a lake.
Contact information
For information on Lakes in Wisconsin, contact:
Wisconsin DNR Lakes
Division of Water
Bureau of Water Quality
Aquatic Plant Monitoring Contacts

Aquatic Plant Information, Tools and Research

Wisconsin DNR is committed to the study of aquatic plant communities and aquatic plant management (APM). We evaluate and report on APM activities, provide public education and outreach related to aquatic plants, and have developed several lake management tools. Here you can find many useful resources put together by the program and its partners. Click the topic buttons below for a lists of links to relevant resources.

For more detailed, technical DNR documents and peer-reviewed articles, click here.

To read the full Strategic Analysis of Aquatic Plant Management in Wisconsin, click here.

A Peek Beneath the Waves. 2014.

An article in Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine about the benefits of aquatic plants, the history of APM in WI, some of the work DNR has done related to aquatic plants, and the importance of APM planning and working with lake users.

Distribution and Abundance of Aquatic Plants – Human Impacts. 2014.

This book chapter written for Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences provides an overview of the factors influencing the ecology and abundance of aquatic plants as well as aquatic plant management.

Plant Identification Workshops

Wisconsin DNR staff assist in aquatic plant identification trainings hosted by UW-Extension. This is a link to upcoming trainings listed on UW-Extension’s website.

Through the Looking Glass

This is a link to a popular field guide to aquatic plant species found in Wisconsin, which many Wisconsin researchers contributed to.

Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest: A photographic field guide to our underwater forests

Another link to a field guide of Wisconsin’s aquatic plants, complete with color images and similar species.

The Science Behind the “So-Called” Super Weed. 2016.

An article from Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine about the status of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) in Wisconsin’s waterbodies, including variations in EWM abundance over time and between lakes.

Factsheet: EWM Research Facts and Long-term Study. 2010.

A factsheet about the status and effects of EWM in Wisconsin’s waterbodies.

What Can Plants Tell Us? 2009.

The first two pages in this issue of Lake Tides describe a little bit about DNR’s long-term study of aquatic plant communities in lakes around the state.

NR 40 Invasive Plant Literature Review Fact Sheets

Information on many Wisconsin aquatic invasive plants can be found here by clicking the icons in the “Lit. Review” column for each species.

CABI Invasives Reviews

Literature reviews for many aquatic invasive plants, compiled for the CABI Invasive Species Compendium, can be found by searching DNR’s publications website by species name.

Control of Invasive Aquatic Plants on a Small Scale. 2015.

This article in North American Lake Management Society’s (NALMS) LakeLine assesses the efficacy of small-scale 2,4-D treatments for Eurasian watermilfoil control. It describes situations that may warrant small-scale treatment, shows that small-scale control outcomes are highly variable as a result of rapid herbicide dissipation off the target site, compares granular and liquid 2,4-D formulations, and emphasizes APM planning and integrated pest management.

Factsheet: Small-scale Herbicide Treatments for Control of Invasive Aquatic Plants. 2014.

A factsheet describing important considerations for small-scale herbicide treatments in aquatic environments, including concentration and exposure time, dissipation of herbicide from the targeted treatment area, and others.

Herbicide Treatments in Wisconsin Lakes. 2012.

This article in NALMS LakeLine provides preliminary results of nine large-scale, low-dose 2,4-D herbicide treatments. It describes the potential benefits of spring treatments and observed variation in treatment efficacy, effects on native plant species and water quality, and slower herbicide degradation rates.

Factsheet: Large-scale Treatment Research in Wisconsin. 2011.

A factsheet describing important considerations for large-scale herbicide treatments in aquatic environments, including dose, efficacy, longevity of results, non-target effects, and others.

Factsheet: Turville Bay Project. 2011.

Highlights from a study comparing chemical and mechanical approaches for management of EWM and restoration of native plant communities.

Getting It Right: Whole-Lake Herbicide Debate Deserves a Dose of Science. 2005.

The first four pages in this issue of Lake Tides describes assumptions associated with Eurasian watermilfoil and whole-lake fluridone treatments, as well as the science behind them.

Starry Stonewort Management - Frequently Asked Questions. 2020.

This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about starry stonewort management. It includes answers to questions about management approaches, timing, and efficacy.

Starry Stonewort Management - Statement of Department Efforts. 2020.

A statement by the Department regarding starry stonewort management efforts in the state. This statement includes general information on preliminary data and collaborative research efforts.

Starry Stonewort Management Factsheet. 2020.

A factsheet summarizing the monitoring and evaluation efforts implemented by the Department in collaboration with a variety of partners.

UW-Extension APM Guide: Aquatic Plant Management in Wisconsin

This guide to APM, developed by UW-Extension and many of our partners, was written for anyone interested in conducting APM. It provides a walk-through of the APM planning and permitting processes, descriptions, pros and cons of various control strategies, and much more.

Recommended Baseline Monitoring of Aquatic Plants in Wisconsin: Sampling Design and Laboratory Procedures,
Data Entry and Analysis, and Applications

This document describes Wisconsin DNR’s standard protocol for assessing aquatic plant distribution and abundance in lakes. It provides instructions for conducting a point-intercept (PI) survey, obtaining PI coordinates and uploading them to a GPS, vouchering specimens, and more.

Plant Point-Intercept Survey Data Entry and Analysis Form

This spreadsheet should be used to document data collected during PI surveys of aquatic plants. It includes instructions for use and once data has been entered, provides automated summary statistics of the data.

Spreadsheet for Comparing PI Survey Presence-Absence Data

This spreadsheet can be used to compare aquatic plant presence-absence data over time. It may be used to assess differences in the plant community before and after management and evaluate plant management outcomes.

Draft Aquatic Plant Treatment Evaluation Protocol

This is a draft protocol that can be used to evaluate herbicide treatment efficacy and non-target impacts to native aquatic plants.

Draft Fact Sheet: Guidance for Implementing Small Scale Spot
Treatments and Design of Herbicide Concentration Monitoring Plans

This draft protocol can assist in designing small-scale aquatic herbicide treatments and monitoring herbicide concentrations following treatment.

Draft Fact Sheet: Design of Herbicide Concentration Monitoring Plans for Whole Lake Herbicide Treatments

This draft protocol can assist in designing an herbicide concentration monitoring plan following a whole lake herbicide treatment.