Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership


2016 Concurrent Sessions


Friday Afternoon, 1:45 - 3:15 PM

Natural Shoreline Design Challenges

This session will focus on two natural shoreline design challenges: ice and high energy on big lakes.  This presentation will explore the forces acting on the shoreline and how ice plays into that.  Then what the difficulties working with ice are and high energy shorelines, the techniques that do and don’t work and examples for each. Speakers: Brian Majka, GEI Consultants, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); and Jennifer Buchanan Gelb, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Natural Shorelines and Ice - Brian Majka
Natural Shoreline Design Challenges - Jennifer Buchanan Gelb

Communication and Networking

(1:45)  Networked Lake Science: Challenges and Opportunities of Global Collaboration

Many of the 500+ members of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) work in close partnership with local lake associations and citizen science volunteers to leverage GLEON’s three networks: lakes, data, and people. Many GLEON research sites rely on local citizen partners for sample collection and maintenance of data buoys. Likewise, lake managers and citizen scientists recognize the value of sharing and interpreting high-resolution data and are eager to participate in the broader GLEON network. GLEON is working to bring research questions and data about lakes into the public sphere. Further, GLEON members are developing tools, such as a mobile app (Lake Observer), to create opportunities for citizens to participate in scientific research. Partnerships between volunteers and researchers have advanced science about, for example, the impact of large storm events on lakes and their watersheds and the impact of cyanobacterial blooms within lakes that are public water supplies. Case Studies from Lake Sunapee (New Hampshire), Lake Auburn (Maine), and Lake Lillinonah (Connecticut) demonstrate how citizens contribute to the formulation of new research questions as well as how research scientists embrace citizen science to help understand, predict, and communicate the role and response of lakes in a changing global environment. Speaker: Kathleen C. Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

(2:15) The Great Lakes Clean Communities Network: Connect to Protect

The Great Lakes Clean Communities Network (GLCCN), funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, is a multi-faceted online program to connect people and organizations interested in addressing environmental problems.  The GLCCN hosts a variety of online tools, datasets, and models that help prioritize and maximize resources to address water quality concerns such as climate change, aquatic invasive species, and nutrient and manure management. It offers users the opportunity to share ideas, create groups, explore multiple tools to address environmental issues, and share success stories.  It also helps communities track progress toward meeting their goals of reducing pollution and gauging environmental health through its Ecological Scorecard.   Through collaboration and dynamic networking, watershed groups, sustainability managers, environmental organizations, local governments, lake associations, universities and others are able to generate new ideas and approaches for managing and minimizing a variety of impacts that affect their community.  This session will showcase the various components of the system, including the ecological scorecard, and help users create groups for sharing resources and information. Speakers: Lois Wolfson, Michigan State University, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)Laura Young, Michigan State University, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Great Lakes Clean Communities Network: Connect to Protect - Lois Wolfson and Laura Young

(2:45) New Online Lake Learning at Your Own Pace

In Fall 2015, Michigan State University Extension launched the educational six-week Introduction to Lakes Online certificate course, designed for lakefront property owners, lake association and improvement board members, local government officials, natural resource professionals, educators, and certified aquatic pesticide applicators to build their knowledge about lake ecology and management. Participants are given 24/7 access to course materials that they complete in the comfort of their own home/office. The course is divided into the following six units which open up a week at a time: (1) lake ecology; (2) lakes and their watersheds; (3) lakes and their shorelines; (4) Michigan water law; (5) aquatic plant management; and (6) citizen involvement in lake stewardship. Each unit includes video lectures, discussion forums, online activities, links to additional resources, and quizzes. Three live chat sessions are included during the course, offering participants the opportunity to ask questions. The course curriculum encourages participants to communicate with and learn from fellow classmates but also from course instructors, enriching the learning experience.  During the first run, 97 individuals from 39 different Michigan counties and three additional states participated, with 62% indicated they lived on a lake. Participants indicated multiple reasons for taking the course including: to gain knowledge about inland lakes and how to best manage them; to learn more about lake management and things to do as a community to support a healthy lake; to bring some scientific rigor to the governance decisions made about lakes; to learn more about lake management and regulation; and to better understand some of the environmental and ecological issues within lakes.In this session, a course overview, evaluation summary from the Fall 2015 course and upcoming changes planned, and ways this course can build knowledge and capacity of individuals who steward and manage inland lakes will be discussed. Speakers: Paige Filice, Michigan State University and Clinton Conservation District, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); and Bindu Bhakta, Michigan State University Extension, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Online Lake Learning at Your Own Pace - Paige Filice and Bindu Bhakta

Water Quality Trends in Michigan Lakes

The first Michigan Inland Lakes Water Quality Forum was held at the 51st Annual Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Conference in 2012.  This session is an update to the 2012 Forum reporting on new findings and developments from Michigan’s lake monitoring and assessment programs. 


