By Grant Parkins
We first learned about the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network as we were researching citizen science lake monitoring programs before applying for funding for the LOCSS program. We found out that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was working with citizen scientists across the state to monitor lakes, and that citizen scientists were collecting water quality data as well as lake height data at several lakes. We connected with Wisconsin DNR’s Katie Hein, who helped us think about how we could set up a network of citizen scientists to help us monitor lake heights. Much of the way we have set up our LOCSS program was influenced by what Katie and her team are doing in Wisconsin.
When we learned that we would receive funding to continue our project, we scheduled a trip to Wisconsin to meet with Katie and see first hand how they do things there. One of the highlights of the visit was a side trip to Lake Five in Waukesha County. Lake Five is a 104 acre lake in southeastern Wisconsin that is part of the citizen lake monitoring network. Katie arranged for us to meet with some of the dedicated citizen scientists form the Lake five Advancement Association who provide water quality and lake height data to Wisconsin DNR regularly. We learned a lot about the lake and the changes they have seen through the years living nearby. We learned about their efforts to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species into Lake Five, and about their love for their lake and community. They even gave us a boat tour of the lake.
We learned a lot from Katie and the citizen scientists at Lake Five, and are excited to incorporate what we’ve learned from then. We are also excited to announce that we will partner to begin studying lakes in Wisconsin. So keep an eye on our website as we hope to begin sharing lake height data from Wisconsin lakes in the coming months.