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NEWS STORIES

AIS new to WI lakes found in Forest Co.Submitted: 09/03/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - Aquatic Invasive Species experts found an invasive plant new to Wisconsin Lakes. They found it in a lake in Forest County near Armstrong Creek. Now they want you to be on the lookout for Yellow Floating Heart.

The group found two patches of the plant in Lake Gordon. The survey that led them to the lake was part of a five year project by the DNR. They surveyed hundreds of public access lakes statewide.

Yellow Floating Heart looks a lot like a regular lily pad. But a lily pad is smooth around the edges.

"It's a floating leaf plant, actually. And the leaves have wavy, kind of scalloped edges, and the leaves float. They're extremely aggressive. One plant in only twelve weeks can produce over a hundred plants. It grows in shallower water; ten feet or less. It has the potential to take over the entire edges of a lake," says John Preuss, Lumberjack Aquatic Invasives Coordinator.

Yellow Floating Heart is not widespread here. But since it's so aggressive, don't attempt to pull it up yourself.

It's an intensive process the DNR should handle. The patches found on Gordon Lake took nearly seven hours to get rid of. Workers will be going back every week to remove any plants that come back.



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THREE LAKES - Eleven campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest closed this year after the U.S. Forest Service reduced its funding and services.

The cuts happened because fewer people have been visiting the campgrounds in the last few years, but the Three Lakes Town Board will pay to keep one of its grounds open for the 2015 season.

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"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."

Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.

"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."

Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.

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"You would see me breathing deeply," she says, drawing in a lungful of oxygen. "Even now, there's nothing like clean, fresh air."

Liz grew up on this farm, and now owns the place, though she lives in southern Wisconsin. Her father built the majestic cedar-sided barn with her brothers, finishing it in 1944.

"He built this barn as if it would be the last barn he would need to build," Liz says.

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That 14 year old student also said Fitzpatrick had sex with her.

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