Aquatic Invasive Species Update 
Washington & Waukesha Counties
November 2017

Combining Newsletters
The Washington County AIS Logo (with a zebra mussel).
Moving forward, we have decided to combine monthly newsletters for Washington and Waukesha Counties. You can still find the archived newsletters on the Washington County
 and Waukesha County  websites. If you have subscribed to the Washington County Newsletter, your information automatically transferred. For future subscribers, you will choose which county's mailing list you want to subscribe to. 
Clean Boats, Clean Waters Grants are Due December 10th!
Don't forget to apply for your Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants!
If you are thinking about applying for a  Clean Boats, Clean Waters grant, the deadline to apply is December 10th! 

Applying is easy and only takes a few minutes. You can apply using  this form (it seems to work on Internet Explorer and not as well on Google Chrome). 

If you have questions, you can call your AIS Coordinator at 262-335-4806 or send an email to bradley.steckart@co.washington.wi.us.  


Waterfowl Hunter Outreach
September 30th and October 1st marked the Waterfowl Season Opening Day. Boaters from all over Wisconsin were flocking to the boat launches to bag their daily duck limit.

Click on the picture above to read about what waterfowl hunters can do to prevent the spread of AIS. Photo: Brad Steckart

The collaborative effort between our AIS Team and the Wisconsin DNR Water Guards was one for the books! We talked to well over 170 people about the spread of invasive species.

 
Waterfowl hunters come in before a storm hits Muskego. Photo: Brad Steckart
 
We chose to conduct Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspections at Big Muskego Lake because that is where we have seen a lot of an invasive algae called starry stonewort. We wanted to be sure the reproductive bulbils weren't leaving with any hunters who wanted to try their luck at nearby Horicon Marsh or Mead Wildlife Refuge.
 
The AIS Coordinator has been out at Big Muskego a few weekends since the opener, discussing AIS issues and preventing the spread of starry stonewort from Big Muskego Lake.

Starry stonewort bulbils range in diameter from 1 milimeter to just over a centimeter.
Little Muskego Drawdown
You may have heard of the drawdown occurring on Little Muskego Lake in Waukesha County. The lake usually sees a small annual drawdown to prevent erosion, but this year's goal was a deeper drawdown with a goal of seven feet. The water was drawn down between September 5th and October 12th, 2017.

The drawdown is beneficial in multiple ways. It allows the exposed lakebed to get cold enough to hopefully freeze out the reproductive rhizoids, bulbils, and nodal regions of the starry stonewort. The dry lakebed will also develop cracks, which allow oxygen into the lakebed, something that will spur healthy native plant growth in the coming years.
This method of treatment has not been attempted before, so it is great to see the DNR suggesting and implementing adaptive management techniques that are may benefit the lake in multiple ways.

Water was pumped from the lake out through the dam. Photo: Brad Steckart
On October 18th, The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW Extension, and Waukesha County Staff attempted to survey Little Muskego Lake to look for starry stonewort growing in the remaining waters.It was a sunny cool day with high winds. Officials noticed that because it had recently rained, the water was still a bit high, although the dam was completely exposed as you can see in the picture above.

Teams were assigned different jobs on the lake. Some threw down rakes to look for starry stonewort in the water, some mapped the "shoreline" of the drawdown, and others were there as safety aids. It was a great amount of teamwork between the DNR, County, UW-Extension, and the City of Muskego Police Department.

DNR and County Officials attempt to survey Little Muskego in Early October. Photo: Brad Steckart


The "moon scape" of the lake was very interesting to look at. Though it didn't seem too windy from shore, once we got on the water the conditions were too choppy for canoeing and we had to call off the survey. We will return to map the rest of the shoreline on foot once the ground gets a little harder and we can walk it. We are surveying the shoreline of the lowered lake to provide maps for future management reporting. The maps will provided a starting point in surveying for starry stonewort next year. Updates will be posted as they are available on the Waukesha County and DNR Website.
  
Little Muskego Lake with some sediment beds exposed.Photo from the Waukesha Freeman.
FUN FACT
First found in the US in the 1990's, The round goby ( Neogobius melanostomus) has a fused pelvic fin that resembles a suction cup. It also has frog-like eyes. If you're angling and think you have caught one of these "ferocious little bait stealers," do not hesitate to call the DNR Tip line 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367). This species has not been found in Washington or Waukesha Counties.

Look out for the Gobi with a suction-cup like fin on it's belly!

Gobi's compete heavily with native fish and feed on native fishes eggs and fry. Gobi's have a uniquely developed sensory system that can detect movements in the water, giving them a competitive advantage to hunt in complete darkness.  

Adult gobis eat zebra mussels in large quantities, meaning the introduciton of zebra mussels may have facilitated some of the gobi's success. They thrive in habitats where there are abundant mussels. 

Next time you catch a weird-looking small fish, flip it over and look for the fused pelvic fin of a goby! Feel free to click on the pictures for more information.


Round gobi distribution
AIS Spotlight
 
This month to celebrate a belated Boss's Day, we'd like to recognize two people who hold the Washington/Waukesha AIS Program together: Perry Linquist and Paul Sebo.

Perry and Paul kicked off the AIS Partnership in Washington and Waukesha Counties by deciding to take an intergovernmental agreement to their respective county boards to share the AIS Coordinator 50% of the time.

The Coordinator was able to take programs developed in Washington County, and implement them in Waukesha County starting in February 2016.

Because of both Perry and Paul's expertise in Land and Water Conservation and amazing skills partnering with other organizations, they are able to maintain a striving program that continues to develop while continuing to find efficiencies in keeping the areas lakes and rivers clean and healthy.

On a typical day off, you would usually find Perry out kayaking a new lake or stream. You might find Paul turkey hunting or attending one of his daughters' many sporting engagements.

Thanks for all your hard work, Perry and Paul! You inspire us with all your hard work and dedication to protect our local waters.


  
  Paul Sebo (left) and Perry Lindquist (right) sit at the AIS Strategic Plan Meeting in October.
Lake of the Month - Friess Lake
 
November's lake of the month is Friess Lake in Richfield, WI.
Friess Lake is a 121 acre lake located in Washington County. It has a maximum depth of 48 feet. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake's water clarity is low.

Residents and visitors to Friess Lake enjoy a variety of lake-related recreational activities including boating, skiing, sailing, and fishing. Anglers seek game fish species including largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleyes as well as several panfish species. 

Friess Lake photo taken from the beautiful Glacier Hills County Park

This fall and winter are the perfect times to fish from shore at the beautiful Glacier Hills County Park! The Friess Lake Advancement Association applied for a  Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspection grant this year, so they will have hired hands conducting boat inspections next summer!

If you're looking to participate on your lake in a way that's greater than the average resident feel free to contact the AIS team about getting involved.  

To subscribe to this Waukesha County Aquatic Invasive Species Update Newsletter by clicking the image below or here!

For more information:


Washington County
262-335-4800
Waukesha County
262-896-8300