Thursday Concurrent Session 4
April 11, 2019 ~ 2:35-3:15 pm
Agenda subject to change.
*Two 20-minute presentations
Lake Level Fluctuations in Wisconsin
Lake levels fluctuate over time and can influence everything from recreation to fish growth to mercury contamination. Unfortunately, water levels are rarely monitored on lakes. We compiled lake and groundwater level records from approximately 2000 locations around the state and found that the accumulation of precipitation over a 10-year window is a good predictor of lake levels. We also learned that lakes in the north were very low at the same time as lakes in the south were very high. Come to this session to learn how lake levels fluctuate over time across the state, how these fluctuations influence the lake, and how to manage lake levels.
Presenter: Katie Hein, Lake Monitoring Technical Lead, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Citizen Science: Understanding Ecosystem Response to Flooding
Flooding due to unprecedented rainfall during August 2018 affected many areas in Dane County, Wisconsin. Much of the focus was on the immediate aftermath, especially related to property damage and loss. Less obvious are the ecological effects within watersheds. The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association, UW-Madison North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research, Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement have collaborated on a new study using USGS hydrology data from the National Water Information System: Web Interface. We found that flooding due to an extreme rainfall event on August 20, 2018 resulted in dramatic changes in gage height, discharge, conductivity and dissolved oxygen that were elevated longer than expected. Though hydrology data have since recovered, implications for changes in habitat and biological diversity may persist for a number of years. In this session, we will describe results from the study and related educational resources for citizen scientists and educators.
Robert Bohanan, Ecologist and Science Educator
Wade Moder, Director, Upper Sugar River Watershed Association
The entire Wisconsin Lakes Partnership is premised on the idea that no one group can adequately care for lakes and watersheds. We need to develop and strengthen techniques for collaboration, allowing partners to focus on their strengths and complementing each other as much as possible. For example, lake organizations and land trusts each have niche roles that they can play in caring for lakes. In this session, we will discuss some of the key best practices for partnering.
Presenter: Eric Olson, Director, Extension Lakes
Under the Surface: The Intersection of Healing, Artistic Expression and Conservation
Northwest Passage, a residential mental health treatment program for youth, is located in the watersheds of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. Since its inception in 1978 it has used the woods and water of the region as a setting for psychological healing. Over the last five years, they have delved into the world of underwater exploration and photography as a means of connecting at risk youth to nature and guiding them to discover their own creative talents. In this presentation, Program Leaders Ian Karl and Dr. Toben Lafrancois will share artwork from the students and discuss details of the program. They will also provide examples of how the water is a healing and inspirational force in the lives of marginalized youth and how this program is helping to create the next generation of conservationists in our state.
Ian Karl, Experiential Programming Coordinator, Northwest Passage
Toben Lafrancois, Invertebrate Biologist, Aquatic Ecologist and Adjunct Professor, Northland College
Videos about program
Policy Hot Topic: Wakeboats and Recreational Boating Ordinances
Many lakes in Wisconsin are witnessing a dramatic uptick in the presence of wakeboats - the huge powerboats that create a large wake to allow for wakesurfing. Stories are surfacing from across the state of damage to shorelines and habitat, as well as the safety hazards to other boaters and lake users. There are also concerns that the large ballast tanks of these boats may transport aquatic invasives from one lake to the next. This session will look at these issues, discuss successes and failures in local ordinance development and enforcement, as well as the potential and limitations for statewide solutions.
Presenter: Mike Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes
*Two 20-minute presentations
Responses of Larval Fish and Zooplankton to Application of 2,4-D Herbicides in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
In this session, we will examine the results of a study done on the responses of larval fish and zooplankton to application of 2, 4-D herbicides in northern Wisconsin lakes. The objectives of this study were to determine if whole-lake 2, 4-D herbicide treatments used to control Eurasian watermilfoil affected: 1) abundance, diversity, and size of zooplankton and 2) feeding, growth and size of larval fishes. Sampling occurred over three years (2015-2017) on six lakes in northern Wisconsin; three lakes served as references where no herbicide was applied. No statistically significant responses to the herbicide treatments were detected in any of the zooplankton or larval fish metrics we measured, but trends varied among lakes. We will discuss what these results mean and why potential effects may be difficult to detect in a lake setting.
Dan Isermann, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Nick Rydell, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Effects of Low, Subchronic Exposure of Commercial 2,4-D Formulation on Early Life Stages of Freshwater Game Fish Species
Aquatic herbicides are used worldwide to eradicate nuisance and invasive plants despite limited knowledge of their toxicity to non-target organisms. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a common active ingredient in commercial herbicide formulations. Application practices typically coincide with yearly freshwater fish spawning, exposing fish to xenobiotics during their vulnerable larval stages. However, the physiological impacts of 2,4-D on larval fish remain poorly understood. We conducted a series of experiments to determine the effects of low concentrations of commercial amine salt herbicide formulation DMA®4IVM on the development and survival of nine freshwater fish species at various life stages. We observed reduced survival in embryo assays for 4 out of 9 species tested, reduced survival in 30-day larval assay for 4 out of 6 species tested, and no reduced survival in a 90-day juvenile assay in the 2 species tested. Altogether, the results indicate that the use of 2,4-D herbicide DMA®4IVM for weed control in aquatic ecosystems at current recommended concentrations could reduce fitness and survival of freshwater game fish species.
Gavin Dehnert, PhD candidate, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Bill Karasov, Professor & Researcher, Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Science and Volunteers Behind Snapshot Wisconsin/ELK
Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer-based wildlife monitoring project from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We recruit volunteers to host trail cameras on public or private land of at least 10 acres or more across the state, including the areas of elk reintroduction. The photos are posted online at www.SnapshotWisconsin.org for crowd-sourced classification. The goals of the project are to provide efficient information for wildlife management decision support and to involve the public in the process. Snapshot Wisconsin is a great opportunity for people of all ages to get involved and learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife. This presentation will share some results from the first two years, lessons learned, how to get involved in the project and tools we are using for statewide outreach.
Presenter: Susan Frett, Natural Resource Educator, Snapshot Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources