Skip to main content

Aquatic and Wetland Invasives Species Monitoring

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring program is a collaboration of citizens, partners and the DNR to find, report, map and survey invasive species. The program is guided by species identified in NR 40, Wis. Adm. Code.

This monitoring effort detects new invasive species so the DNR can be alerted and stakeholders can respond appropriately. The DNR collects this data to know what methods trained citizens and partners use when actively looking for invasive species. All records are screened by the DNR and every new invasive species occurrence is verified and appears on the DNR website (see the "Location" section below).

For surveillance monitoring, a report of "no invasive species" at a location is just as important as finding invasive species. Knowing how often our monitors are looking for species and what they are or are not finding is critical in understanding the spread of invasive species. These raw data are available in the Surface Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS) database.

Identification

This section includes documents and webpages to help volunteers and professionals identify aquatic and wetland invasive species in Wisconsin.

Title Description
Chapter NR 40, Wis. Adm. Code Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter concerning invasive species identification, classification and control rule.
Understanding Invasive Species This page includes links to learn more about aquatic, wetland and terrestrial invasive species. Within those pages you can find information on plants and animals regulated under NR 40 including NR40 Classification; common and scientific name; factsheets; photos; literature reviews; Species Assessment Group form; and NR 40 listing date. Identification information is found in the factsheet. Brochures can be found in the Resources tab.
Aquatic Invasive Species Identification Webinar Resources

Presentation slides[PDF]

For ease of viewing, segments for different species groups covered in the complete webinar have been broken out below:

Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection Handbook Handbook for Citizen Lake Monitoring Network AIS monitors. Includes photos and descriptions for identification.
Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species Identification Guide (multi-page) Multi-page identification guide to NR 40 invasive species monitoring in lakes, streams and wetlands. Includes common and Latin names, photographs, descriptions that highlight key identifying characteristics and distribution maps of known populations. Maps are current as of the publication date only.
Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species Identification Guide (one-page) One-page identification guide for Chapter NR 40 species for invasive species monitoring in lakes, streams and wetlands. Includes common and Latin names, photographs and distribution maps. Maps are current as of the publication date only.
Key to Wisconsin Freshwater Snails Taxonomic key with photographs to identify Wisconsin snails.
Wisconsin Crayfish Photo ID Guide

Taxonomic key with photographs to identify Wisconsin crayfish including some invasive crayfish.

Presentation slides

Purple loosestrife Brochure with information on background, identification, impacts and control.
Japanese knotweed Brochure with information on background, identification, impacts and control.
Aquatic Invasive Species Publications and Products PDF with links to information on Aquatic Plant Management, CBCW and related campaigns, general publications, water gardens and aquariums, and species identification.
Locations

The following documents provide guidance on how to determine known locations of aquatic and wetland invasive species. Please report any aquatic or wetland invasive species occurrence that is not identified in these resources.

Title Description
Lake, Stream and Wetland Aquatic Invasive Species Mapping Tool This tool will give you the option to see "verified" aquatic and wetland occurrences, as well as occurrences listed as "no longer observed" in SWIMS. To see these occurrences, use tools in either the "Basic Tools" or "Find Locations" tab to locate the lake you’re interested in, and bring up the "Map Layers" tab on the bar along the left side of the screen. Once you’re there, expand one of the following categories to select the species you would like information for: invasive aquatic plants, invasive fish, invasive invertebrates, or invasive wetland and riparian plants. To get information on the populations in a location, use one of the tools in the "Identify Tools" tab and select the waterbody/area of interest. Then click the entries that appear on the left side of the screen to get further occurrence information.
Aquatic Invasive Species by Species Lists This webpage contains a list of species. Click on the species you are interested in and then use the drop-down menu to search for the desired location. This list shows verified and no longer observed populations and links to limited details for each occurrence. Locate the waterbody you would like information for and click on the "Details" link to get more information on the occurrence of the desired species. A screen will pop up with limited information for that occurrence.
Aquatic Invasive Species by Waterbody Lists Use the drop-down menu to select the location of the waterbody you would like species information for. This list will show species that are listed as verified and observed, with an asterisk denoting observed records. Further detail on occurrences cannot be accessed through this tool.
Center for Limnology Suitability Models (NOTE: does not work in Internet Explorer) UW-Madison Center for Limnology has created suitability models for zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) and Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum).
Reporting

These links provide guidance on how to report aquatic and wetland invasive species that are detected outside of planned monitoring.

Title Description
Reporting Invasive Species Guidance on how to report invasive species to DNR.
DNR Regional AIS Coordinators Current Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinators.
Aquatic Invasive Species Incidental Reports Form for reporting incidental observations of aquatic invasive species in lakes, rivers and wetlands when they are found randomly and not as part of a formal pre-planned invasive species monitoring program.
How to Report Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species
Volunteer Monitoring

Volunteers detect about half the new invasive species records in Wisconsin and are the greatest strength of Wisconsin's aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring program. If you're looking for a way to become involved, visit the webpages listed below to learn more.