41 Years of the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program: Trends in Trophic StatusDr. Paul Steen, Huron River Watershed Council, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Estimating Michigan’s Trophic State Trends with Satellite Imagery and USGS Recent Inland Lake StudiesLori Fuller, USGS-Michigan Water Science Center, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Water Quality Trends in Inland Lakes Based on Contaminant Levels in FishJoe Bohr, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

E. coli Testing

E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. The presence of E. coli in water is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal waste contamination.  Although most strains of E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, E. coli 0157 H7 produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness. As E. coli comes from human and animal wastes, during rainfalls, snow melts, or other types of precipitation, E. coli may be washed into creeks, rivers, streams, lakes, or ground water. Speaker: Randy Cook, Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Communicating Through Conflict

Dealing with conflict-prone situations is something we all face in our everyday lives. We tend to want to jump to solutions quickly to get past the conflict, but that hastiness may not lead to the best outcome. How can we reach agreement with someone in a mutually satisfying way? This session will give participants a chance to learn about and discuss various conflict modes, and practice techniques that will promote mutual understanding and constructive solutions. Speaker: Dr. Georgia Peterson, Michigan State University Extension, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Communication and Conflict - Georgia Peterson and Rebecca Rogers

Friday Afternoon, 3:45 - 5:15 PM

Climate Change

(3:45) Global records of lake surface temperature reveal a century of warming

Recent studies have shown significant warming of inland water bodies throughout the world. To better understand the patterns, mechanisms, and ecological implications of global lake warming, an initiative known as the “Global Lake Temperature Collaboration” (GLTC) was started in 2010, with the objective of compiling and analyzing lake temperature data from numerous field- and satellite-based records dating back at least 20-30 years. The GLTC project has now assembled data from over 300 lakes, with some records extending back more than 100 years. Here, we present an analysis of the long-term warming trends, interdecadal variability, and a direct comparison between field-based and remotely sensed summer lake surface temperatures from 1895-2009. The results show consistent trends of lake surface warming across most but not all sites. A few “hotspots” of warming are identified around the globe, including the Laurentian Great Lakes. Some lakes with especially long records show accelerated warming in the most recent two to three decades. Almost half of the world’s lake surfaces are warming at rates in excess of 0.5 °C per decade during the period 1985-2009, and a few even exceed 1.0 °C per decade. Speaker: John Lenters, LimnoTech, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Global Records of Lake Surface Temperature Reveal a Century of Warming - John Lenters

 (4:30) Past and Projected Future Climatic Trends in the Great Lakes Region

Climate in Michigan and the Great Lakes region has varied markedly during past centuries and millennia as evidenced by a number of paleoclimatological records. Major trends across the state since the beginning of the 20th century include warming temperatures from approximately 1900 to 1940, followed by a cooling trend from the early 1940’s to the late 1970’s which was in turn followed by a second warming trend that began around 1980 and has continued to the present.  Much of the warming trend during the past 2-3 decades has been associated with warmer minimum temperatures during the winter and spring seasons. Another important trend regionally has been an increase of precipitation since approximately 1940 (approximately 10-15% on an annual basis as of the end of 2015), both due to more days with precipitation and more heavy precipitation events. Virtually all projections of climatic trends for the region during the remainder of the current century suggest warmer temperatures in the future, largely in response to increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The majority of the projections also suggest greater annual precipitation totals with time, although there are seasonal differences, with most increases expected to occur during cold season months. Just as importantly, many future projections also suggest changes in the timing and frequency of precipitation and that precipitation may become more erratic in the future, with both more heavy/extreme events and extended dry periods. Speaker: William (B.J.) Baule, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessments (GLISA), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Presentation: Historical and Projected Future Climate Changes in the Great Lakes Region - B.J. Baule

Aquatic Invasive Species Management Funding lssues

Achieving Sustainable and Equitable Aquatic Invasive Species Management Funding for Michigan’s Inland Lake Communities

The vast number of inland lakes within Michigan hosting one or more aquatic invasive species presents an enormous natural resources management challenge. Yet more than sixty years following the first introductions of invasive species within the inland waters of Michigan, our state legislature has failed to enact either adequate levels of funding or a fair and equitable public funding mechanism designed to provide sustainable resources with which to effectively manage aquatic invasive species. As a direct consequence of this significant public policy failure, lakefront property owners living within hundreds of Michigan’s inland lake communities have assumed an unfair and unsustainable proportion of the burden for the cost of aquatic invasive plant and animal management. This ninety minute session will provide attendees with an overview of the scope and significance of current aquatic invasive species management funding related issues, explore the means and adequacy of aquatic invasive species management funding in surrounding Great Lakes states and discuss potential ways and means for achieving fair, equitable and adequate funding for aquatic invasive species management in Michigan. Speakers: Michigan Lake and Stream Association members Lon Nordeen, Paul Sniadecki and Dr. Ed Mahoney.


