Lincoln and Oneida County residents invited to help search local waters for invasive species during snapshot day, August 20, 2022
BY TOM BOISVERT,
Conservation Program Manager
Water lovers of all ages are invited to join both the Lincoln and Oneida County Aquatic Invasive
Species (AIS) Teams, to search for AIS during the statewide AIS Snapshot Day. The event will be
held on Saturday, August 20 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, at Wayside Park in Tomahawk. Wayside
Park is located at the intersection of Hwy 8 and Hwy A. This fun, hands-on citizen science event
relies on volunteers to help search designated shoreline sites along lakes, rivers, and streams
for signs of non-native plants and animals that pose risks to Wisconsin waterways. Potential AIS
will be verified and cataloged with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to guide
species removal and conservation plans.
Coordinated in partnership by Water Action Volunteers (WAV), UW-Madison Division of
Extension, River Alliance of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and local
partners, Snapshot Day is entering its 9th successful year. This is the first year that Oneida and
Lincoln Counties have co-hosted an event, and they join a larger network of over 20
conservation organizations helping to prevent the spread of invasive species across Wisconsin.
The volunteers are the key to a successful AIS Snapshot Day!
On AIS Snapshot Day, participants will meet at 8:30 am for a brief training provided by local
Snapshot Day co-hosts, Stephanie Boismenue, Oneida County AIS Coordinator, and Tom
Boisvert, Lincoln County Conservation Program Manager. After training, teams will head to
nearby lakes and rivers to monitor the shorelines for previously undocumented AIS, collect
suspected specimens, and then return to Wayside Park to review findings and share their
experiences. There are 15 monitoring sites located within the Oneida County Townships of
Little Rice, Nokomis, and Woodboro and 9 sites located within the Lincoln County Townships of
Bradley, Somo, and Skanawan. Volunteers can monitor at their own comfort level – from the
shore with binoculars and rakes or wade in shallow water to get a better look.
“AIS Snapshot Day is a fun way for citizens to learn about the lakes, rivers, streams, and
wetlands they love and help protect those waters from invasive plants and animals that
negatively impact aquatic habitats, wildlife, fisheries, recreational opportunities, shoreline
property values, the economy, and human health,” explained Stephanie Boismenue.
“With 729 lakes and 688 miles of stream in Lincoln County, and 1,130 lakes and 830 miles of
streams in Oneida County, some of which are in both counties, these waters are,
unquestionably, the foundation of our lifestyle and economy! During Snapshot Day, not only
are the volunteers spending a Saturday morning having fun searching for AIS and exploring local
waters, they are also helping to protect our precious water resources now, and for future
generations” Boismenue continued.
Snapshot Day has proven to be a successful way to discover previously undocumented AIS
occurrences. In 2021, twenty-two events around the state welcomed 105 participants who
monitored 128 sites for AIS. Volunteers found 103 reports of 17 different species of aquatic
invaders, including 24 new populations reported. The top three most common reports were of
purple loosestrife, Eurasian watermilfoil and curly leaf pondweed.
Snapshot Day is free, and no experience is necessary. The event is recommended for ages 8 and
up, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is requested to help
Site Leaders build monitoring plans, but will remain open until August 14th. To register and see
event details, please visit the Water Action Volunteers website at:
This year, the event will continue to have precautions put in place to ensure the event is safe
for everyone who would like to participate. We ask all non-vaccinated volunteers to practice
social distancing and wear a mask. Coordination of this event is made possible with generous
support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources through an Aquatic Invasive
Species Education, Planning and Prevention grant.