Title Description
Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring

Webpage with training resources on Identification, monitoring methods and reporting forms for the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Aquatic Invasive Species program.

Aquatic Invasive Species Snapshot Day

Training resources on identification, monitoring methods and reporting forms. The event is coordinated by the University of Wisconsin-Extension in cooperation with the DNR and River Alliance of Wisconsin.

Water Action Volunteers Resources Webpage with resources on Identification, monitoring methods and reporting forms for the Water Action Volunteer program.
Aquatic Invasive Species Water Action Volunteers Baseline Monitoring

WAV baseline monitoring identification, reporting and equipment cleaning.

Aquatic Invasive Species WAV Special Projects

WAV Special projects AIS monitoring manual and reporting form.

River Alliance of Wisconsin: Project RED

Training resources on identification, monitoring methods and reporting forms for the River Alliance of Wisconsin Riverine Early Detector program.

DNR Monitoring

Below are links to protocols and forms used by DNR staff, consultants and partner organizations who participate in formal invasive species monitoring programs.

Title Description
General Safety Guidance for DNR Staff [DOCX] Monitoring general safety guidelines for DNR employees.
Boat, Gear and Equipment Decontamination and Disinfection

This webpage includes the DNR Boat, Gear and Equipment Decontamination and Disinfection Manual Code 9183.3, associated best management practices and training information.

Presentation slides

Vouchering Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species Guidance on how to voucher aquatic and wetland invasive species.
Department Invasive Species Monitoring on Lakes

 

Protocols for aquatic and wetland invasive species early detection monitoring on lakes.

Department Directed Lakes Invasive Species Protocol [DOCX]

Protocols for aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring during DNR Directed Lakes monitoring projects.

Department Invasive Species Monitoring on Streams Protocols for aquatic and wetland invasive species early detection monitoring on streams.

Department Stream Biologist Protocol

Protocols for aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring during DNR water quality sampling on streams.

Department Invasive Species Monitoring in Wetlands Protocols for aquatic and wetland invasive species early detection monitoring in wetlands.
Invasive Species Monitoring Along Roadside (in development) The aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring program is developing protocols for monitoring invasive wetland species along roadsides.
eDNA Sampling Protocol (in development) The aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring program is developing protocols for eDNA sampling.
Organisms in Trade (in development) The aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring program is developing protocols for monitoring invasive organisms in trade.
Aquatic and Wetland Invasive species Monitoring with Drones (in development) The aquatic and wetland invasive species monitoring program is developing AIS protocols for monitoring invasive species with drones.
Aquatic Plant Survey Methods This webpage contains guidance on the DNR aquatic plant survey methods. View the "Tools for Assessing Lakes and their Plant Communities" section to view sample design, methods, form and analysis.
Species-Specific DNR Monitoring

The following documents provide guidance on species-specific monitoring protocols and models to help select sampling locations.

Title Description
Milfoil Genetic Monitoring Procedures and policies for milfoil genetic identification.
Waterflea Sampling Protocol

Procedures for waterflea sampling (tows and dredges).

Presentation slides

Waterflea Analysis Protocol Procedures for waterflea sediment and plankton analysis.
Veliger Tow Sampling Protocol

Procedures for veliger sampling.

Presentation slides

Mussel Veliger Analysis Protocol Procedures for analyzing mussel veliger laboratory.
Crayfish Monitoring Form Procedure and form for monitoring crayfish.
Labels for Samples Labels for tow, dredge and aquatic and wetland invasive samples.
Response to Monitoring Discoveries

The following documents provide guidance following new aquatic and wetland invasive species detections.

Title Description
Invasive Species Response Framework Invasive species response framework.
Suspected New AIS Discoveries - Communication Protocol Guidance for communicating new aquatic and wetland invasive species discoveries.
Verifying Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species Early detection monitoring verification process.
Verifiers
(only visible to DNR staff on DNR network – must log in to SWIMS)
Verifiers for regional DNR AIS Coordinators to consult to confirm new detections.
Vouchering Aquatic and Wetland Invasive Species Guidance on how to voucher aquatic and wetland invasive species.
Aquatic Invasive Species Status Guidance Guidance to assign aquatic and wetland species ROI statuses.
Response Monitoring Guidance This framework outlines the process for responding to new invasive species discoveries.
SWIMS Help

DNR aquatic and wetland invasive species staff manage reports in the Surface Water Integrated Management System (SWIMS) database.

The data in SWIMS is shown on DNR webpages and mapping tools when staff creates Resources of Interest (ROIs) that are directly related to AIS discoveries reported in the database as fieldwork events (even if that report comes in from a citizen who doesn't happen to be part of a volunteer program). Below are helpful tools for DNR staff.

Title Description
ROI Creating and Editing
(only visible to DNR staff on DNR network – must log in to SWIMS)
Guidance on how to create and edit resources of interest for invasive species.
Aquatic Invasive Species Status Guidance
(only DNR staff on DNR network will update statuses)
Guidance to assign aquatic and wetland species ROI statuses.