October 2018 newsetter

Letter from the Director

Hello from MAISRC! nick phelps

It has been a while since I’ve sent an update – it has been a busy field season! MAISRC researchers have been tracking carp, counting zebra mussels, diving in starry stonewort, and much more this summer. Despite the long days (and nights!), it is encouraging to know that each piece of data that is collected gets us one step closer to understanding and solving the problem.

Over the last couple of months, we have been asking for input into our Research Needs Assessment. We received responses from over 400 people(!), representing many different stakeholder groups. Earlier this month, that input was distilled by a diverse team of researchers, managers, and AIS professionals to develop a prioritized list of the highest priority research questions. Soon, that list will be released as a Request for Proposals, and researchers will be invited to submit their ideas. This collaborative approach to research prioritization keeps MAISRC focused on our mission of solutions-oriented research, and balances the breadth of AIS issues we face in Minnesota.

I continue to be incredibly humbled by the generous support provided by individuals and lake associations – their contributions of time, advocacy, and funding have helped position MAISRC as a leader in the field. Because of this support, we have created the Rapid Research Response Fund, which provides us with the flexibility to move quickly on new issues or push promising results to the finish line. Additionally, because of the generous contributions from the Fletcher Family Foundation and the Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County, we will be able to hire a new researcher, focused on the control of zebra mussels in lake systems. I can’t thank you all enough and look forward to the difference we can make when we work together.

Time to get back to the lab…

nick signature


New white paper on zebra mussel treatment

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center is pleased to release a new white paper: Treatment options for the eradication of limited-scale zebra mussel infestations at various water temperatures. This white paper is ideal for natural resource managers and agencies, watershed districts, lakeshore associations, AIS consultants, or other entities that are planning or associated with zebra mussel monitoring or the extirpation of newly established and localized zebra mussel populations, particularly in a bay or small body of water. The research that informed this paper, led by Jim Luoma of the U.S. Geological Survey, covers four molluscicides: Zequanox, EarthTec QZ, Postassium chloride (potash), and Niclosamide. It evaluated the molluscicides at four different temperatures – a key difference in Minnesota’s colder waters – and for three different exposure durations. The result is a list of specific treatment recommendations based on size of infestation, ability to hydrologically isolate the area, the non-target animal community, and ambient water temperature.

You can download the white paper here. To learn more about the research behind this, please visit our website.

MAISRC welcomes new researchers chelsey

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center send a warm welcome to new team member, Chelsey Blanke! Chelsey is a researcher working with the Phragmites team at MAISRC to develop strategies for coordinated control of the invasive wetland plant Phragmites australis in Minnesota. Previously, she worked on aquatic invasive species and aquatic plant management at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, on Great Lakes food webs, and people’s connections to water as an M.S. student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Center for Limnology. She is interested in continuing to work on projects that support collaborations and solutions for the benefit of both people and the environment. 

MAISRC also congratulates and welcomes Dr. Gretchen Hansen, who recently became an Assistant Professor of Fisheries Ecology in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Previously a Fisheries Systems Ecologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dr. Hansen was already leading a MAISRC project about the impacts of spiny waterflea and zebra mussels on walleye.

Now hiring!

Are you interested in developing creative and promising solutions for population-level control of zebra mussels in Minnesota lakes? MAISRC wants to hear from you! We are currently searching for a Research Fellow in zebra mussel control. This person will build on ongoing research in the areas of chemical, biological and genetic control, advancing the science in one or more of those areas and moving towards real-world application. Learn more and find information about applying here.

Request for Proposals coming soon

Calling all researchers: keep your eyes open for our RFP, which will be announced next week! Projects will need to address one of our forty priority species. Additional information and application instructions will be released soon!

Driven to Discover: Enlisting passionate community members to protect Minnesota’s waters detectors

Lakes are a part of the people of Minnesota’s identity. We all want to protect that. But there are 13 million surface acres of water in Minnesota—and a limited number of paid professionals available to prevent the serious threat of aquatic invasive species (AIS). So MAISRC’s Megan Weber and Dan Larkin are enlisting passionate citizens to protect Minnesota’s waters. Through the innovative AIS Detectors program, volunteers like Stephen Long and Cecilia Riedman are keeping these species from spreading to the pristine waters they call home. Watch the Driven to Discover video to hear the rest of the story!

Recently published papers

Thank you!

With the launch of MAISRC's new Research Fellowship in Zebra Mussel Control, we'd like to thank the Fletcher Family Foundation and Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County for their support. Contributions like these magnify the impact of MAISRC's work by providing the flexibility to explore new research partnerships, think outside the box, and find practical management solutions. To learn more about the ways that you can support MAISRC, visit our website.