Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lake levels and other topics tackled in online FAQ

MADISON – People who flock to Wisconsin 15,081 lakes over the long holiday weekend can find online answers to their questions about lakes, including water levels, blue green algae, and other phenomenon they may encounter.

“Many Wisconsin residents and visitors will spend some or all of the July Fourth holiday enjoying a lake,” says Jeff Bode, the longtime leader of the Department of Natural Resources’ lakes program.

“Every lake is special. We hope the information we provide in our “About Lakes” pages can help you understand more about the lake that is your destination and the natural phenomena you may see.”

One more week to take online pledge and enter prize drawing

Anglers and boaters have one more week to enter the “Root for the Home Team” giveaway, a promotion sponsored by the DNR and the Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL) to encourage anglers and boater to take steps to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives and VHS fish disease. More than 500 people have taken an online pledge to take prevention steps.

WAL will be giving one lucky winner two luxury-suite tickets to the Brewers versus the San Francisco Giants game on Saturday, Sept. 5. Additional fishing-related prizes will also be awarded.

To enter, contestants must take an online pledge to follow the simple prevention steps. Go to the DNR’s home page and click on “Step Up to the Plate."

The deadline to enter is July 5, 2009 and winners will be announced July 6, 2009. Contestants must be at least 16 years of age.

With warm weather, Swimmers Itch makes annual appearance

SPOONER, Wis. -- As waters warm an annual nuisance known as “swimmer’s itch” is making its seasonal appearance in Wisconsin lakes. Technically known as schistosome dermatitis, swimmer’s itch appears as red itching, bite-like welts within minutes and sometimes hours after leaving the water. The irritation can last from two days to several weeks, depending on the individual’s susceptibility.

There are no permanent effects to people from this pest.

Swimmer’s itch is a widespread occurrence and is found in other states and other parts of the world. According to Frank Koshere, a Department of Natural Resources water resources specialist, there seem to be no special characteristics of lakes having the problem.

“Some of the finest recreational waters in the state experience swimmer’s itch,” he said, “whereas other lakes may have an occasional outbreak or none at all.” An outbreak may be severe, but last for only a few days, or be minor and last much of the season.

The irritation is caused during a life stage of a flatworm parasite (Schistosome) which lives in an adult host such as mice and ducks. The adult worm sheds its eggs via the host’s excretory tract into the water. There they hatch into a free-swimming stage called a “miracidium.” The miracidium swim in search of a proper second host animal, a particular type of snail. If a proper snail is found, the miracidium will penetrate into the snail’s tissue and undergo further development. After a three- or four-week development period, another free-swimming stage called a “cercaria” emerges from the snail in search of the proper primary bird or mammal host.
This is when the bug and humans meet.

The cercariae release normally occurs when the water temperatures reach their near-maximum summer temperature -- usually in late June or early July in northern Wisconsin, coinciding with peak water recreational activities. This is the time the organism can accidentally contact bathers and cause swimmer’s itch.

Most cercariae are released during the mid-day hours from noon to 2 p.m. with little free-swimming abilities, the cercariae will swim to the surface to optimize their chance of contacting a suitable animal host—and may latch on to human skin. Concentrated near the surface, wind and currents may carry the organism up to four miles.

The cercariae may not penetrate the skin until after the bather leaves the water, at which time the person may feel a slight tingling sensation. The cercariae are soon killed by the body’s natural defense mechanism, but will continue to cause irritation. Studies have shown that 30 to 40 percent of individuals contacting the parasites are sensitive and experience irritation. Small children playing in shallow water are most susceptible because of the alternate wetting and drying with the arms, legs and waist area most prone to infection.

More information and printable signs for cautioning people about swimmer's itch outbreaks are available on the swimmer's itch information page of the DNR Web site.


Prevention measures

Although swimmer’s itch can be a nuisance, people in the U.S. are fortunate that it causes no lasting health problems.

Preventive measures can be taken to either reduce exposure or attempt to prevent the penetration. Swimming rather than playing or wading in shallow water will reduce exposure. If swimmer’s itch is known to be present, avoid swimming when winds are likely to be carrying cercariae into the beach. Swim offshore if possible. Brisk and vigorous toweling immediately after leaving the water can crush the cercariae before they can penetrate the skin. Some sunscreens and lotions reduce the infections but nothing is completely effective. Once the irritation has developed, various soothing lotions or ointments may be applied to relieve the itching. For severe cases, prescription antihistamines and topical steroid creams may be prescribed by a physician.

There is no effective way for people to eliminate swimmer’s itch on their beaches. Attempts to kill or cercariae or their snail hosts are ineffective because cercariae are capable of swimming or drifting long distances from non-treated areas. It makes no difference if a beach area is sandy, rocky or weedy. Host snails will live on all sites and one species, which commonly harbors swimmer’s itch, prefers sandy-bottom areas. Modern pesticide laws prohibit treatments as they were historically attempted. Chemical treatment for swimmer’s itch is not likely to be permitted in a natural lake where the above adverse effects will occur. Treatments to kill snails are very harsh and kill many non-target plants and animals and may lead to contaminated sediments. Anyone wanting to chemical treat their beach must obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

Feeding ducks should be discouraged if swimmer’s itch is known to be a problem on the lake, since waterfowl are an important host for the parasite. New occurrences of swimmer’s itch seem to be strongly associated with people feeding and attracting ducks. In recent years, Koshere explained, there have been experimental attempts at treating the host birds with veterinary medicines. The theory is to rid the birds of the adult parasite before they can infect the snail population with miracidia. Depending on the different kinds and numbers of adult hosts, success at this method will be limited to specific situations. Thus far, the procedure is considered impractical on a lake-wide scale in Wisconsin.

“It’s best to regard swimmer’s itch like mosquitoes, wood ticks and deer flies.” Koshere said. Often these pests are signs of a healthy and diverse environment and they shouldn’t discourage us from enjoying the outdoors.”

Effort to prevent spread of VHS fish disease, invasive species to increase over July Fourth weekend

MADISON – At popular shore fishing locations and boat landings this Fourth of July holiday, conservation wardens and paid and volunteer watercraft inspectors will be making sure that people take all of the steps necessary to stop the spread of the VHS fish disease in Wisconsin waters.


“The vast majority of anglers and boaters are doing a great job taking the prevention steps, but some anglers are not and we all need to do our part and make sure we take all of the steps,” says Randy Stark, Wisconsin’s Chief Conservation Warden.
Some anglers are leaving their shore fishing spot or boat landing with a bucketful or cooler full of water and the fish they caught earlier in the day, a violation of VHS rules, Stark says. Such actions are the most common VHS violations reported this year by the DNR’s Water Guards, (Water Guards at Work -- video; 4.55 min.) -- specialized wardens focused on increasing awareness and enforcement of laws to prevent the spread of VHS, zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.

And just last week, a DNR conservation warden cited an angler who transferred live fish from Lake Kegonsa in Dane County to Lake Leota in Rock County, in violation of state rules preventing the spread of VHS and longstanding state stocking rules.

“Whether anglers are fishing from a boat or from the shore, state law requires that when you leave, you do not take away the day’s catch in a bucket or cooler full of water,” Stark says. “Drain the water out and keep the fish in the empty bucket or throw the fish in a cooler of ice.”
Stark says that the conservation wardens and the Water Guard will be stepping up education efforts and taking enforcement action over the long holiday, “particularly when we see anglers leaving with a bucketful of water and fish from those Wisconsin lakes and rivers considered to be infected with VHS.”

Watercraft inspectors paid by the state and county, as well as volunteers trained through Wisconsin’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters (exit DNR) education and inspection program, also will be out at boat landings and shore fishing spots, educating anglers and boaters about the rules to prevent the spread of VHS and aquatic invasive species.

Conservation Warden Boyd Richter cited a 29-year-old Evansville man earlier this month after the man said he released five adult bluegills from Lake Kegonsa into Lake Leota despite knowing the action violated VHS rules. Richter, who was responding to a complaint left on DNR’s violation hotline, issued the man a citation for $1,133 for violating stocking rules, which Richter said more accurately reflected the man’s action and carried a higher bond than the VHS violation.

Mike Staggs, DNR’s fisheries director, says that transferring live fish and the water they’re carried in to another lake or river runs a serious risk of spreading VHS fish disease, other fish diseases and invasive species such as zebra mussels and spiny water fleas. It also can hurt stocking efforts and other efforts to manage a fishery.

“We understand the temptation of being a bait bucket biologist, but the risk is huge,” Staggs says.

“We need everybody to take the steps that will prevent VHS and other diseases and invasive species from spreading to new lakes and rivers. That includes not moving live fish, draining water from your boat and equipment, buying bait in Wisconsin and following rules for using leftover bait, and removing all plants, animals and mud your boat and trailer before leaving.”

A fall 2008 University of Wisconsin Badger Poll (exit DNR) shows that more than 90 percent of anglers and boaters were taking steps to inspect boats and remove plants and animals from them, and a slightly lower percentage said they were following the new bait rules. Only 58.6 percent said they never move live fish between different bodies of water.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Natural Resources Board Approves Updates to Shoreland Protection Rules

MADISON – The Natural Resources Board today passed updates to state shoreland protection rules, increasing flexibility for property owners to manage their land while improving environmental protections for lakes and streams. The proposal, which was announced by Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank and supported by the River Alliance of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association of Lakes, the Wisconsin Realtors Association and the Wisconsin Builders Association, is the first major statewide shoreland protection revision in over 40 years.