Achieving Sustainable, Equitable Aquatic Invasive Species Management - Lon Nordeen
Finding Funds to Deal with Aquatic Invasive Species - Paul Sniadecki
Cooperative Stewardship of Inland Lakes - the Need for a New Paradigm - Ed Mahoney

Lakes, Fish, and Underwater Exploration

(3:45) Effects of habitat and spring fishing on nesting largemouth and smallmouth bass 

Each year during May and June, largemouth and smallmouth bass (Micropterus salmoides and M. dolomieu, respectively) reproduce in shallow littoral areas of many Michigan lakes. In these nesting species, males build nests, and after eggs are deposited by one or more females, the nesting male protects the eggs and larvae from predators. During the nesting period, as males aggressively defend their offspring, this behavior yields them particularly vulnerable to angling. Fishing for nesting bass is a popular activity among anglers, but the activity is not without controversy. While negative effects of angling on individual bass nests are well documented, it is uncertain if angling negatively influences black bass populations as a whole. Similarly, whereas nesting bass demonstrate preferences for particular habitat features when choosing nest sites, the effects of lake shoreline modification on reproductive success of bass populations is not well studied. Over the past several years, my lab, working with Dr. Kim Scribner at MSU and Fisheries Division, MDNR, has been combining field observations of nesting bass with genetic analysis of bass offspring to study the reproductive dynamics of bass populations in several Michigan lakes. I will present highlights from our research, which has focused on determining whether variation in the number of surviving offspring (captured in late summer) contributed by individual bass nests can be explained by habitat features at the nest site, level of fishing experienced by the nesting male, and/or behavioral attributes of the nesting male. In addition, I’ll summarize findings from recently published research on bass populations to provide a synthetic overview of our growing understanding of the effects of habitat and spring fishing on largemouth and smallmouth bass populations. Speaker: Dr. Mary Tate Bremigan, Michigan State University, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Effects of Habitat and Spring Fishing on Nesting Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass - Mary Tate Bremigan

(4:15) Underwater Robotics: Exploring the Submarine Environment

Currently little opportunity exists for applied science and engineering projects in the marine environment, especially at the high school level.  Construction of a low cost Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) provides the platform to apply many of the topics covered in a general K-12 STEM curriculum.  This presentation will provide an overview of the project (now in its 10th year), short video clips, visual demonstrations, resources and its potential use as an investigative tool in the aquatic environment.  It is the vision of this project to create the opportunity for students to put science and other STEM concepts into practice. Speakers: Keith F. Forton, Traverse City Central Senior High, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); Karl Klimek, Square One Education Network, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); and Norton Bretz, Three Lakes Association, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Underwater Robotics: Exploring the Submarine Environment - Keith Forton

Natural Shorelines for Property Owners

This session will focus on changing the story of inland lakeshore living by discussing the importance of natural shorelines and helping property owners to understand the basics of what is happening at the lakeshore due to human caused changes.  This will then lead into the newly developed MI Shoreland Stewards Program to provide recognition to those property owners who are actively protecting their lake through their actions. Speaker: Julia Kirkwood, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Elijah Baker, Americorps, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Presentation: The Natural Way: Shorelines and Stewards - Julia Kirkwood

Water Quality Trends in Michigan Lakes (continues)

Session continues from above.


Assessing Statewide and Regional Lake Conditions in Michigan: Key Findings from the 2012 National Lakes Assessment SurveyMike Walterhouse, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Are Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) a Problem in Michigan’s Inland Lakes? 2015 Michigan Inland Lakes HABs Survey ResultsSarah Holden, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Saturday morning, 8:30 - 10:00 AM

Aquatic Invasive Species

Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Watch List – Overview and Updates

This session will give an overview of Michigan’s invasive species watch list including background on how the watch list was created, why particular species are included, general identification and biology for aquatic invasive species on the list and instructions for reporting. Additionally, presentations will include updates on the latest detections of aquatic invasive watch list species in Michigan.

 (8:30) An Overview of Michigan’s Watch List for Aquatic Invasive Species

The Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality, Agricultural and Rural Development, and Natural Resources developed a list of invasive species that are significant threats to the state’s ecology and economy. These species have either never been found in Michigan or have a very limited distribution. This “Watch List” relies heavily on the assistance of stakeholders to detect and report the species before they become established, which is crucial to reduce both their spread and impacts to the state’s resources.  Information about the aquatic watch list species will be provided, including the characteristics which can be used for identification and instructions for reporting. Speaker: Christina Baugher, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Watch List - Christina Baugher

(9:00) Aquatic Invasive Species in Michigan: An Update on Non-Plant New Detections

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) can have negligible impacts on aquatic environments, with some species posing more of a threat than others.  Recently new detections of Watch List AIS have been discovered in Michigan waters including New Zealand Mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) and Didymo (Didymosphenia geminate). Efforts are underway to better understand the nature and extent of the new invasions. Initial monitoring suggests New Zealand mudsnails exist throughout the Pere Marquette River in varied concentrations. A Didymo bloom was documented in the St. Marys River in 2015 primarily in the St Marys Rapids area. Plans are underway to continue monitoring and better understand factors influencing Didymo blooms. In both new invasion cases, the infested areas were popular recreation destinations further enforcing the importance for ensuring all equipment is clean before entering a waterway. Outreach and education efforts will be vital to preventing further spread of AIS and new introductions. Speaker: William Keiper, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: AIS in Michigan: An Update on New Detections - William Keiper

