August 2014

What's Inside
Events Around the Watershed
Paddle & Pig-Out on August 23
Operation: Purple Loosestrife is underway
Invasive Species Snapshot Day
Sugar River Clean-up Day
Events Around the Watershed

USRWA Board of Directors Meeting (public welcome!)
Monday August 11
USRWA Office
207 E. Main Street
Mt. Horeb, WI 53572

USRWA Sugar River Clean-up Day
Saturday August 16
Meet at Paoli Park in Paoli 15 minutes prior

8th Annual Paddle & Pig-Out
Saturday August 23
Paoli Park

Invasive Species Bridge Snapshot Day
Saturday Sept. 13
Paoli Park 

See you soon: 8th Annual Paddle & Pig-Out on Saturday August 23 in Paoli Park

Our famous Paddle & Pig-Out, offering 45-60 minute canoe rides down the Sugar River into Paoli, is back for its 8th year.  This is a free event providing the canoe, transportation to the start point and every thing else you need to have a great trip down the Sugar River. 

The event starts at Paoli Park in Paoli, WI with canoe and kayak trips leaving at 9 am, Noon and 3 pm.  Arrive early to reserve your spot!  It's great way for adults and children alike to experience what the Sugar River has to offer.  

Lunch from Paoli Local Foods will be provided free for USRWA members, and $10 for non-members.
Also, raffle tickets for the event are now available!  Our raffle includes over 20 items, including a brand-new kayak and paddle valued at over $300.  Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20, and can be purchased on event day or by calling 608-437-7707.  The raffle will be drawn on August 23rd at 3:30 pm and you do not need to be present to win. 
USRWA's Fight Against Purple Loosestrife has Begun!

USRWA is working hard to stop the spread of the highly invasive Purple Loosestrife around the Sugar River and Lake Belle View in Belleville.  

For two months, USRWA volunteers Bill & Lisa Keen helped to raise Galerucella beetles as they grew into adults and reproduced.  This beetle is native to Europe, but has been used successfully in Wisconsin for over 20 years to control Purple Loosestrife.  They have been proven to almost exclusively feed on Purple Loosestrife without any harm to native plants.

On July 29, the first step of our biological control strategy was put into place by releasing those beetles into the wild.  Watch to find out how thanks to a short video produced by Wisconsin Sea Grant:

Loosestrife for Lunch
Loosestrife for Lunch

Go to to learn more about our other efforts against invasive species around the watershed.
Consider Volunteering at our Invasive Species Bridge Snapshot Day on September 13

USRWA will be part of a statewide effort to understand the distribution of aquatic invasive species (AIS) across Wisconsin on Saturday September 13 from 9am-1pm.  Many times new infestations of invasive species begin near bridges due to any number of human activities.  This could include spreading invasive seeds through brush cutting, increased traffic from fishing or paddling, or even people releasing their aquariums.

Volunteers will gather at Paoli Park to learn how to identify invasive species that threaten our waters and disperse to priority bridge crossings in hunt of the invasives.  Afterward everyone will reconvene to submit their findings and enjoy a light lunch.  No experience necessary!  In addition to gathering important general baseline data regarding the distribution of invasive species in our waterways, this effort will focus on the early detection of aquarium plant releases.  We have seen several infestations of prohibited water garden and aquarium plants popping up at bridges statewide.

AIS Snapshot Day by the Numbers:

  • 139 sites surveyed statewide
  • 15 groups/organizations participating around the state
  • Nearly 200 anticipated volunteers
Interested in being part of the Snapshot?  No matter what your experience level is with invasive species, we encourage everyone to take part in this.  Please contact Executive Director Wade Moder at or call 608-437-7707.

Huge thank you goes to the River Alliance to Wisconsin for organizing this statewide event.  Please click here to find out more.

Join us to help Clean-up the Sugar River

Trash found in the Sugar River on April 19, 2014. Buckets and tires and tools, oh my!
Our next scheduled volunteer clean-up day is Saturday August 16 from 9:00am-1:00pm.  All interested volunteers can meet at Paoli Park around 8:45am to register and have a bagel to get you going.  
Volunteers can expect to get a little dirty, so a pair of old shoes and quick drying clothes are recommended.  If you haven't participated in the past, give it a shot!
View pictures from past clean-up days on our Facebook page.
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