Thursday Concurrent Session 2
April 2, 2020 ~ 10:40 am-Noon
Agenda subject to change.
*Two 40 minute presentations
The Basics of Lake Science
This introduction to lake science will describe how a lake’s shape and position in the landscape influence what that lake is like. Learn about basic physical, chemical and biological systems and how they relate. Explore how these features create different suitabilities for the plants and animals that call a lake “home.” This foundation helps us evaluate each lake’s potential health, and sets the stage for how we protect and manage lakes.
Presenter: Susan Graham, Southcentral Region Lakes Management Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Stream Ecology: The Basics
This presentation will cover the basics of stream ecology including important interactions with nearby ecosystems (e.g. riparian zones and wetlands). Discover the key components of these ecosystems and how energy and material travels through streams. Learn about the effects humans are having on streams, and the common chemical and biotic signals of stressors in these dynamic systems.
Presenter: Jered Studinski, Assistant Professor in Fisheries & Water Resources, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Lawmaker and Executive Roundtable: Recapping the Year of Clean Drinking Water and the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality
We will hear from state lawmakers and a representative from Governor Ever’s administration, recapping their experiences addressing complex water challenges through public hearings, legislative proposals, and programmatic changes.
Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), Chair, Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality
Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), Co-Chair, Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality
Todd Ambs, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Moderator: Mike Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes
Recent Field Research: Bears and Wild Rice
Research regarding manoomin or wild rice, an annual aquatic grass, as an important cultural resource to the Lac du Flambeau community will be highlighted, including challenges related to global climate change and current high water conditions. Black bear research on genetic viability of the species and population assessments of reservation bears will also be shared. Andre will end his presentation by taking any questions you might have on their project findings.
Presenter: Andre Virden, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Coordinator, Tribal Natural Resources, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
WAV and Citizen Science Monitoring of Polluted Runoff in a CAFO-Impacted Watershed: Is Our Current Situation Sustainable for Northeast Wisconsin and Lake Michigan?
This presentation will explore water pollution issues in several watersheds of northeast Wisconsin using Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gathered data as well as Water Action Volunteer (WAV) data collected by volunteers with Kewaunee CARES. Streams and rivers of the watershed are impacted by agricultural runoff and occasional manure spills associated with 16 large-scale dairy CAFOs. Citizens have been collecting reliable water quality for five years, and the DNR has begun collecting data necessary to establish county-wide TMDL budgets for multiple pollutants commonly found from dairy CAFOs. Our work compares and combines DNR and WAV data to help assess the sustainability of industrial agriculture in this region and the resiliency of streams, rivers, and Lake Michigan when considering present and future pollutant loads.
Jerry Pellet, Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center (Retired)
Lynn Utesch, Kewaunee CARES
Lake Wissota Stewardship ProjectThe Lake Wissota Stewardship Project is a public/private watershed business model designed to meet the established water quality objectives of Little Lake Wissota and Moon Bay, which are embayments of Lake Wissota on the Chippewa River. The Project was initiated in 2009 by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and the Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management Committee, and is now co-sponsored by the Lake Wissota Improvement and Protection Association. Under the lake management model, the project activities are planned and implemented under three components; community outreach, “conservation on the land”, and resource monitoring. The Purpose of the Project is to meet TMDL and Phosphorus load reduction goals by implementing NR151 Ag Non-Point Performance Standards and by restoring basin hydrology in the contributing watersheds. This presentation will present results and accomplishments of the project to date with a focus on activities that may be transferable to other lake management efforts.
Presenter: Caleb Meyer, Watershed Specialist/Project Manager, Lake Wissota Stewardship Project
*One 40 minute overview & two 20 minute presentations
Climate Change and Extreme Weather in Wisconsin
Like the rest of the country, Wisconsin has warmed and experienced more extreme weather during recent decades. A greater amount of heavy precipitation is responsible for much of this increase in extremes, including some high-profile events such as the August 2018 record deluge in the Madison area. Climate models project a greater frequency and intensity of heavy rainfalls and heat waves in Wisconsin and elsewhere, pointing to an urgent need for enhanced adaptation and resilience strategies. Improvements in downscaled climate modeling are allowing greater confidence in predicting trends in climate and extreme weather across the state and around the country. This presentation will highlight the major changes that have occurred in Wisconsin recently, as well as those expected through the rest of this century. These trends have already impacted lakes and rivers around the state, and the projected warmer and wetter climate will continue to do so in the future.