(9:30) Aquatic Invasive Species in Michigan: An Update on New Aquatic Invasive Plant Detections

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division has confirmed the first known occurrences of the following invasive aquatic plant species in Michigan waters over the last 2 years: yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), European water clover (Marsilea quadrifolia). Following verification and initial site assessments, Wildlife Division staff have been working with Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Core Team to increase understanding of these invasions as well as to monitor and develop responses where feasible. Speaker: Kile Kucher, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Update on New Aquatic Invasive Plant Detections & Responses - Kile Kucher

Riparian Rights and Water Law

Open question and answer session with renowned Grand Rapids attorney Clifford H. Bloom, Esq., Bloom Sluggett Morgan Law, P.C.

Presentation: Buying and Selling Waterfront Property - Clifford Bloom

Current Research on Michigan Lakes

(8:30) Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa): Research Efforts towards an Integrated Management Plan 

Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa; SSW) is of widespread interest and concern among water resource managers in the United States. It has been actively managed in Michigan for several years, but has been identified in an increasing number of lakes in the northeastern and Midwestern United States. Concern over its potential for spread and impact is high, and is exacerbated by an apparent absence of effective control tools and the very limited knowledge of its basic biology. Our team has undertaken a field-based experimental approach to optimize herbicide control and test the efficacy of biodegradable benthic barriers in controlling SSW. The goal of this project is to develop an integrated, adaptive weed management plan that will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms behind successful and failed herbicide treatments, and provide additional treatment options and improved best management practices. In summer of 2015, SSW-dominated zones in Gun Lake (Barry/Allegan Co) were identified, and experimental control and treatment sites were selected. Site characteristics were measured, and plant communities and SSW abundance were quantified before and after at both herbicide treatments and benthic mat deployments sites. Preliminary results of herbicide treatment monitoring indicate both chelated copper and copper sulfate with Endothall treatment plots had an initial decrease of SSW mat height over 3 week period; this coincided with a decrease of SSW in control plots. Three natural fiber benthic barriers of varying thickness were deployed in two different vegetation zones (one with Starry Stonewort monoculture, and another with a more diverse plant community). No new plant growth was noted on the mats two weeks after deployment. We will present preliminary results, discuss on-going research efforts, and propose some actionable items to consolidate and disseminate current knowledge of SSW and build on on-going efforts to form a SSW working group. Speaker: Dr. Anna Kirsten Monfils, Central Michigan University, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa): Research Efforts Towards an Integrated Management Plan - Ann Monfils

(9:00) Tile Drains as a Source of Bioavailable Phosphorus in the Macatawa Watershed

Within the US Midwest, excess phosphorus (P) has been associated with eutrophication of freshwater ecosystems. Lake Macatawa, a hypereutrophic, drowned river mouth lake at Holland, MI, is subject to algal blooms. A recent study found that high levels of total phosphorus (TP) originate in the outer sub-basins of the Macatawa Watershed, which are dominated by row crop agriculture. However, further research is needed at the individual field level to understand the influence of bioavailable P originating from tile drains. The objectives of my project are to 1) sample tile drain effluent monthly to assess its importance as a source of P in the watershed; 2) use bioassays to determine the effect of tile drain P on algal growth and community structure; and 3) investigate the seasonal changes in tile drain P concentrations. During March - September 2015 sampling dates, tile drain TP concentrations ranged from 10- 345 µg/L and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) ranged from 5-265 µg/L. An April bioassay using Selenastrum in 0.2-µm filtered tile drain water showed a significant positive relationship between SRP concentration and algal biomass (R2=0.54; p<0.05). A similar bioassay replacing Selenastrum with phytoplankton collected from Lake Macatawa showed a nonsignificant inverse relationship between SRP concentration and algal biomass (R2= -0.27; p>0.05). Preliminary results also indicate a drastic change in the phytoplankton community structure when incubated in tile drain water. The bioassays were repeated in July and October 2015, and tile drain sampling will continue until February 2016. The results will inform an ongoing 10-year restoration project in the Macatawa Watershed, and will be transferable to other agricultural-dominated watersheds in the Great Lakes basin. Speaker: Delilah Clement, Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Presentation: Does Phosphorus from Agricultural Tile Drains Fuel Algal Blooms? - Delilah Clement

(9:30) Lake Levels—How Ups and Downs Affect Everything We Littorians Do With Our Lakes

