Thursday, November 12, 2015

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer weekly reports

The reports have been updated. Please follow any of the links below to read the latest report.  Last updated: 2015-11-10

District 1 - Baudette area
District 2 - Bemidji area
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
District 4 - Wadena area
District 5 - Eveleth area
District 6 - Two Harbors area
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
District 8 - Duluth area
District 9 - Brainerd area
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
District 11 - St. Cloud area
District 12 - Princeton area
District 13 - West Metro area
District 14 - East Metro area
District 15 - Marshall area
District 16 - New Ulm area
District 17 - Mankato area
District 18 - Rochester area

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

River Talk Sponsors Tell Their Stories

November 11, 2015
By Marie Zhuikov

The next monthly River Talk is scheduled for Wed. Nov. 18, 7 p.m. at Barker’s Waterfront Grille (Barker’s Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, Wis.) Erika Washburn, director of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve; Jen Hauxwell, assistant director for research and student engagement for Wisconsin Sea Grant; and Jesse Schomberg, interim co-director of Minnesota Sea Grant will present, “The Story Behind the River Talk Sponsors: What the Heck is a National Estuarine Research Reserve and a Sea Grant?”

The Wisconsin and Minnesota Sea Grant programs and the Lake Superior Reserve have teamed to offer this series of science cafĂ©-type evening talks about the St. Louis River Estuary. These informal “River Talks” are held monthly through May (except in December). Check the River Talk website for details. If you miss a talk, visit Wisconsin Sea Grant’s “Great Lakes Takes” blog for a summary.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Less restrictive Red Lake winter walleye regulations announced

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this winter will be able to keep three walleye – one more than last winter’s limit – and those fish can be from a broader size range.

Effective Tuesday, Dec. 1, the daily bag and possession limit for Red Lake will be three walleye, only one of which may be longer than 17 inches.

Last winter, anglers could keep two walleye, one of which could be longer than 26 inches. All walleye 17-26 inches had to be immediately released.

“In fall assessment netting by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, there was high walleye abundance and large numbers of fish from 12 to 21 inches,” said Gary Barnard, DNR Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “The coming winter’s less restrictive regulations are based on the excellent status of Red Lake’s walleye fishery.”  

The DNR and the Red Lake Band have developed a joint harvest plan that governs walleye harvest on an annual basis. The harvest plan was recently revised for the first time since the walleye fishery reopened in 2006 after being closed in the 1990s due to overharvest.

Harvest regulation options were the topic at a Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in late September.

“The Citizen’s Advisory Committee wholeheartedly endorses the new winter regulations for the 2015-2016 ice fishing season,” said Advisory Committee member Joe Corcoran. “We are optimistic these regulations will be successful at keeping walleye harvest within the established target harvest range for the winter season.”

More information on Red Lake fishing regulations are available at

Wisconsin Researchers Study “Rogue Waves” Like Ones Thought to Have Sunk the Fitzgerald

Preliminary findings show that sandstone bluffs like those in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore can increase the probability for these dangerous waves because waves reflect off them

November 9, 2015

By Marie Zhuikov

On the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Wisconsin Sea Grant researchers are learning more about the type of waves suspected in the Great Lakes freighter’s foundering.

Chin Wu, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his research assistant Josh Anderson studied rogue waves and wave and current patterns in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Lake Superior.

Rogue waves are defined as waves with a height more than double that of other waves occurring around them. They can be caused by multiple factors, such as wind, strong currents or shoreline geography. Also known as freak or killer waves, their tendency to occur unexpectedly and with huge force makes them especially dangerous.

On Lake Superior, a group of three rogue waves, colloquially called “three sisters,” is suspected as one of several causes for the sinking of the Fitzgerald in a storm near Whitefish Point, Mich., on Nov. 10, 1975. Because the waves follow each other closely, ships can’t recover and shed the water from the first before the others strike, which leads to sinkings. The captain of a ship near the Fitzgerald (Captain Cooper of the Anderson) reported that his ship was hit by two 30- to 35-foot waves. These waves, possibly followed by a third, continued in the direction of the Fitzgerald and may have struck it about the same time it sank. Twenty-nine crew members were lost.

For their experiment, Wu and Anderson deployed wave and current-measuring instruments throughout the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. They examined the data for rogue wave patterns, looking at three possible causes: refraction on shoals, diffraction around islands, and reflection off the sandstone bluffs so prevalent in the area, and which make up the popular mainland sea caves near Cornucopia, Wis.

Anderson says that although the study is still in progress, preliminary results show an increase in the probability for rogue waves near reflecting walls. The duo also found that if one rogue wave was observed, others can’t be far behind. “They group together during certain wave conditions,” said Anderson. “You might get three or four in an hour and then you won’t get one for the rest of the day.”

The largest rogue wave they observed at the sea caves was 12.8 feet when the other waves around it were 6.1 feet. However, the largest they observed during the study occurred on Gull Island Shoal in the eastern part of the lakeshore. It measured 17.7 feet when the other waves were an average of 8.9 feet.

Although the rogue waves observed in the Apostles aren’t nearly as large as the offshore ones that may have sunk the Fitzgerald, “They’re still dangerous to kayakers or sailboaters,” said Anderson. “Waves are hazardous and we still don’t know everything about them, so we’re doing this research for public safety and to understand them better.”

To document other wave and current patterns for their study, Wu and Anderson developed a computer model and calculated 35 years of conditions. “We found that basically, the overall wave climate has been increasing on Lake Superior due to less ice cover and stronger winds in the winter, which generates larger waves,” Anderson said. This can impact how sediment is transported around the islands and can change how bluffs erode.

Their ground-breaking work can be seen on the INFOs website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wisconsin Lends Expertise to Certify a Clean Marina in a Neighboring State

Oct. 13, 2015

The Wisconsin Marine Association (WMA) announced it has bestowed clean marina status to the Port of Dubuque Marina, which met the required number of green-management practices.

The designation comes at the hands of a rigorous training and certification process carried out by the WMA, Wisconsin Sea Grant and other partners. The business becomes the 21st clean marina designated by the WMA, and the first to be designated outside the state of Wisconsin.          

“Obtaining a Clean Marina certification has been a goal of ours since opening the Port of Dubuque Marina in June of 2013,” said Ben Alden, facility supervisor. “After learning the state of Iowa had not developed a Clean Marina certification process, we joined the Wisconsin Marine Association, which offered us the opportunity to become Iowa's first certified clean marina.”

According to Alden, “The city of Dubuque, Iowa, strives to improve and maintain current green initiatives in an effort to become a more sustainable community. The city of Dubuque, Iowa, sits along the banks of the Mississippi River, a river which is enjoyed by many members of the community through boating, fishing, swimming and paddling. Obtaining the Clean Marina certification emphasizes our commitment to ensuring the water and habitat along the river are pristine, and the people and wildlife are safe.”

“As the newest certified clean marina member of the Wisconsin Marine Association our journey has just begun,” said Alden. “I hope to use the information learned to educate local and visiting boaters on the best management practices of a clean marina, and to make the Mississippi River a cleaner and more enjoyable place for all.”