The updates reflect the 50,000 public comments DNR received over several years and more than a dozen public hearings. Legislative review of the proposal is now required.

The proposed changes accomplish three important goals:

More flexibility for shoreland property owners to make improvements to their homes, while reducing the environmental impact of shoreland structures and hard surfaces.
Enhanced protections to preserve water quality, habitat and scenic beauty.
Streamlining the process to administer the rules.

“This proposal achieves a solid balance between the public interest in protecting Wisconsin’s beautiful lakes, rivers and streams, and the rights of private shoreland owners to enjoy their property,” Secretary Frank said. “Modernizing these rules ensures that as Wisconsin grows and develops, we are protecting our most precious natural resources so fundamental to our economy, recreation and our quality of life. This proposal reflects the improvements in our understanding as to what is most effective in protecting our waterways from storm-water run-off, improving both water quality and promoting healthy wildlife and fisheries habitat.”

Wisconsin’s shoreland protection rules were first created in 1968. They largely apply to unincorporated areas - those outside city and village boundaries. Under the proposal, basic provisions of the shoreland protection rules would remain unchanged, including the 75 foot setback from the shoreline for new structures and minimum lot sizes of 20,000 square feet (10,000 square feet for sub-standard lots). The new rule would implement a 35 foot limit on the height of shoreland structures.

Under the new rules, shoreland owners with an existing non-conforming residence located between 35 feet and 75 feet of the shoreline would have greater flexibility to make home improvements. Spending limits for repairs to existing homes are removed. It will no longer be necessary to request a variance from the county if the homeowner is spending more than 50% of the value of the property.

However, a property owner expanding the physical footprint of a non-conforming structure will be required to offset the environmental impact of the expansion by choosing from a number of options. Examples include reducing the amount of mowing next to the water, installing rain-gardens to absorb storm runoff, or re-planting native vegetation near the shoreline. Non-conforming structures may not be expanded towards the water but may be expanded on the other three sides, as long as impacts are offset.

In addition, the proposal would implement a cap for the amount of impervious surface allowed on shoreland property, similar to caps found in a number of county shoreland ordinances. Impervious surfaces include the roofs of buildings and pavement. No limitations would exist for additions or new buildings where the lot’s impervious surfaces do not exceed 15% of the total lot size. Where the sum total of impervious surfaces is between 15% and 30% of the lot size, property owners would be required to offset the environmental impact. The total impervious surface on a shoreland lot would be limited to no more than 30%.

In addition the proposal will streamline the process for reviewing changes in shoreland property, benefiting both property owners and the counties that administer shoreland protection ordinances. Simplified permits and reducing the need for variance applications will make compliance easier for both property owners and county governments.

Find a comparison of the updates to the current rule, a factsheet, audio files answering key questions, and other materials about the proposed changes to chapter NR 115 of the Wis. Administrative Code on the shoreland management pages of the DNR Web site.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of June 25, 2009

Some very warm summer weather in the last week has provided excellent conditions for outdoor recreation especially on lakes and rivers, but it has also caused some water-related concerns. In the southern part of the state, outbreaks of blue-green algae are being reported on some lakes. Blue-green algae is not only unsightly and smelly, but can reduce oxygen levels in lakes and sometimes produce toxins. People and their pets should avoid water with blue-green algae outbreaks. In the north, outbreaks of columnaris, a naturally occurring bacteria, has caused fish kills on some lakes. Columnaris primarily affects panfish and can cause fish kills especially if outbreaks occur during or just after spawning periods. These kills generally do not cause long term damage to the fishery, and columnaris does not pose a threat to people or pets.

Most of the state received rain in the last week, with some parts of southeastern Wisconsin receiving 3 inches. Water levels were up on many southern rivers, providing some good conditions for paddlers. Northern Wisconsin received less rain, and many lakes and flowages in the north continue to well below normal water levels.

Bass have finished spawning, with largemouth settling into their early summer pattern of cruising the weed beds and hitting on surface baits and soft plastics. Smallmouth have been hanging in deeper water following the rigors of spawning, but they should start moving to mid-depth woody cover. Bluegills have finished spawning on some lakes, but continue to be found in nesting colonies on other waters and some nice catches continue to be reported.

Musky action has been heating up on northern waters with many more fish moving into an active feeding mode, especially on the Flambeau and Chippewa rivers and their flowages. The mayfly hatches have subsided and walleye action has improving in the later evening hours near weed edges and break lines.

Lake Winnebago anglers braving the heat this week were rewarded with bags of walleye and white bass, and bass and bluegill have also been found in shallow water and bays. Catfish have been biting on the upper Rock and Crawfish rivers. With the warmer water, bluegills are beginning to suspend in deeper water in southern lakes.

Smallmouth bass fishing has remained good along the Door County peninsula. Walleye action has also picked up on Green Bay again. With the warmer weather, salmon fishing was also heating up on Lake Michigan, but many fish have moved deeper, with trollers fishing in 90 down to 250 feet of water. Pier and shore fishing was generally slow this week, except in Port Washington where anglers were catching brown trout and at Milwaukee were some nice perch were being caught.

White-tailed bucks are now being seen sporting some very impressive sized antlers in full velvet. Fawns are abundant and moving around more now so be watchful along the roads. Wild turkey broods are beginning to appear. Watch for wild turkey broods in grassy fields, where the poults feed voraciously on insects.

A recent news report has caused some confusion over the 2009 fall turkey hunting season. The Sept. 12 to Nov. 19 season will take place in all seven Wisconsin turkey management zones. A proposal to extend the season from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31 is currently under legislative review and if approved would take place only in zones 1 through 5.

Northern Region Northeast Region Southeast Region South Central Region West Central Region

IN-FISHERMEN GO PEDAL TO THE METAL FOR RIVER SALMON, REDFISH AND SMALLIES

The staffers at In-Fisherman put the pedal to the metal on this week's episode, available to you on the Sportsman Channel. The In-Fisherman staff goes into high gear, as they do hang time with river salmon, go ballistic for aggressive small mouths, and use punch out tactics for bull redfish.

In-Fisherman airs on the Sportsman Channel at the following times, all EST.

Monday: 2:00 pm

Tuesday: 12:00 am

Wednesday: 6:30 pm

Thursday: 5:00 am

Saturday 9:00 pm

About In-Fisherman

In-Fisherman editors blend science with lifetimes of practical fishing experience to teach fishing for everything that swims in North America. Travel along as they capture the hardcore fishing lifestyle, staying steps ahead of the crowd as they fish for three different fish species from three different regions on each program. Unique and exceptional footage, it's the most watched show in all outdoors.

About the Sportsman Channel

Launched in 2003, the Sportsman Channel is the only network fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen participants in the United States, delivering 100 percent hunting, fishing and shooting programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2007, TSC is now a part of the nation's largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts. Check out TSC's new, interactive website and sign up for a free program guide/magazine at http://www.thesportsmanchannel.com

Work A Weedline

As summer progresses, gamefish throughout the Midwest will be found in a variety of areas in a body of water. They are looking for food, and, depending on the lake, food can be found in a variety of areas. In some lakes, walleyes will be feeding on perch in deep water.

In other lakes, largemouth bass will be eating suspended shad.

Northern pike can be found chasing oily baitfish off deep points, and crappies will be hanging out around brush-piles.

And, in lakes that have good deep weedlines, you'll be able to find walleyes, largemouth, pike and crappies along those weedlines. No doubt, weedlines can provide consistent fishing throughout the summer. Here's how to take advantage of those weedlines.

First off, when we talk about weedlines, we're mostly referring to vegetation like cabbage weeds. The weedlines we're fishing are usually not visible above the water, although sometimes the tops of the weeds will poke above the surface of the water.

In some lakes the deep weedline will be in five to seven feet of water, in other lakes you'll find the weedline much deeper, maybe down to fifteen to twenty feet of depth. The clearer the water, the deeper you'll find the weedline. A little shallower or a little deeper than ten feet is pretty common.

Early in the day and later in the day, and on cloudy days, the fish will spread out across the tops of the weeds.

On bright days they'll often be on the deep edge of the weeds near the bottom, although fish don't always do what we expect them to do.

Lots of lures will catch weed-related fish. When they're over the tops of the weeds, shallow running crankbaits or spinnerbaits will be good.

Deeper running crankbaits will be good when they're on the deep edge.

However, many anglers will tell you that if they were limited to one bait presentation for the weedline, they would be throwing a jig tipped with soft bait or live bait.

If soft bait is your choice, go with a five to seven inch Gulp! or PowerBait worm. These baits will catch any fish that's swimming along a weedline. Rig them on one of the new Slurp! Jigs. Slurp! Jigs were created specifically for soft bait.

When the fish are reluctant to eat, the best way to catch them is with a jig/minnow combo. Go with a larger minnow like a redtail. Work it right along the deep edge of the weeds on a Weed-Weasel jig. Weed-Weasels have a weed-guard that enables the jig to slip through the weeds easily.

You want your redtail to be healthy. Keeping minnows alive in the summer can be a hassle, but the aerated minnow buckets from Frabill enable you to keep your minnows in fish-catching condition.

If you want to increase your odds for catching a fish in the next couple of months, go to a good weedline lake and throw some baits around a weedline. You will get bit!

