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Thursday Concurrent Session 4
40 minutes

April 19, 2018 ~ 2:35-3:15 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, 2:35-3:15 pm

*Two 20 minute presentations.

An Update on Aquatic Plant Management Policy Development in Wisconsin

Aquatic plants are vital for a healthy water body’s ecosystem. They provide shelter for young fish and insects in the shallows. Predatory fish hide in their cover until an unfortunate prey swims by. Aquatic plant management is an important component that affects ecosystem health, industry, tourism, and recreation in Wisconsin. In this presentation, Department of Natural Resources staff will provide an update on aquatic plant management (APM) policy development in the state. The policy includes the APM strategic analysis and current efforts to engage interested stakeholders.
Carroll Schaal, Lake and Rivers Section Chief, Water Quality Bureau, WI Department of Natural Resources
Chelsey Blanke, Aquatic Invasive Species Response Coordinator, WI Department of Natural Resources


AIS Statewide Strategic Plan

Wisconsin’s first AIS management plan was drafted in 2002 and approved for implementation in 2003. Since then, the invasion landscape in Wisconsin has changed dramatically – new species are of concern, new prevention efforts have existed, and new monitoring and control methods have been developed. In order to be responsive to these changes, UW-Extension and the Wisconsin DNR brought together a team of internal and external stakeholders to revise the plan so that it meets the needs of Wisconsin. While the main goals of “Prevent, Contain, Control” still exist, a new focus on addressing invasion pathways into and within Wisconsin now frames much of the proposed work. A draft version of the plan is currently undergoing DNR and public reviews before officially being approved for guiding Wisconsin’s AIS work into the future.
Tim Campbell, AIS Outreach Specialist, UW-Extension

AIS Statewide Strategic Plan (PDF)

Ecology - Thursday, 2:35-3:15 pm


*Two 20 minute presentations.

Improving panfish fishing in Wisconsin: A 10-year strategic plan for managing Wisconsin’s panfish

Every year, anglers target panfish like bluegill, yellow perch and crappies more than any other group of fish in Wisconsin. However, panfish have often received less management attention than other sportfish like walleye and bass. In August, 2017 the Panfish Management Team, consisting of DNR biologists and Conservation Congress members, adopted a 10-year Strategic Plan for Managing Wisconsin’s Panfish. We discuss some of the current biology related to panfish management. We also explore Panfish Plan strategies to improving fishing success for panfish including habitat improvements, angling regulations and manipulating predator-prey dynamics.
John Kubisiak, DNR Treaty Fisheries Work Unit Supervisor, WI Department of Natural Resources
Max Wolter, Fisheries Biologist, WI Department of Natural Resources


Lac du Flambeau Tribal Natural Resource Department

This presentation will describe the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Natural Resource Programs designed to protect, conserve and enhance the resources located within the 144 square mile reservation. The audience will be introduced to the reservation location, natural resource base and the programs the Tribe has developed to assure tribal members can hunt, fish and gather.
Larry Wawronowicz, Natural Resource Director, Lac du Flambeau Band of Chippewa Indians 


People, Policy & Politics - Thursday, 2:35-3:15 pm

Capacity Building:

Building Relational Capacity: Ideas from Lake Leaders

A lake organization can dramatically increase its ability to reach its goals by networking and collaborating with other stakeholder groups outside of their own. Through a coalition approach to lake and watershed issues, your lake organization can muster additional resources and learn important skills from others in your community. The collaborative strategy is available to anyone, but it relies on some key practices and a mindset that looks for win-win opportunities wherever they might occur. We will take a closer look at five different dimensions of collaborative capacity and share ideas that your group can use to start networking for good.
To be announced. 

Research - Thursday, 2:35-3:15 pm

Decades of Findings:

Ten Years of Lakeshore Restoration in the Northern Highlands - Lessons Learned

Lakeshore habitat loss has been identified as a primary factor associated with reduced lake health. To remedy this problem, many private property owners, municipalities, and landscapers have undertaken lakeshore restoration projects designed to restore habitat as well as prevent surface water run-off. As lakeshore restoration is a relatively new management practice, Michigan Technical University, Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department, and Wisconsin DNR Science Services conducted a research project to develop best management practices for the Northern Highlands, a lake-rich landscape in Northern Wisconsin. In this presentation we will share lakeshore habitat restoration practices proven to be successful and cost-effective during this research project.
Mike Meyer, Consultant, Nova Ecological Services


Restoration - Thursday, 2:35-3:15 pm 

*Two 20 minute presentations.