Marinas and related industries and services contribute more than $2.7 billion to Wisconsin's economy. The voluntary, industry-led Clean Marina Program ensures clean boating practices that benefit the environment, and marinas alike. Best-management practices include preventing the release of water pollutants from boat fueling, petroleum storage and vessel maintenance.

“Participating marinas and boatyards benefit in many ways, including cost savings from reduced hazardous waste disposal, fewer pollutant cleanups and lower insurance rates,” said the WMA’s Clean Marina Program Coordinator Vicky Harris. “Designated marinas are safer and healthier facilities for employees and boaters while also protecting valuable public benefits like swimming, fishing and drinking water.”

The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program is administered by the WMA with assistance from Sea Grant and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Additional partners include the University of Wisconsin-Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Office of the Great Lakes and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wisconsin Walleye Initiative Stocking Chequamegon Bay

MADISON -- Fall walleye stocking is well underway as part of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative, with some 355,000 of the 6 to 8 inch extended growth walleye now distributed primarily in northern lakes.
Click on URL below for short WDNR video regarding the latest stocking.

Zebra mussels reported on two Minnesota lakes

Lake John has broad infestation; One zebra mussel found on Bryant Lake
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Lake John, in Wright County.
A citizen involved in a monitoring program reported a single zebra mussel in late September, but subsequent surveys revealed a more widespread and established infestation throughout much of the lake. The lake is not a candidate for current treatment methods because the infestation is widespread. Lake John has been added to the infested waters list. Other bodies of water connected to Lake John may also be added to the infested waters list after further assessment.
In another case, a single zebra mussel was recently reported in Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie. Three Rivers Park District staff discovered the invasive species on a settlement plate, a simple underwater detection device placed around docks and shorelines, and reported it to the DNR.
Extensive dive searches over the next several days revealed no additional zebra mussels in the lake. DNR invasive species specialist Keegan Lund said Bryant Lake will be carefully monitored the rest of this season and next year, but no treatment is necessary at this time.
The combined efforts of the DNR, lake property owners and lake users to spot and report suspected new infestations increase the chances of treating them or limiting their spread. This time of year it is especially important to check docks, lifts, and other equipment for zebra mussels. By law, docks and lifts must also dry for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water.
“There is a common misconception that zebra mussels ‘are everywhere’ and that their spread is inevitable. The reality is, zebra mussels have been confirmed in less than two percent of Minnesota lakes, and more Minnesotans than ever before know and follow invasive species laws,” Lund said. “People spread zebra mussels, and people can prevent the spread.”
Before leaving a lake, Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws require boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
For more information on aquatic invasive species prevention and how to report a suspected infestation, visit

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New National Marine Sanctuary Much Closer to a Berth in Wisconsin

Oct. 5, 2015

By Moira Harrington

Wisconsin Sea Grant welcomed President Obama’s announcement today that the nation’s newest NOAA national marine sanctuary is moving closer to a designation along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc, Sheboygan or Ozaukee counties and in the waters in a location to be determined, having met preliminary national significance criteria and management considerations. As proposed, it encompasses 875 square miles.

The Wisconsin sanctuary is currently on a so-called inventory list and now heads into a more intensive public comment period and scoping, preparation of an environmental impact statement and a management plan. Once those processes are complete, the clock would start ticking toward official designation. The timeframe for those actions is not fully known but could range from months to a year. If successful, Wisconsin would host only one of 14 National Marine Sanctuaries and only the second one in fresh water.

The Wisconsin site has been selected, in large measure, based on the success of shipwreck explorations in state waters of Lake Michigan. There are 59 Wisconsin shipwrecks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, far more than any other state. Of that number, a proposed 15 would be within the designated sanctuary boundaries. Another 24 known wrecks are in the proposed sanctuary but are not, at this point, on the register.

Since the 1990s, Sea Grant has supported maritime explorations through grant funding in collaboration with the Wisconsin Historical Society’s (WHS) maritime archeology program.

In addition to shipwreck exploration, mapping and registration for protection, the Sea Grant-WHS partnership extends public understanding of the nautical past by creating and sharing land-based signage that explains the shipwrecks’ significance; preparing geocaches, which are an innovative, accessible and active way to extend the learning; and co-hosting an entertaining and informative website,           

“Wisconsin has a rich maritime heritage and an equally rich legacy of preserving that heritage,” said Jim Hurley, Sea Grant’s director. “We are thrilled the national panel looking at siting the newest sanctuary has chosen the Great Lakes to move forward. It means continued historic preservation, along with tourism for an important area of the state and highlights an important ecosystem.” 

Marine sanctuaries are now found in Lake Huron, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and touch states such as Hawaii, Texas, California and Massachusetts. Sanctuaries are established to protect natural and cultural features while allowing people to use and enjoy the waters in a sustainable way. No disruption of commercial or recreational activities occurs. Sanctuary waters provide a secure habitat for species close to extinction and protect historically significant shipwrecks and artifacts. Sanctuaries also serve as natural classrooms and laboratories.

Wisconsin applied for the sanctuary designation in December 2014 and competed against four other proposed locations. After an initial screening, Wisconsin and a site on the Potomac River emerged as the strongest applicants. The review panel was impressed by the broad range of support for the Lake Michigan proposal from the governor’s office on behalf of the state of Wisconsin; the cities of Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Port Washington; Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties; NGOs and area businesses. The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, along with the WHS, were also highly instrumental in the application process.

The sanctuary’s application reads, in part, “The proposed Wisconsin sanctuary encompasses a key portion of an early transportation corridor that was critical to the expansion of the United States and the development of the agricultural and the industrial core of the nation.” 

Details on how to participate in the public comment period on the proposal are at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

WCSFO 2015 Fall Meeting Notice

Date: Saturday, October 17, 20152015springmeetingnotice

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: Walleyes for Tomorrow Office

224 Auburn St

Fond Du Lac, WI

Typical Fall Meeting Agenda:


1. Call to order / Introductions / sign in

2. Minutes from March 21, 2015 Spring Meeting (Brenda Rosin


3. Treasurers Report (Cornell Stroik)

4. Dues Notices (2016)                                                           Click photo to enlarge

5. DNR Update (There will be a WDNR Representative

    attending to give us an update on what is happening in the department.)

6. WI Wildlife Federation Update from a WWF Representative.

7. Lake access news

8. B.A.S.S. Federation/Bass Nation News (Cornell Stoik)

9. Tournaments/C.A.S.T. – Updates/News

10. “Kids Fishing Klinics,” Recap of 2015 events and update

11. Old Business:

      A. Kids Klinic Books

      B. Facebook

      C. eNewsline

12. New Business

      Election of Officers


Friday, September 25, 2015

Safer Lake Michigan Surf Thanks to New Academic and Governmental Partnership

By Moira Harrington

Lake Michigan swimmers will be much safer from the risk of rip currents and other dangerous waves thanks to a new real-time effort that will match the academic know-how of a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher with the outreach capability of Wisconsin Sea Grant, expertise on coastal issues by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and resources of the Milwaukee County Parks Department.

