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Weekly News Published - August 19, 2014 by the Central Office

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Big Green Lake proposed for landlocked Atlantic salmon stocking

GREEN LAKE, Wis. -- A freshwater salmon sought by some anglers for its fight and "catchability" is being considered for possible introduction into Wisconsin waters through an effort involving Green Lake area stakeholders and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The landlocked Atlantic salmon has previously been introduced to inland lakes in Maine and Michigan and a four-year initiative to stock the fish in Big Green Lake is being proposed by the Green Lake Coldwater Fish Advisory Committee. The proposal has been reviewed by DNR's Fish Management Board and will now move forward for public comment with an information meeting and hearing set for Sept. 9 in Green Lake.

David Bartz, the local DNR fisheries biologist assisting with the evaluation efforts, said the Green Lake group's proposal to stock the fish holds strong appeal for some anglers, but the initiative requires careful consideration to ensure no harm would come to the area's already healthy fishery, including the lake's native cisco population. To that end, DNR has prepared a draft environmental impact statement and is inviting public comment on the proposed introduction.

"We appreciate the ideas and leadership of the Green Lake Coldwater Fishery Advisory Committee on this initiative and DNR will now seek additional citizen input," Bartz said. "Interested citizens are encouraged to attend the public information meeting and hearing scheduled for September" and also may submit written comments.

Steve Siders, a member of the Green Lake Coldwater Fisheries Advisory Committee, said his group has been looking at the landlocked Atlantic salmon as a way to add another dimension to the area's sport fishery.

"The landlocked Atlantic salmon has a reputation as an exciting catch, frequently breaking the surface when hooked," Siders said. "With its cold, deeper waters and population of forage fish, Big Green Lake is a destination fishery that could provide a good habitat match."

Under the proposed stocking project, juvenile landlocked Atlantic salmon would be scatter planted in several locations on Big Green Lake. The stocked fish, which would be certified as disease-free under DNR and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection rules, would not be expected to reproduce at sustainable levels although some natural reproduction has been seen in Michigan.

Unlike coho and chinook salmon that die after spawning, the landlocked Atlantic salmon survive, with some living up to 14 years. The fish readily eat mayfly nymphs, small bluegills, perch and minnows as well as cisco. Depending on the availability of forage, they typically reach 17 to 18 inches and weigh 2 to 4 pounds within two to three years. The current world record fish, a 26-pound, 12-ounce female, was caught and released about three years ago in Torch Lake near Traverse City, Mich.

Bartz said the salmon could compete with brown trout, so current brown trout stocking efforts would be suspended during the four year trial. Under current fishing regulations, the landlocked Atlantic salmon would be treated as "other trout," with a 14 inch minimum size and a daily bag limit of three.

If the project goes forward, adjustments in size, bag limits and other regulations could be recommended in the future based on stocking and monitoring results. The proposed introduction would not affect fishing regulations for existing fish.

"We look forward to the public's feedback on the proposal and anticipate we'll see a full range of comments from citizens, anglers, small business owners, community leaders and other stakeholders, both positive and negative" Bartz said. "We will be reviewing these comments and making a decision in October."

Following completion of the environmental impact statement review, the Green Lake committee would apply for a stocking permit and any other necessary approvals. All permits and approvals would be obtained prior to stocking.

A copy of DNR's draft environmental impact statement for introduction of the landlocked Atlantic salmon [PDF] can be found on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov by searching for "Current environmental impact analysis documents." Copies also may be obtained from DNR's Wautoma office by calling 920-787-4686.

A public information meeting immediately followed by a hearing will be held for the proposal and draft environmental impact statement on Tuesday, Sept. 9 starting at 6 p.m. in Studio A of the Green Lake Town Square, 492 Hill St., Green Lake.

Public comments on the draft environmental impact statement, both oral and written, are welcome at the public information meeting or may be submitted to David Bartz by mail or e-mail no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 22, 2014. Send email to David.Bartz@wisconsin.gov or mail to 427 E. Tower Drive, Suite 100, Wautoma, WI, 54982-6927.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bartz, fisheries biologist, 920-787-3016, david.bartz@Wisconsin.gov; Kendall Kamke, (920) 424-7880, kendall.kamke@wisconsin.gov; Jennifer Sereno, communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov

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Back to school tips for reducing waste, cutting costs

MADISON - The new school year is almost here and whether you're shopping for new school supplies or packing for a big move to campus, wrapping, packaging and other waste can pile up quickly. From kindergarten to college, a little planning can help students and families reduce, reuse and recycle more while saving money and wasting less.

To help out, Department of Natural Resources recycling specialists have gathered some practical tips for reducing waste during the back to school rush.

"We know it's a busy time for students and their families," said DNR Recycling Outreach Coordinator Elisabeth Olson, "but with a few simple steps, you can reduce waste and save money."

Back-to-school suggestions include:

  • reusing paper, folders, backpacks and calculators from last year when you can. If purchasing new supplies, look for those made from recycled content, and those that use minimal packaging;
  • using reusable food and beverage containers for school lunches;
  • donating or recycling clothes and supplies that are still in good, usable condition;
  • recycling old electronics. It's no longer legal to dispose of most electronic devices in landfills or incinerators. E-Cycle Wisconsin, a DNR program, makes recycling electronics easier by providing a list of collection locations across the state for items like computers, printers, cell phones and more. You can search "e-cycle" at dnr.wi.gov for more information; and
  • talking to your children about the importance of waste reduction and recycling, and to their teachers about teaching and using recycling principles in the classroom. For potential recycling activities, see the EEK!—Environmental Education for Kids! pages of the DNR website dnr.wi.gov by searching "EEK!"

