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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published July 12, 2011

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St. Louis River sturgeon restoration marks milestone

Documentation of reproduction "a monumental first step"

SUPERIOR --The four tiny black fish are humble looking -- seemingly all eyes-- but they hold the key to returning an ancient, human-sized fish to an ancestral water.

The inch-long lake sturgeon, found earlier this month during sampling on the St. Louis River, are the first documented young produced by lake sturgeon stocked from 1983 through 2000 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

St. Louis River sturgeon fry
After a generation of stocking, natural reproduction of sturgeon has been documented in the St. Louis River.
Brian Borkholder Photo

"This is a monumental first step," says Peter Stevens, DNR's new fish supervisor in Bayfield. "Rehabilitating a sturgeon population is a long-term commitment. So many people worked so hard a long time to get us to this day, and there are many more years ahead before we know if these young sturgeon can survive, reproduce, and help build a self-sustaining population."

The sturgeon found this year are the progeny of hatchery-raised fish. Most females don't spawn until they are in the mid-20s, so even though there have been large numbers of sturgeon in the river and harbor for many years and the agencies have been looking for offspring of those fish, none had been documented until just last month.

The young fish were found by biologists with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa while they were conducting sampling that looks for tiny, larval fish.

Lake sturgeon originally inhabited the St. Louis River in western Lake Superior, but the population disappeared, along with other species, during the early 1900s due to overharvest, water pollution and habitat changes, according to Steve Schram, a retired DNR fisheries supervisor who initiated Wisconsin's sturgeon restoration activities on the St. Louis River while a fish biologist managing that resource.

After Clean Water Act regulations started in the 1970s and significantly improved water quality, the Wisconsin and Minnesota DNRs started a stocking program in 1983 to re-establish a spawning sturgeon population on the river, which forms the border between the two states, says Schram, who played an instrumental role in starting the sturgeon restoration program.

From 1983 through 2000, some 762,000 fry, 143,000 fingerlings and 500 yearling lake sturgeon were released into the St. Louis River. And the two agencies have monitored populations of stocked fish through capture and tagging studies, and routine fish surveys on the river and Lake Superior. The fish were of Winnebago system strain and were raised at Wild Rose Fish Hatchery.l

Bill Blust, DNR fisheries technician, says that DNR has been monitoring adult abundance below the Fond du Lac dam on the St Louis River during spawning time since the early 2000s. They have documented an increase in spawning numbers, and there are good numbers of fish.

"Males showed up first because they mature earlier in life, and we have sampled more females the past few years," Blust says. "We knew it would only be a matter of time before we would see natural reproduction. We finally had enough females present and conditions right to bring off a successful year class of large enough size for us to detect."

Both Wisconsin and Minnesota will continue monitoring in the river and Lake Superior to follow abundance of naturally produced fish, Blust says.

"The current no kill regulation on the St Louis will remain in effect hopefully until we document successful reproduction by parents produced naturally," he says. At that time, which could be 20 years down the road, we can declare the population as self sustaining and probably open up harvest which will be very conservative I assume. Most of our sampling will be done by the crew in Bayfield on the Hack Noyes research vessel."

Gillnet sampling of the Chequamegon Bay sturgeon population this spring found anecdotally, that the population appears healthy and the results seem consistent with previous years. The largest fish DNR captured was about 59 inches. All fish are weighed and measured, a tissue sample is taken, and they are tagged with both an external floy-tag and internal PIT tag, which allows fish movement to be tracked. We often see other agency tags in our sampled fish as well.

"This successful fishery story is one of many we've witnessed on the lower St Louis River, which was pretty much decimated in the mid 1970s," Blust says. "Through protective regulations and reintroduction stocking programs the river is home to some of the best musky, walleye, bass fishing in the country."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Stevens (715) 779-4035 ext. 12 or Bill Blust (715) 392-7991

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Busy season for sturgeon restoration activities statewide

MADISON -- Work continues across the state to restore lake sturgeon to their native range, with activities this summer including stocking fish raised at the renovated Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery.