Chin Wu, UW-Madison professor of civil and environmental engineering, and those organizations have teamed up to plan on installing a camera at Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach and an underwater wave sensor off of the harbor breakwall.

"In 2012 and 2013, dangerous Great Lakes currents and waves caused 88 drowning deaths and rescue incidents. In fact, rip currents claim more lives annually than tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning and floods," Wu said. "Our project will address these tragic statistics."

Rip currents occur when a strong offshore narrow current forms along sandy beaches as well as around

obstructions such as a sandbar, pier or jetty. The currents appear as a break in incoming wave patterns or as a channel of dark, churning, choppy water flowing offshore with no breaking waves. They do not pull swimmers down into the water, as an undertow would, but rather along the surface. Yet, the currents are strong and swimmers panic trying to escape them. That’s when drownings may occur.

“Our joint project will arm beachgoers with awareness so they can make better decisions while enjoying Lake Michigan. We want to provide information about rip currents or dangerous waves,” said Gene Clark, a coastal engineer with Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Todd Brieby of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program said, “It’s gratifying to partner on this effort that will prevent further loss of life from these swimming hazards. This project is a successful example of a collaborative effort to address a coastal community need.”

Installed equipment will identify and more accurately pinpoint the movement and behavior of hazardous wave conditions. Additionally, computer models are being developed to better predict conditions. The information gathered from those tools will be shared with local officials, and in turn, the public through two sites: Integrated Nowcast/Forecast Operation Systems (INFOS) and soon at

“On any given day, thousands of people visit Milwaukee’s lakefront and Bradford Beach,” said Jeff Baudry of Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture. “They are attracted by the sand, sun, volleyball courts, concession stand and, importantly, the sparkling water of Lake Michigan. With this real-time warning system, they will also be safer.”

The warning information is also available as an app for download to a mobile device or a smart phone. See the bottom of this page.

The effort is being funded by a $200,000 grant from the Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program, which is a regional effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make Great Lake coastal communities safer and more resilient to storm and weather hazards and climate change. Similar systems are in place for Port Washington, where a 15-year-old died in a rip current four years ago, and in Duluth, Minn.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monofilament Mania: Wisconsin Sea Grant Donates Fishing Line Recycling Bins to St. Louis River Alliance

By Marie Zhuikov

With all the work going on to restore habitat in the St. Louis River Estuary, organizations would be remiss if they didn’t also address a man-made killer that lurks there: monofilament fishing line. That’s just what the St. Louis River Alliance of Duluth, Minn., is doing.

Wildlife can get caught and tangled in discarded or lost fishing line, sometimes leading to death. This spring, the Alliance began a program to install monofilament recycling bins at public boat landings along the estuary in Duluth and Superior, Wis. They sent out a call for cooperation and support to several local organizations, and organized adult and youth groups to participate in an “Adopt-A-Bin” program.

Wisconsin Sea Grant heeded the call by offering six bins that were donated by the NOAA Marine Debris Program a few years ago. The bins look more like small ship smokestacks than boxes. They are comprised of wide white PVC pipe tubing with a curved opening on top. Bill Majewski with the Alliance outfitted the tubes with a special wooden door that keeps birds from using the bins for nesting and deters people from throwing trash inside. The organization also created “Reel in and Recycle” stickers to let boat landing visitors know what the bins are for.

The donated bins were installed by Jill DiDomenico of the Alliance and her homegrown work crew (her children) in Superior last week. Anglers will notice them at Loon’s Foot Landing, Arrowhead Pier, Billings Park, and on Barker’s Island at the public boat launch, the dock by the Wisconsin Sea Grant/Lake Superior Reserve office, and the fishing pier along the Osaugie Trail on the mainland across from the office.

If you find discarded fishing line at any of these sites, please look for the bin and do your part to keep the estuary clean!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Successful Sea Caves Watch Project Saves Lives, Changes Hands

No deaths have occurred near the sea caves since website went online in 2011

By Marie Zhuikov

A public safety project designed to prevent kayaking tragedies at the popular mainland sea caves in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has been turned over by the University of Wisconsin-Madison to the National Park Service and several partners. is a real-time wave observation system that provides webcam photos and wave height, water temperature and wind speed data to kayakers, who can access the website before venturing out on Lake Superior to the sea caves. The website is also available via a special kiosk at the boat launch site at Meyers Beach in the national lakeshore.

The original project was co-led by Chin Wu, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Gene Clark, a coastal engineer with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Josh Anderson was lead student researcher on the project. It was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the Friends of the Apostle Islands, with support by the City of Bayfield. The National Park Service was involved in the project from the onset and provided significant in-kind support.

“The original focus was summer wave conditions but with the addition of the webcam, the system emerged as a vitally important year-round tool,” said Bob Krumenaker, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore superintendent, “especially in winter 2014, when record visitation to the ice-covered caves made international news.”

In recognition that was crucial to operations at the caves in both summer and winter, the National Park Service sought to move it from status as a “project” to a regular part of its work plan. The park will be aided by the original partners, who finalized a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their roles recently in Bayfield at the lakeshore headquarters.

“It’s changed our park protocols,” said Krumenaker. “We’ve made a commitment to the system and plan to continue it in the long-term. Before our staff go out the caves or before we open the caves to the public in the winter, our motto is, ‘check the camera first!’ ”

“Since went online, it’s contributed to a reduction in mishaps in the park,” said Dick Carver with the Friends of the Apostle Islands. “We went from four kayaker deaths in a five-year-period to none in the past five years.”

The mainland sea caves can be dangerous because of the possibility for high waves, and the sheer cliffs, which make it impossible for kayakers to get out of the water if they get into trouble.

“There’s a misconception that because the caves are close to shore, they’re safe,” said Tam Hofman, ranger at Meyers Beach. “But conditions can change quickly out on the lake, especially near the rock cliffs and caves, and you can’t always see that from the launch site.”

The website is accessed about 96,000 times per year. According to Clark, with Wisconsin Sea Grant, the webcam was originally meant as an experimental way to monitor wave conditions at the caves. “But now it’s invaluable,” he said. “We didn’t have that vision at first.”

Under the new agreement, Wisconsin Sea Grant will provide coastal engineering expertise as needed and public outreach and communications for the project. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will provide technical assistance for equipment operation and website maintenance. The National Park Service will deploy and retrieve the underwater wave pressure gage and cable seasonally, provide basic equipment maintenance, and provide wireless service funding. The Friends of the Apostle Islands will provide funding for project activities and travel, and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the City of Bayfield will provide advice and public awareness support. The agreement is effective for five years.

“The goal was to make people using the caves feel safe,” said Wu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It’s been gratifying to be part of a project that’s had an impact and has made a difference.”