Confucius say: “Man who have water on brain, have lake in mind.”  Watching the level of a lake rise and fall may seem boring – like watching grass grow, or paint dry.  Dynamically changing lake levels, however, affect shoreline and open water:  water quality and quantity; animal and plant life; recreational uses, property values, and environmental conditions.  Back in 1028, King Canute of England commanded the tide to refrain from coming in and wetting his royal person to no avail.  Some littorians, like present-day nay-sayers who don’t believe in climate change and rising sea levels, remain unconcerned about water levels until confronted with rising water during floods or falling water during droughts.  Water level - high or low?  High enough to float a boat?  Low enough to prevent erosion?  Seldom “just right”!  Lake level remains the single most controversial issue of littorians.  What is too high for one may be too low for another.  In times past, there was little concern about surveying “natural” (presettlement) lake levels.  Too much, or too little water, sought its own level.  As settlements grew around bodies of water, needs developed for engineered structures to control water flows and improve rivers, lakes, and harbors.  Early needs were dams for water power for grist and saw mills, drains for farm lands, and canals for transportation.  Other engineered structures evolved to control floods, drain and irrigate land, and store and supply drinking water. Both natural and manmade events can cause changes in lake levels.  Some projects were often done without regard for environmental impacts.  The challenge of determining lake levels in the past has become one of determining what they should be in the future.  We cannot “turn back the tide”, but we can “mind” our lakes by observing and assessing their levels for successful protection and management. Speaker: Dr. Stacy Leroy Daniels, Crystal Lake & Watershed Association, Frankfort, MI, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Lake Levels - How Ups and Downs Affect Everything We Littorians Do With Our Lakes - Stacy Daniels

Septic Systems

A Statewide and Local Perspective on Onsite Septic Systems: Special Considerations for Lakes, Essential Maintenance and Alternative Treatment Options

Michigan is been blessed with a brilliant and diverse set of water resources. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) estimates that more than 10% of the state’s 1.4 million septic systems are failing. Unfortunately, Michigan is the only state in the country without a statewide sanitary septic code. As a result, local health departments are responsible for developing and enforcing the wide variety of regulations and ordinances which have been put into place in communities across the state. The current reality of single family onsite systems is that they are permanent solutions to wastewater treatment and require maintenance. Given that there are thousands of individuals who live on or near some type of water body in the state and are serviced by a septic system, special considerations must be given to the treatment of wastewater in environmentally sensitive areas such as inland lakes, and the potential impact on the health of families and lakes.  This session provides an overview of the new paradigm of wastewater management in Michigan, potential water quality and environmental health concerns that may result from commonly found onsite systems in riparian areas, septic system basics (what an onsite system is, how it works, where it’s located), and maintenance basics (tips to ensure adequate treatment of wastewater and prolong the longevity of a system including ways to conserve water and how to identify problems). A discussion of options for correcting issues including what can be done when a system fails, available alternative treatment technologies that can be used in environmentally sensitive areas, and the viability of a sewer system as a long-term solution will also be addressed. Finally, key behavior change findings from MSU Extension homeowner septic system educational programs will be presented to give insight into how septic systems can be managed in the future. Speakers: Bindu Bhakta, Michigan State University Extension, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); Terry Gibb, MSU Extension, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)Laura Pobanz, Macomb County Environmental Health Department, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); and Ted Loudon, Michigan State University (retired)

Presentation: A Statewide and Local Perspective on Onsite Septic Systems - B. Bhakta, T. Gibb, T. Loudon, and L. Pobanz

Lake Management

(8:30) Lake Observer: A Mobile App for Recording Lake and Water Quality Observations Across the Globe

Mobile apps for data entry and display are rapidly gaining ground as effective tools for collection and display of scientific data. The Lake Observer app began in 2010 as a partnership among computer scientists, ecologists, and citizen scientists working with the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON). Project partners were interested in developing a tool that allows for easy submission of geo-referenced data using a smartphone or tablet. A mobile app was developed that allows users to record and submit data on weather, water quality, ice cover, and aquatic vegetation while working in the field. A pilot version of the app was tested for three field seasons on lakes in the northeastern US. Testing revealed how understanding of cyanobacteria blooms, for example, could be enhanced with greater spatial and temporal coverage possible through crowdsourcing data. In 2014, GLEON teamed up with USGS and ESRI, as part of the White House Climate Data Initiative, to further develop the app and create a crowdsourcing platform that will facilitate the collection and sharing of lake- and water-related information across the globe. In 2015, GLEON also teamed up with NALMS and USEPA to test Lake Observer for use in the annual Secchi Dip-in events and to make data publicly available through the EPA Storet database. Preliminary results of testing will be shared along with a demonstration of the app’s main features. Speaker: Lisa Borre, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Lake Observer: A Mobile App for Recording Lake and Water Quality Observations Across the Globe - Lisa Borre

