During the month of June, 62 volunteers came out to trainings across southern Wisconsin as part of River Alliance of Wisconsin’s Rock River Snapshot Initiative. Aiming to locate populations of aquatic invasive species on the Rock River and other streams that flow into it, this initiative trained volunteers to identify invasive species and encouraged them to search local stream sites. As of now, 52 locations in six cities have been searched, and more data is still expected to come in. Streams searched included the Yahara River in Dane County, Rubicon River in Washington County, Spring Brook in Rock County and Turtle Creek in Rock and Walworth Counties.
Species searched for included escaped or intentionally released water garden and aquarium species. Curly leaf pond weed, brought into the US in the mid-1800s, was the most common species found. Other species found included rusty crayfish, purple loosestrife, and Japanese knotweed. County and state resource managers will use the data collected during this event to determine future monitoring and species control needs.
Trainings for this event were held in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Rock River Coalition, Welty Environmental Center, and Jefferson, Washington, and Waukesha Land and Water Conservation Departments. Our thanks to the Alliant Energy Foundation for sponsoring this event through their Community Grants program.