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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published August 6, 2013

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Fish consumption advice relaxed for some species on Fox River

MADISON - Updated fish consumption advice for 2013 is now available and suggests that the ongoing cleanup of PCBs from the Fox River is beginning to pay off, with anglers able to eat more of some fish species from stretches of the river and from Green Bay, state fish contaminant officials say.

"The good news on the Fox River is that contaminant levels are dropping for some species," says Candy Schrank, Department of Natural Resources toxicologist who coordinates fish consumption advice.

"That allows us to relax the consumption advice slightly for those species and suggests that we'll see continued reductions in contaminant levels in other species as the cleanup work is fully completed and in years after," she says.

Specifically on the Fox River system:

Other highlights for 2013

Other highlights for 2013 include:

Every year DNR, in consultation with the Department of Health Services, examines new data, along with data from recent years, to re-evaluate the fish consumption advice.

The 2013 fish consumption advisory updates reflects new data on contaminant levels for 108 locations, most of them from fish collected by the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, as well as by DNR and the U.S. Army.

Most waters in the state are covered by general statewide advice. In 2013, the number of waters that carry more specific, stringent advice due to higher contaminant levels in fish from those waters was 140.

Dr. Henry Anderson, chief medical officer of the Department of Health Services, urges anglers to check the 2013 advice to see if there have been any changes for the waters they like to fish.

"While the general consumption advice we offer covers the vast majority of waters, every year the new data we collect and analyze leads to some changes that people will want to know about to protect their health or that enable them to eat more fish meals from that water."

Fish are a low-cost, low-fat source of protein, minerals and vitamins but people need to be aware of the kinds of fish they eat and where they come from, Anderson says. "By following Wisconsin's fish consumption advice, people can enjoy the fun of fishing and the health benefits of eating fish while reducing their exposure to environmental contaminants that can build up in fish."

Choose Wisely: A Health Guide for Eating Fish in Wisconsin" is available online as a pamphlet in PDF format, and as a search tool that allows anglers to select the county and location they fish to see the specific consumption advice for that water.

Printed copies of the pamphlet will be available at DNR service centers and regional offices.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Candy Schrank, DNR, 608-267-7614; Dr. Henry Anderson, DHS, 608-266-1253



Lake protection grants awarded and deadline extended to apply

MADISON -- More than a dozen communities and organizations have already received nearly $1 million in state grants for protecting lake habitat and improving water quality and more communities now will have the chance to receive grant money in 2013 for such projects.

The Department of Natural Resources is extending the deadline for 2013 applications for Lake Protection Grants through the end of the year, state lake officials say.

"We were able to fund every eligible application that came in by our original May 1 deadline and are excited about the projects that will benefit Big Green Lake and waters in the St. Croix and Red Cedar watersheds, along with waters in more than a dozen other counties," says Carroll Schaal, who leads DNR's lakes team.

"We're also pleased to extend the application deadline through the end of 2013. We have a remaining balance of $900,000 and we think there are more good projects out there that deserve funding and can benefit lakes, people and local economies."

DNR provides up to 75 percent of the cost of the project; the recipient provides at least 25 percent. Since Lake Protection Grants were first initiated in the 1990s, DNR has awarded 425 grants totaling $32.5 million that have directly benefitted over 180 lake communities, many with multiple grants. In addition, around 125 grants have been awarded to counties and towns for regional multiple lake protection efforts implemented through land and water conservation, forestry or zoning departments.

Projects funded this year include two land acquisitions that will be used to protect Beaver Dam Lake in Barron County and Deer Lake in Polk County from polluted runoff. Big Green Lake, the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin at 236 feet, will receive $200,000 toward a nearly $600,000 effort to control sediment and nutrient runoff from agricultural lands that can cause excessive algae and plant growth in the lake.

"Big Green is going to be a water to watch in the future as this is just the first step of implementing a recently adopted comprehensive management plan for this resource of statewide significance. There is a great partnership between the Green Lake Association, Green Lake Sanitary District, Green Lake County, and the DNR," says Schaal.

One grant will be shared by land and water conservation offices in Dunn, St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties to support innovative farmer-led watershed councils. The councils will promote farming practices to reduce agricultural runoff pollution in three watersheds affecting local lakes and ultimately Lake St. Croix on Wisconsin's western border with Minnesota.

Other projects include helping Waushara, Marathon, Vilas, Kenosha, Portage, Adams and Wood counties and Three Lakes Waterfront Association in Oneida County plan and implement other lake protection activities. For a complete list of the most recent awards, go to DNR's website,, and search for "grant awards" and click on Lake Protection Grants.

Applicant/ Sponsor Project Name Lake County State Share
Beaver Dam Lake District Southeast Land Acquistion Library Barron  $26,535
Deer Lake Conservancy Gustafson Crop Field Acquisition Deer Polk  $35,910
Marathon County County Wide Lake Planning      $ 50,000
Waushara County County Wide Lake Planning   Waushara  $50,000
Waushara County Lake Planning Phase 2    Waushara  $ 22,086
Vilas County Prioritizing Lake Protection   Vilas  $49,189
Kenosha County Lake Classification Program   Ken  $50,000
Green Lake Sanitary District Management Plan Imple Green Green Lake  $200,000
Dunn County Farmer-Led Councils Tainter Dunn  $200,000
Golden Sands RC&D Mill Creek Watershed Castle Rock Wood/Portage  $46,880
Adams County Tri-Lakes Nutrient Management Camelot Adams  $83,092
Three Lakes Waterfront Assc. Chain Management Plan  Three Lakes Oneida  $127,907
Total  $941,599

Deadline for 2013 grants extended

DNR will continue to accept new applications for lake protection projects through Dec. 31, 2013, or until the funds are exhausted. Grants will be awarded as soon as the application is determined to be complete and the project eligible, Schaal says. "If we still have funds after December we will apply them forward the next grant deadline in 2014," he said. Information about the lake grants and how to apply can be found on the Lake Classification and Lake Protection Grant pages of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Carroll Schaal, 608-261-6423 or email



Wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamp design contest entries and winners on display

MADISON - The public is invited to view an exhibit of original wildlife art submitted for the 2014 Wisconsin Wild Turkey, Pheasant, and Waterfowl Stamp Design Contests at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo.

The contest event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Artists have until Aug. 15 to submit contest entries.

"Those attending the event will have the opportunity to view wildlife artwork by artists from across the state, and will get a 'sneak peek' of the winning designs for the 2014 wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamps," said Krista McGinley, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist.

More than 40 pieces of artwork were submitted for last year's contest. Craig Fairbert of Ladysmith won the 2013 Wild Turkey and Pheasant Stamp contests, and William Millonig of Campbellsport won the 2013 Waterfowl Stamp contest.

The event space will be open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the exception of the block of time set aside for judging from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Visitors are encouraged to use this time to explore the many exciting features the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center has to offer.

The venue, Baraboo's Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, was chosen as a unique setting in which to celebrate the contributions of wildlife art to habitat conservation. The 1,500-acre Leopold Memorial Reserve illustrates some of the earliest attempts at habitat restoration in Wisconsin and will serve as the perfect backdrop for the judging of the stamp design contests.

The purchase of wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamps is required for hunters pursuing these species, but anyone who appreciates wildlife and wildlife art and wishes to contribute to habitat conservation can purchase the electronic stamp privilege at any license vendor. Those wishing to receive a physical copy of the stamp should ask for Form 9400-567 if they are collectors, or Form 9400-599 if they are hunters who have already purchased the stamp privilege.

Collectively, these stamps raise about $1.5 million for habitat conservation in Wisconsin.

For directions to the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, please visit the Center's website [] (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Krista McGinley, Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist, at (608) 261-8458 or



State grants available to develop a model urban forest in your community

DNR also has start-up/renewal urban forest grants; apply online by October 1

MADISON -- Local and tribal government officials and nonprofit organizations looking to improve their community's capacity to manage its trees, have until October 1 to apply for a competitive grant to help communities create high-quality urban forests they will enjoy for decades.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant Program has delivered more than $9 million to more than 900 cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) organizations.

