Winegar Pond Invasive Species Control in a Green Bay Wetland

Purpose

Winegar Pond is a 120-acre Lake Michigan coastal wetland located near the mouth of the Peshtigo River in the Green Bay of Wisconsin. The wetland is owned and managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of the Green Bay West Shores Wildlife Area - Peshtigo Harbor Unit. The wetland has a natural hydrologic connection to the Peshtigo River through a narrow tributary channel and to Green Bay through an approximately 100 foot shallow swale. We intend to install two fish passage structures that will prevent seasonal migration by carp but allow adult native gamefish to reproduce and annually recruit juvenile gamefish with access to the Peshtigo River and Green Bay. Each spring, adult non-native common carp (Cyprinus carpio) invade Winegar Pond to spawn. Shallow depths and warm spring run-off events that flow through Winegar Pond make it an attractive area for increased carp spawning activity. As a result, carp uproot vegetation and reduce water quality via increased turbidity, destroying native emergent and submerged aquatic plant communities. This has also promoted the invasion of non-native phragmites (Phragmites australis) resulting in a negative impact on native fish recruitment and reduced migratory bird nesting success. In addition to the fish passage structures, we will chemically treat and manage 100 acres of existing stands of phragmites directly adjacent to Winegar Pond.

Objective

This invasive species project aims to reduce the annual migration of spawning common carp into Winegar Pond by designing and installing 2 ecologically sensitive carp exclusion structures at the primary inlet and outlet waterways that connect the coastal wetland to Green Bay and the Peshtigo River. Similar carp exclusion structures have proven effective in the restoration of communities of native aquatic vegetation in several Wisconsin lakes (i.e. Rush Lake and Lake Winnebago) as well as other coastal wetlands throughout the Great Lakes. Carp exclusion structures are a proven technology that is cost effective, efficient and environmentally sound that does not require the use of chemicals or manual removal methods. In order to maximize the overall habitat restoration benefits of this project and complement carp control measures on the 120-acre Winegar Pond, approximately 100 additional acres of established invasive phragmites will be chemically treated (via herbicide application) directly adjacent to Winegar Pond. These actions will dramatically improve water quality, restore a diverse native coastal wetland vegetation community, enhance fishery abundance and diversity, promote a healthy macrophyte and macroinvertebrate population, and increase waterfowl and shorebird use during breeding and migration.

Outcome

•Continued partnership and collaboration with local stakeholders leading to further implementation of the Great Lakes restoration strategies and plans •Use of the carp exclusion design and technologies as a demonstration project is expected to engage local, state and federal units of government resulting in additional invasive species practices being installed and utilized, further reducing impacts of invasive species while improving the health of Great Lakes communities •A replicable project design that results in the most cost effective use of resources •Anticipated increases in similar invasive species control efforts and coastal wetland restoration success rates •Progress toward sustainable Lake Michigan migratory and stream-resident fish populations •Better understanding of areas utilized by native spawning fish, including northern pike and muskellunge •Restoration of 120 acres of native spawning and wetland-dependent wildlife habitat •Implementation of the education and outreach component as discussed above •A science-based approach to common carp and invasive phragmites control

QA Measures

Run Project Summary Report

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Habitat
GLRI_00E00541-0
2010
Active
 
Reports and Documents
 
Activities & Recommendations
Control Invasive Species
Winegar Pond is a 120-acre Lake Michigan coastal wetland located near the mouth of the Peshtigo River in the Green Bay of Wisconsin. We intend to install two fish passage structures that will prevent seasonal migration by carp but allow adult native gamefish to reproduce and annually recruit juvenile gamefish with access to the Peshtigo River and Green Bay. In addition to the fish passage structures, we will chemically treat and manage 100 acres of existing stands of phragmites directly adjacent to Winegar Pond.
 
Waters