Rock River Recovery - April Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



April turns the traffic light green, and the whole world thinks "GO!" - Christopher Morley


What makes a river so restful  is that it doesn't have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else. — Hal Boyle


Yahara WINS Grant

The 2016 Yahara WINs Grant Packet and Application are available on the Yahara WINs website. Applications are due on April 29, 2016. Please contact Kathy Lake with any questions!(608) 222-1201


Ag Enterprise Areas

DATCP is accepting 2016 petitions for designation of new or expanded AEAs through April 29, 2016. Petition materials, including instructions and forms, are available online here.  Contact:



Apr 4:  Nutrient Management Workshop

Apr 5:  Adapt-N Nitrogen Webinar

May 5,6:  WinSLAMM Training Course

May15-25, 2016:  Paddle and Probe:  Testing the Waters

June 16:  Healthy Lakes Conference, Oconomowoc



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 Farm Bureau Federation

Wisconsin Farmers Union

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
USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program

RCPP Grants Open

Applications are due by May 10 for $260 million in Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants from the US Department of Agriculture aimed at improving water quality and combatting drought.


Conservation Innovation Grants

Proposals sought for water quality, outreach and conservation finance.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of up to $20 million in competitive grants through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The program aims to spark the development and adoption of cutting-edge conservation technologies and approaches for farmers, ranchers and other landowners.  Contact: Kaveh Sadeghzadeh 202-720-2182


Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Farmers find success with variable rate P applications

“We have been able to sign up growers for our VRT program that wouldn’t consider it in the past. Some have even paid for additional acres out of their own pockets.” – ag retailer cost-share participant

Low crop prices have farmers focused on ways to minimize costs while optimizing inputs. For many, variable rate phosphorus application makes sense for optimizing this input, but the costs to get involved can prevent many from taking the leap. The Partnership for Ag Resource Management (PARM) is helping ag retailers and growers overcome this barrier through a new cost share pilot using Variable Rate Technology (VRT) in the Sandusky River Basin, Ohio with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Kewaunee-Door county farmers create watershed imitative

Thirty-five farmers in Northeastern Wisconsin have formed an environmental stewardship coalition.  Members of the new group operate farms ranging in size from 66 cows to 6,000 cows.  The goal of the organization, called Peninsula Pride Farms, is "to leverage the ingenuity of the agricultural community, university research and scientists to meet water quality challenges."


The Mighty Rock River and Friends

A great article about efforts in the Rock River basin.


UW Discovery Farms Farmer's Voice Newsletter

Learn about the latest activities and efforts from farmers participating in the UW Extension Discovery Farms program.


New Land and Water Resource Management Requirements

To receive annual DATCP grant funds, counties have historically been required to have a current work plan on file with the department.  The LWCB, at its February 2 meeting, agreed that efforts should be made to improve annual work planning conducted by counties and to evaluate the results of the new approach.  For more information, review this memo and visit DATCP's LWRM website.

Heart of the Farm

Jenny Vanderlin discusses Heart of the Farm, a University of Wisconsin-Extension program committed to addressing the needs of farm women by providing education on farm business topics, connecting them with agricultural resources and creating support networks.



The DNR Surface Water Monitoring Program strategy provides for three levels of monitoring in rivers and streams; Baseline, Prescribed, and Local Needs.  These, along with the full monitoring program are described in Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy:  2015-2020.  For this year, Koshkonong Creek will be the focus of a Targeted Watershed Assessment (TWA) under the Prescribed Needs strategy.

Koshkonong Creek

This summer we will be conducting our Target Watershed Assessment (TWA) on the Koshkonong Creek Watershed.  This will include 5 HUC12 in Dane and Jefferson Counties.  We will take a comprehensive look at the biological communtities.  Biological monitoring will include: Fish Index of Biotic Integrity sampling (FIBI), Macroinvertebrate sampling to include Hilsenhoff Biotic Integrity (HBI) and Macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (MIBI), and Diatom Nutrient Index (DNI) sampling.

The number of surveys will include:  22 fish stations , 15 macroinvertebrate stations and 8 diatom stations.  Surveys will begin in May and will be completed by October.



Water Pollutions and Solutions

A new documentary sponsored by WI Land and Water highlights all aspects of watershed and water quality restoration, including a highlight of the farmer-led initiative in the Red Cedar Watershed:

Water Thinkers Network

A community of people passionate about water education, outreach, and research in Wisconsin will be on hand for the launch of the new Wisconsin Water Thinkers Network this month.

Storm Pond


New Storm Water Guidance Open for Public Comment

The proposed guidance addresses how to account for internally drained areas in an MS4 TMDL modeling analysis.

Access via:

WinSLAMM Course Opportunity

Learn how WinSLAMM software can help you calculate stormwater runoff volume, pollution loads, and assess a wide range of management measures. Modeling stormwater impacts in new or existing systems, this Windows-based program will help you choose the most effective control measures, and give you the data needed to select the most cost-effective stormwater control practices.

Don't Flush the Baby


Don't Flush Those Baby Wipes

Steve Anderson, a water resources analyst with Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Ore.), wrote and recorded a lighthearted song called “Don’t Flush the Baby (Wipes!)” The song conveys the importance of not flushing baby wipes, cleaning pads, and paper towels.



April 1:  DATCP Producer Led Watershed Protection Project Grants

April 15:  Nutrient Management Farmer Education Grant

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

May 1: DNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program Urban Rivers Grants 

May 10:  USDA Commits $20 Million to Innovative Conservation Projects

May 10:  Regional Conservation Partnership Program Grants