Historically, lake sturgeon were found throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. They flourished in Wisconsin's boundary waters including the Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Menominee rivers, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Dams, pollution, habitat degradation and overharvest dramatically reduced lake sturgeon populations in some Wisconsin waters over the past 100 years, and eliminated them entirely from other stretches of water.

Because female fish don't reproduce until they are 20 to 25, and then spawn only once every three to five years, lake sturgeon populations are very vulnerable to overexploitation and other disturbances as well, according to Karl Scheidegger, co-leader of the Department of Natural Resources' sturgeon team.

The Wisconsin Lake Sturgeon Management plan has guided DNR and partners' work for the past decade or so, and that plan is now being updated. The goals continue to be to provide sturgeon harvest on waters that can handle the demand while restoring populations of the state's largest and longest-lived fish to their original range in other areas of the state, Scheidegger says.

Here are fish biologists' updates for some waters where sturgeon restoration work is ongoing, and from Steve Fajfer, supervisor of Wild Rose. More information on other waters where sturgeon populations are being restored can be found in " A Strong Base for a Broad Recovery," in the February 2009 Natural Resources Magazine.

Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery

The new and improved Wild Rose Hatchery is producing more and bigger lake sturgeon that appear healthier than before. Bigger means the managers will be able to mark fish better for determining year-class strength and growth over time. Healthier should mean better survival once they are stocked out. The staff at Wild Rose are proud of all the sturgeon work we have done here over the more than 30 years we have been raising sturgeon.

lake sturgeon stocking
DNR stocked 1,000 thirteen-inch lake sturgeon in the Menominee River below Sturgeon Falls dam on July 7, 2011.
WDNR Photo

This year, in addition to raising fish that will be stocked into the Wisconsin and Menominee rivers, we are working on Upper St. Croix/Namekagon restoration and also Turtle Flambeau Flowage restoration.

We have all four strains of Sturgeon here at Wild Rose, and Brad Eggold and Steve Hogler have trailers (Milwaukee and Kewaunee rivers) that have sturgeon fingerlings in them. - Steve Fajfer, Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery supervisor.

St. Croix Basin

We've been doing some lake sturgeon restoration efforts in the St. Croix basin for more than 10 years, re-introducing lake sturgeon through stocking in areas of the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers that have been fragmented from their native range by dams. We captured lake sturgeon in the Yellow River this spring both for population assessment and as a source of eggs and milt. This fall, these fingerlings that were raised at the Wild Rose hatchery will be released in the Namekagon River and Upper St. Croix Lake as fingerlings. - Jamison Wendel, fisheries biologist, Spooner

Turtle-Flambeau Flowage

This past spring, DNR staff from Mercer, Park Falls, and Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery collected eggs and milt from adult lake sturgeon in the North Fork Flambeau River. Collection was done below the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage dam, with much appreciated cooperation from Xcel Energy staff, who voluntarily agreed to reduce outflow through the dam. The resulting fertilized eggs were taken to the newly-renovated Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery where they will be raised to large-fingerling size (typically 4-6 inches). After reaching the appropriate size, the young lake sturgeon will board a hatchery truck and head back up to the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage area. The fish will then be stocked in the Manitowish River at a known lake sturgeon spawning area in hopes that the fish will imprint at the spawning location, and then return there to spawn after they have matured.

With the stocking of young sturgeon, along with protection of the spawning habitat, a healthy, self-sustaining lake sturgeon population (similar to the population in the North Fork Flambeau River) in the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage is the ultimate goal. - Lawrence Eslinger, fisheries biologist, Mercer

Wisconsin River

Crews recently concluded their 14th year of lake sturgeon egg collection on the Wisconsin River and were able to get enough eggs for the production of fingerlings to be used for stocking. We will be marking and stocking those fish this coming fall. Restoration of lake sturgeon on the central portions of the Wisconsin River started in 1996 when adult lake sturgeon were transplanted from Lake Wisconsin to the Stevens Point Flowage.