-- Bob Jensen
Watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on WalleyeCentral.com in the video section and on http://www.myoutdoortv.com/.

Second 2009 Breakfast Briefing Focuses on Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund

The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, along with the Angling & Boating Alliance, held its second breakfast briefing of the 111th Congress to brief members of Congress, staff, and industry representatives concerning reauthorization of the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund as part of the ongoing 2009 Highway Bill discussions.

Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Dan Boren and CSC Member Rep. Rob Wittman led the program and were joined by fellow CSC Members Reps. Mike Thompson, Bob Latta, Leonard Boswell, and Jason Altmire in discussing this critical funding pool for a diverse set of important state and national recreational fishing and boating programs.

The Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund serves as the backbone for fisheries conservation funding in the United States-a uniquely American System of Conservation Funding. Taxes on fishing tackle equipment, imported boats, motorboat and small engine fuel are pooled together to create this fund of about $700 million a year. Its program reach includes: recreational boating safety, fisheries management, wetlands habitat conservation, vessel pump-out stations, water and boating access infrastructure programs, aquatic resource education programs, and angler and boater outreach.

CSF would like to thank the sponsors of the breakfast briefing including: American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, B.A.S.S., Boat Owners Association of the United States, Marine Retailers Association of America, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birdfeeders can pose risk to some wildlife

Two recent incidents of bears getting stuck in feeders

SPOONER, Wis. -- People who feed birds, squirrels and other wild animals should be aware that certain feeding machines can accidentally kill other wildlife. A couple of incidents in northwestern Wisconsin recently involving bear cubs getting their heads stuck in bird feeders had near tragic endings.

“Luckily, in one case the mother was able to get the feeder off her cub’s head and in the other instance we had to trap and put the mother and cub to sleep and then take the feeder off,” said Wildlife Technician, Robert Hanson. In both incidents, he said, the feeders were on tight and the cubs were clearly in distress.

The feeders Hanson dealt with were made of plastic, had a screw on type feed holder with a base that measured about four inches across. When separated from the seed or food extraction device the hole was big enough for the cub to force its head into it to get at the tasty seeds and jelly sugars inside.

Wildlife officials advise people to not feed birds or any other animals from spring to early winter. “Animals have adapted very well to finding food on there own,” Hanson said. He added that if people must feed for the enjoyment of observing wildlife, they should put all feeders on strong sturdy poles and over eight feet high, out of range for most bears.

The wildlife technician said that as summer progresses, bear cubs will grow big enough to avoid getting their heads stuck in most feeders, however, other smaller night raiders like raccoons and skunks can die from these devices.

“People should monitor their bird feeders and secure cans with bird seed in it so that wandering bears and other animals are not attracted to their yards,” Hanson said.

If people have screw on type feeders they should purchase new ones that will not inadvertently trap other animals, he suggested.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Poygan Conservation Club 3rd Annual Kids Tournament/Fisheree

Title:

Poygan Conservation Club 3rd Annual Kids Tournament/Fisheree

Contact:

Al Koester, 920-858-1110

Details:

Poygan Conservation Club 3rd Annual Kids Fisheree

Date: 7/11/09

Event Type: Fishing Tournament/Fisheree

Location: Poygan Lake

State: Wisconsin

Contact: Al Koester
Contact Phone: (920) 858-1110

Details: Open to kids up to 15 years of Age. Come fish Pony Creek (North west side of Lake Poygan near Tustin) Event is free and kids will get prizes, shirts and Food and Drinks after the event. Fun day for all, any question feel free to contact Al Koester 920-858-1110.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Successful Spring for Black River Sturgeon Program

The sturgeon spawning season on the Black River in Cheboygan County concluded earlier this month, and those involved with protecting the fish and collecting data have declared the season highly successful.

"Through the efforts of Michigan State University, 200 sturgeon were netted, tagged and cataloged," said Dr. Kim Scribner, lead sturgeon researcher with MSU. "Additionally, our research team collected eggs and milt from numerous sturgeon to raise in our newly developed streamside hatchery."

The MSU team has also been working long nights collecting newly hatched larval sturgeon that have begun drifting downstream from the spawning areas and transferring them to the rearing facility.

The hatchery, a collaborative effort by Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership, MSU and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is now home to between 5,000 and 6,000 newly hatched sturgeon, which are destined to be stocked in Black Lake.

Data indicated that of the 200 sturgeon netted and released during this spring's spawning season, 46 were sturgeon never before captured, while the remainder were recaptures from previous spawning season efforts. This information indicates that new generations of sturgeon are reaching maturity in Black Lake, a sign that the population is slowly recovering.

"The sturgeon effort in Black Lake and on the Black River is one that we all take great pride in," said Dave Borgeson, Northern Lake Huron Management Unit Supervisor for the DNR in Gaylord. "This program is a role model for other programs nationwide in that it involves all aspects of resource management that are necessary for recovery of lake sturgeon in Black Lake."

The Sturgeon Guarding Program, which draws upon volunteers from all over Michigan to protect the sturgeon from poaching, also saw a banner year and is rallying more help for the spring spawning season in 2010.

"The DNR's Law Enforcement Division is proud to work with so many dedicated volunteers, to protect this very valuable resource," said Sgt. Greg Drogowski, DNR Law Enforcement supervisor, who is responsible for coordinating the DNR's law enforcement efforts with volunteers in the Sturgeon Guarding Program.

"Literally hundreds of volunteers kept watch over the spawning grounds on the Black River, and we are all very grateful for the increasing level of support," said Ann Feldhauser, DNR retiree and Sturgeon Guarding Program volunteer coordinator. "We count on that and even more support in the years to come."

Brenda Archambo, who spearheads the Sturgeon for Tomorrow Program on Black Lake, also gave tribute to a concerted habitat restoration project undertaken in early May by the Huron Pines Youth Program, in cooperation with AmeriCorps.

"These volunteers did a lot of river bank stabilization and planted over 3,000 native plants at critical areas along the river to help restore eroded sand banks," said Archambo. "All in all, it was a terrific year for the sturgeon and the Black River, and it is very gratifying to see this program grow in so many new and exciting aspects."

Quagga mussels overtaking zebra mussels in Great Lakes

Zebra mussels are being muscled out of the Great Lakes by cousin quagga.

Research done by a University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral candidate showed the quagga mussel to have become the dominant of the two species in the calm waters of the Great Lakes while the zebra mussel covers the bottoms of faster-moving waters in rivers and streams, UW-Madison announced in a news release. [Full Story]

Source: The Capital Times

VHS fish disease found in smallmouth bass from Green Bay

MADISON – Test results returned Thursday show that VHS fish disease has been detected in smallmouth bass from Green Bay, state fisheries officials report.

The deadly fish disease was found in smallmouth bass from the bay in 2007, so this is not a new species nor location with VHS. It does show that the disease is active this year and underscores the need for anglers and boaters to take steps to prevent its spread, says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s fisheries director.

“This is an important reminder that VHS is still out there and that we all need to take steps to prevent it from spreading to new lakes and rivers,” Staggs says. “That includes not moving live fish, draining water from your boat and equipment, buying your bait in Wisconsin and following rules for using leftover bait.”

“It’s particularly important that anglers and tournaments that target smallmouth bass in Green Bay diligently take the prevention steps and consider additional measures, like disinfecting live wells that were holding smallmouth bass.”

The three smallmouth bass from Sturgeon Bay were sent to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison earlier this spring for testing after anglers and DNR staff observed a high percentage of smallmouth bass with open skin lesions. DNR received word Thursday that VHS had been isolated from the fish.

DNR biologists in the Peshtigo area are now sending down a smallmouth bass found dead near the mouth of the Oconto River in Green Bay for DNR fish health specialist Sue Marcquenski to assess whether VHS is possible, in which case the fish would be sent on for testing. A citizen had reported seeing many dead small mouth bass in this area within the past couple of weeks.

So far, preliminary results from VHS tests on several waters statewide have not found the disease, meaning VHS has not been detected elsewhere in the state beyond the Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan systems.

VHS fish disease is not a human health threat but can kill 37 different species of fish, including trout, musky, bass and bluegill, and it caused large fish kills in some Great Lakes waters in 2005 and 2006. The disease was first detected in Wisconsin in 2007 in fish from the Lake Winnebago system and the Lake Michigan system; tests since then suggest the disease hasn’t spread beyond those waters.

Anglers inadvertently moving infected live bait is a main way that VHS fish disease can spread; VHS can also be spread through VHS-contaminated water.

More information about VHS and steps to prevent it can be found online: VHS and You: Keeping Wisconsin's Waters Healthy.

Polk County lakes bass regulations corrected

BALSAM LAKE - A recent news release highlighting where anglers can go to harvest bass has created confusion on Polk County lakes. Current bass regulations are summarized correctly as follows:

Balsam and Big Round Lakes: There is no minimum length limit for bass, but only 1 bass less than 14 inches is allowed. Daily bag limit of 5 in total.

Ward, Big Butternut and Half Moon Lakes: No minimum length limit for bass, daily bag limit of 5 in total.

Pipe Lake: There is no minimum length limit in place for bass, but bass between 14-18 inches may not be kept and only 1 over 18 inches is allowed. Daily bag limit of three in total.

Bass on all other Polk County waters have a 14 inch minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 5 in total.

Anglers can also consult the state’s “2009-2010 Fishing Regulations” pamphlet. Anglers with questions can also contact DNR’s call center seven days per week between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at
By phone call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)

Open a chat session (available from 7am to 9:45pm) (You must use Internet Explorer © on a Windows © operating system to use chat.)

