2014-2017 Archives – Oneida County Aquatic Invasive Species Program

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​“Sandy beaches still rim the lakes, but if Lake Michigan, for example, were drained it would now be possible to walk almost the entire 100 miles between Wisconsin and Michigan on a bed of trillions upon trillions of filter-feeding quagga mussels.” 
― Dan Egan, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes



Registration for the 2018 Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention and Water Action Volunteers Symposium is now open.  Visit www.wisconsinlakes.org


​Going boating this Fourth of July weekend? If so, you have the power to protect our waters from aquatic invasive species (AIS)!  

This holiday weekend, June 30th through July 4th, is the ninth annual Landing Blitz, a statewide effort to remind boaters and other water lovers to use their power to stop the spread of AIS. 

The Oneida County AIS Team, along with 18 participating lake associations, DNR wardens and water guards, will be on hand at boat landings around Oneida County to give demonstrations of the prevention steps and answer questions about invasive species. They will be passing out free microfiber towels (while supplies last) as a thank you to the boaters they observe practicing the important prevention steps of “Inspect, Remove, Drain, and Never Move.” The towels serve as a reminder to take action to prevent the spread of AIS and are perfect for soaking up water in livewells and for wiping down boats, jet skis, anchors and other equipment after a fun day on the water.

You can follow the Oneida County AIS Team’s Landing Blitz adventures, stories of towel giveaways, and of how they are helping lake users be part of the solution to prevent the spread of AIS,  by visiting our Oneida County AIS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oneidacountyais/ .

A fun addition to this year’s Landing Blitz is an interactive way for you to share how you stop aquatic hitchhikers!  You can post photos and messages about the importance of stopping AIS by using the hashtag #CleanBoatsCleanWaters.  You can also share where and how you protect our lakes and rivers by contributing to a Story Map that will showcase photos and messages from water lovers across Wisconsin. Story Map contributions can be made at this link:  https://arcg.is/2o9YIU9 .

Invasive plants and animals, like Eurasian water milfoil, spiny water fleas, and zebra mussels, pose great risks to the health of our lakes and fisheries. These species spread easily by hitching a ride on boats and other equipment, including trailers, anchors, livewells, buckets and bilges. However, boaters can easily prevent this by taking the following simple steps every time they enter and leave both public and private boat landings:

  • Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment
  • Remove all attached plants or animals
  • Drain all water from boats, motors, livewells and other equipment
  • Never move live fish away from a waterbody
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash
  • Buy minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer, and use leftover minnows only if you will be using them on that same waterbody or if no lake or river water or other fish have been added to the container.

In addition, following these steps help boaters comply with Wisconsin state law, which prohibits the transport of AIS.
To learn more about invasive species and their impacts to Wisconsin’s waters and economy, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/  .
For questions contact Oneida County AIS Coordinator, Stephanie Boismenue at
715-369-7835.  The Oneida County AIS Team wishes you a fun and safe Fourth of July.

Northern Highland Citizen Science Network to Hold 1st Meeting

Saturday December 2nd, 2017,  from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. at Moon Beach Camp, St. Germain.  Registration is required!  See below for the invitation from Mike Meyers, meeting details and the draft agenda. This will be a great program that you will not want to miss!   
Dear Citizen Scientists working in the Northern Highlands – 
Before retiring from WDNR Science Services 2 years ago I headed up a citizen science research project – the Northwoods Loon Protection Program.   I oversaw and trained 75 citizens who helped collect loon reproduction data on lakes throughout the Northern Highlands.   I learned from the project that citizen volunteers enjoyed gatherings where they could share their findings, ask questions of peers, and learn what the latest data trends were showing.   We held our meetings jointly with the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network and LoonWatch (Northland College) training sessions.   Soon we attracted Lake Monitors to also become Loon Scientists and vice versa.  
I am now hoping to take this “model” and apply it to all citizen science programs that operate in the Northern Highlands.   I have received financial support from WDNR Citizen-Based Monitoring program to host 2 meetings so we can learn about and meet fellow citizens involved in the multitude of volunteer science projects in the Northern Highlands.   The overall goal is to increase citizen awareness of and participation in ongoing science programs in the Northern Highlands.  
As Citizen Scientists, would you be interested in attending to learn of these projects, meet other citizen scientists, and perhaps share your experiences?  Today I am inviting you to attend the first gathering the Northern Highland Citizen Science Network. The gathering will be hosted by Moon Beach Camp https://ucci.org/moon-beach/facilities/ in St. Germain on Saturday December 2.   The meeting will be held in the main lodge from 0930 until 4PM with a lunch served at noon.   The draft meeting agenda is below.   A final meeting agenda and a map to the facility will be provided to those who choose to attend.   
Please RSVP to novaecologicalservices@outlook.com or call 715-614-3224.  There is no fee  however attendance will be capped at 50 so be one of the first to sign up!     Also, would you be willing to share your experiences as a citizen scientist with fellow attendees at the meeting?   A 5 minute informal description of what you do would be appreciated by fellow attendees.  We are hoping to increase volunteers for all the projects for 2018.
I look forward to hearing from you, and if you have any questions please follow up by phone or email.
Thanks, Mike Meyer

