Program encourages monitoring Wisconsin waterways

Wausau, WIS. (WSAW) -- A program wants to train residents to learn more about Wisconsin’s waterways.

Thanks to much needed repairs on the Wausau Hydroelectric Dam, a 14 foot draw down of the Wisconsin River has begun. Which means it’s the perfect time to identify what’s really going on below the water.

To explain how the public can get involved, Chris Hamerla Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. joined Sunrise 7 Tuesday morning.

On Saturday, June 1 The Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory (ATRI), a program within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is inviting members of the public to join training session to learn about native and invasive freshwater mussels of the Wisconsin River, while relocating stranded native mussels back into the water.

The goal is to monitor for the presence of mussels, return live mussels to deeper water and collect dead mussel shells that will be sorted and identified back at Gilbert Park. The information collected during this event will be reported to the DNR to improve records of species and locations as well as the presences or absence of any invasive species.
Shore access may be limited so people with canoes or kayaks will want to bring them.

According to the Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program over half of Wisconsin's 52 native mussel species (also known as clams) are listed as species of greatest conservation need or need information on where they currently occur.

The ID and monitoring training will be held at the Marathon Co Planning and Zoning building, 210 River Drive, from 9 - 11 am. The field monitoring will be from 11 - 1 pm. People should register through http://wiatri.net/inventory/mussels/calendar.cfm and click on the June 1st event. The training is limited to 20 people.