Bilingual Services are available in Spanish and Hmong.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of June 18, 2009

Northern Region Northeast Region Southeast Region South Central Region West Central Region

Summer officially arrives this Sunday with the summer solstice, and with warmer weather in the forecast, outdoor activity will be picking up on lakes and rivers. In the Northwoods, this is also the time when loon chicks are hatching and for the first few weeks of their lives will ride on their parents backs as they swim around lakes. Boaters should watch for loons and keep their distance. Approaching too near can cause the parent to dive, leaving the chick on the surface alone and vulnerable to predation by a variety of other animals.

This is also the time that black bear are more visible as their breeding season has begun. Adult male bears are moving extensively as they search for females. Female bears have also begun to chase off their yearling cubs, leaving these curious and sometimes troublesome young bears out on their own. People living or recreating in bear country should remove any food sources that may attract the young bears, such as bird feeders, dog food, and garbage. If a young bear does approach make loud noises to scare them off.

Erratic weather conditions have continued to make for some variable fishing success. Panfish action has been very good for both bluegill and crappie in the north. Bluegill have been showing up on the spawning beds in increasing numbers and look for their spawning period to peak out during the coming week. Musky anglers have been out but action has been on the slow side with just a few reports of 34- to 40-inch fish being caught. Mayflies continue to hatch on many northern lakes and this has upset the walleye bite on most of these waters.

Most largemouth and smallmouth bass have completed spawning, though some males can still be found guarding their school of young fish. The northern zone bass harvest season opens this Saturday, June 20. Catch-and-release has caught on so big in the bass fishing world that Wisconsin anglers are only keeping about 5 percent of what they catch. As a result, on some northern lakes bass have become very abundant and fisheries managers are encouraging harvest on these waters to keep the numbers in balance and to improve bass growth rates. As always, larger bass are less common and anglers should consider releasing them. Check the DNR Web site for prime bass fishing waters and for some recipes for preparing bass.

Panfish have also been active on the Lake Winnebago system and anglers have been working the reefs of Lake Winnebago for walleye. Walleye and smallmouth bass have been biting on the lower Wisconsin River, despite high water.

Fishing on Green Bay and Lake Michigan slowed a bit over the past week. Walleye action that has been excellent on the Bay the last few weeks has slowed some, but on the up side anglers fishing for walleye have begun to catch more yellow perch. The yellow perch season is now open as of June 16 on Lake Michigan as well. Anglers trolling on Lake Michigan had mixed success targeting trout and salmon during the week. Catches were comprised mostly of chinook salmon and lake trout with some coho salmon mixed in and some brown trout still being taken up around the northern tip of the Door peninsula. Smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good throughout the Door County.

The Mississippi River rose slightly early in the week but then leveled off to 8.15 feet at Prairie du Chien. Bluegill, crappie and perch fishing was spotty but walleye and sauger action continued to be very good. Catfish have also been biting well and sheepshead have become very active.

Upland game birds are now hatching so keep your eyes open for wild turkey, pheasant and grouse broods. Spring ephemeral wildflowers are nearly finished but summer wildflowers are coming on strong, with lupine, black-eyed daisy buttercup, birds-foot trefoil, daisy, and orange hawkweed blooming. Biting insects have come out in force in the Northwoods, with black flies and gnats a big nuisance during the day and mosquitoes out in increasing numbers at dusk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Minnesota DNR teams with Dairy Queen to reward safe young boaters

Minnesota kids wearing life jackets while boating this summer will not only be staying safe, but also could be rewarded with an ice cream treat.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has partnered with Dairy Queen to provide a PFD Panda Award certificate to youngsters who are observed by conservation officers (CO) wearing a life jacket while boating. The certificate includes a tear-off coupon that entitles the child to a free cone or cheeseburger from participating Dairy Queen restaurants.

“We at International Dairy Queen are excited with the idea,” said Ryan Hassebroek, regional marketing manager for the Minnesota-based company. “We thought this was a great way to encourage children to wear their life jackets and we hope that safe boating behavior continues right through adulthood.”

Currently more than 96 percent of children now wear a life jacket while boating in Minnesota, according to recent studies conducted by the DNR. That’s an increase from about 47 percent in 1984.

The PFD Panda Award certificate was created by the DNR after a CO suggested there be a reward for children he saw wearing their life jacket. PFD Panda is the DNR’s mascot that encourages kids to boat safely. PFD refers to personal flotation device, the official name given to life jackets.

“We’ve had the PFD Panda Award for almost 20 years,” Smalley said, “but we thought it would be a nice addition to give kids a cool treat to go along with the cool award for wearing their life jackets.”

DNR COs report that children have called them over to their family’s boat so they can earn the life jacket award. One child said to his friend who had come along, “See, I told ya you get ice cream for wearing your life jacket.”

Several other government agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, now use the PFD Panda character for its boating safety promotional campaigns. However, Minnesota is the only state to use the PFD Panda Award. “It’s been a wonderful tool to educate youngsters about boating and water safety,” Smalley said. “We know it’s working, and thank Dairy Queen for stepping up to help with this important campaign.”

Minnesota county sheriff’s water patrol deputies also distribute the DNR’s PFD Panda certificates to children.

DNR launches catfish project, seeks angler help

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is beefing up efforts to manage catfish in metro region rivers, and it’s looking for a few avid anglers to help.

The project will include DNR tagging catfish to get a better idea of their population and movement. It also will draw upon catfish anglers who are willing to answer a few survey questions and keep diaries of their angling efforts. The angler diaries will provide valuable information that is not typically obtained in standard creel surveys, because many catfish anglers fish at night.

Anglers willing to take the 12-question survey can do so online at www.surveymonkey.com/catfish. Anglers may also send an e-mail to MetroEast.Catfish@dnr.state.mn.us or call 651-259-5806 to request that a paper copy of the survey be mailed to them.

Anglers who catch and release a tagged catfish should record the species, length, tag number, location caught, and release the fish with the tag in place. Anglers who harvest a tagged fish should record the same information and report the fish as harvested. Anglers not participating in the catfish angler diary program can still report tagged fish locations using the MDNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us/fisheries/tagged_fish_reporting/index.html or by contacting the phone number or e-mail address listed above.

Catfish are becoming more and more popular with Minnesota anglers, and metro rivers are fertile waters for big cats. The state record flathead catfish, weighing 70 pounds, was caught on the St. Croix River in Washington County, and the record channel cat was pulled from the Mississippi River in Hennepin County.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enforcement of boating under the influence’ laws to intensify weekend of June 26-28

Wisconsin to participate in
"Operation Dry Water" nationwide effort

MADISON -- Recreational boaters should think twice before drinking a cold beer the weekend of June 26-28 as Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens and municipal boat patrol officers plan to step up enforcement of impaired operator laws as part of a national coordinated effort known as “Operation Dry Water.”

Wardens and patrol officers will be out in force looking for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of 0.08 percent. Boater education also will be part of the national effort in addition to the increased patrols.

“We want people to be safe and have fun while boating,” said Todd Schaller, DNR Recreation Enforcement and Education Section Chief, of the overall goal of the national effort. “But alcohol use has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents. We recommend boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times. We will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters.”

Schaller said alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time, and can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications. In 2008, alcohol and drug use were involved in 35 percent of the boating fatalities in Wisconsin.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe. They will include fines, jail and possible impoundment of boats.

“There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence,” Schaller said. “But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back.”

Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Department of Natural Resources, municipal patrols, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the U.S. Coast Guard. More information is available at [www.operationdrywater.org] and on the boating safety pages of the DNR Web site.

Beach monitoring season begins at Great Lakes beaches

Added efforts to help identify potential sources of pollutants

MADISON – Heading for one of Wisconsin’s public coastal beaches? People can sign up to get their own personal water quality forecast for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior sites. The forecasts and information are also available for some inland beaches.

People can go online to [www.wibeaches.us] (exit DNR) to learn the latest beach conditions at 120 Lake Superior and Lake Michigan sites and sign up to get beach advisories e-mailed to them. They also can find water quality information for more than 100 inland beaches including those monitored by the City of Madison, La Crosse County, Waukesha County Parks, and Winnebago County.

This is the seventh summer that public beaches along Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coast are participating in a uniform program to regularly test for bacteria and inform swimmers about water quality conditions.

The Wisconsin Beach program, administered by the Department of Natural Resources and carried out by local governments, aims to reduce the public’s risk of exposure to water-borne illnesses. Greg Kleinheinz, an Associate Professor of Microbiology at UW-Oshkosh who has been involved in the program since its start, is under contract with DNR to run the program.

Under the uniform beach monitoring program, counties test beaches up to four times a week for E.coli bacteria, which indicate the possible presence of bacteria and viruses that might sicken people. Potential sources of E.coli contamination at Wisconsin beaches include agricultural runoff, urban storm water and sewage overflows. In addition, wildlife and waterfowl feces contribute to high levels of E.coli in both beach sand and water.

“An increased risk of illness” advisory sign is posted at beaches whenever the water quality criterion of 235 colony forming units (CFU) for E.coli is exceeded. A red STOP sign that closes the beach is posted when E.coli levels exceed 1,000 CFU, indicating a “serious risk” of illness, or whenever local health officials think it’s warranted due to sewer overflows, heavy rainfalls, or other triggers, Kleinheinz says.