Wu is using what he’s learned for webcam and wave sensor installations in three other locations to help detect and forecast rip currents. The locations are Milwaukee; Port Washington, Wis.; and Park Point in Duluth, Minn. The images and data will soon be available on

Friday, July 31, 2015

Voter Elects to Become Debut WRI Fellow

Carolyn Voter will be charged with compiling the annual report the state Groundwater Coordinating Council submits to the Legislature.

By Aaron R. Conklin

Groundwater brought Carolyn Voter to Wisconsin, and groundwater is what’s kept her here. It’s also the centerpiece of her latest career step:  Voter, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is set to become the first Wisconsin Water Resources Institute Policy Fellow.

The newly created position will be shared with and housed within the structure of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Voter will be charged with analyzing statistical data, compiling information and creating the annual report the state Groundwater Coordinating Council (GCC) submits to the state legislature detailing the results of groundwater research funded by WRI and DNR and other state agencies.

“Interagency cooperation is the cornerstone for groundwater protection in Wisconsin,” said Mary Ellen Vollrecht, the DNR’s Groundwater Section Chief for the Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater. “The new Water Resources Fellowship builds on that base.  Carolyn’s background and energy are sure to get the fellowship off to a strong start.  DNR appreciates this initiative of the Water Resources Institute and will strive to maximize the benefits to all agencies --and all Wisconsin water consumers.”

Jennifer Hauxwell, WRI’s assistant director for research and student engagement, agrees.

“Carolyn has a strong background in hydrology and familiarity with the Groundwater Coordinating Council’s Joint Solicitation for groundwater research,” Hauxwell said. “She also brings great enthusiasm and positivity toward tackling the difficult challenge of both understanding and protecting a hidden resource – our groundwater.”

Voter, who was born in New Jersey and received her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, was inspired by stream restoration work she became involved with there, and was drawn to Wisconsin in part because of the UW’s interdisciplinary hydroecology research programs. As a PhD student, Voter worked on multiple WRI-funded research projects with UW-Madison professor of engineering Steven Loheide, including a project that examined the ways in which urban design impacted an area’s water budget.

“I’m excited about the policy angle,’ said Voter of her new position.  “I’ve had a lot of consulting experience, but I haven’t had a chance to do much policy.”

Voter already knows several of the issues that will be an integral part of the challenges associated with maintaining or enhancing the quality and quantity of the state’s groundwater resources: chemical and biological contaminants and dozens of factors that affect water supply and demand.

“An important part of what I’ll be doing is figuring out how to communicate science to non-scientists,” she said.

Voter begins work in her new position on July 27. In her spare time, Voter likes to run, spend time with her dog and check off activities on her “Madison bucket list.”

Tracking Toxins in Tunnel City

A pair of UW-Extension researchers begin the long process of detailing the mineral and chemical composition of two of Wisconsin's largest rock units.

By Aaron R. Conklin

Among Wisconsin geologists, they’re known as the Wonewoc Formation and Tunnel City Group--rock units named for places in Wisconsin where they are well exposed and were first described. Yet these rocks underlie almost half of the state.

But these porous rock units present in areas of West and Central Wisconsin could also be a potential source of groundwater contaminants, including an extensive list of elements that includes everything from aluminum, arsenic and cadmium to cobalt, copper and lead.

With the support of funding from the Wisconsin Water Resources Institute (WRI), a team of University of Wisconsin- Extension researchers is taking the first of many steps to determine whether these formations are, in fact, a possible contamination source. They’re starting at the very beginning, creating a set of baseline data that details the mineral and chemical composition of the rocks.   

“Wells in part of western Wisconsin drawing water from near the intersection of these formations sometimes have water chemistry that is not ideal,” said Jay Zambito, a bedrock geologist and professor with UW-Extension’s Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and the principal investigator on the project. ”We sometimes find elements above advisory levels.”

To gauge the rock composition, Zambito and his colleague, hydrogeologist Mike Parsen, are collecting and studying rock samples, beginning with drill core, pristine rock materials collected from the subsurface across Wisconsin. Fortuitously, Wisconsin’s Geological and Natural History Survey curates and maintains an extensive library of drill cores. The collection contains cores from approximately 2,000 wells, as well as rock cuttings from another 11,000 water wells from across Wisconsin. This includes many samples from the Tunnel City and the Wonewoc rock units.

Having those samples available saves a ton of time—and a ton of cash.

“”It costs about $60-100 per foot to collect new drill core,” said Zambito, who noted that the estimated value of the drill core archive is between $120-140 million, though most is unique and irreplaceable. “Given the scope of this project, we’d be looking at spending approximately $2 million to collect these samples.”

Instead, they can get right to the research. Using an x-ray fluorescence analyzer, Zambito and Parsen will be able to quickly scan the cores and identify the elemental composition of the rock formations. Follow-up analyses will then be used to determine the minerals that contain these elements.

“This is a perfect example of a core being used for a different purpose than it was initially intended,” said Parsen.

Simple, right? Not quite: Just because an element is in a rock formation doesn’t mean it can leach into groundwater. A variety of environmental factors, including temperature, pH, oxygen levels, and whether the elements are incorporated within stable or unstable minerals, influences the process through which minerals can break down and constituent elements go into solution.

“We really don’t have a good idea whether these elements can make their way into the water,” explained Zambito. “That’s a subject for a subsequent study, after we figure out what elements and minerals are present.”

In addition to drill cores, Zambito and Parsen will also collect and analyze other samples, including freshly extracted rock from industrial sand mining operations and outcrops along the sides of highways.

Eventually, the results of Zambito and Parsen’s work could have the potential to inform policy decisions about where and how wells in West and Central Wisconsin that tap into the Tunnel City and Wonewoc rock units for water will be drilled and managed. Zambito pointed to an earlier WRI-funded study as a possible predictor, in which researchers determined that an interval of sulfide minerals found in the subsurface in the Green Bay area were breaking down and unleashing arsenic into the groundwater. The solution in that case could also be the solution in this case concerning the Tunnel City and Wonewoc rock units—casing-off groundwater wells so that water is not drawn from any possible horizons of problematic minerals.

“We would anticipate seeing geological layers that may contain lower or higher concentrations of problematic element-bearing minerals,” said Parsen. “The question becomes, how are we handling them? What’s the long-term policy?”

“Once we have that baseline data set, we’ll have a better idea about how to move forward in testing potential rock-to-groundwater geochemical pathways,” agreed Zambito. “This is really the first step.”

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Request for Volunteers for this Saturday, August 1st…

Just a reminder that we have the Brew City Fish Tournament0 0 0 0 Brew-City-Logo-2015 that benefits Hunger Task Force this Saturday. If anyone can spare a few hours amongst fellow fisherman, we'd love to have you help us out!

Plan on being ready to help at McKinley Marina by 11:00 at the cleaning station. If you have a regular fillet knife or an electric filet knife please bring it.

If you know of anyone else that can help with cleaning or be a runner, we can get done sooner. I need a final count of volunteers by Thursday please. Last year we cleaned about 1,400 pounds of fish.