Presenter: Steve Vavrus, Senior scientist, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Are Lakes in Hot Water? A Look at Temperature Trends Across Wisconsin
Many aquatic organisms are sensitive to temperature and potentially threatened by climate-induced changes in water temperature. We expect lake temperature changes to be variable across lake characteristics (e.g., size, depth, clarity) in Wisconsin, but long-term temperature records exist for only a minority of lakes. The lack of temperature records in space and time limits our understanding of the threat that temperature changes pose to aquatic organisms across the state. To overcome these data limitations, we used observed weather data and physical understanding of heat gains and losses in water to model past temperature dynamics in thousands of lakes in Wisconsin. Additionally, we leveraged data for lakes with rich temperature records by using hybrid models that combine our physical models with machine learning approaches to improve prediction accuracy. Here, we describe temperature changes and discuss what the future might hold for Wisconsin lakes and the organisms that call them home.
Presenter: Samantha Oliver, Hydrologist, USGS Upper Midwest Water Science Center
Lake-Specific Climate Adaptation Solutions for Preserving Cold-Water Fish Habitat in Wisconsin Lakes
Wisconsin’s lakes are a vital economic and cultural natural resource statewide but are threatened greatly by climate change. Harmful algal blooms, flooding, and fish kills can all be attributed to a warmer, wetter climate. To manage our lakes, resource managers need to consider (1) how lakes are changing; (2) what mechanisms are causing undesired changes to the lake; and (3) how differences in watershed characteristics and lake morphometry impact effectiveness of adaptation solutions. I will use an example of developing lake-specific adaptation solutions for cold-water fish habitat in two Wisconsin lakes to illustrate this process. Using modeling, I assess impacts of climate change on cold-water fish habitat, elucidate mechanisms causing negative impacts to fish habitat, and assess usefulness of adaptation options for the study lakes.
Presenter: Madeline Magee, Great Lakes and Mississippi River Monitoring Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
*Three 25 minute presentations
Crowdsourcing for Valuable Water Quality Data: Winter Salt Watch
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) is at the helm of a nationwide citizen science water monitoring project. Salt Watch is a simple monitoring program that equips everyday citizens to monitor the chloride content in their local waterways following winter storms, and submit their data using the Water Report App. In cases where chloride levels are excessive, we encourage citizen scientists to contact the agency or group that is responsible for salt application on roadways and advocate for responsible application rates. When winter is over and data has been submitted, League staff produce a map of chloride levels in watersheds around the country. Last winter, media in multiple cities ran stories about Salt Watch findings. This presentation provides an opportunity to learn about IWLA’s innovative citizen science volunteer engagement, web-based data visualization, turning citizen science data into action on a local level, and volunteer recruitment strategies.
Presenter: Zach Moss, Save Our Streams Coordinator, Izaak Walton League of America
Increasing Salinity in Wisconsin's Lakes and Rivers
Chloride accumulation in freshwater is on the rise across the Midwest. Road salt is the biggest contributor of chloride to our lakes and streams, followed by other sources like water softeners and agricultural fertilizers. Though not a new problem, more of Wisconsin’s waters are being threatened by chloride in recent years, causing it to quickly gain public and research interest. Since 2012, there has been an increase in additions to the state’s impaired waters list for chloride and this trend is likely to continue if overapplication of road salt continues. This study aims to determine chloride loading in two urban and agricultural watersheds: Lake Mendota and Lake Monona watersheds. Preliminary results will be shared to highlight chloride’s movement through stream to lake. The results will provide chloride sources, flushing rates, and water quality management recommendations to cease the increase in salinity while maintaining safety.
Presenter: Linnea Rock, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Winter Road Salt Monitoring in the Milwaukee River Basin and Actions to Reduce Chloride Pollution at the Source
Over application of road salt can pose a very real threat to the health of our rivers and environment. Chloride, the key ingredient in road salt, can permanently pollute our freshwater systems. Low chloride concentration levels over long periods of exposure and high spikes in concentration over a short period, both have lasting (and sometimes deadly) impacts to life within the stream. Learn about Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s hardiest volunteers who collect critical data on chloride and conductivity throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. In an additional effort to reduce chloride pollution at its source, Milwaukee Riverkeeper works with winter road maintenance professionals in a series of workshops focusing on road salt application best practices.
Presenter: Katie Rademacher, Water Quality Manager, Milwaukee Riverkeeper