Rock River Recovery - February Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway - Earl Nightingale


Pessimists will see you walk on water, and say it's because you can't swim.


!!!  GRANTS  !!!

We've added a section to the bottom of the newsletter to highlight grant opportunities.  If you have any to share please contact the editor and we'll include them.

Riparian Buffer


The Wisconsin Buffer Initiative  is frequently mentioned as a resource to facilitate the implementation of Ag/NPS Best Practices in the Rock River Basin.  The initiative address a multitude of practices.  The final report can be downloaded here.



Feb 3:  SNAP+ and Nutrient Management Workshop

Feb 3:  Future of the Yahara Watershed

Feb 3-4:  Stormwater and Erosion Conference

Feb 5-7:  Frozen Assets

Feb 11:  Yahara Lakes 101 - Pollution Prevention

Feb 12, 19:  Farm Estate Planning and Transition

Feb 14:  The Science of Cover Crops Conference

Feb 23-24:  Midwest Cover Crops Meeting

Feb 25:  WI Government Affairs Seminar

Mar 3:  Yahara Pride Farms Conference

Mar 5:  Yahara River Stream Monitoring

Mar 16:  River Alliance Wild and Scenic Film Festival

May15-19, 2016:  Paddle and Probe:  Testing the Waters




BEACH Conditions

Clean Lakes Alliance

Clean Water Association

DATCP Land and Water Conservation

Delavan Lake Improvement Association

Kettle Moraine Land Trust

Lake Sinnissippi Improvement District


Midwest Cover Crops Council

Partnership for Ag Resource Management

Rock Koshkonong Lake District

Rock Lake Improvement Association

Rock River Coalition

Rock River Stormwater Group

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Tall Pines Conservancy

UW Discovery Farms

UW Extension

UW Water Sustainability and Climate - Yahara

Watershed Planning

Wisconsin Land & Water

Yahara Pride Farms

Yahara WINS

Contact us to have your organization listed here.

DNR Logo


Rock River Recovery


Impaired Waters

Water Quality Trading

Adaptive Management

Phosphorus Rule



Project Manager 

Ag Nonpoint





Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

Gov Delivery
Farm and Marsh


Watershed Projects Quarterly Forum

Mark your calendars for our next Quarterly Networking Forum, "Local Implementation for Water Quality Restoration".

This forum will focus on providing information and networking opportunities to facilitate the implementation of watershed and water quality restoration efforts by local groups, lake associations/districts, watershed organizations, counties, and community stakeholder groups.  Click to download a copy of the agenda (PDF).

Space is limited to 70, please RSVP to reserve your spot.


Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


The Ag/NPS Sector Team met in January to begin the process of developing reduction estimates for the Rock River Recovery plan.  Individual working meetings with counties are continuing through February.  The next full team meeting will be scheduled in April and include topics on membership, team goals/objectives, and strategies for forming effective partnerships.

There has been growing interest in the Farmer-Led model for the most effective implementation of ag practices.  UW Extension has developed a brochure providing guidance and information on forming Farmer-Led Initiatives.

SNAP+ and Nutrient Management Training

DATCP has announced upcoming classes and workshops for the following topics;

  • SNAP+
  • Nutrient Management Plannning

The first workshop is February 3.  Click HERE for a full listing of locations and dates.

Farm Transition and Estate Planning

The University of Wisconsin-Extension will host workshops in Stevens Point on Feb. 12 and in Westfield on Feb. 19 to provide information and ideas on farm succession and estate planning.

Midwest Cover Crop Meeting

Wisconsin is seeing a renewed interest in planting cover crops to prevent soil erosion, retain or add nutrients, reduce pest pressures and accomplish other goals. Farmers and educators are asking questions about which cover crops to plant, how to fit them into different cropping systems and what equipment is needed to plant and manage them.  These and other topics will be addressed at the Midwest Cover Crops Meeting in Madison, Feb 23, 24.

Cover Crops Case Studies:  JenEhr Farm (PDF)

Cover Crops Case Studies: Gary Sommers Farm (PDF)



Yahara Citizen Monitoring Meeting

On Saturday, March 5th, the Rock River Coalition (RRC) will host a meeting for volunteer stream monitors working in the Yahara River watershed. Results from our successful volunteer stream monitoring program will be presented along with a number of water quality topics.

This meeting will be at the Fitchburg Community Center. Morning sessions (9:00am to 11:45am) are open to the general public - click for a full agenda .  Pre-registration is required.  If interested in attending, please contact: Nancy Sheehan,

Door Creek Watershed Project

Dane County is starting monitoring for the Door Creek Watershed Management Action Plan this spring.  Contact Pete Jopke for more information.

Lake Waubesa Fish Habitat

Fish Sticks are being installed on the northeast side of Lake Waubesa to create near-shore fish habitat.  Trees are being sourced from a trail near the lake.  Contact Mike Rennicke for more information, and check out the Fish Sticks Best Practices Manual to learn more about this habitat enhancement technique.

Edge of Field Monitoring

The latest issue of The Confluence has a great article from the USDA and Agricultural Research Service on edge-of-field monitoring to quantify runoff volume and water quality from farm fields.  It also includes useful information for designing a monitoring program and resources to help implement a monitoring program.



The Education and Outreach Sector Team has been having regular meetings to draft the next version of the Rock River Recovery E&O Plan.  Once the draft plan is completed, there will be an opportunity for review and feedback to be incorporated into the final plan.  Contact Joe Van Rossum or Mark Riedel if you would like to be added to the team, receie meeting notifications, and participate in the process.   

Testing the Waters

The Rock River Coalition is leading planning for a VERY exciting education and outreach event this May - Testing the Waters:  A Paddle and Probe Adventure.  This is a multi-day paddling adventure along the Rock River that includes;

  • real time water quality sampling,
  • public informational meetings,
  • partnerships with numerous businesses and local governments,
  • and MUCH MORE!

Check out THIS BROCHURE for details.  Contact Suzanne Wade of the Rock River Coalition for more information.

Storm Pond


Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water Management Grants

The WDNR Urban NPS Grant program is currently open and accepting proposals (click HERE for more info).

Eligibility & Purpose: Competitive grants to local governments to reimburse costs of planning or construction projects controlling urban nonpoint source and storm water runoff pollution.
Maximum grant amount: Construction: $150,000. Additional $50,000 may be requested for property acquisition.
Match requirement: Planning: 50 percent
Contacts: Linda Talbot, (608-267-7551)
Deadlines: April 15

Stormwater & Erosion Control Conference

NASECA-WI is hosting the 13th Annual Advancements in Stormwater and Erosion Control conference February 3, 4 in Madison, WI.  This two-day conference will be divided into an erosion & sediment control focus (day 1) and a stormwater focus (day 2) so you can attend one day or both to suit your interests.



Multi-Discharger Variance

The Mutli-Discharger Variance Public Comment period closed on December 16th, 2015. The Department is working on responding to comments and making changes to the documentation before submittal to the EPA for approval. At this time, the Department does not have an estimated timeline.  

The Department is currently holding training throughout the state for CMOM development through the end of February to help facilities develop their CMOM program for the August 1, 2016 deadline.  

Regional WWOA meetings will be held throughout the state in February. Please see for more info.



February 26: North American Wetlands Conservation Act

March 14: Healthy Watersheds Consortium A partnership of the U.S. Endowment and the Environmental Protection Agency 

April 15: WI DNR Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water Management Grants

May 1: DNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program Urban Rivers Grants