"These dollars are to support those new, innovative projects leaders believe will improve their community on many levels - aesthetically, environmentally, structurally," said Olivia Shanahan grant program coordinator. "Applications should clearly indicate how projects would positively impact the entire canopy - public and private trees - over time, whether by leveraging partnerships, planning for possible emerald ash borer infestation, educating the public or diversifying the tree species. These grant dollars are not intended for routine forestry work."

Applicants may request from $1,000 to $25,000 with a dollar-for-dollar match. Applications are due by October 1. Applications may be found at and using the keyword, "UF grant." They may be emailed to the new Urban Forestry Grant Program mailbox at:

For more information on urban and community forestry or urban forestry grants contact your regional DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator .

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Olivia Shanahan, DNR urban forestry grant specialist, 608-267-3775; Joanne M. Haas, public affairs manager - Forestry, 608-267-0798



Friends of Poynette Game Farm to host learn to hunt pheasant programs

POYNETTE -Youth and novice hunters over 10 years of age who would like to learn more about pheasant hunting in Wisconsin can attend one of four free learn to hunt pheasant programs that will be held this fall.

The Friends of Poynette Game Farm is hosting the events at the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, adjacent to the game farm in Poynette. The two-day programs focus on the basics of pheasant hunting in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Overnight lodging is provided at the MacKenzie center dormitories. The programs include classroom instruction, dog training demonstrations, trap shooting, tours of the Poynette game farm, and a mentored pheasant hunt.

Dates and target audiences for the learn to hunt pheasant programs include:

The Friends of Poynette Game Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing pheasant hunting opportunities to the average pheasant hunter and to promoting the strong tradition of upland bird hunting in Wisconsin. The group supports the mission of the Department of Natural Resources State Game Farm in Poynette. In 2013, more than 70,000 pheasants from the Poynette facility will be released on more than 90 public hunting grounds.

The friends group recognizes the strong tradition of upland bird hunting in Wisconsin and believes that supporting the pheasant stocking program and increasing the number of released pheasants will keep the pheasant hunting tradition alive, according to Vic Connors, FPGF president

In addition to support for the pheasant stocking program, the friends group promotes pheasant and small game hunting as a family activity.

"We have many fond memories of hunting trips and want new hunters to make memories of their own", says Vic Connors, Friends of Poynette Game Farm president. FPGF

More information including lean to hunt program applications can be found at: (exit DNR) or 608-635-8120. Programs are limited to 30 participants and applications should be mailed to FPGF, PO Box 606, Poynette, WI by Aug 24, 2013.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Nack, State Game Farm Manager, 608-635-8120



Time to plan this fall's Learn to Hunt event

Have family and friends get in the game

MADISON -- Fall is a few short weeks away and now is the time for people to be thinking about how to fit a Learn to Hunt opportunity into busy fall schedules. Conducting a Learn to Hunt program can be a great way to introduce a novice to their first hunt.

"Maybe your neighbor down the block is interested or, what about your children's friends?" says Keith Warnke, learn to hunt and mentored hunting coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. "There are many ways to foster new hunting experiences, and now is the time to start planning.

"Get to your club or chapter and start brainstorming about how you can build on what you did last year, or start something entirely new. Can you reach out beyond the regular hunting 'choir' to introduce someone new? Someone who would not get the chance to hunt any other way? That will really go a long way to making a new hunter."

People can also design their own unique learn to hunt. They could set up a family learn-to-hunt outing that focuses on bringing the whole family out to the field and sharing our tradition and knowledge with them., Warnke says

Sponsors of LTH pheasant programs can get free pheasants from the DNR game farm for the event.

For more information on all your LTH needs, go to the DNR home page and search keyword "LTH."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sport Coordinator,; 608-576-5243.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 06, 2013

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