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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published April 9, 2019

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Increase in chronic wasting disease samples during the 2018 surveillance season

Contact(s): Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief, 414-750-8360

MADISON - There were 1,060 white-tailed deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin during the 2018 surveillance year, which ran from April 1 through March 31. This compares to 597 that tested positive during the 2017 surveillance year; however state wildlife heath officials say the number of deer tested in 2018 was double that of 2017.

More than 17,200 deer were sampled and tested for CWD statewide in 2018, compared to 9,841 in 2017. Most of the positive detections were primarily within the endemic area in southern Wisconsin, but also a new positive detected in Marquette County, and additional positive detections in already CWD-affected counties including Eau Claire, Lincoln, Portage, Adams, Juneau, Vernon, Crawford and Dodge counties.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has monitored trends in CWD distribution and prevalence within Wisconsin since its discovery in 2002. To date, more than 227,000 deer have been sampled for CWD statewide with over 5,200 testing positive.

In 2018, the number of deer sampled and determined to be positive for CWD by each management zone is as follows:

There are currently 56 CWD-affected counties due to wild and captive CWD positive detections. During the 2018 calendar year, Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Fond du Lac, Marinette, Florence, Lincoln, and Langlade counties were added as CWD-affected counties and Green Lake County was added as CWD-affected on March 1, 2019.

In 2018, statewide CWD surveillance was focused on annual areas of interest, disease assessment around recent CWD positive detections, and disease detection mainly in the west-central district across all 19 counties, as well as, continued hunter service testing, free of charge, for adult deer anywhere in the state.

State wildlife health officials say the increase in sampling is due to efforts to make it easier for hunters to submit samples.

"We continue to explore ways to make sampling easy for hunters and will work closely with them to make it even more convenient in years to come," said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief. "Once again, hunter cooperation has been outstanding - on behalf of our whole department, I want to thank hunters and the private businesses that assist with our surveillance efforts for their continued role in providing samples and helping us monitor this disease within Wisconsin. Overall, interest from hunters to have their deer CWD tested appears to be increasing."

These efforts include the use of self-serve kiosks and enhanced communication and outreach efforts. Kiosks provide a 24/7 drop-off option for hunters to help enhance sampling numbers, provide for ease of use, and increase options in the world of electronic registration. Overall feedback from hunters reflected an appreciation for the kiosk option.

New for 2018, individuals or organizations could volunteer to Adopt-a-Kiosk (AAK) throughout the deer season. The main goal of the AAK program is to work with volunteers to enhance CWD sample numbers. Also new for 2018, individuals or organizations could volunteer to Adopt-a-Dumpster with goal providing hunters an option for appropriate deer carcass waste disposal.

The average statewide turnaround time during the 2018 deer season was 12 days, compared to just under 15 days in 2017. The turnaround time is measured from the date a CWD sample is taken to a CWD sampling station to when the test results are received by the hunter. The department will continue efforts to lower the turnaround time by becoming more efficient with cost and time.

Baiting & feeding

New baiting and feeding bans were initiated on Feb. 1, 2019 for Waushara, Wood, Racine, and Kenosha counties. The ban was lifted for Marquette County in December 2018 and added back in March 1, 2019. Green Lake County was also added to the ban March 1, 2019. Hunters and landowners should check the DNR baiting and feeding webpage frequently for updates, as new baiting and feeding bans may be enacted in 2019 with new CWD detections. Landowners and hunters should contact their local wildlife biologist to determine if baiting and feeding ban end dates have changed within individual counties, based on CWD test results. None of the counties currently identified statewide will be removed from the baiting and feeding ban in 2019. Additional information on baiting and feeding will be provided in advance of the 2019 deer hunting season.

Prevent the spread of CWD

There are recommended practices to reduce and prevent the spread of CWD that hunters, landowners, and any individual can assist with. Some of these actions include proper transportation, handling, & disposal of deer carcass waste, reporting sick deer, following baiting and feeding information, cleaning/decontamination of equipment, and hunters can follow urine-based scent recommendations.

For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations, ways to reduce the spread, & overall CWD information in Wisconsin, visit the DNR's website,, and search "bait and feeding" and "CWD" respectively. To report a sick deer on the landscape, search keywords "sick deer" or contact a local wildlife biologist.



DNR survey shows Wisconsin residents are recycling electronics, have millions more unused devices in storage

Contact(s): Sarah Murray, DNR E-Cycle Wisconsin coordinator, 608-264-6001

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released the results of its 2018 statewide household survey on electronics recycling. The survey confirmed most residents are managing unwanted electronics responsibly, but many are still unsure how to recycle electronics or face other barriers to recycling old devices.

The report highlights how many electronics are in Wisconsin households as well as trends in consumer awareness and electronics recycling behavior. The survey showed the number of unused electronics in Wisconsin households continues to grow and a large share of households are storing devices they no longer use.

What happens when I ecycle

Of the estimated 26.3 million devices in Wisconsin households, 9.3 million devices were not in use - about 22 percent of TVs, 30 percent of computers and 50 percent of cellphones.

"Our household surveys have consistently shown that not knowing where or how to recycle electronics is a significant barrier to someone successfully recycling," says Sarah Murray, E-Cycle Wisconsin coordinator for the DNR. "Now is good time to look for options, since more collection events are hosted in the spring and summer. Our list of collection sites gets updated as sites provide dates of events."

Murray says the DNR has conducted five statewide household recycling surveys since 2010, when Wisconsin's electronics recycling law took effect. The law included a disposal ban for certain types of electronics and established E-Cycle Wisconsin, a manufacturer-funded program administered by the DNR that helps support a statewide network of electronics collectors and recyclers. As of 2019, households and schools have recycled nearly 300 million pounds of electronics through E-Cycle Wisconsin.

In the 2018 survey, among households that had a device they no longer wanted, the most common action was to put it in storage. About two-thirds had stored unwanted cellphones and computers and about half had stored unwanted TVs during the previous 12 months. Nearly all households that did not store an unwanted device opted to recycle or reuse it. Only a small percentage reported putting a cellphone (2 percent), computer (3 percent) or TV (4 percent) in the trash.

The most common reason respondents cited for being unable to recycle a device was not knowing where or how to do so. About one-third of respondents overall said they did not know where to recycle electronics. Respondents also cited cost as a key barrier to recycling electronics. While many collection sites still take some items for free, most charge a fee to recycle some items, including TVs and monitors.

"Responsible electronics recycling has a cost," Murray says. "Recyclers must properly manage the hazardous materials and lithium-ion batteries found in many electronics, and protect data security. Manufacturer funding covers some of that cost, but consumer fees help make up the difference as well as cover collection and transportation costs."

To help address the issue of cost and lack of convenient collection sites in some areas, the DNR launched an online list of free manufacturer mail-back programs in January 2019. The mail-back program information is part of the interactive E-Cycle Wisconsin collection sites list, which allows residents to map nearby collection sites or look up locations by county.

"The DNR will continue to look for ways to work with communities, share recycling information and support responsible recycling," Murray says. "We've had many program successes and will continue to address barriers and challenges to recycling."

The list and the full 2018 statewide household survey on electronics recycling can be accessed through the DNR website at, search "Ecycle."



Free kids fishing clinics set for April 13 in 14 southeastern Wisconsin parks

Contact(s): Laura Schmidt, DNR fisheries biologist, 414-416-0591

MILWAUKEE - Kids 15 years old and younger can discover the fun of fishing at the 35th annual Kids' Fishing Clinics on Saturday, April 13, at 14 park ponds and lagoons in Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.

The free clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants receive instruction on the proper use of equipment and techniques, knot tying, safety and much more. The clinics last about 45 minutes and begin every hour on the hour starting at 9 a.m., with the last one starting at 2 p.m. Kids will be able to fish after receiving the classroom instruction.

"These free clinics are a great way to get kids involved in fishing and let them know about the urban fishing ponds near them," says Laura Schmidt, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist involved in the clinics. "Local fishing clubs and other partners make these clinics work and we're grateful they are again volunteering their time to introduce a new generation to the fun of fishing."

The clinics represent a cooperative effort by the Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations, Milwaukee, Washington and Waukesha county park departments, the Hunger Task Force Fish Hatchery, and DNR.

No pre-registration is necessary for the clinics. Equipment and snacks will be provided and it's all free! Just dress warm!

The urban fishing ponds and lagoons where the clinics will be held will be stocked with fish before the event; such waters have year-round seasons and no length limits to make fishing more easily accessible in urban areas.

The locations for the clinics and the sponsoring fishing clubs are:

Milwaukee County

* These locations will have fish cleaning and cooking demonstrations.

Washington County Parks

Waukesha County Parks

No park entrance fee will be charged. Parking passes will be distributed at the event.

For more information about the clinics go to and search for "fishing clinics" or call the DNR Urban Fishing Hotline at 414-263-8494 or Laura Schmidt at 414-416-0591.



Incidental take notice for Buffalo County

Contact(s): Rori Paloski, conservation biologist, 608-264-6040

MADISON -- The proposed Great River State Trail - Winona Connector project may result in the "incidental taking" of a rare frog under an authorization the Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue for the project. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.

This project involves constructing a new trail alongside State Highway 54/35, within the highway right of way, adjacent to the backwaters of the Mississippi River. This trail project will begin at Buffalo Town Park and end at Aghaming Park in the City of Winona.

The presence of the state endangered Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris blanchardi) has been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some frogs.

Department staff concluded that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of the species or the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part; and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the Blanchard's cricket frog are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski (608-264-6040 or The department is requesting comments from the public through May 9, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to the Blanchard's cricket frog. Public comments should be sent to Rori Paloski, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 09, 2019

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