These fish had a habit of returning downstream though, so in 1997, the DNR started collecting eggs from lake sturgeon below the Kilbourn Dam in the City of Wisconsin Dells. Using the fertilized eggs, propagation staff at Wild Rose Fish Hatchery are able to raise fingerling lake sturgeon for stocking.

This work continues, with the latest stocking in fall 2010, when nearly 20,000 fingerling lake sturgeon were released at locations including the Wisconsin River above Wausau Dam, the Stevens Point Flowage, and Petenwell Lake.

About 14,000 of these fish were marked by removal of a scute, and another 300 were large enough to have PIT tags (passive integrated transponders) inserted. The scute removal will help biologists identify during which year a fish was stocked, and the PIT tagged fish can be individually identified if they are recaptured in a survey.

Overall, the goal is to restore naturally reproducing populations of lake sturgeon in portions of the Wisconsin River from Merrill to Wisconsin Dells. To attain this goal, more than 250,000 lake sturgeon have been stocked in the Wisconsin River.

The river is regularly surveyed to evaluate stocking success; biologists collect spine samples for age determination, look for marked fish, and compare numbers caught among years. These surveys have proven that some lake sturgeon inhabiting the river were from the very first fingerling stockings in 1997, and fish as large as 52 inches have been collected.

The results of the Wisconsin River lake sturgeon restoration program have been positive and the work would not be possible without the generous support provided by our partner Alliant Energy, which owns the Kilbourn Dam, and provides the facilities and staff needed for DNR to accomplish the egg collection task each year. - Tom Meronek, fisheries biologist, Wausau

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lawrence Eslinger, Mercer (715) 476-7847; Steve Fajfer, Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery, (920) 622-3527; Tom Meronek, Wausau (715) 359-7582; or Jamison Wendel, Spooner, (715)635-4095

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DNR review of Waukesha Great Lakes Diversion application starts

Public informational meetings/hearings set for late July in southeastern Wisconsin

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has determined Waukesha's application to use Lake Michigan water for its drinking water supply is complete, which begins the extensive state review process for the city's request.

Public informational hearings have been set for late July in southeastern Wisconsin for people to learn about, and comment on the scope of the state's review of the City of Waukesha Water Diversion Application.

The first comment period will be open until Aug. 13, with a second comment period and public hearings scheduled once DNR has completed its review and has a draft decision and draft environmental impact statement (EIS) ready sometime after November 2011, according to Shaili Pfeiffer, the DNR water use specialist coordinating the review.

The city has applied to DNR for an approval to divert water for public water supply purposes from Lake Michigan to an area that lies outside the Great Lakes Basin. Waukesha asserts in its application that it needs a new source of water to address both water quantity and water quality concerns.

Under international and national agreements signed in 2005 and subsequent implementing federal and state laws, diversions of Great Lakes water outside the basin are prohibited, with limited exceptions. Requests such as the city's must be reviewed and approved by the home state and by other Great Lakes states and provinces.

If the DNR determines the application is approvable later this winter, it will be forwarded to other Great Lakes states and provinces for review and comment. All the Great Lakes states must approve, before any final approvals can be issued by Wisconsin.

More details on the diversion application

Waukesha's application asserts that the city needs a new source of water to address water quantity and quality concerns. Waukesha now gets its public water supply from groundwater wells in deep aquifers, where water levels have dropped more than 500 feet and are continuing to decline up to 9 feet every year. The groundwater in the deep aquifer also contains high levels of radium, a carcinogen.

Waukesha seeks to eventually divert an annual average of 10.9 million gallons of water per day with a maximum day diversion of 18.5 million gallons per day. The water is proposed to serve an area that includes Waukesha and may serve portions of Pewaukee and the towns of Genesee, Waukesha and Delafield.

The application identifies Milwaukee, Racine, and Oak Creek as potential water suppliers, and identifies Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa, the Root River and Lake Michigan as possible locations to discharge its wastewater. Underwood Creek is listed as the preferred alternative.

