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.
MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee has adopted Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 80 positions within the state Department of Natural Resources, including more than half of the researchers in the agency's science bureau.
WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.
"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.
MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.
"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."
VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.
"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."
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