A River Runs Through It: The Central Area Restoration Effort for Sustainability

Learn how Wisconsin Trout Unlimited – Central Area Restoration Effort for Sustainability (TU CARES) and the Wisconsin DNR are taking an innovative approach to protecting and restoring habitat and reducing the decline in habitat quality for fish, both game and non-game species. These stream restoration projects have been completed over the last 40 – 50 years within Wisconsin’s Central Sand Hills (CSH) ecoregion and its connected watersheds.
The focal points of this presentation will be: project background, risks to the CSH ecoregion, project goals, stakeholders, watershed selections, habitat workdays, water monitoring, macroinvertebrate survey, fish survey, funding sources, advertising and communication, educational opportunities, measuring success, and progress to date.  
TU CARES is calling upon like-minded conservation groups and stakeholders to partner with us in this important initiative.  A united effort is crucial because we are all challenged with limited resources and are all wrestling with commonly shared environmental risks to our precious water resources.
Thomas Lager, Retired Technology Leader, Trout Unlimited


Fishery Woes? Try Increasing the Woody Habitat

Many fish species utilize woody habitat in several ways. Woody habitat offers protection to nesting sites, spawning surfaces, and a refuge for small fishes. In many of our lakes shore land owners have greatly reduced tree densities and removed woody habitat from the shallows, or littoral zone. Parker Lake is a seepage lake just outside of Oxford, Wisconsin. This lake has increased its woody habitat by adding ʺfish sticksʺ and fish cribs. Learn how these mid-winter projects were planned, executed and funded.
Eric Edwards, Chairman, Parker Lake Association and Adams County Lake Alliance


Watershed Connections/Water Quality - Thursday, 2:35-3:15 pm

Understanding Watersheds:

*Two 20 minute presentations.

Elkhart Lake phosphorus-reducing water quality project

The driving force of this project was neighborhood concern of the steady algae growth at Elkhart Lake. This is a popular inland lake for boating, fishing, and recreation. To address the problem, land use in the surrounding area was observed. We noticed a local farm that had agricultural drain tile implementation. This runoff was a unique starting point.  First, a local farmer was given cost-share dollars to spare a half acre area of his field.  His drain tile was then diverted into a filter bed, filled with a proprietary iron slag mixture.  The media would then capture dissolved phosphorus, and cleaner runoff would pass back to the existing drain tile, ultimately leading into Elkhart Lake. Learn more about the story of Elkhart Lake and our efforts to reduce phosphorus.
Emily Stewart, Associate Planner, Sheboygan County Planning & Conservation Department
Eric Fehlhaber, Conservation Manager, Sheboygan County Planning & Conservation Department

Wetlands by Design: A watershed approach to wetland restoration that maximizes benefits for people, wildlife, lakes, and watersheds

Wetlands provide habitat and ecosystem services that support fish and wildlife, people and communities. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy created an online mapping decision support tool—the Wetlands and Watersheds Explorer—that ranks wetland preservation and restoration opportunities for all of Wisconsin’s watersheds, based on the potential to abate floods, improve water quality, protect shorelines, supply surface water, store carbon, and provide habitat. The Explorer was developed to support decisions of a broad range of users with different goals, including lake management districts aiming to restore water quality, regulatory programs targeting wetland mitigation funds, outdoor enthusiasts interested in fish and wildlife, and municipalities working to abate floods. The Explorer is a product of GIS analysis and was field validated in the Milwaukee River Basin. In combination with field assessments, the Explorer identifies top-tier opportunities to provide services that benefit people, wildlife, lakes, and watersheds.
Nicholas Miller, Science Director, The Nature Conservancy
Joanne Kline, Ecologist, Conservation Strategies Group
Thomas Bernthal, Water Resource Management Specialist, WI Department of Natural Resources 
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