Rock River Recovery - February Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update





"While snowflakes may be one of nature's most fragile things, look at what they can do when they stick together." - Verna M. Kelly



Feb 1:  WDNR Lake, AIS, and River Protection Grant Applications Due

Feb 2-4:  Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets

Feb 3, 4:  Langlauf Winter Carnival

Feb 6,7:  WI Wastewater Operators Expo

Feb 7, 8:  Dodge County Soil Health Workshop & Farm Day

Feb 9:  Milwaukee River Watershed Soil Health Workshop 

Feb 14:  Yahara Lakes 101

Feb 22:  Government Affairs Seminar

Feb 27:  Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

Mar 8, 9:  Wisconsin AWRA Conference

Apr 15:  WDNR Urban NPS and Stormwater Grants Due

Apr 15:  WDNR Targeted Runoff Management NPS Grants Due

Oct 16-19:  WI Wastewater Operator's Conference

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Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil and Clean Water


Dodge County Soil Health Workshop

Following an amazing kickoff year in 2017, Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil and Water, along with the Dodge County Alliance and numerous supporting partners, are pleased to announce their second Soil Health Workshop, Wednesday February 7th, at the Juneau Community Center.  Building on the soil health workshop in 2017 and successful field trials, this year's agenda includes;

  • Advanced Soil Health Principles: Join Ray Archuleta and Justin Morris for in-depth discussion of soil biology and the importance of your farm's soil health in building organic nutrients, water holding capacity, and crop productivity.
  • Cover Crops - How and Why: Hear from local farmers as they share their experiences with field trials for inter-seeding, frost-seeding and fall seeding cover crops.
  • Cover Crop Incentive Program: Learn about the new Cover Crop Incentive Program developed by farmers, for farmers, with the Dodge County Farmer's for Healthy Soil and Healthy Water


Special Event for FarmersFollow-up Shop Talk, Thu Feb 8th

  • Included with your registration,
  • Thursday February 8th, 9:30-2:30
  • Private gathering for farmers to work together and discuss the benefits and challenges of bringing soil health practices into working farms.
  • Talk 1-on-1 with soil health experts.  What is easy?  What is more challenging?  How can I save money?  Where can I get the most bang for my buck?  Ask your neighbors, share ideas, let's build the strength of our farm community by working together.
  • See the BROCHURE for more info

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Nonpoint Source Impaired Water Success Story

Excess sedimentation from agricultural sources degraded water quality and habitat in Pleasant Valley Branch. As a result, the entire creek was added to Wisconsin’s 1998 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) impaired waters list for degraded habitat. The Dane County Land and Water Resources Department (LWRD) led efforts to implement best management practices (BMPs) to control sediment from agricultural nonpoint sources, which resulted in improvement in this nearly 6-mile-long stream. As a result, Pleasant Valley Branch was removed from the state’s impaired waters list in 2016.  Read the story here

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program

NRCS will accept applications for enrollment in the nation’s biggest conservation program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through CSP, NRCS helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. 

Applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period.  Read more

2018 Wisconsin Cover Crop Conference

February 27, 2018

Holiday Inn, Steven’s Point, WI 

Information and Registration

This conference will be geared toward helping Wisconsin farmers more successfully use cover crops on their farms.  There will be something for everyone, from farmer’s that have never tried cover crops to veteran cover croppers.  Many of the presenters will be Wisconsin grain and livestock farmers speaking from experience about what has worked and hasn’t worked in their Wisconsin cropping systems. This will be an exciting conference with lots of time built in for farmers to interact and learn from each other.

Registration: The registration fee prior to Feb 1 is $40 per person and $55 per person after that.


SnapPlus 17 Beta Release is now available and includes a number if improvements for usability and the programmable parameters to demonstrate compliance with the 2015 590 NM Standard. SnapPlus 17 and SnapMaps is available for free download. Visit the SnapPlus website



New Zealand Mudsnail Update

New Zealand Mudsnails (NZM) were discovered in 2017 in Mt Vernon Creek in SW Dane County and Rowan Creek near Poynette, Columbia County.  NZM were previously found in Badger Mill Creek (2016) and Black Earth Creek (2011, identified in 2013) both in Dane County.  Both the Mt Vernon and Rowan Creek populations were found during WDNR routine benthic sampling in 2016 and 2017 samples (ID in fall 2017), and verified by volunteer stream monitors in 2017.  Samples were confirmed by UW Steven's Point and an independent taxonomic expert.  At this point, density in both areas is very low.

