Episode 9 | September 2017
Washington County
Aquatic Invasive Species Update
Your exclusive update focused on Washington County Waters
Starry Stonewort Workshop
On September 7th and 8th, 2017 the Army Corps of Engineers hosted a starry stonewort workshop at the Oconomowoc Community Center on beautiful Lac La Belle. 
Click on the picture above to view live videos of the Starry Stonewort Workshop held in Oconomowoc in September 2017
The collaborative effort between our AIS Team and the Army Corps began last March when a member of the Army Corps met with our AIS Coordinator to collect starry stonewort bulbils. They started a conversation about bringing leaders together who are on the forefront of starry stonewort research and management. This workshop was the pinnacle of those efforts! We want to thank the over 50 attendees for visiting our thriving County to discuss such an important topic affecting our local waters!

Researchers and managers from Missouri, New York, Canada, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois came together to discuss existing population data and research, management techniques, and control efforts. To view the talks and discussions, visit the Washington County Parks Facebook page to watch the live presentations and breakout review sessions! 
Starry stonewort bulbils range 1 milimeter to just over a centimeter. Click the photo above to see the DNR starry stonewort web page.
Washington County Land Conservation Tour
The AIS Coordinator recently had a chance to attend the Southeast Area Land & Water Conservation Tour and help the Regional DNR Lake Biologist tell the story of the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).

The red swamp crayfish was found in a small pond in Germantown, WI. The large crayfish is a delicacy in southern U.S. "crawdad boils" and a common specimen found in science classrooms. These are the suspect sources for the released population of the crayfish in Germantown.
A picture highlighting the tubercles (bumps) on the claws of the red swamp crayfish
Red swamp crayfishes native habitat is in the southern U.S. and it can survive in fresh or brackish waters. It usually does not prefer cold winters, so it digs down to 8 feet below the shoreline where it creates a complex network of muddy burrows.

In the Germantown pond, there were thousands of red swamp crayfish by 2012. The DNR drained most of the pond, and treated the water that was left with chemicals. They laid down road tarp, so any crayfish burrowing over the winter could not resurface. The shoreline of the pond was completely changed from a muddy forested shoreline to a rock-lined shore.
The shore of the pond was replaced with #2 rock.
After they refilled the pond, they stocked it with bass and other fish that like to eat crayfish. The pond has seen a significant decrease in red swamp crayfish since this initial infestation. The DNR has been monitoring the traps since this restoration took place and have found under 10 crayfish per summer for the past 3 years.
Click above to be directed to the DNR red swamp crayfish page.
Fun Fact
The great lakes system has identified over 180 non-native (or non-indigenous) species! How many can you name?

Remember that there is a difference between non-native and invasive. When invasive species are introduced to a new area, they take over and disturb the economy, ecology, and recreation opportunities of an area.

When non-native species that are not invasive are introduced to a new area, they may have no impact on ecosystem or economic health.

When a non-native species is found, it may not be known if it will become a threat to the ecosystem until it is too late to stop it. Others such as the Chinook and Coho Salmon have been planted by the State since the 1960's after some native salmon species became extinct in the late 1800's.
If you have any questions about this program, call Brad Steckart at 262-335-4806 or email Bradley.steckart@co.washington.wi.us. Stay updated with our AIS E-News by subscribing or visit the Washington County Land & Water Conservation website  HERE. 
Questions? Contact Brad Steckart | AIS Coordinator | (262)-335-4806 | Bradley.steckart@co.washington.wi. us
  
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