October 2014

What's Inside
Events Around the Watershed
Monitoring Season Coming to an End
No New Invasives found on Snapshot Day
Sugar River Clean-up on October 18
Openings on the USRWA Board
Events Around the Watershed

USRWA Sugar River Volunteer Clean-up Day
Saturday Oct. 18
Meet at Paoli Park

USRWA Board of Directors Meeting (public welcome!)
Monday Nov. 10
USRWA Office
207 E. Main Street
Mt. Horeb, WI 53572

Volunteers Wrapping Up Water Quality Monitoring Season

Volunteer monitor Steve Gavin tests for dissolved oxygen on Primrose Branch near Mt. Vernon

With Fall fully entrenched throughout Wisconsin, our devoted USRWA volunteers are finishing another successful season of water quality monitoring.  This season 23 sites were independently monitored by 10 volunteers across the watershed on a monthly basis from April to October. 

Depending on the site, monitors are testing for numerous things including dissolved oxygen levels, water clarity (turbidity), temperature, river flow speed, habitat quality, phosphate, nitrate, conductivity and macro-invertebrate diversity.  At 13 sites, USRWA also deploys continuous temperature data loggers called thermistors that track water temperature each hour throughout the monitoring season.  

Thermistors take a water temperature reading each hour throughout the entire monitoring season.
The data obtained from water quality monitoring is recorded into a statewide database coordinated by the Water Action Volunteers (WAV), a partnership between the Wisconsin DNR and UW-Cooperative Extension.  WAV currently collects data from over 450 sites across Wisconsin and is ultimately used by multiple state and local agencies to assist in management decisions.  As specific monitoring sites are tested year after year, trends in the data become increasingly reliable and valuable.

Thank you to all our volunteers for being part of the 2014 monitoring season.  If you are interested in becoming involved next year, please contact Wade Moder at usrwa@usrwa.org or call 608-437-7707.  Half-day classes are available starting in Spring to train volunteer monitors on the various tests and the science behind them. 
No News is Good News at the Invasive Species Bridge Snapshot Day

In September, USRWA was part of a statewide effort to understand the distribution of aquatic invasive species (AIS) across Wisconsin, specifically at roadside bridge locations.  Many times new infestations of invasive species begin near bridges due to any number of human activities such as brush cutting, increased traffic from fishing or paddling, or even people releasing their personal aquariums. 

After testing six highly trafficked bridge locations around the watershed for priority invasive species, thankfully, no additional invasive species were found.  Although there are plenty of invasives around the Upper Sugar River Watershed and the state, this study did not show any new species.  To view the findings from around Wisconsin, check out the interactive data map created by the River Alliance of Wisconsin.

Thank you to our volunteers and for the River Alliance of Wisconsin for organizing the event.  We look forward to it next year!
Join us to help Clean-up the Sugar River - Saturday October 18

With the help of Capitol Water Trails, USRWA has scheduled a volunteer river clean-up day for Saturday October 18 from 9am-1pm.  All interested volunteers can meet at Paoli Park in the Town of Montrose at 9am.

Volunteers can expect to get a little dirty and wet, so a pair of old shoes and quick drying clothes are recommended.  Waders are also helpful if you have them, but not necessary.  If you haven't participated in the past, give it a shot!

Future clean-up days for this fall are currently being scheduled.  Please watch www.usrwa.org/events for more information.
Help Wanted: Openings on the USRWA Board of Directors

Currently there are two openings on the USRWA Board of Directors and we are accepting applications.  Being on the Board allows you to have a part in shaping the organization first hand and help to carry out the mission of the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association.  

Board members are required to attend board meetings once per month, participate on a committee(s) and be a current member of USRWA.  If you are interested in filling out an application or would like to learn more, please contact Wade Moder at usrwa@usrwa.org or call 608-437-7707.

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