Speaker Bio:
Since January 2004 Jon Standridge has worked as a private consultant providing public/environmental health, and water microbiology expertise. Prior to 2004 he spent 31 years as the principal water microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin, State Laboratory of Hygiene. His research areas have included; developing a sensitive test for waters for detecting E. coli O157, detection of algal toxins, improving Cryptosporidium detection methods, identifying sources of pathogens in watersheds, studying the movement of microbes through soil beneath wastewater treatment facilities, developing methods for detecting endocrine disruptors in water and improving our understanding of microbial indicators of water pollution.

Abstract:Standridge photo
In May 2013, Clean Lakes Alliance launched a pilot project for its new Citizen Water Quality Monitoring program under the leadership of Friends of Clean Lakes board member Jon Standridge, a retired water research scientist from the University of Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Our belief is that citizen monitoring can be a powerful tool to raise awareness and increase citizen engagement with the lakes. Standridge will take us through the pilot program and what we’ve learned so far, as well as discussing the public health issues associated with E.coli and blue green occurrences in the Yahara chain.

Monthly Sponsor- Spectrum Brands

Speaker Bio:
Alison Mikulyuk is a scientist in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Research Section of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. After becoming fascinated with aquatic macrophytes during her first lake-wide plant survey in 2005, she began to design her research so that we might better understand these understudied and dynamic underwater communities. She helped develop and implement macrophyte monitoring programs that have been implemented at the state and national-wide scale. Alison helped develop the recent regulatory rule that limits the movement of aquatic invasive plants in the State of Wisconsin. While not at work with the DNR, Alison pursues her Ph. D in Limnology and Marine Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her colleagues in Dr. Jake Vander Zanden’s research lab work together to understand inland aquatic environment.

Mikulyuk photo

Aquatic plant communities in lakes are very important to ecosystem health. Come hear scientist Alison Mikulyuk talk about these dynamic underwater forests. She will teach us about some of the different functional groups that can be found in Wisconsin, and introduce a few of the species that can be found in the Yahara Chain. She will have a collection of local live specimens, so if you have any identification questions, bring them!

612699 is the grand prize winner of the raffle for Loop the Lake participants.  See below for details.

Even though it was one of the coldest summer days on record, we had a huge crowd at the Clean Lakes Festival this past Saturday! We want to extend a big thank you to all who attended the Festival and our Loop the Lake ride. 

We had a great turnout for our inaugural community bike ride, Loop the Lake, around Lake Monona with over 150 riders crossing the finish line. Along the ride, participants learned about local lake ecology and tried their hands at citizen water quality monitoring while staying hydrated.

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Monthly Sponsor – CUNA Mutual Foundation

Speaker Bio:
Ted Bier is a senior research scientist at the University of Wisconsin Madison Center for Limnology. For more than a decade, Bier has led the field operations for the Long Term Ecological Research on all of the Yahara lakes – Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa and Wingra. His research includes an annual survey of the relative abundance of all fish species in the Yahara lakes, and he conducts bi-weekly sampling of zooplankton and of the nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen, as well as monitoring water clarity and lake productivity, which serves as an indicator of nutrient load. The data Bier has collected contribute to a long-term database that provides a broad understanding of how the lakes change over time. When Bier isn’t squeezing fish for research, you may find him free-diving and spearfishing in waters ranging from Wisconsin to the Tropics.

Ted Bier_101 copy

We all know our gamefish – bass, walleye, bluegill. But what about the fish that don’t grace the dinner plate? Discover those species and why they are important. Learn the tools to identify them and how their abundance in the Yahara lakes has changed over time.

Did you see these two paddle boarders on Lake Mendota this week?

Summer’s off to a big start.  We’ve had a lot of rain recently.  If you want more information on lake levels, click here.

Our pilot programs in beach and citizen water quality monitoring continue to be successful.  We are testing James Madison Beach Monday through Friday and we have citizen volunteers testing on the four major lakes.  If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact us.

For you app-lovers out there, we suggest you get the free Lake Mendota Buoy app.  It provides live data on wind speed and direction, water temperature, and other factors to consider when going out on the lakes.  Available for iPhone and Android.

The Yahara Pride Farms certification program also continues to move forward.  We are out on the farms working to prevent runoff to our lakes.

This Lake-O-Gram focuses on ways for you to get out on the lakes this summer.

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Monthly sponsor – Beyler Chiropractic

Speaker Bio:
Jake Vander Zanden is a professor at the Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin – Madison whose research interests include limnology, food webs, invasive species, benthic ecology, and conservation biology. While his research has been on inland lakes of North America, and Wisconsin in particular, he has also worked in interesting places such as Mongolia, Iceland, and Mexico. Vander Zanden received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In addition to his research, he teaches popular courses in ‘Limnology’ and ‘Ecology of Fishes’ at University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Species from the far corner of the world such as zebra mussel and spiny water flea are finding their way into Wisconsin’s lakes. What are the implications for our lakes, and water quality in particular? Vander Zanden will discuss how the ‘food web’, and invasive species in particular, can have huge effects on water quality in the Madison lakes.

Happy Start-of-Summer from the Clean Lakes Alliance! We are geared up and ready for a busy summer packed full with opportunities for you to engage with the lakes and Clean Lakes Alliance.

Yahara Lakes 101

Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Pilot Program

Renew the Blue Volunteer Days

More Cow Power = Cleaner Lakes

Volunteer of the Year

Clean Lakes Alliance’s New Policy & Program Director

Upcoming Events

Last month, Clean Lakes Alliance kicked off our brand new Yahara Lakes 101 speaker series with a fantastic program on the relationship between lawn care and water quality by UW Madison Department of Soil Science professor, Dr. Doug Soldat. Our kickoff event was a great success with a full house and an abundance of positive feedback, and we thank our Monthly Sponsor Weed Man Lawn Care. We have a line-up of stellar scientists scheduled well into the fall to speak to us all about the science behind the issues that affect our beloved lakes. Come for a coffee and light breakfast on the beautiful lake patio here at the Verex Plaza, and learn about your lakes with Mendota as our backdrop.

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Monthly sponsor – Weed Man Lawn Care

Speaker Bio:
doug_soldat_02Doug Soldat is a Wisconsin native and an associate professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in turfgrass and urban soil management. He earned a Ph.D. at Cornell University studying how phosphorus is lost from lawns. At Wisconsin, he advises the students in the turfgrass and grounds maintenance program, and teaches three classes including “Turfgrass Nutrient and Water Management” and “Lawns, Society, and the Environment”. His research program focuses on finding ways to maintain turfgrass for optimum function using fewer inputs of nutrients, pesticides, and water.

Green lawns and clean lakes need not be mutually exclusive. In fact, dense vegetation can play an important role in protecting surface waters from nutrient runoff. However, there are negative consequences of over management and the soil properties play a critical but often overlooked role in environmental protection and pollution. In this talk, Vander Zanden will highlight the primary pathways of nutrient losses from urban environments and discuss some practical and effective strategies for keeping nutrients out of the lake.

Jan. 15, 2013
Contact: James Tye, Vice President
Clean Lakes Alliance, of Dane County
Office: (608) 255-1000, Mobile: (608) 628-6655

Lake Mendota officially frozen
on January 14th

Madison man wins Mendota Freeze Contest grand prize

MADISON, Wis. — The Clean Lakes Alliance, in an effort to bring awareness about our lakes being “frozen assets,” has partnered with the Wisconsin State Climatology Office for the Mendota Freeze Contest to guess the date Lake Mendota officially freezes. As of today, the Climatology Office has declared that Lake Mendota officially froze on January 14th, 2013.

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