The 2009 program will be funded primarily from a federal grant DNR has secured from EPA for the purpose, most of which is passed through to the 13 local governments participating in the program this year. Under state law, local governments are responsible for providing public health advice for their local beaches unless the beaches are on state properties or owned by tribal governments.

Wisconsin became the first state to fully implement a beach monitoring program in accordance with federal program criteria and has been praised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a model for other states.

Training to identify contamination sources
available to interested parties

New this year, DNR and UW-Oshkosh produced an instructional DVD to help local governments, private resort owners, and even waterfront property owners identify possible sources of contamination at their beaches, as well as prevent contamination by mitigating possible future sources.

The DVD, “A guide to Conducting Beach Sanitary Surveys in Wisconsin,” is free can assist in training local staff on the use of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sanitary Survey tool for source identification. People can get a copy by contacting Gregory Kleinheinz at (920) 424-1100 or kleinhei@uwosh.edu

DNR is working closely with UW-Oshkosh and the City of Racine Health Department to help train those who want to use the sanitary surveys developed by the EPA to assess all potential sources of pollution at the beaches.

Forestry officials ask caution with fireworks in northern Wisconsin

SPOONERS, Wis. – Each year, especially during the summer holiday, the use of both legal and illegal fireworks are the cause of wildfires in Wisconsin. State forestry officials are cautioning that m any parts of northern Wisconsin continue to experience below normal rainfall and any spark that falls on dry grass or fuels may cause a fire that will be difficult to suppress because of the dry vegetation.

Precipitation records since 2004 show many areas to be 20 to 35 inches behind normal rain and snowfall for this period. Obvious signs of this dryness are the low lake levels.

“Fireworks create a significant risk of forest fires each year in Wisconsin,” said Department of Natural Resources Forestry Supervisor Mike Luedeke. Restricted fireworks are much more likely to cause a forest fire or injury because they often are larger, are launched into the air, and used by persons not trained to handle these products.”

Since many of the restricted fireworks are of the airborne variety, often the wildfire ignition can be far away from the site that the fireworks are being used. It is unlawful to possess restricted fireworks, which are defined as those that move, jump, explode or emit balls of fire and include such types as bottle rockets, firecrackers, jumping jacks and roman candles. These fireworks can only be used with a permit issued by local authorities as designated in Wisconsin statutes.

Luedeke said anyone using legal fireworks should do so only in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and shrubbery and they should have water or a fire extinguisher handy. He added that use of fireworks do cause injuries each year and should be done under close adult supervision.
“We advise that fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays be left up to professionals,” he said.

Root for the home team and get entered to win!

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL) have teamed up in the fight against aquatic invasive species and announced today the start of the “Root for the Home Team” giveaway – a promotion to encourage anglers and boater to take steps to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives and VHS fish disease.

WAL will be giving one lucky winner, two luxury-suite tickets to the Brewers versus the San Francisco Giants game on Saturday, September 5. Additional fishing-related prizes will also be awarded. To enter, contestants must take an online pledge to follow these simple steps:

  • INSPECT boats, trailers and equipment.
  • REMOVE plants, animals and mud.
  • DRAIN water from boats and all equipment.
  • DON'T MOVE live fish away from a waterbody.
  • BUY minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer. Use leftover minnows only under certain conditions.

Wisconsin has a marvelous and globally significant collection of lakes that ranges from the very largest in the world--Lake Superior--to more than 15,000 smaller lakes,” says Tami Jackson, WAL director of communications. “Some of our lakes are small and remote, others are busy with boaters and anglers, but all of our lakes need help from all of us to prevent aquatic invasive species from damaging our shared public waters.”

Thanks to Wisconsin’s water users following preventive steps, efforts to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species are paying off. A new aquatic invasive species report shows that the spread of key aquatic invasive species has slowed in recent years and VHS fish disease has not been discovered in any new waters since 2007.

“Wisconsin has made great strides in the fight against aquatic invasive species,” says DNR Secretary Matt Frank, “and we want to continue down this path.”

“We encourage everyone to keep up the good work. By taking the pledge, you have a chance to win some great prizes, but the real reward will come from your commitment to protecting Wisconsin’s waters.”

Anglers and boaters can continue to do their part by rooting for the home team and striking out the visitors. Simply take the online pledge and get entered to win.

The deadline to enter is July 5, 2009 and winners will be announced July 6, 2009. Contestants must be at least 16 years of age.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Second Breakfast Briefing of 111th Congress

The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, along with the Angling & Boating Alliance, held its second breakfast briefing of the 111th Congress on Wednesday to brief members of Congress, staff, and industry representatives concerning reauthorization of the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund as part of the ongoing 2009 Highway Bill discussions.

Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Dan Boren and CSC Member Rep. Rob Wittman led the program and were joined by fellow CSC Members Reps. Mike Thompson, Bob Latta, Leonard Boswell, and Jason Altmire in discussing this critical funding pool for a diverse set of important state and national recreational fishing and boating programs.

"When you have a multi-billion dollar bill being crafted and debated, it would be easy for the fishing and boating community to be pushed aside," said CSF President Jeff Crane. "However, with the support of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, I believe we will once again ensure that this vitally important source of funding will be preserved in the reauthorization of the transportation bill."

The Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund serves as the backbone for fisheries conservation funding in the United States-a uniquely American System of Conservation Funding. Taxes on fishing tackle equipment, imported boats, motorboat and small engine fuel are pooled together to create this fund of about $700 million a year. Its program reach includes: recreational boating safety, fisheries management, wetlands habitat conservation, vessel pump-out stations, water and boating access infrastructure programs, aquatic resource education programs, and angler and boater outreach.

"As a Caucus, we understand the value of what is commonly referred to as the Wallop-Breaux portion of the Highway Bill and what it means to our constituents who rely on these funds to ensure quality habitat for anglers to enjoy," said Boren.

CSF would like to thank the sponsors of the breakfast briefing: American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, B.A.S.S., Boat Owners Association of the United States, Marine Retailers Association of America, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, National Marine Manufacturers Association

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Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference

June 19, 2009
Telemark Resort & Conference Center
Register online
Contact our office
Mailing address
4513 Vernon Blvd., Suite 101
Madison, WI 53705

Phone: (608) 661-4313 or
(800) 542-5253 (in Wisconsin only)

E-mail: wal@wisconsinlakes.org

Web: www.wisconsinlakes.org

Questions about registration or the conference? Contact: Susan Tesarik,
Education Director,
stesarik@wisconsinlakes.org

Join us June 19th for the Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference at the Telemark Resort and Conference Center in Cable, Wisconsin.

The Conference is a great opportunity to network with area lake group representatives, waterfront property owners, volunteers, local decision-makers, and others interested in protecting Wisconsin's water resources.

Register online (registration deadline June 13th)

Download the conference brochure (includes agenda, registration form, and location map).

Grand River Marsh Wildlife Area Marsh Experiencing a Partial Drawdown

Target: One foot below normal summer level this year will help wildlife.

BERLIN – The Department of Natural Resources will be lowering the water level of the Grand River Marsh Wildlife area in Green Lake for most of this summer as part of routine wildlife and wetland system management activities. This technique is commonly used by wetland managers to rejuvenate the ecological health and quality of the marsh. This year, the water level in the main impoundment at the Grand River Marsh Wildlife Area in Green Lake and Marquette Counties will be lowered about 1 foot below the normal summer level this year.

“The partial drawdown, or drying out, has several benefits that will provide long term habitat improvements to the marsh that many different species of wetland related wildlife will enjoy and utilize,” said Jim Holzwart, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

The lower water levels provide important habitat conditions that allow different species of plants to grow and re-colonize areas of the marsh that higher water has eliminated. Many of these plants provide critical food and cover for resident and migratory species of wildlife. In many cases these species depend on the lower water level to expose mud flats for the seeds to germinate and grow, and to prepare for both northward and southward migrations.

Holzwart added that by drawing down this marsh in late spring and early summer will also reduce the amount of shallow marsh that can be used by spawning carp. The spawning and feeding behavior of carp can be extremely detrimental to the health of any water body, and the lower water will prevent a large influx or hatch of young carp into the marsh.

The Grand River Marsh Wildlife area of Green Lake will be slowly re-filled, starting in late summer. With adequate rain fall, the marsh will have normal fall water levels for the waterfowl hunting season.

Critical habitat locations identified in Lake Noquebay

CRIVITZ - The Department of Natural Resources has identified locations of critical habitat in Lake Noquebay in Marinette County.

The identified locations are eligible for critical habitat designation and if approved, they will be given additional protection so that the health of the lake can be preserved. Critical habitat designation means that additional permit review and special permit conditions may apply to landowners who wish to alter the critical habitat sites through activities such as dredging, controlling aquatic plants, or establishing culverts, piers, and docks.

Areas of critical habitat play a vital role in protecting water quality, hunting, fishing, and natural beauty of Wisconsin’s lakes and streams. The Department has made a tentative determination that specific locations in Lake Noquebay contain fish and wildlife habitat, including specific sites necessary for breeding, nesting, nursery, and feeding; physical features that ensure protection of water quality; reaches of bank, shore or bed that are predominately natural in appearance (not man-made or artificial) or that screen man-made or artificial features; and navigational thoroughfares or areas traditionally used for navigation during recreational boating, angling, or enjoyment of scenic beauty.