NOVA Ecological Services
11546 Harmony Lane
Arbor Vitae, WI  54568
DRAFT Agenda
Fall Meeting 2017
Northern Highlands Citizen Science Network
Saturday December 2, 2017
Hosted by Moon Beach Camp, St. Germain, WI and NOVA Ecological Services, Arbor Vitae, WI
9:00 Registration and refreshments
9:30 Welcome and Introductions 
9:45 Northern Highlands Citizen Science Projects (5 minute description of each monitoring project)
11:15 Description of the New NHEL Lake Phenology project
12:00 Lunch (and guest speaker)
12:45 Northern Highlands Citizen Scientists in Action – citizen scientists from various projects describe their specific monitoring tasks and what they have learned as volunteers
1:45 Data findings and trends for NHEL citizen science projects (if available)
2:30 Facilitated discussion on what a NHEL Citizen Science Network could become (e.g. website, annual meetings, newsletter, summary of annual volunteer efforts, data findings, etc.)
4:00 Adjourn

Our 2017 Invitation
​Join us next year for another exciting, fun-filled night of celebration.

2017 Oneida County Awards Ceremony


Courtney Wright
Assistant Director of Education and Advanced Wildlife Rehabilitator,
​Northwoods Wildlife Center, Minocqua

Courtney joined the Northwoods Wildlife Center team as an intern during the summer of 2012.  Following her internship, she was asked to stay on as the Assistant Director of Education.  Courtney graduated in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with degrees in Environmental Studies and Zoology.  After graduating, she spent time working with coyotes, foxes, and wolves at Wolf Park in Indiana, and at Omro Animal Hospital as an Animal Technician.  She then made the migration up to Minocqua, and has been at NWC ever since.   Courtney now works as the Assistant Director of Education, helping in all areas of the Center including rehabilitation, education, research, and administration departments.

What are Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)?
AIS are non-native plants, animals and pathogens whose introduction has potential to directly or indirectly cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health, including harm to native species, biodiversity, natural scenic beauty and natural ecosystem structure, function or sustainability; harm to the long−term genetic integrity of native species; harm to recreational, commercial, industrial and other uses of natural resources in the state; and harm to the safety or well being of humans, including vulnerable or sensitive individuals.

​You Can Help!
​Learn to identify and prevent the spread of plants, animals and organisms that can invade our precious waters and cause significant damage. Volunteer as a Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) Watercraft Inspector at your boat landing. Be on the lookout for AIS along your shoreline, around your dock, and boat lift. If you think you’ve found an AIS not known to that location, please report it as soon as possible.


Drain Campaign – June 9-11, 2017
Did you know that the simple acts of draining your livewell and icing your catch help prevent the spread of invasive species and protect Wisconsin’s great fishing?
From Friday, June 9th to Sunday, June 11th, 2017, the Oneida County AIS Team, local lake associations, WDNR and partners will be sharing this message with anglers at boat landings around the state for our annual Drain Campaign.
The campaign encourages the use of ice as a safe and legal alternative to keep fish fresh during transport. In fact, many anglers already prefer this method, since draining water stops bacterial growth and makes fish taste better.
To help anglers, we will be offering free ice packs during the campaign weekend at select boat landings.
Transporting water away from a lake or stream can contribute to the spread of invasive species because some animals and plants can get caught in motors, livewells and buckets. They could be there even if you can’t see them – larvae are often microscopic.
Draining water trapped in your watercraft and equipment ensures not only that you are an active part of the solution to invasive species, but also that you are following Wisconsin law, which prohibits the transport of invasive species between water bodies.
So make sure to drain your catch whenever you fish to help protect Wisconsin’s waters and fisheries for generations to come.
Help Us Spread the Drain Campaign Message!
Are you on social media and plan to fish during the 2017 Drain Campaign? Help us spread the word about the importance of aquatic invasive species prevention. Post your photos and messages using the hashtag #JustDrainIt.
Pro angler Joe Bucher and Wisconsin Foodie chef and host Kyle Cherek are also helping us get the word out. Listen to their messages about the importance of draining your catch.


Drain Campaign June 9-11, 2017
Help Us Spread the Drain Campaign Message!

Are you on social media and plan to fish during the 2017 Drain Campaign? Help us spread the word about the importance of AIS prevention. Post your photos and messages using the hashtag #JustDrainIt.
Pro angler Joe Bucher and Wisconsin Foodie chef and host Kyle Cherek are also helping us get the word out. Listen to their messages about the importance of draining your catch.

Conservation Camp Scholarships Available for Oneida County Youth
The Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD) is offering three scholarships for Oneida County youth to attend one of two conservation camps in northern Wisconsin during June, 2017. 
Three scholarships are available to middle school students entering grades 6 – 8 and high school students entering grades 9 – 12 in the fall.  Students must live in or attend schools in Oneida County.  For more information on these camps and to enter a student’s name into the scholarship drawing, please contact the LWCD at 715-369-7835. Deadline for entering the drawing is April 15, 2017. For more  information, please call the LWCD  at 715-369-7835 or vist the website at: