Rock River Recovery - November Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



“November comes and November goes, with the last red berries and the first white snows. With night coming early and dawn coming late, there’s ice in the bucket, and frost by the gate. The fires burn, and the kettles sing, and earth sinks to rest until next spring.” - Clyde Watson



Nov 4, 16:  SnapPlus:  Beyond the Basics

Nov 10:  Yahara Lakes 101:  Water Quality Monitoring in the Yahara Lakes

Nov 29, 30:  DATCP Nutrient Management Training

Dec 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9:  DATCP Nutrient Management Training

Dec 31:  Discovery Farms Annual Conference

Feb 3-5:  Frozen Assets Clean Lakes Festival

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Carp Netting
Common carp can diminish water quality by stirring up sediment that re-suspends phosphorus in the water, leading to unhealthy algae blooms and reducing sunlight needed for native vegetation to grow. Photo Credit: WDNR


Carp Removal Important Tool for Water Quality in Wisconsin

In much of Europe, carp are revered as table fare, gracing the menus for Easter and Christmas feasts.  Here, not so much.

Common carp were not originally found in America.  In fact, they were introduced as a cheap protein-rich food source by European settlers.  are not native, but have been swimming here for years.  Unfortunately, without any native predators and ideal habitat, Carp have thrived,.  Their prolific reproduction, combined with bottom feeding that disturbs sediments and recycles nutrients, can be profoundly detrimental to water quality and greatly accelerate eutrophication - the process of lake aging.

While commercial demand exists in the U.S. and some Wisconsin carp find their way to East Coast fish markets, most of the local attention is focused on managing carp numbers to support water quality, improve habitat and maintain healthy fisheries. Kurt Welke, a retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, said managing carp populations often requires a multi-year commitment by natural resources managers, local governments and private groups such as lake associations.   Full Story....

View the Indian Lake Improvement Project video on the DNR YouTube Channel.

Carp Flinging
Brooks Niedziejko flings carp toward the holding area his crew created on Comus Lake. Courtesy of Susan Bence, WUWM

Where commercial fishing is an option, carp harvesting contracts can be an effective way to improve water quality.  The Wisconsin DNR contracts with commercial fishermen like Brooks Niedziejko (above) to try to reduce the nuisance carp that now crowd out the game fish anglers desire, especially in smaller lakes.  Read more...

Story courtesy of WUWM - Milwaukee Public Radio

Sector Team Updates 

Manure Injection


UW Extension Agriculture Podcasts

UW Extension produces series of agriculture related pod-casts for topics and challenges many of our farmers face on a daily basis.  The pod-casts combine educational material with industry resources to help farmers find solutions for issues they experience while running their businesses.  Examples of topics include:

Discovery Farms Update

Discovery Farms has published their October newsletter.  It contains a lot of great information includes articles on:

SnapPlus:  Beyond the Basics

The popular “SnapPlus: Beyond the Basics” trainings are being offered again this year!  These trainings are very useful to beginners and advanced SnapPlus users alike.  Classes are being offered in person and remotely via the Technical Colleges on October 28th, November 4th, and November 16th.  Click HERE for a full agenda and complete listing of all locations and dates.  Contact Stephanie Schneider to register.

DATCP Nutrient Management Training

DATCP is conducting a number of nutrient management training sessions around the state.  Click HERE for more information on locations and dates. 



The monitoring team has been receiving comments and data contributions to incorporate into the draft text for the monitoring section of the Rock River TMDL implementation plan.  DNR staff anticipate completing the draft this winter and sharing it with the monitoring team for review and input.  The current contact list for the monitoring team is somewhat dated.  If you would like to be included in future communications, please contact Mike Sorge.

"Fish Hotels" - for KIDS!

"Fish Hotel", a new children's book, explains how trees left to fall naturally into the water provide fish habitat for years to come.  For more information, contact Lynn Markham, (715)346-3879,

Fish Hotels



Thank you to everyone who participated in the Quarterly Networking Forum survey.  We received 42 responses to the over 1,200 invitations sent out.  We are reviewing the results, will be discussing them at the Implementation Team meeting, and sharing them to help guide future E&O efforts..

An initial look at the survey results did not indicate any clear or strong tendencies in responses regarding participation in the forums.  For example, we did not see frequent use of negative or positive adjectives in responses - see word cloud, below.  A few results that seem clear are:

  • Progress and activity reporting in the newsletter does not seem effective,
  • while the quarterly forums specifically addressed the topics requested by survey takers, those same forums were not well attended,
  • more effective communication of progress ACROSS sector teams is desired.
Word Cloud
"Word Cloud" results of the Education & Outreach Survey

Storm Pond


Proposed Chloride Study

There is growing concern over the environmental impact of road salt on water quality. This was discussed at a Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) meeting held on March 19, 2014.  SEWRPC is preparing a Prospectus for a study of the environmental impact of the use of road salt in winter road maintenance within the Region. The Prospectus, upon its completion and approval by the Commission, will be made available to the seven constituent county boards for consideration and potential action.

APWA Annual Conference

The 2016 American Public Works Association Wisconsin chapter fall conference will be held November 2-4, 2016 in Janesville, WI. The conference is being hosted by the City of Janesville Public Works Department and Janesville's Past Wisconsin APWA Presidents.



Phosphorus Allies

Municipal Sewer and Water Magazine has a nice article featuring our shared efforts in Wisconsin to address Phosphorus pollution by partnering between our point source and nonpoint source communities.

Multi-Discharger Variance (MDV)

There are no status updates to report for the MDV.  The final MDV package was mailed to the EPA on March 30, 2016. Upon EPA approval, the multi-discharge variance package will become an additional tool for WPDES permit holders facing restrictive phosphorus limitations.  As the department works with EPA towards approval of the multi-discharger variance package, additional status updates will be provided.