UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - OSHKOSH: Impacts of zebra mussels on P uptake in Lake Winnebago

Purpose

UW-Oshkosh is sponsoring a grant to study the impacts of zebra mussels on phosphorus uptake and conversion in Lake Winnebago. 1) Zebra mussel density and biomass will be monitored using scuba divers at ten rocky littoral sites and five offshore reefs twice per summer during 2018 and 2019. Maps of zebra mussel density and biomass will be created. 2) Mesocosms with lake water will be set up along the shoreline in 2018 and 2019 at five sites and zebra mussels attached to rocks from the site will be added. Total phosphorus (TP) clearance from the mesocosm water will be measured. Then the excretion rate of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) from individual zebra mussels from the mesocosms will be measured in smaller containers of filtered lake water. 3) Whole-lake estimates of zebra mussel TP clearance and SRP excretion will be developed using the zebra mussel survey data and phosphorus conversion rates from the mesocosm studies. SRP loading estimates will be compared with known sources of SRP through collaboration with those working on the Upper Fox River TMDL. The information collected during this study will be provided to the TMDL team. Department liason(s) will oversee the proposed studies. Biannual check-in meetings will occur and progress reports will be presented to Department staff. The first check-in meeting will occur before project work begins. Results will be shared at professional meetings (including the Wisconsin Lakes Convention) and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A short management brief, summarizing study findings for the general public, will be developed in collaboration with the Department. The final project report will include results, conclusions of studies and any project data in electronic format. It is recommended that the Grantee provide the DNR liaison with a draft report prior to requesting final payment.

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