(9:00) Aeration’s Effect on Algae: a Review of Success and Failures

Bottom aeration is a restoration tool commonly used for improving multiple aspects of lake health, including the occurrence of algal blooms and the quality of algal assemblages.  The intense mixing brought about by artificially aerating a lake can affect an algal community by: (i) increasing dissolved oxygen concentrations and changing the lake’s water chemistry (pH, carbon dioxide and alkalinity), which can lead to a more desirable shift in an algal community; (ii) reducing levels of internal nutrient cycling within a lake, which reduces the large amount of nutrients used to sustain algal blooms; (iii) decreasing the amount of solar energy available for photosynthesis; (iv) favoring algal species that tend to sink quickly and need mixing currents to remain suspended in the upper water column (e.g. diatoms); and (v) mixing algae-eating zooplankton into deeper, darker waters, thereby reducing their predation by sight-feeding fish, and increasing their ability to graze on algae cells. This presentation discusses the current literature regarding aeration’s effect on lake algal communities and outlines successes and failures associated with this lake management approach, along with the major factors that tend to influence the outcome of any aeration based management strategy. Speaker: Patrick Goodwin, Vertex Water Features, Pompano Beach, FL, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Aeration’s Effect on Algae: a Review of Success and Failures - Patrick Goodwin

(9:30) Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Swimmer’s Itch Parasites in Michigan Lakes: 2015 Results and Plans for 2016

Swimmer’s itch is a nasty rash caused by snail-borne parasites called “avian schistosomes” that normally infect birds. Infected snails release infectious cercariae that can mistake humans for birds and try to penetrate their skin, leading to an itchy rash. Traditional methods for detecting schistosomes involve screening infected snails for cercaria production, which is labor-intensive and requires extensive training in parasite identification. As a result, there are few data available for investigating large-scale spatial patterns, and no datasets measuring small-scale (day-to-day) patterns in exposure risk.  In summer 2015 we surveyed avian schistosome abundance at 14 sites in 8 lakes across northern Michigan, using a newly developed quantitative PCR (DNA detection) method. We were assisted by local volunteers and supported by donations from local lake associations concerned about swimmer’s itch in their lakes. To test potential drivers of spatial and temporal variation in schistosome abundance, we measured daily temperature & light intensity, water nutrients (N & P), periphyton growth, bird visitation, littoral substrate, and riparian land use, in addition to snail diversity and population densities. We found that cercaria abundance fluctuated widely from day to day, but with highly predictable among-site differences. Both spatial and temporal patterns hinted at possible links to environmental variables, but it is clear that additional data are needed to help tease apart which factors are the most important drivers of cercaria abundance. We are therefore seeking additional local partners to help us conduct an expanded survey in 2016. This study will help to inform management efforts for swimmer’s itch and provide baseline data for developing and testing improved predictive models of exposure risk for swimmer’s itch and other snail-borne infections like human schistosomiasis. Speakers: Madelyn L. Messner (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Dr. Thomas R. Raffel (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University.

Presentation: Swimmer’s Itch in Michigan Lakes - Thomas Raffel


Saturday morning, 10:30 AM - Noon

Industry Research on Aquatic Nuisance Control

(10:30) Inversion Oxygenation and Bio augmentation Reduces Invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil Growth in Four Michigan Inland Lakes

Eurasian Watermilfoil is a highly invasive submersed aquatic plant that costs millions of dollars annually to control in Michigan lakes alone. Typical management methods have included the use of aquatic herbicides, mechanical removal, biological control, and lake drawdown. Over the past 2-4 years, a series of 4 Michigan inland lakes have implemented inversion oxygenation with bio augmentation for Eurasian Watermilfoil reduction among other water quality improvements. Rigorous Point Intercept grid surveys of the treatment areas and whole-basin bottom scans demonstrate that this technology has significantly reduced Eurasian Watermilfoil in four inland lakes located geographically throughout the state. On two of the study lakes, a statistically significant > 75% reduction in Eurasian Watermilfoil was measured over a two year evaluation period. Possible mechanisms for these measured reductions in Eurasian Watermilfoil were also investigated and included similar sediment characteristics such as sediment porosity and organic and ammonia content among the studied lakes. It is therefore likely that inversion oxygenation technology with bio augmentation interacts with some lake sediments to reduce susceptible nuisance species of rooted aquatic vegetation such as Eurasian Watermilfoil. Speaker: Jennifer L. Jermalowicz-Jones, PhD Candidate, Restorative Lake Sciences, Spring Lake, MI, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Inversion Oxygenation and Bio augmentation Reduces Invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil Growth in Four Michigan Inland Lakes - Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones

(11:00) You don’t always get what you want, but…

Aquatic weeds are fundamentally moving targets.  There is sufficient genetic diversity in water milfoil populations to effectively elude any hope of eradication. The survivability of seed and presence of aufwuchs mediated herbicide resistance are just two of the factors that can contribute to the emergence of alternate milfoil population genotypes after targeted management agents are applied to a lake. Long Lake supported a large population of Eurasian watermilfoil in 2013. It was treated with various combinations of herbicides and algaecides that included triclopyr, 2,4-D BEE, Cutrine Ultra, and Phycomycin (Applied Biochemists a Lonza Business). The lake was monitored according to LakeScan™ standard methods and all data were analyzed with LakeScan™ algorithms. Outcomes were considered to be highly satisfactory the first and second years post treatment. LakeScan™ analysis determined that water volume considerations had confounded meaningful interpretation of outcomes by between treatment area comparison. By late 2015 milfoil was found in most of the lake, but some sample data and observations suggest that the milfoil was comprised of distinctly different genotypes. Plant community quality, species richness, and biodiversity did not appear to be impacted by the herbicide application. Speaker: Dr. G. Douglas Pullman, Aquest Corporation, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Riparian Rights and Water Law (repeats)

Session repeats from above.