Before the Department proceeds further toward a decision on the designation, an informational meeting 6:00 pm, June, 17, 2009 at Village of Crivitz Hall, 800 Henriette Ave. Crivitz, Wisconsin. The purpose of the meeting is to share and obtain information on these sites to ensure that they are properly classified. The public has the right to request a public hearing within 30 days of this notice to bring forth information in support or opposition to these areas.

For more information about the informational meeting on June 17, the critical habitat program, or to read a draft of the report go to: Critical Habitat Designations or contact Andrew Sabai, DNR Oshkosh Service Center, 625 E CTY RD Y STE 700, Oshkosh, WI, phone number 920-303-5442.

June is Invasive Species Awareness Month

Enjoying Wisconsin’s landscape with less impact

MADISON – Every year since 2005, June has been declared Invasive Species Awareness Month in Wisconsin to help raise awareness of the impacts invasive species are having on Wisconsin ecosystems.

“There are increasing concerns over invasive species especially as the costs to combat invasives for citizens, municipalities, non-profit organizations and contractors increase each year in Wisconsin,” says Courtney LeClaire, invasive plant education, early detection and mapping specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Invasive species are found on Wisconsin’s lands and waters and include plants and animals. Most are non-native plants, animals and pathogens that have displaced native species, disrupted ecosystems, and harmed recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. They also damage commercial, agricultural, and aquacultural resources.

“Invasive Species Awareness Month is a time for people and groups throughout the state hold workshops, work parties, and field trips to raise awareness about invasive species in their areas and things that they can do to make a difference,” LeClaire said.

The theme for 2009 is “Slow the Spread by Sole and Tread,” and is based on efforts to develop Best Management Practices for invasive species geared towards recreational users.
“We want people to feel empowered to take the extra step toward protecting Wisconsin’s legacy,” said Tom Boos, DNR forestry invasive species coordinator.

Steps people can take include:
  • Learn to recognize invasive species.
  • Stay on designated trails, roads, and other developed areas.
  • Clean off shoes, tires, clothes, pets, and gear.
  • Don’t move firewood.
  • Don’t dump bait worms in water or near forests.
  • Volunteer to help control invasive species.
  • Spread the word – help educate others about invasive species.
“Most importantly,” Boos said, “Slow the Spread by Sole and Tread is a notion that can apply all year-round to all aspects of the environment including working in and enjoying it. It is about being aware and responsible of your surroundings and the areas that are close to your heart.”

More information about invasive species and events occurring throughout the state during Invasive Species Awareness month is available on the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species Web site at [www.invasivespecies.wi.gov].

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pike Lake Master Plan is topic of public meeting

Contact(s): Therese Gripentrog, Landscape Architect, 414-263-8669Terry Jensen, Forest Superintendent, Kettle Moraine State Forest-Pike Lake Unit, 262-670-3403

HARTFORD - The Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Trails staff will host a public meeting on the Pike Lake Master Plan project on Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at the Hartford Town Hall, 3360 CTH K, located one-half mile south of Hwy. 60. The meeting is an open-house format, and the public is invited to stop in anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to learn about the master planning process, and to provide input on the proposed vision statement and goals for the future management and development of the forest.

The 688-acre Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest opened in 1971. A 1974 development plan outlined proposed facility development at the forest, and an updated 1986 plan proposed new facilities for the beach and picnic areas.

The draft master plan will be available for public review and comment in late summer. More information is available on the Web site at Property Master Planning or by contacting Therese Gripentrog, Landscape Architect, 2300 North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53212; 414-263-8669, therese.gripentrog@wisconsin.gov; or Terry Jensen, Forest Superintendent, Pike Lake Unit, 3544 Kettle Moraine Road, Hartford, WI 53027, 262-670-3403, terry.jensen@wisconsin.gov.

PREPARATION MEANS MORE THAN PACKING GEAR

Frankfort, Kentucky - I once drove seven hours to Arkansas to float fish the South Fork of the Spring River for smallmouth bass. I made a trip list early, packed everything imaginable, consulted my friend in Arkansas and thought I had all bases covered.

We reached streamside and stared in disgust and disbelief at a frothy flow of brown water resembling a muddy hog pen. In all our preparation to remember certain lures, rain gear, extra line, spare spools, wader repair kits, first aid kits and such, we forgot to check the flow of the river.

It is easy to overlook some things in your excitement and haste to prepare for a fishing float trip. You should start by visiting the Internet site of the U.S. Geological Survey to see the water flows on the river or creek that you plan to float.

Log on to the agency's website at waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis and scroll down to Kentucky in the drop box located in the upper right corner of the page. Then click on the "real time data" button and then "statewide streamflow table." Streams are separated by their drainage basin, including the Kentucky, Green, Salt and Cumberland rivers. You can check streams in other states as well on this handy website.

This page shows the gauge height, or water level, of the stream and the discharge, or flow, in cubic feet per second. The important information lies after clicking on the eight-digit blue numbers to the far left of the columns of information. This opens to a page showing a graph of the gauge height, and a graph of the flow as well.

The flow graphs possess a red line showing the rise and fall in the velocity of flow. Many of them have a triangle symbol showing the average flow through decades of readings.

This gives floaters an idea of what to expect when they arrive at the stream. If the red line rises quickly toward the top of the graph, the stream is high and probably muddy. If the red line is stable or gently moving toward the middle of the graph, the stream is at its normal level and the water should be clear. If the red line droops toward the bottom of the graph, then the stream is likely low and clear.

Another aspect to consider before a fishing float trip this summer is to not bite off more stream than you can chew. One of the most dreadful feelings in the outdoors is watching the sun go down before you get to your take-out, especially when floating a new stream. As a general rule, five miles in a day gives you ample time to fish.

Books detailing Kentucky streams are available that give you accurate floating mileages as do computer mapping programs from companies such as Delorme. These programs and books also lend an idea of the character and gradient of the section you plan to float.

Inflatable one-person pontoon boats, inflatable kayaks and float tubes make popular and inexpensive float fishing vessels. However, be careful about air bladder expansion during the heat of the day.

"I over-inflated my float tube in the cool weather of the morning for a summer float on the Elkhorn Creek," said Dave Dreves, fisheries research biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "Then, it got past 90 degrees and the bladder in my float tube popped. Heat makes the air in the bladder expand. I was lucky and fairly close to the take-out. Don't make that mistake and always take a repair kit."

Get out this summer and float some of many great fishing streams that course throughout Kentucky. Just use some simple precautions and common sense and you'll arrive home safe and sound.


Author Lee McClellan is an award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a life-long hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

HOT BOOKS FOR WARMER WEATHER READING

by: L.A. Van Veghel
Books have always been a part of my life. While I don’t recall much of my youth, because I’m a live for the moment type person, I do know I always had books around me. Even during high school when books were assigned for book reports and I didn’t read them, I still read books. I just read different books. In college, I made an attempt to read an assigned book. It was “Up the Down Staircase,” and it was definitely not one of my favorites. It was such an unmemorable book that today, all I can remember was that the paperback had a yellow cover. I preferred Tolkien, Heinlein, Asimov, MacLean, and even “The History of Medicine.” I read about interurbans, the North Shore, the building of America via railroads, and I read about tropical fish.

Now, I’m not getting out and fishing as much as I’d like. I’m still reading a lot, but I’d like to read more. I get tired now. I have cancer, and I’m getting chemo treatments every two weeks. My finger tips get needles and pins in them when wet or cold. It’s impossible to feel a walleye or a crappie bite when my fingertips are going crazy.

So I read and gather information for a future outing I hope to have. To me, giving up is for losers. Let’s see what’s happening in the fishing book world.

THE ORVIS GUIDE TO PROSPECTING FOR TROUT; How to Catch Fish When There’s No Hatch to Match by Tom Rosenbauer. The Lyons Press, $22.95 & 208 pages. This is a great book for anglers who like to walk in water. Fishing pools, looking for riffles, how to fish with just the right speed and depth through turbulence, finding oxygenated water, and fishing with strike indicators are just a few of the topics in this 8-1/2” x 11” softcover book. The photos show anglers plying their knowledge and techniques. Nighttime fly fishing is also covered, and the author said that night-feeding German brown trout like the big and bushy, palmer-hackled wet flies. Fly tossers who use artificial ants might like the Chernobyl Ant. It’s quite large. I’d like to try an Elk Hair Caddis. Rosenbauer says it imitates moths, caddisflies, small stoneflies, small grasshoppers, and it floats well. This means you can either use this fly in a loud manner or quietly. When the hoppers are jumping into the water, you can make more noise. Trout are less skittish.

FISHING ALABAMA: An Angler’s Guide to 50 of the State’s Prime Fishing Spots by Ed Mashburn. Globe Pequot Press, $16.95 & 200 pages. Even though I might never fish these waters, I can pick up techniques and other knowledge that can improve my Wisconsin fishing skills and results. Lots of the bass fishing techniques we use have come from B.A.S.S. tournament coverage on TV, plus the shows of many present and past bass pro anglers of various circuits. Most of these shows originate from the Bass Belt, which happens to be the same as the Bible Belt, for some reason.

You can easily tell the author is from Alabama, or a neighboring state. “Bream” is used in place of “sunfish” or “bluegill.” The true bream, Abramis brama, is a freshwater, thin-bodied yellowish fish, and it is not related to the sunfish family. It’s not even similarly shaped. There’s also a “sea bream,” and this is really an Atlantic porgy, Archosargus rhomboidalis.