For more information on the application and review process, see the Waukesha Diversion webpage on the DNR website: City of Waukesha Water Diversion Application

Public informational meetings/hearings dates and locations

The public information meetings and hearings will all start at 5:30 p.m. with an open house in which people can view displays, pick up handouts, and talk to DNR staff. A presentation and question and answer period will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the formal public hearing.

During this first public participation step, any comments are welcome; however, comments at this time are particularly requested on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement and the review criteria. The time allowed for comments at the hearings may be limited, depending on the number of persons wishing to make comments. Therefore, the DNR encourages speakers to also prepare written comments.

The meetings/hearings are set for the following dates and locations:

Written comments may be submitted until Aug.13, 2011, via U.S mail to Kay McConnell, DNR Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater, Box 7921. Madison, WI 53707-7921 or by email to [DNRWaukeshaDiversionApp@wisconsin.gov].

For more information, see the City of Waukesha Water Diversion Application page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Shaili Pfeiffer (608) 267-7630

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Red Cedar Basin water quality report hearings set for late July

Seeks to tackle Tainter/Menomin Lake problems

EAU CLAIRE - A new report that explains efforts to improve water quality in the Red Cedar Basin will be the topic of public informational hearings later this month in Menomonie and Rice Lake.

The current proposal is directed at improving water quality problems that affect swimming and boating in Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin, but is expected to benefit other lakes and rivers in the basin as well.

The Department of Natural Resources, in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local stakeholders, has developed a "pollution reduction plan," for the Red Cedar River Basin. Known as a Total Maximum Daily Load] (TMDL), the document establishes the total amount of phosphorus that waterbodies covered by the TMDL can receive and still support recreational use.

"This is an important step forward in cleaning up the Red Cedar system," says Dan Baumann, who directs DNR water programs in Eau Claire.

Once the TMDL is approved by EPA and public comments are incorporated into any revision of the document, planning will be focused on the best ways to accomplish the phosphorus reduction goals set in the TMDL, Baumann says. "In order to improve water quality, all sources of phosphorus will need to be reduced," he says. "DNR will work together with stakeholders to find solutions and reduction strategies to meet the water quality goals of the TMDL."

The TMDL document details the amounts of phosphorus Lakes Tainter and Menomin can receive and still support recreational use, and identifies the reductions needed from each source of those pollutants, says Paul La Liberte, DNR coordinator for the Red Cedar River TMDL project.

"Once we determine the total amount of a pollutant a body of water can receive and still support recreational use, we can calculate needed reductions from specific sources," he says.

Phosphorus is a naturally occurring nutrient that also is found in soils, livestock manure, commercial fertilizers and wastewater discharges. It fuels algae and plant growth, sometimes leading to excessive levels of both. This pollutant reaches rivers and streams from polluted runoff from farm fields, barnyards, residential yards and wastewater treatment plant discharges.

The goal for Lakes Tainter and Menomin is to reduce algae blooms and improve water clarity to fully support recreational use. To meet established targets, a 45 to 65 percent reduction of phosphorus loads is proposed. Upon reaching this goal, the lakes should have significantly better average water clarity and experience less frequent algae blooms, which in turn is expected to improve recreational use opportunities, LaLiberte says.

The public informational meetings begin at the times listed below. An opportunity for informal questions will occur 30 minutes before the scheduled hearing and immediately after the hearing.

As part of the review and submittal process for TMDLs, people may submit written or electronic comments through Aug. 19, 2011. Please direct comments to Paul LaLiberte, DNR, PO Box 4001, Eau Claire WI, 54702 or paul.laliberte@wisconsin.gov.