To volunteer – call: 414-467-6658

Directions to Park

Brews City Fish Tournament Information

Hunger Task Force Information

Friday, July 17, 2015

DNR public hearing on rule related to commercial harvest of chubs from Lake Michigan

The Department of Natural Resources announces that it will hold a public hearing on permanent rule FH-10-12 to revise ch. NR 25 related to commercial harvest of chubs from Lake Michigan at the time and place shown below. (Download and read the Rule Order)

Hearing Information (Download and read the public Notice of Hearing for additional details)

Date:     Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time:     6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Location:     Lakeshore Technical College, Wells Fargo Room, 1290 North Ave, Cleveland, WI 53015

Written comments may also be submitted at the public hearings, by regular mail, fax or email to David Boyarski, Department of Natural Resources, 110 S. Neenah Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI  54235 or no later than July 31, 2015.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Volunteers Needed…

0 0 0 0 Brew-City-Logo-2015

We are looking for anyone that is interested in helping out the Hunger Task Force at McKinney  Marina 11:30 am until at the latest 5pm (or whenever they can stay until), for the Brew City Fish Tournament. They need a few people to filet fish and a few runners. Electric filet knives would be helpful if you have one.  Last year approximately 1200 - 1400 lbs. of fish were cleaned and given to Hunger Task Force recipients!

Click Here for more information

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Great Lakes Climate Change Tool Sparks Conversation and Planning in Coastal Communities

June 17, 2015

By Marie Zhuikov

Sea Grant climate change educators in the Great Lakes states have taken a tool developed in Mississippi-Alabama and adapted it for communities along the shores of our freshwater seas to use in preparing for the impacts of weather disruption. The educators have worked with several community planners in Wisconsin and northern Minnesota to assess the communities’ abilities to adapt under a changing climate, and they presented their work last month at a national climate adaptation forum. They hope other communities will follow suit.

The tool has a long name: A Self-Assessment to Address Climate Adaptation Readiness in Your Community. It was originally developed by the NOAA Coastal Storms Program at Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant. Staff with Minnesota Sea Grant saw a use for it in the Great Lakes Region, but the tool needed some tweaking.

“The original tool was focused on hurricanes and flooding,” said Hilarie Sorensen, climate change extension educator with Minnesota Sea Grant. “We customized the checklist for the Great Lakes. It’s meant to be a conversation-starter with communities that haven’t started the adaptation process yet but are interested in it, or communities that have a planning process coming up where they’d like to integrate a climate change component into it.”

Sea Grant staff help the communities go through the checklist of nine categories and identify where they are vulnerable and what tasks they can start with to prepare for the worst that new climate conditions can dish out. These include infrastructure, maintenance, water resources, tourism and business plans.

So far, two communities in Wisconsin have done so: the city of Ashland and Oconto County. Oconto County has been the first to incorporate the tool into an official planning process. They did this thanks to work by Angela Pierce, natural resources planner with the Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission, Julia Noordyk with Wisconsin Sea Grant and Sorensen.

“Climate change can be controversial, but Oconto County was great to work with,” said Pierce. “We explained that we were here to address the fact that things are changing and we need to be prepared. Hazard mitigation planning has always been based on past trends and with changing conditions, we can’t count on those anymore.”

The trio went through the self-assessment process with the county and in the process learned that the checklist needed to address wildfire and pest concerns more thoroughly. Pierce and Noordyk were able to adapt it to meet the county’s concerns by using information from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts – a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to scientifically assess climate impacts and limit vulnerability in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.

Pierce credits Sea Grant for providing the assistance to make community-specific climate change planning possible. She had tried in the past to incorporate personalized climate change actions into hazard mitigation plans but didn’t have the funding or tools to make it happen.

“Julia and Hilarie put in a lot of their time to develop the natural hazards and climate change section in the Oconto County plan,” Pierce said. “It was customized for the community – not just some summarized information. It’s one thing to gather information and put it in your plan. It’s another to go through the process with Sea Grant and have really good discussions that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Right now, the climate change section is a stand-alone chapter in the Oconto plan. Pierce hopes to incorporate climate change throughout the plan in future updates and to work with other communities as they update their hazard mitigation plans.

Noordyk notes that in the future, local governments may be required to consider the impacts of climate change in their hazard mitigations plans in order to be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and eligible for post-disaster funding. President Obama and FEMA have already announced that states will need to do so.

“Using this tool is a first step in getting communities to start thinking about how to integrate future climate conditions into planning processes they are already required to go through,” Noordyk said.

David Hart, Wisconsin Sea Grant assistant director for extension, said Oconto’s efforts are unique. “There haven’t been many hazard mitigation plans in Wisconsin that have included a climate change element.” And he credits Pierce’s willingness to address the issue.

Noordyk and Sorensen presented their work with Oconto County at the National Adaptation Forum held in May in St. Louis Mo., to make other planners and educators aware of the tool’s availability and usefulness.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Communications Work Captures National Awards

Eat Wisconsin Fish Campaign and 2012-14 Biennial Report Effectively Speak to Mission, and Audiences, and Impress Judges

June 11, 2016

Two Wisconsin Sea Grant communications projects recently won national awards.

“I’m gratified our work on behalf of worthwhile Sea Grant activities, in support of our mission and tailored to our audiences, has received recognition by national peers in the field of communications,” said Moira Harrington, assistant director for communications.

The Eat Wisconsin Fish campaign won a Grand Award. The judges wrote: “Bright. Eye-catching. Crisp. Appealing. All adjectives apply to this well-thought-out campaign, which has the chief virtue of a very clear focus on a single, simple message, employing a wide range of print, electronic and social media to deliver said message. An impressive effort.”

The 2015 APEX award competition drew 1,900 entrants. APEX is run by Communications Concepts Inc., which advises publishing, PR and marketing professionals on best practices to improve their publications and communications programs.

The campaign was created by Graphic Designer Yael Gen, and on behalf of a team of outreach specialists—Jane Harrison, Kathy Kline and Titus Seilheimer. They are addressing the fact that more than 90 percent of the seafood eaten by Americans is imported from other countries. Through this Sea Grant marketing and public relations effort, the goal is to move consumers to choose healthy, local fish for their dinner tables.

The campaign has included a strong logo, print elements (posters, table tents, flyers, brochure and fish case signage), other collateral (aprons and magnets) a website, two chef cook-off/public tasting events and a flight of television ads in one of Wisconsin’s markets. 

All materials are the result of more than 200 consumer surveys conducted in grocery stores in Wisconsin’s two largest cities. Two focus groups in those cities were held and shaped material development. The campaign has been ongoing for roughly one year. Subsequent tracking is planned (based on sales figures) to see what progress has been made to move consumers’ preferences and affect buying habits.

The 2012-14 Sea Grant biennial report is the second award-winner. It took a bronze in the institutional relations/publications category of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education 2015 Circle of Excellence Awards that overall attracted more than 3,000 entrants.