Current Research on Michigan Lakes: Graduate Student Research

Cutting-edge research on issues facing our lakes is occurring at government agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities across the state. This session focuses on new research that improves our understanding of threats facing our lakes and solutions for addressing these threats. New research on eutrophication (an increase in nutrients and plant growth in lakes) will assess the influence of nutrients and water color to this threat. The session will then feature research on the aquatic plant communities in pristine ecosystems in order to identify natural determinants of aquatic plant growth. Finally, results from a survey of property owners across Michigan will provide insight into barriers and opportunities for conservation on lakeshore properties. Presentations within this session will identify lessons applicable to all shoreline stakeholders in order to promote sustainable use and enjoyment of Michigan’s lakes for generations to come.

(10:30) Nutrient and water color effects on lake primary production: lake to lake variation across the landscape

An ongoing challenge to managing lakes at broad spatial extents is to identify important ecological relationships to estimate water quality parameters for lakes distributed across diverse landscape settings. It is recognized that both nutrients and colored dissolved organic carbon (water color) influence lake primary production, but their effects are not equal nor are they consistent across studies. Nutrients such as total phosphorus (TP) limit algal biomass (measured as chlorophyll a, CHL) and are major drivers of lake productivity in North American inland lakes. Water color is composed of humic substances that limit light availability to algae but also can be a nutrient source with phosphorus readily binding to these compounds. This can lead to inconsistent water color relationships with CHL where in some pristine regions water color is positively related to CHL (acting as a nutrient source) and in other regions water color is negatively related to CHL (shading algae). Understanding spatial variation in both TP and water color relationships with CHL will improve precision in management actions. Few studies, however, have explicitly examined spatial variation in the effects of TP and water color together on lake primary production. We examined variation in the relationships between TP and water color on CHL in over 700 north temperate lakes by applying a novel modeling approach that estimates lake-specific relationships. We found that there were significant lake to lake differences in TP and water color effects on CHL such that managing algal production by reducing phosphorus may be less effective for some lakes compared to others. With these results we can recognize spatial variation in nutrient and water color drivers of lake primary production which can inform regional management of inland lake water quality. Speaker: C. Emi Fergus, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Big Data Informing Lake Ecology: Case Study on Nutrient and Water Color Effects on Lake Primary Production - Emi Fergus

(11:00) Lake and landscape features shaping aquatic plant communities in the undisturbed lakes of Isle Royale National Park, Michigan, USA.

Aquatic plant (macrophyte) diversity is important for lake community dynamics, primary production, and ecosystem function. Yet, little research of macrophytes has focused on native communities in protected undisturbed lakes.  Basic research conducted in these ‘pristine’ aquatic ecosystems, such as those on Isle Royale National Park, can provide valuable baseline information about native communities when compared to the more-studied, disturbed and altered aquatic systems commonly invaded by exotic species.  In my research, I investigate what environmental factors are the most important in shaping native macrophyte species richness, diversity, and community structure (i.e. growth form). To answer my research questions, I collected physical, chemical, and biological data from 15 inland lakes on Isle Royal National Park during the summers of 2012 -2013.  Some of the most important results from my analysis  found that 1) 50% (p<0.01) of the variation in macrophyte richness was explained by the number of connecting aquatic inflows, lake shape, and total phosphorous in the water column, 2) 56-60%  (p<0.01) variation in two measures of  diversity was explained by alkalinity and, 3) up to 71% (p<0.01) of variation in community structure was explained mostly by lake and catchment variables, but this range of variation varied by the specific type of growth form.  From these results, I can conclude that in undisturbed lakes, the most important variables shaping macrophyte communities differ depending on what and how the macrophyte community is being measured. Results from my research is important because as a remote and protected wilderness area, Isle Royale provides essential information about macrophyte community reference conditions that can be used when identifying and understanding future responses to anthropogenic pressures such as climate change and invasive species introductions. Speaker: Angela A. De Palma-Dow, Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, East Lansing, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Lake and Landscape Features Shaping Aquatic Macrophyte Communities in the Undisturbed Lakes of Isle Rolaye National Park, Michigan, USA - Angela De Palma-Dow

(11:30) Property owners’ willingness to accept natural shoreline conservation programs on their inland lake properties in Michigan

The shorelines and shallow waters of Michigan’s inland lakes are incrementally changing as individual property owners make decisions related to shoreline and aquatic vegetation, woody habitat, docks, and other activities. When these changes are summed across all property owners on the lake, they have the potential to impact water quality, fish and wildlife populations, and lake ecosystem health. To better-understand property owners’ decisions, we conducted a randomized survey of 1,100 lakefront property owners in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Our goals were to improve understanding of the ways shoreline property owners manage and use their properties, improve understanding of individual characteristics that influence property owner’s willingness to participate in conservation, and estimate the cost of implementing a hypothetical conservation easement program on shoreline properties. We will present information gained from the survey on demographics of shoreline property owners, common uses of shorelines, and relationships between the willingness to participate in conservation programs and characteristics of property owners. We will also present estimates for costs to implement best-management practices through a voluntary conservation easement framework. Results from the study can be used by lake associations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders to inform natural shoreline conservation strategies and protect Michigan’s lakes for future generations. Speaker: Joel Nohner, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Michigan Lakefront Property Owner Survey - Joe Nohner

Eurasian Watermilfoil and Other Invasive Species

(10:30) Mapping invasion risk for multiple taxonomic groups and vectors of introduction in Michigan

A thorough understanding of potential aquatic nonindigenous species is necessary to reliably assess the risks they pose and facilitate prioritization of management activities. However, species- and vector-specific information is often limited or disconnected. To address this need, we evaluated the potential for introduction, establishment and impact to evaluate risk across multiple taxa and vectors for 67 aquatic nonindigenous species, identified as “watchlist species” in NOAA’s Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS).These species we identified represented 14 taxonomic groups, including fish, mollusks, plants, crustaceans, and rotifers. Vectors included shipping, hitchhiking/fouling, unauthorized intentional release, escape from recreational or commercial culture, and natural dispersal. We identified potential invaders from every continent but Africa and Antarctica. We then integrated these introduction, establishment, and impact assessments with georeferenced vector intensities for freshwater lakes and rivers in and around Michigan and western Lake Erie. The resulting maps displayed overall and per-vector risk of introduction, weighted from low to high for each grid cell. These maps provide an understanding of where aquatic nonindigenous species not yet present in the Great Lakes may arrive in Michigan, to facilitate prevention and monitoring efforts by lake management groups and state agencies. Speaker: Alisha Davidson, Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Scanning the Horizon: Identifying New Aquatic Invasive Species and Where They May Arrive in Michigan - Alisha Davidson

(11:00) Integrating genetic identifications into adaptive management programs for Eurasian and hybrid watermilfoil

It is now well documented that hybrid watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum x M. sibiricum) is widespread and abundant across Michigan and is a major management concern. Laboratory studies demonstrate that hybrid watermilfoil tends to grow faster than pure Eurasian watermilfoil, including when treated with the commonly used herbicide, 2,4-D. Yet, there is still uncertainty among water resource managers and stakeholders about how best to manage hybrid watermilfoil. Can hybrids be effectively managed with the same control techniques used for pure Eurasian watermilfoil? If not, what are the best options? Until now, rigorous quantitative assessments of growth and control of hybrid versus Eurasian watermilfoil have not been a part of Eurasian watermilfoil management programs, which most likely limits efficacy in at least some lakes with mixtures of Eurasian and hybrid watermilfoil. Here, we share results from lake management programs that have integrated genetic identifications into vegetation mapping to rigorously and quantitatively distinguish the responses of pure versus hybrid Eurasian watermilfoil. We use the results from these programs to discuss how incorporating genetic identifications into adaptive management programs for Eurasian watermilfoil can be used to inform decision-making, such as when and how management strategies or specific control techniques should be changed. Speaker: Syndell Parks, Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Integrating Genetic Identifications into Adaptive Plant Management Programs for Eurasian and Hybrid Watermilfoil - Syndell Parks

(11:30) Invasive Plant Management: Yesterday vs. Today vs. Tomorrow

A few years ago, invasive plant management was primarily focused on Curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil control.  Presentations related to the selectivity of herbicides; dose, active ingredient and timing of applications; Focused on, how low of a dose can be applied to control the invasive plants but ensure that not even a leaf falls of a broadleaf pondweed. Research on, Eurasian watermilfoil root crowns, seed bank and carbohydrate reserves.  Understanding Curlyleaf pondweed turion production and how early season and/or annual spring application can reduce future infestations.   All these topics of “Yesterday” are still applicable, but “Today” it even appears to be more challenging.  In today’s world, Eurasian watermilfoil just blends in with an unknown diversity of Hybrid watermilfoil (HWM) genotypes.    We know different genotypes of HWM exist; each having different growth characteristics, herbicide susceptibilities and reproduction variances.  We know that “we don’t know” when and where HWM plants are present and therefore we have to assume the worst.  Until science or new technology is developed, we must manage HWM with the intent to control ALL potential unknown genotypes to ensure “Tomorrow”… Speaker: Jason Broekstra, Biologist, Vice President of Great Lakes Operations, PLM Lake & Land Management Corp., .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Presentation: Yesterday vs. Today vs. Tomorrow - Jason Broekstra