People can view the draft TMDL report and formal public notice on the DNR website. Supporting information can be found at: [basineducation.uwex.edu/lowerchip/redcedar] (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul LaLiberte at 715-839-3724

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Plan would guide management of state's largest wildlife area complex

July 27 open house meeting will be held on draft management plan for
Sandhill, Meadow Valley and Wood County wildlife areas

EAU CLAIRE - Management of the Sandhill, Meadow Valley and Wood County wildlife areas would place continued emphasis on wetlands management and enhanced protection and improvement of high quality natural communities, which harbor rare and endangered species, under a management plan that will be the topic of an upcoming open house meeting.

The state Department of Natural Resources will hold the meeting to gather comments on a draft Master Plan and Environmental Assessment for the combined wildlife areas, which at more than 88,000 acres is the largest DNR-managed wildlife area in Wisconsin. Sandhill is 9,150-acre state owned wildlife area. Meadow Valley Wildlife Area, at 58,000 acres, is leased from the federal government and managed by the state DNR under an agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The 21,000-acre Wood County Wildlife Area is under a long-term lease from Wood County.

The updated management plan is designed to guide management strategies on these properties for the next 15 years.

The open house will run from 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, at the Outdoor Skills Center at Sandhill, 1715 County X, Babcock. Anyone with an interest in these properties is encouraged to attend the meeting. DNR staff will be available to answer questions, provide information and accept public comments, and there will be informational displays.

The master plan describes proposed future land management strategies, recreational opportunities and boundary expansions. Highlights of proposed strategies include:

  • Continued emphasis on wetlands management, including emergent marsh communities, water level management and dike maintenance.
  • Enhanced protection and improvement of high quality natural communities that harbor rare and endangered species.
  • Property boundary expansions to improve future access and resource management. Expanded boundaries delineate areas within which land can be purchased from willing sellers if and when funds are available.
  • Continuation of Sandhill's popular public education and outdoor skills programs and important research projects.
  • Designation of ruffed grouse management areas. Aspen management will be the primary tool to focus efforts on improved grouse habitat within selected areas.
  • Camping on the Wood County and Meadow Valley wildlife areas will accommodate spring turkey and fall hunting seasons.
  • The actions proposed in the plan are not anticipated to significantly affect the quality of the human environment, would not significantly affect energy usage and do not involve unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources. The department has made a preliminary determination that the environmental impact process is not required for this master plan.

    The Master Plan and Environmental Assessment, along with maps and other background information, will be available for viewing at the meeting. They can also be viewed online at the Sandhill, Meadow Valley, and Wood County Wildlife Areas master planning pages of the DNR website.

    Those without access to the Internet may view copies of the draft plan and assessment at the Sandhill Wildlife Area, at the Eau Claire or Wisconsin Rapids Service Centers, or at the public libraries in Wisconsin Rapids, Pittsville and Necedah.

    Comments or questions about these documents can be offered at the public meeting, submitted online at the above website, or sent by mail to Neal Paisley, PO Box 156, Babcock, WI 54413; or by phone at (715) 884-6332; or email at Raymond.Paisley@Wisconsin.gov. The DNR will receive comments through Friday, August 12, 2011.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Neal Paisley - (715) 884-6332 or Ed Culhane, DNR communications, Eau Claire, 715-781-1683

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    Summer is time to plan fall learn-to-hunt outings

    Pheasants a good pick to introduce family, friends to hunting fun

    MADISON -- Wisconsin is two months from the start of the archery gun season, and about the best time to share your hunting traditions with friends and family.

    Between all the usual warm weather activities you enjoy, it is the time to consider planning for fall hunting.

    The 2011 deer regulations book is available on the hunting and trapping regulations page of the Department of Natural Resources website. Put it on your summer reading list. The book will be translated into Spanish and Hmong. On-line versions of the translated booklets will be available by mid-August.

    Next on your summer to-do list? Get out your calendar and slate a learn-to-hunt event for the fall.

    Remember the challenge I tossed last month to all Wisconsin hunters: bring 2,000 new learn-to-hunt participants into one of the state's greatest traditions this year. We are working toward a goal of one learn-to-hunt event in each county, hosted by one of you, or your rod and gun club or your conservation group to which you belong.