There were seven winners in the category and Sea Grant was one of only two programs within larger academic institutions to excel. Other winning publications were done on behalf of entire universities, such as Boston University, the University of Kansas and the University of California-Irvine.  

The judges shared these impressions of the report: “From the cover photo to the artistic representations to the high-quality science-based information and actions of Sea Grant, this book captures the mission of the Institute. The judges liked the overall design and the use of color. The photography portraits are well done and support the stories in the text on an emotional level. With an overall budget on the low side, the final product is of excellent quality, demonstrating creative use of available resources.”

Yael Gen was also the graphic designer on this project, and others who worked on the report were Moira Harrington and Elizabeth White. Marie Zhuikov and John Karl contributed photos. Zhuikov wrote two poems, about lakes Michigan and Superior, for the publication whose theme was the connection between art and science, and how the Great Lakes can inspire expression of all types. In turn, this can lead to support from all quarters for their sustainable use.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Great Lakes Fish Will be in Spotlight at National “Fish Fry”

Wild-caught and aquaculture-raised fish on the menu
June 2, 2015
By Moira Harrington 

To highlight fish from the Great Lakes region, Wisconsin Sea Grant will serve smoked Lake Michigan whitefish from Susie Q Fish Co. in Two Rivers and farm-raised rainbow trout from Rushing Waters Fisheries in Palmyra at the 40th annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fish Fry on June 10 in Washington, D.C. It is believed to be the first time Great Lakes fish have ever made an appearance at the gathering that draws members of Congress, legislative staffers and other federal officials and staff members.

The event promotes public understanding of aquaculture and commercial fisheries. Each year, it attracts up to 1,100 people who pay for a ticket to enjoy seafood samples near the National Mall at the Department of Commerce building, which is home to NOAA.

This year, guest chefs and others such as Kathy Kline, education specialist with Sea Grant, will prepare and serve fish—cod, salmon, crab and more. In all, 17 organizations will be represented from places like Maine, Alaska, Delaware and Louisiana.

“I’m really honored to highlight our Great Lakes and Wisconsin farm-raised fish at this prestigious event,” said Kline. “More than 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported from other countries, and events like the NOAA Fish Fry help spotlight the variety of delicious U.S. seafood available to consumers.”

Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed and is sharing an Eat Wisconsin Fish campaign to inform consumers, restaurateurs and retailers about the local, healthy and delicious fish that are harvested from the Great Lakes and the sustainable aquaculture operations across the state. The campaign provides information through a website,, and events and cooking demonstrations.

Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry is worth $21 million annually. According to 2012 numbers (the most recent available) from the Great Lakes Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Great Lakes commercial fishers catch was 18,725,000 pounds with a value of more than $23 million.

Invasive Species Video Contest Winners


Congratulations go out to David Blumer of Barron County for his winning video in the 2015 Invasive Species Awareness Month Video Contest. Check out his video “Oh no! It’s the AIS Monster and His Henchmen!” Congratulations also go to runner up Wes Ison from Oneida Co. for his video “Eurasian Water Milfoil

Don't forget to join us this week at Olbrich Gardens at 1 p.m. in Madison as we kick off Invasive Species Awareness month with the 11th annual Invader Crusader Award Ceremony, where we will honor Wisconsin citizens and organizations--both volunteer and professional--for their significant contributions to the prevention, management, education, or research of invasive species that harm Wisconsin's land and waters. The award recognizes efforts at all scales--from neighborhoods to statewide parks, lakes and forests. This year, a total of nine awards will be presented to individuals and groups from around the state.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS: Free Kids Fishing Tournament June 13, 2015

If you are a member of one of our officiate clubs and/or think you might be interested in participating,  volunteering, and registering your boat to help a kid and their guardian participate, that would be wonderful (they could use more fishing boats and have sponsors and prizes, etc.)

Go to and go towards the bottom for the kids tournament.


Greater Wisconsin Kids Fishing Tournament
Saturday June 13th

The Greater Wisconsin Kids Fishing Tournament is a kids' fishing tournament designed to allow kids the opportunity to share a competitive fishing experience under the guidance of experienced anglers serving as mentors for the day.

Kids get pro style tournament on Lake Winnebago
Guest speaker Dave Csanda
Hosted by Jeff Boutin of Team Outdoors
Fishing classes by Greg Karch

Free Registration

Child Registration Form

Voulnteer Guides Needed

Mentor Registration Form

Registration Requirements

Mentor Requirements

Kids Requirements

For More Information

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Be Current Smart: New Water Safety Tips for Swimmers Beach Safety Equipment to be Distributed Across Wisconsin

May 19, 2015

With summer just around the corner, millions of swimmers will enjoy Wisconsin’s Great Lakes beaches and cool water on a hot summer day, but waves and currents can be deadly. Since 2005, at least 26 people have died at Wisconsin beaches, according to Wisconsin Sea Grant.

To address this threat to swimmers, partners in Wisconsin and throughout the Great Lakes are hitting the beaches at the end of May with new water safety and emergency rescue equipment like ring buoys and life jackets as part of a water safety campaign: Be Current Smart. In addition to the equipment, the campaign includes water safety tips tailored to Wisconsin and other states in the region.

“Beach-goers can take simple steps to ensure a fun, safe day in the water,” said Todd Breiby, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. “Parents have an important role in keeping a close watch on young children and making sure they wear life jackets.”

Rip currents are dangerous and can flow very fast away from shore. If caught in a rip current, the best means of escape is to swim to the side, out of the current and then back to shore. In addition to parents keeping a close eye on children while they are in the water or near the water’s edge, experts advise swimmers to “steer clear of piers,” and avoid getting trapped in danger zones near structures.

New water safety and emergency rescue equipment will be distributed and deployed by Be Current Smart partners throughout the Great Lakes and to 41 beaches in Wisconsin today and during May 27-28. Another six beaches in Door County, Wis., will receive safety equipment through funding by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. First responders note it’s critical to quickly help someone in trouble by tossing a ring buoy or anything that floats.

The Be Current Smart campaign includes animations targeted for children and video news release footage with interviews from the U.S. Coast Guard, county sheriffs and park officials. Safety campaign partners supported the production of new beach sign templates, publications, curriculum, diagrams and descriptions of the types of dangerous currents. All materials are free and available for news media, beach communities, park staff, educators and others.

Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program have been working on this campaign in Wisconsin with a group comprised of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, UW-Oshkosh and local government representatives. Regionally, they’ve been working with the National Weather Service and NOAA Coastal Storms Program, as well as several Great Lakes Sea Grant programs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spotlighted Through New Grant: Fish From Wisconsin’s Sustainable Aquaculture Operations and the Great Lakes

May 12, 2015
By Moira Harrington

Wisconsin Sea Grant today announced it has received a new $29,000 grant to shine a spotlight on the locally produced, healthy and delicious fish choices harvested from the Great Lakes and the regulated, sustainable aquaculture operations across the state.

