ASSOCIATION OF FISH & WILDLIFE AGENCIES, Washington D.C.: December 8, 2021
Washington D.C. – A new Landscape Conservation Joint Task Force was established during a signing ceremony at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Executive Committee Meeting. The establishment of this Task Force is the next step in landscape conservation collaboration to foster even stronger relationships. Long-term collaboration between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the states will provide the necessary durable foundation for working together more effectively with Tribes, other agencies, landowners, conservation organizations and other partners so essential for balancing and implementing landscape-scale conservation in a sustainable manner for the future. The Task Force outlined in the Charter will examine what is working and what is not and make recommendations to stitch together a collaborative approach.
In 1969, the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland was so polluted that it caught fire, helping to launch the modern environmental movement and prompting Congress to pass the Clean Water Act three years later. It was one of the first laws to safeguard waterways and set national water quality standards.
While the Clean Water Act successfully regulated many obvious causes of pollution, such as the dumping of wastewater, it’s done less to limit more diffuse types of pollution, such as “nonpoint source pollution” that includes agricultural runoff from fields and urban stormwater from buildings, paved surfaces and yards — says a new study from University of Missouri researchers.
Though hard to see, nonpoint source pollution has become one of the main environmental threats to drinking water across the country, said MU researchers who are offering strategies to address the problem.
“Large amounts of nitrates and nitrites, such as those found in fertilizer, can cause negative health effects such as blue baby syndrome,” said Robin Rotman, assistant professor in the MU School of Natural Resources, who led the study. Rotman also holds courtesy appointments in the MU School of Law and the MU College of Engineering. “Nonpoint source pollution can lead to toxic algae blooms; pesticides and herbicides also contain carcinogens that can threaten human health,” she said.
The Wisconsin DNR will continue working with neighboring state and federal agencies to reduce the number of invasive carp in the Mississippi River. / Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in partnership with neighboring state and federal agencies will take further action to reduce the number of invasive carp in the Mississippi River.
Additional actions include increasing commercial netting operations, tracking tagged carp and ongoing use of the innovative Modified Unified Method (MUM), a tactic that involves driving fish towards a series of smaller and smaller areas until they are netted out of the water.
Continued efforts follow a successful second invasive carp removal effort on Oct. 25-29 in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse in which the DNR, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wild Rivers Conservancy and National Park Service sampled more than 100,000 pounds of fish.
Although seven silver carp were observed jumping out of the sampling area, no invasive carp were captured during the October removal using MUM. Thirty-four silver carp were captured during the first MUM operation in the same locations in April.
“This is potentially very good news about the current status of invasive carp in Pool 8,” said Jordan Weeks, DNR Mississippi River Fisheries Biologist. “Invasive carp captures decreased sharply. We’re hopeful this indicates a decrease in the actual invasive carp population.”
In addition, the October invasive carp removal produced hundreds of native fish in each of five locations along the river. These captures included a healthy number and diversity of native fish, including numerous paddlefish and sturgeon.
While native fish tend to hide and avoid being driven into the nets used during the MUM tactic, some do end up being netted. A subset of those fish are measured and weighed, then released back into the river. Any invasive carp are removed and further analyzed. Invasive carp compete with native species for food and habitat, so a healthy and diverse fishery is a positive sign.
This is the second time MUM has been used in Wisconsin or Minnesota waters. Thirty-four silver carp were captured in Pool 8 during the first interagency carp removal operation in April. / Photo Credit: Minnesota DNR
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) alongside neighboring state and federal agencies are conducting an intensive invasive carp removal effort in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse Oct. 25-29.
The Wisconsin DNR is working with the Minnesota DNR, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) using the innovative Modified Unified Method (MUM). This is the second time MUM has been used in Wisconsin or Minnesota waters. Thirty-four silver carp were captured in Pool 8 (La Crosse and Vernon Co.) during the first interagency carp removal operation in April.
There will be no impacts to commercial or recreational boat traffic on the main channel of the Mississippi River.
Developed by the USGS, the MUM method uses block nets to create compartments or “cells.” The USGS then uses electrofishing boats and boats outfitted with underwater speakers to herd carp from each cell. When a cell is cleared, another net is used to close the cell and prevent the fish from returning.
Martha Williams, Nominee for Director of Fish and Wildlife Services at the Department of Interior Williams is currently serving as the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Preceding her appointment, Williams served as the Director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from 2017 to 2020. There, she delivered leadership that embraced the diversity of Montana’s natural resources and outdoor recreational values that also incorporated public expectations and values into the agency’s direction. Previously, Williams was an Assistant Professor of Law at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana and co-directed the university’s Land Use and Natural Resources Clinic. William’s appointment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a return to the Department of the Interior, where she served earlier in her career as Deputy Solicitor Parks and Wildlife, providing counsel to the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Growing up on a farm in Maryland, Martha Williams gained an appreciation for open lands, waters, wildlife, and community. This passion led her to the wild places of the West and a career spent fostering a love of the outdoors and stewarding the protection of natural resources. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law. Williams is a hunter, angler, birdwatcher and overall outdoor enthusiast.
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