Rock River Recovery TMDL Implementation - September Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



"September tries its best to have us forget summer..." - Bernard Williams


Autumnal Equinox

"September twenty-second, Sir, the bough cracks with unpicked apples, and at dawn the small-mouth bass breaks water, gorged with spawn." - Robert Lowell



Sept 8: Grazing & Agroforestry Workshop, Jefferson

Sept 14:  Clean Lakes Alliance Yahara Lakes 101

Sept 16:  Warner Beach Site Visit, Inspection, and Q&A

Sept 19: Sheep Grazing Pasture Workshop, Ft. Atkinson

Sept 21: NASECA Erosion Control and Stormwater Product University

Sept 24-26:  WI Counties Association Convention

Sept 26:  Dairy Grazing Pasture Walk, Cleveland

Sept 30:  Sturgeon Fest

Oct 12:  Clean Lakes Alliance Yahara Lakes 101

Oct 17:  Oconomowoc Field Technology Day

Oct 18:  Dodge County Farmer-Led Soil Health Cover Crops Field Day

Oct 17-20:  Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Annual Conference

Oct 20:  EQIP Sign-Up Deadline

Nov 30:  NASECA Stormwater & Construction Training

Dec 13:  Producer-Led Watershed Grants Workshop

Feb 27:  Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

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Gov Delivery
Warner Beach Concept
Clean Lakes Alliance is presenting a conceptual design contest to reimagine Warner Park Beach.


Reimagining Warner Beach

Issis Macias, Watershed Engagement Manager, Clean Lakes Alliance

Clean Lakes Alliance, in partnership with Madison Community Foundation and Madison Parks, has launched a conceptual design contest to ignite community interest in improving local lakeside parks and beaches. The "Reimagining Warner Beach" contest will allow participants to envision Warner Beach based on the design goals of improved water quality, sustainability, access and placemaking.

This first-of-its-kind design contest is open to everyone, including individuals or teams, with no formal design experience required. The submission deadline is January 15, 2018. The top design will be awarded $10,000, with $4,000 and $1,000 runner-up prizes going to second and third place respectively. Winners will be announced at Clean Lakes Alliance’s 2018 Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast on May 2nd.

Interested participants should attend a tour of Warner Beach with contest officials on Saturday, September 16th, 10 a.m. at 1101 Woodward Drive in Madison. Learn more at:

Dodge County Farmers

Dodge County Farmer Recognized for Conservation Leadership

Dale Macheel, a member of the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soils and Water, operates Macheel Enterprises and Werld Farms. He is one of the foremost conservation-minded producers in the county, with over 1,000 cropland acres in production. He says taking care of the soil is his most important goal. With the help of NRCS, Dale participates in EQIP, CSP and FSA's Conservation Reserve Program. Read more about how he's transformed his soil, one conservation practice at a time.

Read more (2,167 KB pdf)

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Ag Sector Team

The Rock River Ag Sector Team is meeting Wednesday November 8 to follow up on tasks identified in our July meeting. Notes from the July meeting are available;

November meeting details:

Time:  November 8

Location: TBD - most likely UW Extension, Jefferson

Draft Agenda:

9-10 am:  Purpose of the Ag Sector Team and Expected Deliverables – facilitated by UW Extension

10-10:30 am: MDV and Point Source Update

10:30-11: Update on County Templates

11-12: County Round Table

12-1:  Waterways and Wetland Delineation - TBD 

Dodge County Farmer-Led Healthy Soils Healthy Waters

The Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil–Healthy Water held a program on Wednesday at the Dodge County Fairgrounds.  Emphasis on improving soil health through the use of  Cover Crops, residue management and reduced tillage.

Mission statement: Improving our community’s soil & water  through conservation practices & education.

“What makes this group different is we primarily have farmer talking to farmer,” Tony Pierick, a farmer from southern Dodge County and chairman of the group, said in a statement. 

Join us October 8 for our next event - our Cover Crop Field Day.  Visit with the farmers from the August workshop, see how the cover crops are doing, and learn more about the benefits and economics of cover crops.

Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants (PLWPG)

FY 2018 funding: A Request for Proposals for FY 18 funding (Jan 1 2018-Dec 31 2018) will be made available once the state budget has been finalized. As part of the legislataive process, JFC approved an increase to the maximum grant awards from $20,000 to $40,000.  Important dates:

  • December 13, 2017: PLWPG Workshop for group members and collaborators
  • December 15, 2017: Extension requests/progress reports due
  • December 31, 2017: Final reimbursement requests due
  • December 31, 2017: Final reports due for 2016 and 2017 (unless extending 2017 funds)

Producer-Led Annual Workshop

The Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants Annual Workshop allows for producer-led grant recipients throughout the state to network, share success stories, and learn from each other on what works and what hasn't in their watershed projects. Experts also discuss how producer-led groups can be most successful regarding research and monitoring, field days, and outreach efforts. All producer-led grant recipients and their collaborators are invited to attend but at least one member from each group is required. Save the date for the 2017 workshop at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells on Wednesday, December 13, 2017!

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Melissa Gilmore at DATCP, 608-224-4633



Citizen Monitoring

While we are well into the 2017 monitoring season, it's not too late to get involved.  This is also the perfect time to think about becoming a citizen monitoring volunteer for next year and plan a training for 2018.

The following resources and organizations can help you receive training and start citizen monitoring for your own lake or stream!

Are You a Mud Chaser?

In the Oconomowoc River Watershed, a group of volunteer monitors have earned themselves the curious moniker of "Mud Chaser".  What is a Mud Chaser?

As explained by Tom Steinbach, operations manager at the Oconomowoc Wastewater Treatment Plant and program manager for the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program, Mud Chasers is the name of a group formed in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  Mud Chasers volunteer to watch for elevated turbidity and sediment at specific streams at road crossings during storm events.

Using rain gauges, cameras and sampling bottles, the Mud Chasers will focus on specific impaired streams, helping to determine where sediment plumes are coming from.

“They’ll be our eyeballs on the ground,” says . “You can’t determine the source of runoff by standing on a bridge. We need to get out there during storms and see what’s happening, follow the mud back upstream.”

Mud chasing is Steinbach’s idea. He says it’s based on the fact that very little actual visual inspection is happening during storms at a field scale level to actually see or trace runoff. “Even when we do our event monitoring, we are presently only taking samples from bridges, and the timing is not always ideal to really see what’s happening.”  



Sturgeon Fest 2017

Save the date! Head to Lakeshore State Park in downtown Milwaukee on September 30, 2017 to enjoy a day of free, family fun (and make a huge difference while doing it!). The festivities continue all day with games and activities for kids, kayak demonstrations, prairie tours, educational booths, delicious local food trucks, and more.

Sturgeon Fest celebrates Riveredge’s 25 year partnership with the Wisconsin DNR to bring back Lake Sturgeon, a critically important species both environmentally and culturally, to the Milwaukee River, where they haven’t been seen in over 100 years.  

Storm Pond


Sector Team

Numerous updates have been made to the MS4/Stormwater Sector Team page on the Rock River Recovery TMDL Website. These include;

Erosion Control and Stormwater Product University

This popular annual event brings together professionals from Wisconsin, Minnesota and other Midwest states to learn about the latest in stormwater and erosion control in the classroom. The second part of the program will take attendees out to the field at American Excelsior's Erosion Lab, a large-scale erosion control testing facility, to see demonstrations of the BMPs and products that are used in the field every day. View more info.

Date/Time: Thurs., Sept. 21; 8 am-4:15 pm

Location: Rice Lake, WI

Erosion Control Site Inspector/Installer Training

Save the Date for our next Training
Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2017
Waukesha, WI

The two day course is designed for those who perform site management duties, supervise or direct construction activities, install best management practices, and/ or inspect sites for compliance relating to erosion/sediment control and storm water management. This course will cover permit requirements, roles and responsibilities, construction site erosion control plans, and best management practices to reduce or control erosion and offsite sedimentation.




The WWOA Board of Directors cordially invites you to the 51st Annual WWOA Conference, October 17 - 20.

We are at a new venue this year, the Madison Marriot West Hotel and Conference Center in Middleton, WI. As we begin our next Fifty Years, I hope you will be joining us. Our Conference Program is full of exciting information on what will prove to be a great conference.