Yellow perch, Arctic char, burbot, chubs, lake herring, lake trout, lake whitefish, rainbow trout, smelt, tilapia and walleye are the bounty of producers and fishers right here in Wisconsin. Choosing those, consumers can be assured the fish are domestic, not part of the 90 percent of imported seafood Americans consume each year, most of it from Asia and up to only 3 percent inspected for health and safety.

“We welcome this new grant to continue our work on the Eat Wisconsin Fish outreach program,” said Sea Grant’s Social Scientist Jane Harrison. “Each year, Wisconsin issues 70 commercial fishing licenses to hard-working professionals—our fellow state residents—who are putting fish on our tables. Plus, there is a $21 million aquaculture industry that raises fish sustainably. It’s good to buy locally and support local businesses. Of course, the bonus is that the fish is delicious.”

Sea Grant has already launched a website,, which includes recipes on how to prepare Wisconsin fish. The site further offers details about fish in local waters, nutrition, and locations to purchase Wisconsin fish. The new grant will strengthen ties among Wisconsin fish producers, fish sellers like grocery stores and restaurants, and consumers.

It will support awareness-raising events such as booths at public gatherings, advertising, and cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities at restaurants and brew pubs.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection’s Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant also will be devoted to the creation of a local fish buying guide distributed next spring to grocery stores and restaurants so those purveyors can make local choices to benefit their consumers and patrons. Those buyers, along with culinary school instructors and students, will also be invited to an Eat Wisconsin Fish workshop.

Sea Grant’s proposal was one of eight selected from 42 grant applications. Previous Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin recipients have generated nearly $6.6 million in new local food sales. The grants’ return on investment is calculated at 9 to 1.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Low water, ice damage may make boat launches difficult

Boaters eager to hit newly thawed lakes and rivers across Minnesota should know that low water conditions at public water access sites may make boat launching more challenging this spring. Low water levels continue to create access problems at many launch ramps, and significant ice damage is still being repaired at some locations.
The Department of Natural Resources and local governments maintain a system of 1,500 public water access sites throughout the state.

Since the ice went out, DNR crews have been working to inspect and repair launch ramps, and put the docks in at the DNR-maintained public water access sites – but they haven’t reached all of them yet. This work will be accomplished statewide over the next few weeks and hopefully completed by the May 9 fishing opener.
Winter weather is always a challenge for Minnesota’s public water access sites. As lake ice expands and pushes against the shore during the winter months, it can push and buckle the concrete plank structures like an accordion. This phenomenon, called “ice jacking,” often leaves the boat ramp unusable.
Boaters can help by inspecting ramp conditions before launching their watercraft. If they find a boat ramp that is unusable, they may need to find another public water access. Locations are listed online at
“Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea to check the condition of the ramp prior to launching to ensure there are no hazardous conditions that may damage your boat or equipment,” said Nancy Stewart, boating access program coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “If you find damage at a DNR public water access, you can help by reporting it on the DNR’s public water access Web page.”
Suggestions for early spring boat launching include:

  • Check the ramp for broken planks, and ensure the gravel is firm.
  • Have hip boots or waders available in case you need to enter the water to help guide the boat and trailer, especially where docks are not yet available.
  • Lower the motor only after you are sure there is enough clearance.
  • Watch for free-floating obstructions in the water.

Friday, April 24, 2015

WCSFO Opposed to Proposed State Budget Cuts to WDNR

WCSFO held its’ Annual Spring Meeting in Franklin, WI recently. One of the hottest topics discussed by delegates attending was the release  of the Governor’s proposed State Budget.

A motion was made and passed unanimously to go on record as being opposed to any changes in the WDNR budget.

Click Here for letter


The Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council publishes a newsletter titled: Inland Seas Angler - GREAT LAKES BASIN REPORT. Attached is the April 2015 issue for your review.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sturgeon Spawn is on at Shiocton

by: John Durben

I took a ride to the Dam in Shawano this afternoon and there wasn’t much going on as far as the Sturgeon Spawn. There were a lot of cars in the lot and the shoreline was lined with spectators, but the WDNR was not present when we were there.

With that said we took a drive south to Shiocton to the Bamboo Bend area where I was able to catch a few shots of the spawn where the action appeared quite steady. I overheard one spectator say that the WDNR had been there earlier in the day, however they had left for New London. It was reported that this may only last a few days this year because of the warm weather.

JED_0003704  JED_0003705JED_0003706  JED_0003739JED_0003758  JED_0003759JED_0003775  JED_0003791JED_0003798

Click on photos to enlarge

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cooperative project by Wisconsin and Michigan DNR teams to bring benefits for Brule area anglers

FLORENCE, Wis. — A cooperative project by Wisconsin and Michigan fisheries managers aims to collect population and breeding data on an important native strain of walleye while providing fingerlings uniquely suited for a regional stocking effort.close-up of walleye caught in Michigan

Mike Vogelsang, north district fisheries supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the research is taking place on the Brule River, which is home to a relatively pure strain of Lake Michigan walleye. The river meanders to separate Wisconsin’s Florence and Forest counties from Michigan’s Iron County before it eventually reaches the Menominee River and flows into Lake Michigan.

The river features more than 27 miles of cold class I trout waters and its impoundment areas serve as the perfect home to a strain of Lake Michigan walleye that has been largely unaffected by the hybridization seen in other waters following a variety of stocking efforts over the years.

“These fish are the best example of Lake Michigan strain walleye in the area,” Vogelsang said. “This is really a science-based way to approach stocking in that you want to find a source of fish that is native to a drainage basin. This walleye strain has evolved over time to be in these waters, so it is best suited for the area genetically.”

The main focus of the cooperative research involves an assessment of the age structure and health of walleye in the area. Thanks to access granted by Michigan fisheries staff, Wisconsin team members from the Florence field office and the Art Oehmcke Hatchery will place nets in more than a dozen locations in the waters of both states in the days ahead.

Walleye captured in the nets will be measured and weighed and a scale sample will be taken to determine age. Fish that are ready to spawn will contribute eggs and milt with a goal of harvesting some 1.7 million eggs.

Given that each adult female walleye carries on average about 70,000 to 80,000 eggs, the team hopes to come up with about 20 to 30 ripe females and at least as many males. After all the fish have been weighed and processed, they will be returned to the river.

“The strong working relationship that has developed between our states and in particular, our fisheries teams, makes this type of cooperative research possible,’’ said Darren Kramer, Northern Lake Michigan Unit manager with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We anticipate gaining valuable insights from this work that will help inform our efforts in the jointly managed fishery going forward.”

In addition to assessing the overall health of the walleye population, the research effort also will involve northern pike, bass and panfish — other popular targets of recreational anglers in the region.

Vogelsang said the walleye egg collection effort is expected to produce approximately 30,000 fish for stocking in Forest and Florence counties as part of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative. The fish will be reared at the Oehmcke facility in Woodruff and will be stocked as 5 to 6 inch extended growth fingerlings in September.
“We appreciate the support of the Michigan fisheries team and have seen benefits to both states from past efforts involving musky stocking, genetics work and other research,” Vogelsang said. “The more we learn, the better we are able to implement best practices in maintaining healthy fish populations in our border waters.”