    You can design your own unique learn to hunt. I believe the way to be most successful will be to focus on the family fun surrounding hunting. How about a family learn-to-hunt outing? Rather than kids, focus on bringing the whole family out to the field and sharing our tradition and knowledge with them. We all know hunting is an activity focused on family and friends. Learning to hunt together highlights building the complete family support network for hunting has a good chance to start a long lasting tradition.

    Not sure which game to feature? How about pheasant hunting?

    Pheasants are a great way to introduce new hunters to the fun of the outdoors. Learn to hunt pheasant events can be scheduled on public or private property. Another benefit of a learn-to-hunt pheasant event? Dogs. Hunting with dogs always adds to the experience and increases the fun factor for many.

    Event sponsors are able to get free pheasants from the DNR game farm for the event.

    As you already know, the future of hunting is up to us - those of us who hunt. We can work together through our clubs and organizations to find the next generation of hunters from new locations beyond hunter education classes.

    I - along with your local DNR conservation warden and wildlife biologist - stand ready to help you with your planning. Please contact me with your questions.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Warnke, Hunting and Shooting Sport Coordinator, keith.warnke@wisconsin.gov; 608-576-5243.

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    Disabled deer hunt sign up open through Sept. 1

    MADISON - Hunters with disabilities can sign up for the 2011 disabled gun deer hunt by contacting sponsoring landowners directly to make arrangements. Hunters are encouraged to contact sponsors as soon as possible so sponsors can meet the Sept. 1 deadline to submit a list of participating hunters to DNR.

    The list of sponsoring landowners for the 2011 hunt (pdf) is available on the Department of Natural Resources website.

    The disabled gun deer hunt for hunters began in 1990 to give opportunities to hunt deer when temperatures are milder and mobility is less of a problem. The hunts are sponsored by private individuals or organizations and almost entirely take place on privately owned lands.

    Hunters must possess a valid Class A Permit, a Class B Permit for People with Disabilities issued for more than one year and that authorizes shooting from a vehicle, or a Class C Disabled Hunting Permit to be eligible to participate in the Disabled Deer Hunt.

    The annual disabled deer hunt will take place from Oct. 1-9 this year. More information is available on the Disable Deer Hunting page of the DNR website.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Olver (608) 261-7588

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    Applications accepted for two dam grant programs

    MADISON - Municipal dam owners can tap into $4 million in state funding available to help them maintain, repair, abandon or remove their dams. Applications are now being accepted by the Department of Natural Resources and are due Sept. 15, 2011.

    "We're happy the state budget will allow us to help more communities address dam safety needs," says Meg Galloway, Wisconsin's chief dam safety engineer. "The money we had available in the last budget helped, but it wasn't enough to help all address all of the communities' needs."

    The funding is included in the 2011-2013 budget, and is the same amount allocated in 2009-2011, following flooding that constituted the state's costliest natural disaster ever.

    June 2008 flooding in southern Wisconsin caused estimated damages of at least $765 million dollars to businesses, residences, farm crops and public property; August 2007 floods in southern Wisconsin also caused significant damages.

    Wisconsin dams and their operators handled the record amount of flowing water with no lives lost and no major property damage occurring as a result of dams failing, but a number of dams suffered significant damage, Galloway says.

    In addition to dam flood damage in recent years, Wisconsin has aging dams that are in need of repair; roughly one-third of Wisconsin's 3,800 dams were built before 1940; another third were constructed since 1940 and the age of the remaining dams is unknown.

    September deadling for grant applications

    Any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district that owns a dam may apply for financial assistance through the Municipal Dam grant program. Application materials are now available on the Municipal Dam Grants page of the DNR website.

    To be considered for funding for the grant program, complete applications must be received at the DNR building in Madison by Sept. 15, 2011. Applications received after that time will be held for future funding cycles should additional funds become available, according to Eileen Trainor, DNR dam grant manager.

