Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 10:26:56 -0500
From: Kris Stepenuck
Subject: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi all-

I’m wondering if your volunteer monitoring programs have aquatic invasive species monitoring methods that you can share? I’m curious what is monitored by volunteers in terms of aquatic invasive species.


Kris Stepenuck

Kris Stepenuck
Wisconsin Volunteer Stream Monitoring Coordinator
445 Henry Mall, Rm 202
Madison, WI 53706-1577
Phone: 608-265-3887
Fax: 608-262-2031


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:34:10 -0400
From: “Picotte, Amy”
Subject: FW: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
Cc: “Matthews, Leslie”

I’m copying Leslie Matthews with your inquiry. Leslie has started up a
new volunteer program here in Vermont, called the Volunteer Invasive
Patrollers (VIPs). She has a set training program that includes
identifying aquatic native and non-native animal and plant species,
which makes for a terrific educational opportunity for the volunteers.
The volunteers are equipped with viewing scopes and given data sheets to
use for reporting their findings. I’ll let Leslie fill in the details,
but I think the program is off (started in 2007) to a fantastic start.

(Leslie, Kris has worked a lot with Linda Green — We worked with Linda
last week at the New England Lakes Conference.)

Amy Picotte
Environmental Analyst
Lakes and Ponds Section
DEC-Water Quality Division
103 S. Main St.
Waterbury, VT 05671-0408
Tel. 802-241-3789
fax. 802-241-4537

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:54:58 -0400
From: Jo Latimore
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

Michigan’s Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is piloting an “Exotic
Aquatic Plant Watch” program, focused on Eurasian water milfoil, Hydrilla,
and curly-leaf pondweed. See the methods and materials here (scroll to the

Even though we have lots of volunteers actively monitoring traditional lake
parameters like Secchi depth, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll, we’ve had
difficulty getting volunteers to sign up for the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch
– perhaps due to the detailed procedure (fairly time consuming) or the
enrollment cost ($60, includes confirmation of any of the “big three” exotic
plants identified by volunteers).

However, the training for the program is VERY popular – people like to learn
how to identify invasives, but seem more interested in “watching” for them
on their own, than documenting them for an organized program.


Jo Latimore, Ph.D.
Lake, Stream, & Watershed Outreach
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
13 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
(517) 432-1491

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:01:03 -0500
From: “Herman, Laura J – DNR”

The Wisconsin Citizen Lakes Monitoring Network has an invasives monitoring manual
covering a number of species. The manual is available online at:
Laura Herman
Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Educator
107 Sutliff Ave.
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(() phone: (715) 346-3989 (Stevens Point)
(() phone: (715) 365-8998 (Rhinelander)
(() fax: (715) 365-8932
(+) e-mail:
(+) e-mail:

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:07:37 -0500
From: Erik Olson
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?


Our volunteers monitor and control Purple Loosestrife on Wisconsin’s
third largest lake the Chippewa Flowage. Since our funding is running
out we have transitioned the program over to the Chippewa Flowage Area
Property Owners Association (linked from my web page). They helped us
get an inventory of PL and data associated with each infestation for
management and research.

Here is a link to the web page for our volunteer program for
more information. (I am definitely not a web page designer!)

Miigwech for your interest,

Erik Olson
Natural Resource Specialist
LCO Ojibwe Community College

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:08:11 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

**Apologies for cross-posting**

Kris’s query is very timely from my point of view. The current issue of The
Volunteer Monitor (Summer 2008, on the topic of “Doing Science, Taking
Action”) is in final layout and soon I will be starting work on the next
issue, whose topic will be “Monitoring Invasive Species.” So I would love to
see any replies to this topic.

I am also interested in other aspects of invasive species monitoring besides
what species are monitored and by what methods. For example, I’m interested
in how volunteers are trained; what actions groups have taken to control or
remove invasive species; outcomes of those efforts; validation of
volunteers’ invasive species data; hurdles and challenges of invasive
species monitoring; lessons learned (i.e., how programs have evolved and
improved over time); and anything else that seems interesting or useful.


Eleanor Ely
Editor, The Volunteer Monitor Newsletter
50 Benton Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:25:14 -0500
From: Chris Riggert
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

In Missouri we have been teaching and implementing a zebra mussel monitoring
activity that our Stream Team WQM Volunteers can do while they are at their monitoring
location. It is taught as part of the Introductory Level workshop, I tried attaching the chapter
we provide as part of their notebook, but it didn’t like the attachment. However, you can find it
online at:

The protocol is basically to look on hard surfaces at their monitoring location, although they can
sink a cinder block at their site for “artificial” substrate.