To learn more about walleye stocking efforts, visit and search “Wisconsin Walleye Initiative.” More information about Michigan’s fisheries management efforts can be found by visiting and searching for “Walleye Better Fishing Waters.”

THANKS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS - 2015 Spring Kids Fishing Clinic Summary

To: Ron Gray,

The 2015 Kids Spring Fishing Clinics were a huge success! When I called around to get the attendance numbers the response I got from everyone was “ everything went well, we had a great time”! For the first time in a long time we had beautiful weather. And for the most part, the fish cooperated too.

Even though we had one less park this year (Kohler Andrae is having theirs on June 6th  ) ( there will also be clinics on Pucketts and Washington Park that day), we still had almost 700 more kids than last year. This year’s totals were 1,690 kids and 248 volunteers!

Thank you to everyone that made this happen. Special thanks to the tireless dedication of the volunteers from the local fishing clubs that make it all possible.

Ron, please circulate this to all the volunteers. It’s very satisfying when everything comes together.

Thank you

Matt Coffaro
Southern Region Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Fishing Wisconsin - Lake sturgeon spawning

Spawning update 2015

Thursday, April 16

The sturgeon spawning run on the Wolf River has begun. There are currently multiple spawning pods working at the Sturgeon Trail in New London and at least one spawning pod working at Bamboo Bend in Shiocton. The water temperatures have warmed up quite rapidly and will continue to warm over the next couple of days with the warm sunny weather. Due to these conditions, I believe the fish will spawn very fast and we will have a short, intense run that may last less than a week. So if you want to get out and see the sturgeon spawn, I highly recommend making arrangements to do that over the next 1-2 days in New London or Shiocton. I am anticipating that there will be spawning activity below the Shawano Dam by this weekend as well.

- Ryan Koenigs, sturgeon biologist, Oshkosh.

Sturgeon spawning

During mid-April to early May, Lake Sturgeon travel upstream to their spawning grounds, giving the public a prime opportunity to see these ancient ones up close.

Sturgeon spawning is dependent on water temperature and flow. During seasons when water flow is high and water temperatures rise slowly, spawning begins when water temperature reaches 53 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, during seasons of low water flow and more rapid water temperature rise, spawning does not begin until water temperatures reach 58-59 degrees Fahrenheit.

UWSP students with large sturgeon

Wolf River cam at Shawano Dam - underwater [exit DNR]

Call the sturgeon hotline number for recorded daily updates: (920) 303-5444.
Sturgeon guard

Volunteer to guard sturgeon at their spawning sites on the Wolf River and protect the fish from poaching

Lake sturgeon spawning/viewing locations on the Wolf River

Maps open to larger images. Sites are listed from North to South

Opens to larger image
Shawano Dam in Shawano - Parking available on the east side of the river at the end of Richmond Street.
Opens to larger image
Bamboo Bend at Shiocton - on County Highway 54. Parking available on the north side of County Hwy. 54.
Opens to larger image
Wolf River Sturgeon Trail (near New London) - about 2 miles west of New London on County Highway X. Parking available on the south side of the river about 1/2 mile from the spawning site

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Brenda Rosin Schaff called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 PM
Attendance: Ron Gray, Matt Coffaro, Brian Boelter, Jim Gilles, Dave Schmitt, Brenda Rosin Schaff, Rich Hehn, Nancy Wucherer, Kathy Briesemeister, Jill Levy, Emily Johnson, Jeff Scott, Cliff Schulz, Dan Day, Steve

Click here to review entire minutes.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Location - Gander Mountain 6939 South 27th Street Franklin, WI

The meeting was called to order by President John Durben at 10:08 A.M.

Present: John Durben of WCSFO, GBA/GLSF, Cornell Stroik of WCSFO, Bass Nation/Bass Federation, Brenda Rosin-Schaff of WSCFO, Badger Fisherman’s League/KFC, Ron Gray of Milwaukee Casting Club/KFC, Duane Marcell of Okauchee Fishing Club/KFC, Gordy Merz of WWF Dist. 9, Badger Fisherman's League, Steve Hewett of WDNR

Minutes from the previous meeting were read by the Secretary – Brenda Rosin-Schaff who noted an error in the Kids Fishing Clinic date of 4/12/15 and should read 4/11/15. A motion was made to correct and approve the report as published. Passed with no discussion.

CLICK HERE to review entire Minutes Document with attachments

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

DNR Educator Workshops & Events


April 4. MacKenzie Center’s Annual Maple Syrup Festival, Poynette.

April 15 deadline. 2016 State Park Sticker Design Contest

April 11, 18, 25 and May 2. Work*Play*Earth Day at Wisconsin State Parks. 

April 25. Project WILD and Aquatic WILD Workshop. Ladysmith.


May 9-June 20. Wisconsin Master Naturalist Training.  Kohler-Andre State Park, Sheboygan.

May 15 deadline. May is Clean Air Month. Celebrate with DNR’s Air, Air Everywhere Poetry Contest!


August 18. Project WET Training Workshop. Retzer Nature Center, Waukesha.

August 22. New exhibits coming to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, Horicon.

Women can learn how to catch bass, muskie from a pro

Women who want to take their fishing beyond the basics can learn from pro angler Mandy Uhrich in a class called Learn to Sport Fish, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, at Cabela’s in Rogers.

“This class for women, taught by women, is a great way to learn how to catch more than panfish this year,” said Linda Bylander, coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’ll focus on techniques and gear selection for bass, muskellunge and other gamefish.”

The class is free and registration is requested. Women who attend have the opportunity to register for a guided bass fishing trip in the Brainerd lakes area, or a guided muskie fishing trip in the Twin Cities metro area. Those trips are in mid- to late summer, and women must attend the April 11 class to register for the guided trips.

To register for the April 11 class or for more information, contact Linda Bylander at 218-833-8628, For more information on BOW, see

Saturday, March 28, 2015

WCSFO Joins Other Statewide Sports/Conservation Groups Opposed to State Budget

In a joint letter to the Joint Committee on Finance, the Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations (WCSFO) and 14 other statewide Sport and Conservation Groups went on record as being opposed to portions of the proposed State Budget presented by Governor Scott Walker.

The Statewide groups represent over 200 Clubs in Wisconsin with over 100,000 members. The letter was written to urge the Committee to support retaining the 18.4 DNR research scientist positions in the 2015-2017 state budget.

Click Here to review letter and fact sheet.

Wisconsin Trappers Association

Ruffed Grouse Society,

Wisconsin Waterfowl Association

White Tails Unlimited,

Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sports Fishing Clubs

Walleyes for Tomorrow

Wisconsin Sporting Dogs Association

Sturgeon for Tomorrow

Wisconsin Deer Hunters Inc.

Sharp Tailed Grouse Society

Wisconsin Muzzleloaders

Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations

Izaak Walton League-Wisconsin Division

Wisconsin Association of Field Trial Clubs

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation