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Yahara Lakes 101 with Jake Walsh
July 14, 2016 @ 3:00 am - 4:00 am
“The past, present, and future of invasive species in Madison’s lakes”
About the talk
Invasive species change our lakes. While not without its success stories – as in the case of the common carp removal in Lake Wingra that improved water quality – Madison has faced, and will continue to face, many challenges posed by aquatic invasive species. Water quality in Lake Mendota has been degraded by the invasive spiny water flea’s voracious predation on Daphnia. At this moment, Eurasian Water Milfoil blankets the shores of Lake Monona. Last year, UW’s limnology class discovered low densities of zebra mussels in Lake Mendota, which can fundamentally change lakes when abundant. Nonetheless, preventing future invasions, such as Asian Carp, remains one of the most effective ways Madisonians can protect their lakes. As each of these invasive species compound current management challenges, such as agricultural runoff, their futures will help set the stage for water quality in Madison’s lakes.
About our speaker
Jake is a freshwater ecologist currently working as a researcher at the UW Center for Limnology. Jake received his BS at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and recently defended his PhD thesis here at UW-Madison. Jake’s work has focused on the ecological and economic impacts of the invasive spiny water flea in Lake Mendota, highlighting the extreme costs associated with degraded water quality due to the invasion. Jake has been motivated by the intersection between the ecology of lakes and the people who care about them, making aquatic invasive species a perfect sandbox to explore and teach about – both formally in the classroom and informally around the midwest – the natural world and our place in it.