MAISRC Showcase

2020 Session Descriptions

Cross cuttingA statewide surveillance and early detection program for Minnesota presented by Dr. Amy Kinsley and moderated by Meg Duhr.

Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and over 800,000 boats, has limited resources when it comes to watercraft inspections. Dr. Kinsley's project developed a decision-making tool to help AIS managers, counties, and other agencies prioritize the resources they do have to maximize the prevention and intervention of zebra mussels and starry stonewort.  Learn more on the project website.

FishEngineered Genetic Incompatibility (EGI): Biocontrol of carp and other invasive species via genetic engineering presented by Sam Erickson and moderated by Dr. Michael Smanski

Carp cause tremendous damage to Minnesota waters by rooting in the lake bed and releasing excessive amounts of nutrients. Join Sam Erickson and Dr. Michael Smanski as they give an overview and update on their genetic biocontrol efforts on carp. Can the strategic release of male carp that produce sterile offspring lead to the control of carp populations? Learn more on the project website.

PlantsAnalysis of treatment outcomes to advance starry stonewort management presented by Wesley Glisson and moderated by Dr. Dan Larkin.

Starry stonewort is an invasive macroalga that rapidly produces dense, tall mats that interfere with recreation and reduce native plant diversity. MAISRC researchers, Wesley Glisson and Dr. Dan Larkin, have been systematically evaluating the efficacy of past starry stonewort treatments. Hear how the treatments compare in their talk! Learn more on the project website.

 PlantsWill property values cool as AIS heat up? presented by Shyam Thomas and moderated by Dr. Gretchen Hansen.

We know that aquatic invasive species can have a devastating impact on a lake’s natural ecosystem. But what about the property values along infested lakes? As AIS increase, do property values drop? Join Shyam Thomas and Dr. Gretchen Hansen to find out! Learn more on the project website.

FishCarp social behaviors and new removal strategies presented by Przemek Bajer and moderated by Kristin Loobeek. 

Previous research has shown that carp can be selectively attracted with food to form large groups and then removed by specialized nets with high precision. However, to make the nets the most effective, we need to understand carp’s social learning strategies. Some carp are bold. Some carp are shy. And some carp appear to become leaders of small groups and determine their movement patterns. Hear from Dr. Prezemek Bajer on how we can harness these different social behaviors for the best removal techniques. Learn more on the project website.

 InvertebratesLines snag spines! A field test of angling gear ensnarement by the invasive spiny water flea, Bythotrephes presented by Valerie Brady and Donn Branstrator

Spiny water fleas are an invasive zooplankton that are not only near impossible for fish to eat, but they also consume a disproportionately high amount of native zooplankton—creating an altered food chain and reducing food sources for native fishes. Researchers Dr. Valerie Brady and Dr. Donn Branstrator sought to determine what equipment has the highest risk of spreading spiny water flea to new waters. Hear what they found—their results might surprise you! Learn more on the project website.

Lunch with a researcher

Curious about curlyleaf pondweed? Have a question about quantifying risk? Join a virtual lunch table and chat with researchers. We have created multiple lunch tables with varying topics for discussion. In this session, you have the option to turn your video and microphone on to talk freely with researchers and fellow attendees. Grab a sandwich, soda, and your questions!

  • Lunch with the Director, Nick Phelps—learn more about MAISRC and our goals for the next year.
  • Carp control—Chat with researchers, Lucy Levers, Przemek Bajer and more about their expertise in carp research and removal. 
  • All about aquatic invasive plants—Take a seat at this lunch table to chat with MAISRC’s plant experts. Researchers will include Dan Larkin, Ray Newman, Mike Verhoeven and more! 
  • Spiny water flea—Are there spiny water flea infestations in waters near you? How can you prevent their spread? Sit with researchers, Valerie Brady and Donn Branstrator to learn more.
  • AIS impacts, surveillance, and prevention—This table has a variety of experts! Join Amy Kinsley, Gretchen Hansen, and more to discuss the impacts of AIS on property values and prevention efforts. 
  • AIS biocontrol and genetics—Can the strategic use of a virus help control carp populations? Can we detect native and invasive DNA in water? Good questions! Sit at this lunch table and chat with researchers, Isaiah Tolo and Abdennour Abbas to find out.
  • Zebra mussels—Researchers, Angelique Dahlberg and Diane Waller, have been conducting zebra mussel suppression research in Lake Minnetonka. Sit at their table to learn more. 
  • AIS Detectors—The AIS Detectors program empowers community members to become guardians of Minnesota waters through its volunteer programs, events, workshops, and other educational offerings. Learn more at Megan Weber and Pat Mulcahy’s lunch table.

 InvertebratesAIS impacts on walleye populations and mercury concentrations presented by Naomi Blinick and moderated by Dr. Gretchen Hansen.

Zebra mussels profoundly change lake ecosystems, create recreational hazards with their sharp shells, and can clog water intake pipes. But do they also decrease native fish populations? Join Dr. Gretchen Hansen and Naomi Blinick to learn about their recent project studying the impact of zebra mussels on Minnesota’s state fish, the walleye. Learn more on the project website.

FishThe valuation of carp removal in watershed districts presented by Dr. Lucy Levers and Dr. Amit Pradhananga

The relationship between common carp and lake phosphorus levels has been of interest to researchers and lake managers for some time, but remains poorly understood. We designed and administered a phone survey to multiple Water Districts and Watershed Management Organizations to collect data on carp management over the past decade--ultimately we acquired data on 90 lakes in 12 counties. Combining this data with lake phosphorus levels has produced a viable dataset to explore the carp-phosphorus connection. We will present the methods of this study, the implications, and preliminary findings for a subset of 11 lakes for which valid carp biomass data was available.

Low-dose copper for suppression of zebra mussels in Minnesota lakes presented by Diane Waller and Angelique Dahlberg

In the summer of 2019, researchers tested a new technique for zebra mussel suppression in Lake Minnetonka. Hear from USGS researcher, Diane Waller, and MAISRC Grad Fellow, Angelique Dahlberg, on the success and impacts of using low-dose copper. In 2020, the team assessed the impacts of last year’s treatment on native mussel populations and the long-term suppression efficacy on of the treatment on invasive mussels. Learn more on the project website.

 PlantsIntegrating genetics and herbicide studies to improve watermilfoil management outcomes presented by Dr. Ryan Thum and moderated by Dr. Ray Newman

When the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil crossbreeds with Minnesota’s native Northern watermilfoil, hybrid strains are created. These hybrid strains have been shown to have more resistance to management efforts including herbicide treatments. Tune in to hear from Dr. Ryan Thum and Dr. Ray Newman on their efforts to create a catalog of genotypes in Minnesota in order to improve management options. Learn more on the project website.

Pathogens Quantifying the risk of pathogen introduction via the live baitfish pathway presented by Meg McEachran and moderated by Dr. Nicholas Phelps

Small fish that are used for bait have the potential to spread pathogens such as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus and Asian tapeworms to native fish. An outbreak of any of these pathogens in Minnesota could lead to major economic, ecological, and societal consequences. Hear from MAISRC researchers, Meg McEachran and Dr. Nicholas Phelps, on their project to identify and quantify risk pathways of baitfish diseases. Learn more on the project website.

Cross cuttingNew, eco-friendly solutions to mitigate the spread of AIS presented by Dr. Mikael Elias and moderated by Nathan Hoekstra.

More info coming soon.

Cross cuttingUnderstanding the spread of starry stonewort and the role of climate conditions presented by Dr. Ranjan Muthukrishnan and moderated by Abigail Sullivan.  

Trying to predict the severity of invasions, how quickly they will spread, and their impacts on lake ecosystems is a key challenge for AIS. New research on starry stonewort looks at the abundance and spread of a recently established invasive plant across multiple years and multiple states to see what drives invasions and how much of a impact climate conditions have. It turns out climate may play an important role in mitigating impacts of AIS.

 Cross cuttingA novel technology for eDNA collection and concentration presented by Akli Zarouri and Hamada Aboubakr, moderated by Dr. Abdennour Abbas.

MAISRC researchers have been working to create an environmental DNA filter that can be used in water to screen for not only invasive organisms and pathogens, but also native and endangered species. Hear where the filters are in production and exciting detection uses from Akli Zarouri, Hamada Aboubakr and Dr. Abdennour Abbas. Learn more on the project website.

 PathogensExploring whether native pathogens can be used to control AIS presented by Isaiah Tolo and Meg McEachran, moderated by Dr. Nicholas Phelps

Angling is hugely popular in Minnesota, and small fish known as minnows or baitfish are the most commonly used live bait. Although it's illegal to release live baitfish in Minnesota, one in five anglers surveyed in a recent MAISRC study reported releasing their live baitfish into the water, raising questions about the AIS and pathogens that could be hitching a ride along the live baitfish pathway and introduced into new waters when the baitfish are released. With over one million licensed anglers taking to Minnesota lakes and rivers every year, these small fish could become a big problem for AIS and pathogen introduction risk. Researchers will discuss the results of our latest quantitative risk analysis and the implications for managing risk in the live baitfish pathway. 

Cross cuttingNew MAISRC research projects moderated by Meg Duhr and Cori Mattke.

Join us as we announce the newest MAISRC research projects coming down the pike!

Cross cuttingApplying MAISRC research panel discussion — success stories from local resource managers featuring Patrick Selter, Justine Dauphinais, and Claire Bleser, moderated by Meg Duhr.

After spending three days catching up on the latest AIS research advances, join our panel discussion to hear from local managers who are using research to improve their results in projects both large and small. The panel will feature three local professionals who have collaborated closely with MAISRC researchers in carp control, invasive milfoil management, and invasive phragmites control. The panel will be moderated by MAISRC staff and will include extended audience Q+A.

Happy hour

Grab a beverage and chat with fellow attendees about the past days’ presentations. We will have three ‘rooms’ open for you to join: agency, local and county government, and lake association. We created the rooms with the hope that they will spur discussion and future action. However, regardless of your affiliation, you are welcome to join any room you wish!