Rock River Recovery - August Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update




"A brook can be a friend in a special way. It talks to you with splashy gurgles. It cools your toes and lets you sit quietly beside it when you don't feel like speaking" - Joan Walsh Anglund


New Organization for Waukesha County Lakes

The Clean Water Association is helping to coordinate the many efforts to preserve and protect the waterways in Lake Country. Working closely with the various associations, agencies and key stakeholders, we are excited about the renewed emphasis on watershed protection.  Join us in making a difference in Lake Country!

email Don Heilman or visit the CWA website.



Aug 12: Green Lake County UW Extension Regional Nutrient Management Training

Aug 13:  Yahara Lakes 101 "Weird Wisconsin Weeds: Getting to Know the World of Underwater Plants"

Sept 10: Yahara Lakes 101 "Carried Away: Stream Flow and Nutrient Transport to the Lakes"

Sept 10: Yahara WINs Strategic Planning Workgroup/Exec. Committee 

Sept 24:  NASWECA Field Event in Rice Lake



BEACH Conditions

Clean Lakes Alliance

Clean Water Association


Rock River Coalition

Rock River Stormwater Group

UW Discovery Farms

UW Extension

Watershed Planning

Yahara WINS

DNR Logo


Rock River Recovery


Impaired Waters

Water Quality Trading

Adaptive Management

Phosphorus Rule



Project Manager 

Ag Nonpoint







 GLRI 2015 RFP now OPEN

Up To $13.9 Million Available From EPA for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Projects

While not applicable to the Rock River Basin, this may be of interest to those who also work in the Lake Michigan basin.

CHICAGO (July 29, 2015) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a Request for Applications soliciting proposals for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to fund new projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Up to $13.9 million will be available during the 2015 funding cycle for grants to state, tribal, interstate and local governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning and other nonprofit organizations.  Applications are due September 28, 2015.


Sector Team Updates



Progress continues on the Yahara Watershed monitoring project.  Yahara River fish shocking, habitat evaluation, and water quality measurements are almost complete.

The Monitoring team is currently developing the monitoring section for the TMDL Implementation Plan and working with citizen monitoring partners.  If you are interested in being part of the monitoring team, contact Greg Searle.

Monitoring efforts also watch out for aquatic invasive species (AIS).  This summer the SCR crew for AIS Early Detection Monitoring, Jeanne Scherer and Katrina Punzel with volunteers, visited Rock Lake in Jefferson County where they discovered banded mystery snails (below).  While Lake Mills has a staffed Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program, the snails unfortunately made it into the lake and were found only in abundance at the most popular boat launch.  The Rock Lake Improvement Association is also active in educating people about AIS.

Banded Mystery Snails
Banded Mystery Snails


The first round of drafting wastewater permits with TMDL WQBEL limits is complete.  Permit drafting has shifted to working on remaining permits in the basin as they come up for renewal with  meetings being planned for 2016.

The multi-discharger variance (MDV), legislation, often inaccurately referred to as a "statewide phosphorus variance (ACT378)", is available for review (Senate Bill 547).  The DNR is currently working on drafting guidance for implementing the MDV.  Check here for more information on progress updates and learning opportunities


Ag Nonpoint Source

The Agriculture/NPS Sector team received comments during the July Quarterly Forum, including a suggestion to have a forum dedicated to Ag/NPS aspects of TMDL implementation.  We have taken these comments and are developing an agenda, contacting speakers, and making preliminary plans for the October quarterly forum.  The main theme of the forum will be to explore the successes of Farmer-led initiatives in other parts of the state and what can be done to encourage a similar model throughout the Rock River Basin.  Stay tuned for updates!

The DNR is working with counties to complete a draft of the county template by the end of August.  This will be one of the topics at the October quarterly forum.



Education & outreach were the theme of the Rock River Recovery July Quarterly Networking Forum. Approximately 40 people attended the forum and provided feedback and ideas to better facilitate our shared efforts to implement the Rock River Recovery.  Notes from the meeting are available here.

Stormwater Pond


The MS4/Stormwater Sector Team is finalizing draft text for the Implementation Plan that will explain how MS4 permits, and the permit cycle will dove-tail with TMDL Implementation.  This is consistent with existing rules and guidance for MS4 communities.  The team is also working with new MS4 communities in the Rock River Basin to guide them through the permit process.

The WI chapter of the North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Associate (NASWECA) is hosting a Field Event in Rice Lake on September 24, 2015 at Indianhead Technical College & American Excelsior Erosion Lab.