Central Wisconsin Basin Water Monitoring Groups

Central Wisconsin Monitoring Network

This group began in 2006. The Friends of Mill Creek are part of this monitoring effort which now exists across several counties in central WI. Kris Tiles is the coordinator of the Basinwide effort.

D.C. Everest High School

This group began monitoring under the direction of teach Ernie Luedke in 2004 with the Wisconsin Rivers Educators Network. They monitor primarily to integrate basic biology concepts with stream ecology. About 20 students monitor three sites on the Plover, Eau Claire and Wisconsin Rivers. The Eau Claire River flows through the center of the D.C. Everest District and joins the Wisconsin River on the western edge of the district. The Plover River flows along the eastern edge of the D.C. Everest district and joins the Wisconsin River to the south of the district in Stevens Point. The students compare the water quality of the Plover River to that of the Eau Claire and Wisconsin Rivers. They also look at historical (1970s) data and compare results to today. The ultimate goal of the project is to help the students realize that they have an impact on local water quality and it is the choices they make that determines if the impact is positive or negative. They monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, transparency, habitat, biotic index, pH, nitrates and ammonium once a year.

Friends of Mill Creek

This group began monitoring Mill Creek in 2004. They monitor numerous sites along Mill Creek in Wood and Portage Counties. They monitor WAV parameters except they generally use dissolved oxygen meters to record D.O. and temperature. Data are stored in the online database. Contact Amy Thorstensen to learn more about the effort.

Groundwater Guardians, Rudolph Elementary School (Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools)

This project was initiated in 2004 to provide the community a service by sharing their quality data for Mill Creek with the area, to learn more about their local water resource and how they can better manage it, and to offer provide an extracurricular leadership opportunity for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. Twice a year, seven people monitor one site on Mill Creek in Wood County. They have monitored Lake Nepco in Wisconsin Rapids and Lake Ell in Amherst in the past. This year the students created graphs for the data collected from the last three years. They videotaped one site visit, the students working on the computers, and their explanations and conclusions for their finished product. This was burned on a DVD. It was played on the Wisconsin Rapids Public Access station for others to learn about their study. Teacher Matt Renwick coordinates the students' efforts.

Port Edwards Middle School

Port Edwards Middle School has been monitoring streams since 1994. They have been monitoring with current teacher Kristi Hawk since 1998. The middle school students travel out to their school forest twice a year. The 7th graders go in the spring and the 8th graders in the fall. Their field measurements are integrated into a grade 8 fall unit about groundwater. They use the WDNR publications to learn the background information and incorporate the SEPUP simulation of “Fruitvale” to learn the impact of contaminated groundwater, and finally test their local watershed. Eighty students participate in the program, 40 on each field trip. They monitor eight locations at one field site on Moccasin Creek, a tributary to the Wisconsin River near Port Edwards. At those sites, they monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, turbidity (using a Secchi disc), habitat, biotic index, pH, and carbon dioxide using primarily WAV methods.

SPASH Biology - Little Plover River (LPR) Project

The LPR Project was started in 1992 by Vic Akemann and his Stevens Point Area High School (SPASH) students in conjunction with the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, UWSP Fisheries Society, and the original Wisconsin River Education Network (WREN). The goal of this lab/study is to give students the tools to understand the importance of clean waters and reinforce the life sustaining qualities of water. Understanding the health of this River system helps students form a connection for relating chemistry to biology and the interplay of the physical aspects of the system. A component of the project has used a Water Quality Monitoring conference to share environmental monitoring data collected during the days on the river among WREN student participants at regionally dispersed sites. Mr. Akemann’s Biology students take part in this ongoing water quality study of the Little Plover River (LPR) Watershed every spring. The study area includes sample and observation sites beginning at Kennedy Road and ending at Springville Pond. This project is a cooperative venture between the Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, UWSP Fisheries Society, Wisconsin River Education Network (WREN), Mr. Akemann’s Bio Students at SPASH, and selected SPASH students. Initially they monitored 3 sites and in 2007 are monitoring 5 sites on the Little Plover River. Twice a year they monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, transparency, habitat, biotic index, pH, nitrates, total phosphate, BOD, total solids, total dissolved solids, and fecal coliform using WREN protocols. Their efforts are coordinated by teacher Vic Akemann.

Wausau West High School

Teacher Carla Gerstenberger and other teaches at Wausau West High School take their freshmen students out once a year to the Wausau School Forest where they monitor three sites on Black Creek, a tributary to the Wisconsin River. They use WAV methods to monitor monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, transparency, habitat, and biotic index. They team up with the American Water Resources Association student chapter from UW-Stevens Point to instruct the students to do the monitoring. The data are stored in the WAV online database. Search by Marathon County or Black Creek, Site A, B or C.

Wisconsin Federation of Fly Fishers

The Wisconsin Federation of Fly Fishers began monitoring in 2004. Their main goal is to assess the quality of local stream habitats. Six people began monitoring with the group. In 2007, four people continue to monitor with the group. Twice a year, or every other month, (depending on the individual monitors) they monitor temperature, dissolved oxygen, stream flow, habitat, transparency, and biotic index using WAV methods. They also monitor specific conductivity. They monitor in numerous Basin and counties across the state including: Central Wisconsin Basin, Adams County, Parsons Creek; Lower Wisconsin Basin, Dane County, Black Earth Creek at Olson Road; Fox Basin, Fond du Lac County, Campground Creek; and Headwaters Basin, Price County, Fould’s Creek. Their data are stored in the WAV online database. Search by stream name or county. Their coordinator is Phil Emmling.

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