    All eligible applications received by the application date will be scored and ranked. Ranked projects will comprise the priority funding list, Trainor says. Using the priority funding list, grants will be awarded until funds are depleted. Successful applicants will be notified as soon after Nov. 15 as possible.

    Likewise, any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, or any other dam owner may apply for a grant to remove a dam under the Dam Removal grant program. These application materials are available on the Dam Removal Grant Program page of the DNR website.

    Applications for Dam Removal Grants are accepted on a continual basis until all available funding is committed.

    For more information or a printed version of the application materials, please call

    Eileen Trainor, Dam Grant Manager, (608)267-0848 or e-mail her at: Eileen.Trainor@Wisconsin.gov

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Meg Galloway, dam safety engineer -- (608) 266-7014, Bill Sturtevant, dam safety engineer - (608) 266-8033 or Eileen Trainor, community financial assistance grants specialist - (608) 267-0848

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    13 year-old catches state record golden shiner

    MADISON - It's official: Maxfield JonasKrueger of Madison is Wisconsin's latest and youngest current state record holder for a fish caught with a hook and line.

    golden shiner
    Maxfield JonasKrueger of Madison is Wisconsin's youngest current state fish recordholder.

    JonasKrueger, 13, caught a .30 pound, 9.75 inch golden shiner with a rod and reel on July 7, 2011, at Fowler Lake in Waukesha. His record bested the 8.5-inch, 3.4 oz fish caught in 2009 from Dexter Lake in Wood County by John Kubisiak of Rhinelander.

    There have been younger state record fish holders -- Troy Schmeling, of Rubicon was 12 years and 3 days when he caught a state record white crappie in December 1995 -- but that record has since been broken several times.

    Anglers who think they or someone they know has caught a fish that might be a state record, there are a number of steps to take:

    An official record fish application must accompany all prospective record fish entries.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Scheidegger (608) 267-9426

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    DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp announces key agency appointments

    MADISON -- Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp has announced three new top-level appointments within the agency.

    Tim Andryk has been named chief legal counsel, Michael Bruhn has been named legislative liaison, and Bill Cosh has been named agency spokesperson. Stepp said the appointments are the result of recent legislation to make state agency chief legal counsels, legislative liaisons, and spokespersons appointed positions.

    Andryk, a veteran DNR employee, is currently acting chief legal counsel for the agency since the retirement of Michael Lutz. He began working with DNR in 1987 as a migratory bird and wetlands specialist, and later served as a wildlife biologist working on comprehensive planning and budgeting. He began working as a DNR attorney in 1992, for the fisheries, wildlife, and Stewardship grants programs and served as special assistant to Secretary Darrell Bazzell on conservation matters. Andryk has in B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, an M.S. in Fish & Wildlife Management from Montana State University and received his Law Degree (J.D.) from the UW-Madison.

    Michael Bruhn previously served as the primary legislative staff member to former Rep. Scott Gunderson, who is currently DNR's executive assistant. Bruhn clerked various legislative committees and was the legislative staff leader on issues related to firearms, hunting, fishing, and business regulations. Bruhn served as a City of Sun Prairie alderman from 2003 through 2005 where he was chairman of the personnel committee responsible for negotiating union contracts with city employees. He has a B.A. in political science and sociology from the UW-Madison. He replaces Elizabeth Kluesner, who has taken another position in the agency.

    Bill Cosh has served as the spokesperson for the state Department of Justice since he was appointed to that position by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in 2008. Cosh previously served as a research assistant for State Rep. Dan Meyer and as the senior education policy advisor under Gov. Scott McCallum. Cosh began his career as an assistant in the Office of the Chancellor for the UW-Madison while a student at the Robert M. La Follette Institute for Public Affairs. He has a Masters in Public Policy and Administration and a Masters in Industrial Relations from the UW-Madison. Cosh is replacing Adam Collins who has taken another position in the agency.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Steffes - (608) 266-8109

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    Read more: Previous Weekly News

    Last Revised: Tuesday, July 12, 2011




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