The nation’s top advisor on efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp will speak at the annual Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention April 10-12 in Green Bay.
Asian Carp Director John Goss of the White House Council on Environmental Quality will talk about the administration’s recently released 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. That plan outlines 58 action items and more than $50 million in investments to keep Asian carp from establishing self-sustaining populations in the Great Lakes. Goss also will provide an update on actions to prevent the invasive fish from entering the Great Lakes (exit DNR).
“Asian carp in the Mississippi and some of its tributaries represent the single biggest threat to the fisheries and ecologic balance we now enjoy in Wisconsin inland waters,” says Paul Schumacher, a board member of Wisconsin Lakes, a nonprofit statewide lakes group that is co-sponsoring the conference along with the Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin-Extension.
“We’re very pleased to have Mr. Goss come to Wisconsin to update us on the actions underway and those planned to prevent Asian carp from entering our waters,” Schumacher said.
Several species of Asian carp, voracious eaters that compete for the same food as young fish and other aquatic life, have on occasion been found in Wisconsin waters (pdf) of the Mississippi River and Asian carp environmental DNA has been found above the electric dispersal barriers in Lake Calumet, seven miles from Lake Michigan on the Indiana-Illinois border.
Lakes convention speakers include John McKnight, an internationally renowned community development expert with Northwestern University, and Darby Nelson, author of 2011 book, “For Love of Lakes,” that some reviewers have hailed as the lakes counterpart to Aldo Leopold’s classic, “Sand County Almanac.” Nelson, a former Minnesota lawmaker and professor, is a 2012 Minnesota Book Awards nominee in the category of Memoir and Creative Nonfiction.
Convention attendees also will hear from DNR Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney, Wisconsin Wildlife Executive Director George Meyer, Lisa Conley, a long-time lake advocate and former president of the North American Lake Management Society, and State Assembly Rep. Cory Mason.
“These speakers will not only talk about our love affair with lakes, but they will also help us understand our roles as individuals and community members in protecting and restoring lakes,” says Eric Olson, who leads the UW Cooperative Extension effort for lakes education.
The convention, set for the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay, is one of the nation’s largest gatherings of lake enthusiasts. It is sponsored by the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, comprised of DNR, Wisconsin Lakes, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The event’s 2012 theme, “Partnering for Lakes,” focuses on how different groups can join together to better care for Wisconsin’s 15,000-plus lakes, Olson says.
People can attend all three days of the conference or select one or two days to attend, Olson says. In-depth workshops will cover subjects ranging from the basics of running a lake organization to aquatic plant identification methods. Participants can also take part in more than 40 concurrent sessions about topics including shoreland restoration, algae, climate change, and invasive species.
For more information on the convention or to register, go to www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes/conventions or contact UW-Extension Lakes at (715) 346-2116.