Moving suggestions include:

  • developing a plan to pack and organize what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Approaching moving with a plan will give you more time to think about what to throw away or donate, what to reuse and what to recycle;
  • reusing boxes, cloth bags or plastic containers from move to move and using reusable or recyclable materials (including newspaper, T-shirts and others) to package fragile items;
  • collecting clean, dry plastic bags and packaging film and recycling these at a retail drop-off location. You can use the plasticfilmrecycling.org directory to find a drop-off location nearby; and
  • donating or recycling old electronics, furniture and other household items. Check with your local recycling program to see if they have a special recycling or reuse collection event to make it easier to reuse and recycle.

More information and ideas are available by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for "recycling for all seasons."

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Elisabeth Olson, 608-264-9258

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State tree nurseries in market for seeds; landowner OK needed to pick seeds

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - State tree nurseries are in the market for quality native tree seeds that will be used to help Wisconsin's forests continue to thrive for generations to come.

Pat Murphy, Department of Natural Resources reforestation program leader, says nurseries are buying seed from locally adapted native trees through September.

"Most of the purchases are from local collectors," Murphy said. "Remember to obtain permission from the landowner prior to picking. When collection goals have been reached purchasing will end."

The nurseries' Reforestation Program this year is looking to buy seed from balsam fir, jack pine, basswood, butternut, shagbark hickory, white oak, red oak, swamp white oak, walnut and wild plum.

Beginning this year, payments for basswood seed will be based on the quantity of processed and cleaned seed. Basswood, however, should still be brought to the nursery with wings attached.

Murphy offers these tips for collectors looking to sell seeds to the DNR Reforestation Program:

  • All acorns, except bur oak, must be floated in water to determine which are viable. Acorns that float should be discarded. Those which sink are generally considered acceptable.
  • White oak must be stored in a cool place and brought to a buying station as soon as possible as this species sprouts quickly. Acorns with radicals longer than half an inch may be rejected.
  • Store seed in a cool, dry location and deliver it to a buying station as soon as possible to prevent heating or molding.
  • Storage should be in a breathable container.
  • Seed may be dropped off at the state nurseries or various buying locations around the state.

For a current price list, volumes by species needed, DNR offices purchasing seed and general information about seed collection, and tree planting in general, please visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keywords Tree Planting, or view the 2014 Seed Collector's Newsletter [PDF].

You also may call Griffith State Nursery in Wisconsin Rapids at 715-839-3702 or Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel at 608-574-4904.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Pat Murphy, DNR Reforestation Program Leader, 715-839-3760, patriciad.murphy@wisconsin.gov; Joanne Haas, DNR public affairs, 608-209-8147

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Migratory bird hunters are encouraged to participate in interactive chat scheduled for Aug. 27

MADISON - To help hunters understand new waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations in 2014, state wildlife officials will host an online waterfowl season chat Aug. 27 at noon. Wildlife and regulations experts will be on hand to answer any questions related to 2014 waterfowl hunting seasons. To participate people can visit the Department of Natural Resources website dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "chat."

In 2014, Wisconsin will be divided into three duck hunting zones, each with 60-day seasons. There will be split seasons in the Southern and Mississippi River duck and goose zones.

Wisconsin will also offer an early teal-only duck hunting season in 2014 that will run statewide from Sept. 1-7. Hunters will not be required to purchase any additional licenses or permits, other than those required for duck hunting in the regular waterfowl season. In addition, 20 days will be added to the end of the current 70-day dove hunting season.

In order to ensure that teal are easily recognized by hunters, the department's waterfowl webpage features an online teal identification application and quiz. Hunters are also encouraged to check out the waterfowl identification guide www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/duckdist/index.htm [exit dnr] to help prepare for the new early teal season.

For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "waterfowl."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Taylor Finger, DNR assistant migratory game bird ecologist, 608-261-6458

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Inpro of Muskego applies for Green Tier program

MUSKEGO, Wis. -- A Wisconsin company producing interior and exterior architectural products primarily serving the healthcare, educational, hospitality and commercial markets has applied for Wisconsin's Green Tier program for its Muskego world headquarters facility, in Waukesha County.

Inpro is applying for Tier 1 of the Green Tier program, which is designed to encourage, recognize and reward companies that are committed to superior environmental performance. Green Tier encourages businesses to voluntarily collaborate with the Department of Natural Resources, and applicants must also have a good environmental record as well as implement an Environmental Management System.

Inpro has five divisions -- IPC® Door and Wall Protection, Clickeze® Privacy Systems, SignScape® Architectural Signage, Edurant® Washroom Systems and JointMaster® Expansion Joints - and has been producing interior and exterior architectural products since 1979.

Inpro is committed to sustainable business practices in dealing with their employees, customers, suppliers, government entities and community neighbors. Inpro respects the customers' right to choose what products go into their buildings. They have a robust sustainability program that includes providing Environmental and Health Product Declarations to communicate product content and environmental impact and aid consumers in purchase decisions.

The DNR will accept public comments on Inpro's Green Tier application through September 19, 2014. Comments may be directed to Tom Eggert, Wisconsin DNR, OB/7, PO BOX 7921, Madison, WI 53707, by email to thomas.eggert@wisconsin.gov , or by calling 608-267-2761.

More details about Inpro Corporation can be found at www.inprocorp.com (exit DNR) and more information about Inpro's Green Tier application can be found on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Eggert, 608-267-2761

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The Weekly News is updated every Tuesday at noon.
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Last Revised: Tuesday, August 19, 2014