The impacts of NZMS can include:

  • grazing on algae for food, but will also eat detritus,
  • may outcompete native macroinvertebrates,
  • may alter nutrient dynamics in streams,
  • may reach very high densities (300,000 per square yard)

The spread of NZMS and other invasive species can be stopped by taking these actions:

  • INSPECT your equipment for plants, animals, mud and debris,
  • REMOVE all plants, animals, mud and debris from your equipment,
  • DRAIN all water for equipment and dry as much as possible,
  • Additional steps, such as scrubbing your gear (especially boots) with a brush, freezing your gear, or soaking it in 140°F water,
  • Organizations can help by building boot cleaning stations to place near water access points and providing information, such as New Zealand mudsnail watch cards to businesses frequented by stream users, including trout fishermen

Response efforts

  • WDNR will be considering monitoring other high-risk areas
  • Regional partners have been contacted with the news of the initial discovery
  • Upper Sugar River Watershed Association is currently involved in grant funded monitoring in that watershed
  • Regional partners will be provided these talking points and a press release to share with membership and their own partners locally
  • WDNR and partners will meet to discuss educational/outreach efforts as well as possible follow up monitoring if needed

Further details are available on the WDNR New Zealand Mudsnail Webpage

Effort to develop 10-year inland trout management plan gets underway

MADISON - Work on developing a plan to guide inland trout management in Wisconsin over the next decade is getting underway, with an advisory team helping the Department of Natural Resources with that task meeting Jan. 27 for the first time.  For more information...



Tall Pines Conservancy announces Regional Conservation Partnership Program Award

Tall Pines Conservancy has been awarded a federal Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project.  RCPP provides funding to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality.  Applicants must match or exceed the dollar amount of the federal award with private or local funds.

This local project, led by Tall Pines Conservancy (TPC), will use Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Agricultural Land Easements funding to acquire farmland easements at three different project sites in the watershed totaling more than 250 acres. Environmental Quality Incentives Program land practices will mitigate natural resource concerns at each project location.  For more information, contact Susan Buchanan.

42nd Annual AWRA Meeting

Working Together for Wisconsin's Water: Balancing Industry, the Environment and Public Health

March 8 - 9, 2018 at Paper Valley Hotel, 333 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

Rooms at the hotel can be reserved by calling 920-733-8000 and ask for the room block "WI AWRA". Room rates are $82 for a single or $105 for a double. Rooms are tax-exempt with proper identification.

On-line Registration form

On-line Group Registration form

The early bird registration rate is available until February 16th. Registration for professionals and students increases to $135 and $70, respectively after the early registration deadline.

Conference Registration Information

Storm Pond


MS-4 eReporting

New features include:

  • submittal of Annual Reports for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits
  • submittal of other permit compliance documents for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits

Benefits of electronic submittal:

  • No mailing costs
  • Ability to track the status of a submitted activity
  • Ability to view all submitted documents online
  • Access to documents 24/7/365 days of the year
  • Secured web site that requires no additional software add-ons
  • Improved data reporting capabilities  

How to access

Water Permit Portal, choose Storm Water:

More information about MS4 permits:

Additional information and resources for MS4 eReporting:

The MS4 eReporting Webinar, recorded on January 10, 2018, has been posted on the Municipal storm water permit eReporting web page under the User Support Tools section. The webinar provided an overview of the new MS4 eReporting system.



2018 Conference Exhibitor Registration is NOW OPEN

Click here for the Exhibitor Application Form and Information


Tuesday, October 16 – Friday, October 19, 2018

Grand Geneva Resort, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI

For information contact Karen at 608.355.3081


Midwest Water/Wastewarter Operators Expo

Feb. 6 & 7   Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI 

Government Affairs Seminar

Feb. 22   Madison Marriott West, Middleton, WI



Targeted Runoff Management Grant Program

The Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) Grant Program offers competitive grants for local governments for the control of pollution that comes from diffuse sources, also called “nonpoint source (NPS)” pollution. Grants from the TRM Program reimburse costs for agricultural or urban runoff management practices in targeted, critical geographic areas with surface water or groundwater quality concerns.

All application materials for projects beginning in 2019 are due April 16, 2018.