Alabama offers both fresh and saltwater angling. Mashburn does a fine job of covering the region and its fish, no matter what we call them. We have a common angling bond transversing all colloquial barriers. This book provides plenty of black-and-white photos and some maps. Saltwater species and their hotspots are in the middle portion of the book while the freshwater fish reside in the last section of the book. Mashburn begins his fine book by introducing us to the species he covers, plus adding various techniques and baits to use. A listing of state record fish is a nice addition.

FISHING THE TEXAS GULF COAST: An Angler’s Guide to More than 100 Great Places to Fish by Mike Holmes. Globe Pequot Press, $16.95 & 144 pages. Holmes is no newbie to these waters. He’s fished them since the mid-1970’s, including as a licensed boat captain since 1982. He’s widely published regarding this area and the species living here.

Local saltwater anglers have their versions of Wisconsin’s freshwater panfish. Instead of bluegills, perch and crappies, Texas Gulf Coast bait tossers bring in croakers, sand trout, whiting, pompano, sheepshead, “smaller versions of black drum,” plus the gaftop catfish. The author warns the reader not to confuse this catfish with the similar looking buy not edible common hardhead catfish.

Larger fish include the bigger black drum, which Holmes says is “the redfish’s ugly cousin,” alligator gar, tarpon, striped bass, blue catfish, tripletail and the ever popular snook.

The book goes into areas to fish and numerous maps are provided. As in the previous book, both make me want to fish these waters.

CLIMBER’S GUIDE TO DEVIL’S LAKE, 3rd edition, by Sven Olof Swartling and Peter Mayer. University of Wisconsin Press, $19.95 & 424 pages. How would you like to climb Poison Ivy Wall or Rainy Wednesday Tower on a Tuesday?” Well you can in Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park. The rock here is Precambrian. That means it is about 1.5 billion years old, and the rock was the bottom content of a large sea. This rock is mostly compressed pure quartz sand that we better known as sandstone. Unlike other sandstone, studying this material under a microscope shows that this quartz was compressed over a long period of time, so that wear from water shows as ripples. This makes the Devil’s Lake sandstone sedentary instead of the faster forming metamorphic quartzite.

Reading through the beginning of this excellent book provides a treasure trove of information regarding the Cambrian Sea and its tropical islands, rivers that are only visible as remnants, the Pleistocene Glaciers, plants and animals, and the effects humans had on the region.

Numerous maps, drawings and photos put the reader right at the locations for climbing. Those aren’t white garden hoses hanging from the precipices. Those are climbing routes. The labor of love for the sport still shows in the 3rd edition. I’ve climbed the quarry rocks, but not the steep precipices. This is a great part of Wisconsin, and Swartling and Mayer show you why.

SWEET AND SOUR PIE: A Wisconsin Boyhood by Dave Crehore. University of Wisconsin Press, $19.95 & 176 pages. Every man that grew up in Wisconsin had “A Wisconsin Boyhood,” so why is Crehore’s youth worth writing about, let along read?

The cover hooked me. It shows the author in his red cowboy hat as the young boy fished from a boat while enjoying the company of his mom, -- and her upside down reel – and presumably his dad who took the picture. I thought, “What a wonderful, warm and happy life experience.” This is a time that is even more fun when looking back. Crehore does that in “Sweet and Sour Pie,” and I’m glad he did.

Yep, there’s hunting and fishing in this book. We even find out that Crehore’s dad might’ve gotten the first Rapala lures in the United States. They tried the baits on Hartlaub Lake, and they worked. Both father and son caught bass on their first casts. These fish had never seen balsa baits, unlike today’s bass that learn a lot in their schools.

David Crehore is a past public information officer for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Besides having stories in Wisconsin Natural Resources, his material often appeared in Shooting Sportsman. In his book, he invites you to visit him as a youth in Manitowoc County. Get a copy and you’ll see that time travel is possible.

ALAN KULWICKI NASCAR CHAMPION: Against All odds by Fr. Dale Grubba. Badger Books LLC, $23.95 & 520 pages. You never know what you’ll learn from a book, and I like trivia. I now know that Milwaukee’s famed WKLH DJ Marilynn Mee was Miss Springer Speedway in 1977, but that’s not the purpose of this book.

Alan Kulwicki is Wisconsin’s #1favorite when it comes to racing. Grubba follows the racer’s life from go cart track record setting runs through the small tracks and on through new model stock and Indie cars. Kulwicki still races the small tracks, but he’s also excellent on the big name tracks. Time goes fast, and I’m betting he doesn’t feel like as much time has passed since he set the Junior Reed Class track record at Wisconsin Badger Raceway in 1970. His dad had gotten him his first cart in 1969. Alan set the senior record in 1972.

Fr. Grubba keeps the story racing forward. Plenty of dialogue makes this book read like the finest fiction. The author also took a majority of the photos.

Badger Books LLC prints interesting books on Wisconsin, and this is a wonderful addition to their published works.

THE BOOMER’S GUIDE TO LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING: New Gear for Old People by Carol Corbridge with artwork by Jayna Harrison. Frank Amato Publications, Inc. $18.95 & 102 pages. If backpacking keeps a boomer like me as young as some of the people in the full color photos in this book, I’m going backpacking immediately. With that minor negative comment out-of-the way, I can say I enjoyed this book. As a dog owner, dog step-father, dog head of the herd, or whatever my dog thinks of me – and I hope it’s nice -- , I liked seeing the backpackers taking along their dogs. Going on vacations is often difficult, more expensive and harder to accomplish when people take on the added responsibility of pet ownership. Should we board the animal, or will Auntie Gracie be suckered into another dog sitting job?

If you want to buy a book that is every bit as efficient as you should be when backpacking as a boomer, this is the book for you. Clothing, bathroom items, food container, including the Platypus 1.8 Hoser, camera, fishing equipment, water, food, such as instant oatmeal with raisons, jerky and coffee, especially on those cold mornings, cooking utensils, foul weather gear, light tents, first aid materials, dog food, sunglasses, and all kinds of other things must be backpack tote-able without making your treks into pure, unpleasant drudgery. Corbridge has several tables that make selections easy. She often carries just 30 pounds with her on weeklong jaunts.

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, “Life’s not over until it’s over.” Cancer or not, I’m going fishing this Thursday.

“Fish on!!!”

Kewaunee River fish stocking moved to Root River following manure spill

Coho, brown trout, steelheads stocked
earlier this spring in jeopardy

KEWAUNEE – The Department of Natural Resources will stock steelhead into the Root River near its weir facility on the Root River in Racine County.

On April 10th, an accidental release of manure into the headwaters of the Kewaunee River potentially threatens the water quality at a planned stocking area on the river. Accordingly, DNR Fisheries staff, who had to move 20,000 Ganaraska strain steelhead and 3,700 Chambers Creek strain steelhead out of the hatchery this week, choose the Root site instead. The young fish were already marked with a fin clip to identify the strain when they return to the weir and stocking could not be delayed any further. The fish are needed for egg collection.

Each year the Kewaunee River is stocked with Steelhead, Brown Trout, Chinook and Coho Salmon for Lake Michigan fishing. The Kewaunee is also stocked with extra trout and salmon to assure adequate spawning fish return to the Besadny Fish Facility weir where eggs are collected and sent to the DNR Hatcheries to raise trout and salmon for restocking Lake Michigan. Prior to the mid-April manure spill, the Kewaunee River had received its entire quota of coho salmon and brown trout, and a portion of the steelhead destined for the Kewaunee.

DNR fisheries staff and water quality biologists will continue monitoring the river's water quality while cleanup progresses. Until the situation on the Kewaunee River is corrected and the upstream reaches of the river return to normal dissolved oxygen levels, the DNR will not be stocking any additional trout or salmon into the river. Recent readings conducted on Wednesday showed dissolved oxygen levels to be much improved downstream from the spill.

Additional fish scheduled for stocking in the Kewaunee River this spring include approximately 80,000 Chinook salmon fingerlings.

The farm owner responsible for the manure spill has been cooperating with the DNR, and extensive on-going efforts are being made to clean up and mitigate the environmental impacts of this manure spill. These efforts include preventing the movement of the manure farther downstream by blocking the road culvert, bypassing fresh water from upstream past the contaminated water, physically pumping out the manure contaminated water that got into the river, and introducing truckloads of fresh water immediately downstream from the spill site.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WCSFO Announces 2009 Statewide Fall Meeting

October 17, 2009 Statewide anglers’ Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations’ meeting at Walleyes For Tomorrow, Inc., 224 Auburn, Fond du Lac, 9AM to 3PM, Saturday. All Wisconsin anglers, fishing club members, DNR fishing related personnel, sport fishing businesses, and outdoor writers should attend. Member clubs must send representatives. Contact Ted Lind, president, at (414) 466-4898 or tlind73828@aol.com.

The Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations, WCSFO, represents the anglers’ viewpoints directly to the DNR. New member clubs, individuals and fishing related businesses are always invited to join.

Donation to support State Natural Areas

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, at its meeting on May 27, accepted a $31,375 donation from the Natural Resources Foundation to help support natural areas across the state.

