakes: A Primer, Learning from Several Case Histories

Human perturbations, primarily, non-point and point source nutrient loading, introduction of exotic species, and water-level changes have caused changes in the ecosystem function of shallow lakes. Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However, studies on shallow lakes, and other ecosystems have shown that smooth change can be interrupted by sudden drastic switches to a contrasting state. Many formerly clear shallow lakes in North America have shifted to an alternative stable state characterized by turbid water, algae, loss of submersed plants, low waterfowl use, and altered fish communities (benthivores/planktivores dominate). Water-levels, nutrient loading, biotic interactions, and severe weather events are often cited as the cause for this drastic shift in ecological condition. I will examine the current state of our knowledge of clear and turbid shallow lakes in Wisconsin and draw upon site-specific case studies to illustrate current research and management efforts.
Paul Cunningham, Fisheries Ecologist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Watershed Connections/Water Quality - Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Understanding Watersheds:

Making a More Functional Landscape

Watersheds are composed of different land uses such as forested, residential, agricultural fields, and many more. This session will explore how to make watershed land uses functional, in order to improve water quality. Dialogue will include discussing mechanisms for managing watersheds and various Best Management Practices (BMP's) that we can implement on the land that protect water quality.
Carolyn Scholl, County Conservationist, Vilas County, WI 

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