Thursday Concurrent Session 3
April 2, 2020 ~ 1:45-2:25 pm
Agenda subject to change.
Climate Change: AIS, Fish, and Wildlife Impacts
This polar bear free program will challenge participants to evaluate the "wicked issue" of climate change through its impacts on the sustainability of aquatic species and habitats that support cultural and economic practices we value in our Wisconsin lakes. We'll peek into the future to understand what challenges a changing climate may bring to our lakes and how we can be prepared to increase their resiliency.
Presenter: Cathy Techtmann, Environmental Outreach Specialist, UW Madison Division of Extension & President of the Friends of the Gile Flowage Lake Association
Farmers for the Upper Sugar River: Beginning and Growing a Farmer-Led Coalition
After four years, Farmers for the Upper Sugar River (FUSR) has grown from 5 members farmers to over 40, and represents 11,000 cropland acres. After many lessons learned along the way, this presentation will provide a case study on how to start a producer-led coalition, along with some examples for keeping the coalition fresh and continuously moving forward.
Presenter: Wade Moder, Executive Director, Upper Sugar River Watershed Association
Food Web Interactions and Movements of Walleyes and Lake Whitefish in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
Green Bay supports important fisheries for walleyes, lake whitefish, and yellow perch and these species likely interact in a variety of ways. A better understanding of these interactions is needed to guide management decisions. The objectives of our research are to determine if lake whitefish and yellow perch represent important prey for walleyes in Green Bay and if the extent of walleye predation is sufficiently high to influence recruitment potential of these two prey species. Additionally, we are using telemetry to study the movements of walleye and lake whitefish in and around Green Bay. Preliminary results suggest that lake whitefish and yellow perch comprise between 5-6% of walleye diets overall and that movements of walleye and lake whitefish are variable among groups of fish tagged in different locations. These combined research efforts will help biologists better understand the “where” and “when” aspects of species interactions in Green Bay.
Dan Iserman, Unit Leader, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Lucas Koenig, Graduate Researcher, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Daniel Dembkowski, Research Scientist, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
*Two 20 minute presentations
Results from a Five-Year study of Eleven Lakes Near a Potential Iron Mine Site in Northern Wisconsin
The Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College has been studying eleven lakes in the vicinity of a recent iron mine proposal near Mellen, WI. Through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lake Planning grant program, we have systematically studied physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of these unique lakes in order to provide baseline information that will be useful for any future proposals to mine iron ore in the region and may also be useful in further understanding reference conditions in undeveloped lakes. We will present results and discuss similarities and differences between the lakes based on physical, chemical, and biological data we have collected over a five-year period, discuss how these data can be useful for the long-term management of the lakes and resilience of lakes in general, and talk about potential future research directions.
Matt Hudson, Associate Director and Water Scientist, Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College
Emma Holtan, Undergraduate Researcher, Northland College
Multi-Partner Efforts to Reduce Sediment Loading to Chequamegon Bay
The largest nonpoint pollution issue affecting the Chequamegon Bay region of Lake Superior is excess sedimentation. The problem has been exacerbated by several large flooding events that have afflicted the region in recent years. The excess sedimentation problem is driven by historic land cover changes that have led to increased surface runoff rates and elevated peak flows that lead to severe erosion of bluff and valley walls in regional streams. The Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College recently led a multi-partner restoration effort aimed at reducing surface runoff rates by increasing upland water storage and in-stream sources of excess sediment through installation of a log crib wall within the Fish Creek watershed in northwest Wisconsin. We will discuss the project and monitoring efforts that are underway to track the success of the log crib wall over time.
Presenter: Shelly Ray, Research Associate, Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College
Wild Rice Susceptibility in the Face of Climate Change and an Adaptation Case Study at Spur Lake State Natural Area
Northern wild rice – known as manoomin to the Ojibwe – has a very limited global distribution and is found in abundance in the US only in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This ecologically and culturally significant plant is adapted to northern environments and is being stressed by changing climatic conditions. The first half of this presentation will summarize some of the primary impacts that climate change is having on wild rice across its range; the second half will focus on specific efforts to restore manoomin on a historically significant rice lake in Oneida County. Spur Lake, designated a State Natural Area in 2007, is a 113-acre muck-bottomed soft-water drainage lake that supports dense beds of emergent, submergent, and floating-leaved aquatic plants. Historically, wild rice was the dominant emergent species, but water levels on Spur Lake have increased since the 1990’s to the point where the lake can no longer support wild rice. In 2019, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science facilitated an adaptation workshop for experts and vested partners to evaluate climate change impacts on the lake and potential adaptation measures to consider implementing. We will discuss the outcome of this adaptation workshop and how the newly formed Spur Lake Working Group is moving forward to attempt to restore wild rice on this historically important site.
Carly Lapin, Regional Biologist, Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Peter David, Wildlife Biologist, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
This is Your WAV on Karst
Crawford Stewardship Project will present on the interconnections between surface- and groundwater in a driftless karst landscape, and the challenges this presents in water quality monitoring. Our ancient landscape is stunningly beautiful and water rich, but shifts in land use and increased extreme precipitation have combined to threaten our watersheds. How do we monitor a disappearing or intermittent stream? What can well tests tell us about our waterways? Where do contaminants come from if found in a spring? What tests, in addition to basic Water Action Volunteer (WAV) protocols, are helpful to measure the health of our water? How can stream monitoring inform proposed targeted performance standards for karstic Wisconsin? How can we advocate for significant protections in sensitive landscapes? While we don’t have all the answers, we have over a decade of experience dealing with these questions, and would be happy to facilitate this important discussion among participants of the symposium.
Presenter: Forest Jahnke, Program Coordinator, Crawford Stewardship Project