The donation set aside $25,000 for management of the State Natural Areas program. State Natural Areass encompass outstanding examples of Wisconsin's native landscape, provide recreational opportunities and protect habitat for endangered and threatened plants and animals. The Avoca Prairie and Savanna State Natural Area along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway in Iowa County will receive $6,375 for restoration projects. Designated a State Natural Area in 1968, the 1885-acre site contains the largest natural tall grass prairie east of the Mississippi River and is home to rare animals including red-shouldered hawk and short-eared owl and Blanding’s turtle.

Bureau of Endangered Resources director Signe Holtz said the support of the Natural Resources Foundation has been critical to the success of the natural areas program and the protection of Wisconsin’s endangered species.

“The Natural Resources Foundation is an important partner in the stewardship, protection and management of our natural resources. We are grateful for their continued support.”

National Get Outdoors Day June 13

‘Get Outdoors! Wisconsin’ has events planned all summer long

MADISON – As a consortium of federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry gear up for National Get Outdoors Day 2009 on June 13, visitors to Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Trails can look forward to a full summer of “Get Outdoors! Wisconsin” events being held around the state.

The Wisconsin State Park System has launched a “Get Outdoors! Wisconsin” initiative with events scheduled throughout the summer at state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. The events are indicated by a “Get Outdoors! Wisconsin” insignia on the Upcoming Events at Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Trails Web page of the DNR Web site.

“Both National Get Outdoors Day and Get Outdoors! Wisconsin are aimed at getting children and families to spend more time outdoors with nature,” says Dan Schuller, director of the Wisconsin State Parks program.

Schuller says "Get Outdoors! Wisconsin" addresses a growing problem that author Richard Louv has termed “nature deficit disorder,” which has come about as children spend more time watching television and playing computer and video games. Many health professionals believe this has contributed to an increase in childhood obesity rates, which have risen four-fold for children ages 6 through 11 since 1971.

“Nature is good for kids. Research has shown that children who interact regularly with nature have better cognitive and creative skills and a better ability to deal with stress,” Schuller says.

Schuller notes that a “Top 10” list of reasons for a National Get Outdoors Day identifies many of the same reasons the State Parks program started its Get Outdoors! Wisconsin initiative.

More than a dozen “Get Outdoors! Wisconsin” events are scheduled this coming weekend as part of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6 and State Parks Open House Day on Sunday, June 7.

More information on the national effort and specific events can be found at [www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org] (exit DNR) and Get Outdoors! Wisconsin.

Top 10 Reasons for National Get Outdoors Day

10) A smaller and smaller portion of the nation is deriving physical, mental and spiritual benefits from time on their lands, and use is especially low for America’s poor, our urban dwellers, and minority Americans.

9) Today’s American kids are less connected to the outdoors than any previous generation. 6.5 hours a day spent watching screens. Six times more likely to play a computer game than ride a bike. Four times more likely to be obese than previous generation. And now facing shorter lives – a decline of 2-5 years in average length of life from parents’ life expectation.

8) America’s youth tell us that we are not reaching them with invitations to be active outdoors because we are not using the communications channels they utilize most: social networking sites including YouTube and MySpace and text messaging and photo-sharing from phone to phone. They tell us they are interested in the outdoors but need "triggers," and National Get Outdoors Day intends to be a trigger.

7) Americans are overwhelmed with information over the Internet. Information on what to do and where to do it is available – but we need to help Americans find it!

6) Americans who volunteer are also likely to be healthier. There are abundant opportunities to get healthy by volunteering on public lands.

5) America’s public lands and water agencies and the recreation community need to work as a team to compete for the hearts and minds of 21st Century Americans. We aren’t talking about choices between biking and fishing for most Americans, but between malls and home-based technologies and the outdoors.

4) The future of America's public lands will be determined by the extent to which Americans care about the Great Outdoors -- and if fewer people directly benefit from time outdoors, the prognosis is not good.

3) Americans have a growing problem that can be addressed with more physical activity – an increase in the percentage of Americans who are overweight and obese. This trend carries with it big costs – in dollars and quality of life. Some $160 billion in direct public spending. 7 in 10 deaths now attributable to largely preventable chronic illnesses – and 3 out of every 4 dollars in our healthcare spending is similarly directed at largely preventable chronic illnesses.

2) Combating stress: About to Burst: Handling Stress and Ending Violence by Rebecca Radcliffe. Teenagers live in a world that is more stressed than ever before. They get overloaded with pressure at school, conflicts at home, relationship problems, and career choices. Many have to deal with divorce, moves, financial struggles, jobs, and blended families. When stress builds up, teens cope however they can. They may drink, drive aggressively, get high, overeat, go shopping, spend hours on the computer or playing video games, or take out their frustration on others. This is why we see increased bullying, isolation, depression, obesity, eating disorders, inappropriate sexual activity, violent outbursts, cutting, intolerance and hate crimes, suicide, and many other destructive choices. Kids need new and better choices. They need help unwinding and handling pressure in positive ways. Recreation is a powerful antidote to stress.

1) American families, American communities and the nation need the connectivity and unity that results from family and friends enjoying time in the outdoors.

$100,000 awarded for Citizen Monitoring Projects

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank today announced the 2009 Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program awards, providing $100,000 to help fund 22 high-priority natural resource monitoring projects conducted by citizen groups across the state. For the $100,000 awarded by the DNR this year, citizen groups will invest an estimated $188,600 in volunteer time and $98,500 in cash from other sources for an effort totaling $387,100.

“Wisconsin has been an international leader in environmental stewardship for decades, and citizen-based monitoring has a long history here,” Frank said. “It is important to recognize the valuable contributions these programs make to the conservation of Wisconsin’s natural resources and support their efforts. These projects help engage Wisconsin students and citizens in the proactive conservation of our vital natural resources,”

Through the Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program, the Department of Natural Resources works with community and school groups, conservation organizations and other agencies to gather critical information on plants, animals, water and other natural resources. Projects are selected through a competitive review process with projects eligible to receive up to $4,999 in funding per year. Since 2004 the Partnership Program has helped fund 114 high priority natural resource monitoring projects statewide.

One of the selected projects, the Eau Claire County Forest Barrens Inventory, will receive $4,980 in funding and the project’s sponsors, Beaver Creek Reserve Citizen Science Center and Eau Claire County Parks and Forest Department, will contribute $6,400 in cash and 300 volunteer hours worth another $6,000.

More information on Wisconsin’s citizen-based monitoring program is available on the Wisconsin Citizen Based Monitoring Web site [cbm.wiatri.net] (exit DNR).

The 22 projects and sponsoring organizations awarded Partnership Program funding for the 2010 fiscal year are:
  • Volunteer Carnivore Tracking Master Tracker and Training Program – Timber Wolf Alliance ($4,999).
  • Middle and Lower Sugar River Citizen Monitoring Program Development – Upper Sugar River Watershed Association ($4,890).
  • Dissolved Oxygen Monitoring on Rusk County Lakes – Rusk County Waters Alliance ($1,569).
  • Monitoring Lake Level Trends in Northeastern Wisconsin – North Lakeland Discover Center ($4,999).
  • Iron County American Marten Monitoring – Expanding a School and Community-Based Research Project - North Lakeland Discover Center ($4,999).
  • Expanding on a Landowner Monitoring Strategy for Native Biodiversity in Southwest Wisconsin – Blue Mounds Area Project ($3,445).
  • Kickapoo River Watershed Extended Water Quality Monitoring Program- Valley Stewardship Network ($4,500).
  • Monitoring Protocols for Landowners – Development of a Monitoring Handbook of Tiered Skill-Level Techniques, Protocols and Data Collection – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($4,999).
  • Piloting a Landowner Monitoring Strategy of Indicator Species for Habitat Health in the Lower Kickapoo River – Kickapoo Initiative ($3,900).
  • Third Annual Kirtland’s Warbler Census in Wisconsin – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($4,818).
  • Project RED (Riverine Early Detectors) – River Alliance of Wisconsin ($4,999).
  • Citizen-Based Monitoring Field Practicum & Curriculum: Flambeau Mine Biodiversity Assessment – Bruce High School, Rusk County, Wisconsin ($4,999).
  • Aquatic Macrophyte Surveys in Rivers of the Upper St. Croix Watershed: Working to Identify and Limit the Spread of Eurasian Water – Grantsburg High School, Burnett County, Wisconsin ($4,998).
  • Citizen sampling to confirm, quantify and identify sources of E. coli pollution in the Bad River Watersheds – Bad River Watershed Association ($4,990).
  • Implementing a Statewide Red-shouldered Hawk Survey in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($4,999).
  • Monitoring Kilbourn Creek: A Service-Learning Program at Indian Trail Academy – Indian Trail Academy, Kenosha Unified School District ($3,992).
  • Monitoring Phosphate in the Creeks Feeding Little Sturgeon Bay – Little Sturgeon Area Property Owners Association ($528).
  • Eau Claire County Forest Barrens Inventory – Beaver Creek Reserve Citizen Science Center and Eau Claire County Parks and Forest Department ($4,980).
  • Red Cedar River Basin Monitoring Group: A Partnership for Action – Tainter and Menomin Lake Improvement Association ($4,999).
  • Carnivore and Timber Wolf Population Survey and Training of Friends of Crex Volunteers – Friends of Crex Volunteers and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($4,150).
  • Building a Diverse Audience through Citizen-based Monitoring: A Career Pipeline Approach – Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee ($4,999).
  • Expanding Invasive Species Identification in Manitowoc County – Manitowoc County Lake Association & Woodland Dunes Nature Center ($4,950).