Natural Resources

Seen in Portage county
2:44 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Late Blight A Threat To Potato, Tomato Crops

Credit en.wikipedia.org

Farmers and gardeners are keeping an eye on their potato and tomato crops as a fungal-like disease known as late blight has been discovered in Portage county.

Langlade County Extension Agriculture agent Stephanie Plaster says to date NO late blight has been found there...

".....this disease can kill plants and whole fields in a matter of weeks. It's spread by wind and rain. It really costs the potato farmers and home gardeners a lot of money as it can destroy whole crops...."

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Exploration, Data Gathering Continues
1:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

DNR Approves More Exploratory Drilling in Penokees

Gogebic Taconite can continue with exploratory drilling this summer. 

The DNR has authorized the mining company to drill six additional holes, and approved its request to renew two exploration licenses within a 4-mile area of the Penokee Range.   

The DNR has also granted a stormwater permit so the company can make improvements to an existing road used to access some of the drill sites.

The DNR originally granted the first license in May of last year, and the second one in January.  GTac has already drilled more than 20 holes in the proposed iron mine site area. 

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Warming Up Cold Water Habitat
2:00 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Mixing Experiment Helps Remove Ninety Percent of Invasive Smelt From Crystal Lake

The contraptions used to mix Crystal Lake are called GELIs, short for "Gradual Lake Entrainment Inverters."
Credit Colin Smith / Trout Lake Station

A new way of combating invasive smelt is meeting with mixed success – literally – at the end of a two-year study.  The Crystal Lake Mixing Project was able to get rid of most of the smelt in Crystal Lake…but not all of it.

The mixing project began two years ago at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Trout Lake Station.  Its main goal was to stir up the layers of Crystal Lake, warming the bottom and making it inhospitable for cold-water-loving smelt, which were harming native populations of walleye and yellow perch.

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Year Two Walleye Initiative
3:46 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

DNR Names Lakes Selected For Walleye Stocking

A former walleye fingerling
Credit Oakley Originals-Flickr

The DNR is out with a list of lakes  to be stocked with walleyes from the upgraded walleye stocking program.

Last year, the state funded the Walleye Initiative, designed to breed larger walleye fingerlings. The larger fish are believed to have a higher survivability rate than smaller fish.

DNR northern fisheries supervisor Steve Avelallemant says the public provided input on what bodies of water needed more stocking. The state reviewed the input and now has a listing...

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Keeping Shorelines Wild
11:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Fish Sticks and Half-Submerged Logs: Restoring Woody Shorelines

Fallen trees and branches provide valuable habitat for wildlife.
Credit Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

Oneida County is holding two workshops on the value of maintaining woody habitat along lake shorelines.  

Rosie Page from the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department says fallen trees and branches provide valuable habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife…but that habitat is being greatly reduced. 

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Gathering Data By Night
4:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Citizen Bat Monitors: Turning Up the Volume On Silence

Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The deadly bat disease called white nose syndrome was found in Wisconsin earlier this year.  That’s bad news for bats, but it hasn’t stopped the Department of Natural Resources from investing in bat monitoring efforts.  In fact, biologists say collecting data on bats is more important than ever.  

At nightfall on the end of a pier in Eagle River, DNR Biologist Paul White is standing with his arm outstretched, rubbing his fingers together. 

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Would be first public landing
3:55 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Public Meeting On Adding Public Landing At Mercer Lake Set

A public information meeting is set for July 12 on a DNR proposal for a public landing on state owned land on Mercer Lake about five miles west of Woodruff. Currently there's private resort access to the lake. Public access includes a carry-in location at the Mercer Creek culvert and undeveloped pathways across state land.
Fisheries biologist John Kubisiak says the state owns 54  acres on the lake and they've put together a draft plan to put in a public boat ramp...

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Adults fared better in harsh winter
2:38 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Young Deer Have Highest Winter Mortality

Credit Emery Way, commons.wikimedia.org

Deer in southern Wisconsin fared better after our recent harsh winter than deer in the Northwoods...especially young deer. That assessment from car-deer killed studies and radio-collar studies done by the DNR.

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Black Flies Hinder Reproductive Success
5:43 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Loon Chicks Likely To Number Forty Percent Fewer

Northwoods loons continue to feel the effects of black fly swarms earlier this year.
Credit Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

Loons are still feeling the impact from swarms of black flies that drove most pairs from their nests earlier this year.  There’s likely to be a 40 percent drop in the number of chicks compared to last year.

Thanks to the black flies, more than two thirds of loons in a study abandoned their first attempt at a nest.  Researcher Walter Piper of the Loon Project says even though most have by this time made a second attempt, reproduction is way behind. 

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Four decades of development
5:24 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Hiawatha-Bearskin State Trail Nearing Completion

Bearskin Trail
Credit wi.dnr.gov

A popular state hiking, biking and snowmobile trail in Lincoln and Oneida counties will soon be finished and when that happens, users can go from Tomahawk to Minocqua on the trail.

The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce announced the first phase of the Hiawatha-Bearskin Trail in nearing completion. The 18 mile Bearskin trail was completed in the 1970's and the Hiawatha Trail portion in 1989. The trails use a former railroad bed. There is a six-mile section being completed that will link the two trails  says spokesperson Jim Wise...

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