The form is the last page of the chapter, and is also available as an online submission

We have about a dozen or so that actively report they are monitoring (either by the form, or on an
Activity Report), but we’ve had about 2,500 individuals sit through the Intro workshop since we started
presenting information on Zebra Mussels in 2000. So I would suspect there are more individuals that be
able to recognize and report finding these if they showed up at their monitoring location.

I would be happy to send you the PowerPoint presentation, but will have to burn it to a disk and snail mail it
(it’s over 16 mb and big enough our server won’t let it out and play, ha!).


Christopher M. Riggert
Stream Team Program
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
2901 W. Truman Blvd.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180
Phone: (573) 522-4115 ext. 3167
Fax: (573) 526-0990

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:43:49 -0700
From: Streamkeepers
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

I’ve attached our Noxious Weeds monitoring protocol (28 KB pdf file), data sheet (61 KB pdf file), and a
proposed current-impact-on-habitat grading system (13 KB pdf file) to turn the data into
a score that can be correlated with other water-quality scores such as

Our state mandates Noxious Weed Control Boards in each county, and we do
this monitoring in conjunction with that office. They helped us design
the protocol and data sheet, and we turn in all data collected to them.
They then follow up as appropriate.

Noxious Weed education and identification are an important part of the
training we provide to our volunteers.

and a P.S. from a later email…

For a 10 MB slideshow our county weed coordinator

Cheers, Ed

Ed Chadd & Adar Feller
Streamkeepers of Clallam County
Clallam County Department of Community Development
223 E. 4 St., Suite 5
Port Angeles, WA 98362
360-417-2281; FAX 360-417-2443

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:54:21 -0700
From: Trevor Hare
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Kris -Sky Island Alliance has used volunteers to survey for bullfrogs for
years using simple protocols based on leopard frog survey protocols.
Basically approaching a water body or lotic system slowly, scanning the
water and banks for frogs, then walking the perimeters to get plop counts.
If frogs are seen and no positive id is made we will then go in and seine or
dipnet. We also record any non-native vegetation associated w/ the riparian
areas, along with size of the body, water amounts, turbidity (by eye), other
aquatic critters, etc. -Trevor

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:14:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kelly Stettner
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: Volunteer water monitoring

Maine’s Center for Invasive Plants has a terrific-sounding training program. Get ahold of Roberta with questions. I’m in Vermont, and Roberta gave a terrific presentation at a recent conference of NALMS, North American Lake Management Society.

Black River Action Team (BRAT)
45 Coolidge Road
Springfield, VT 05156

From: Kris Stepenuck []
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: Fwd: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Roberta-

Kelly Stettner from Vermont recently saw you present at NALMS about aquatic invasive species volunteer monitoring. I wonder what your group is monitoring for and how much training people are provided?


Kris Stepenuck

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 15:30:06 -0400
Subject: RE: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: ‘Kris Stepenuck’

Hi Kris.

Our Invasive Plant Patrol monitors are trained to conduct screening surveys for the eleven IAP listed by Maine law as imminent threats. They also are encouraged to be alert to other species (plants, animals, and algae) on Maine’s radar. Our introductory workshop is 5.5 hours long. We also have several advanced training opportunities. We have trained about 1700 people since our first workshop in 2001. We also provide training for SCUBA divers and other individuals involved in IAP control projects in the state. Here is a link to more information about our IAS training on our website. Click on workshop title for a full description of each workshop.

You may also want to check out the invasives section of the 2007 Maine Lakes Report, also online at It provides a more thorough account of our program.

We appreciate your interest. Please let us know if we can be any further service.



Roberta Hill
Program Director, Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants
24 Maple Hill Road, Auburn, ME 04210

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 18:48:43 +0000
Subject: Re: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,
The Alliance for a Living Ocean relies totally on volunteers to do water
quality testing in the bay and watershed . We do not monitor the bay for
aquatic invasive species. However, we have been invaded by Sea Nettles
and Asian Shore Crabs.

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:46:55 -0400
From: “Matthews, Leslie”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: “Picotte, Amy” ,

Kris –

To follow up on Amy’s note – visit the VIPs web site here:

VIPs monitor mostly for aquatic invasive plants (depending on the
audience I teach ID for 7-11 plants on our watch list). They also get
some training in animals, especially zebra mussels, rusty crayfish and a
couple of fish (round gobies, alewife).

I’d be happy to provide more information…



Leslie J. Matthews, Ph.D.
Environmental Scientist
Water Quality Division
Department of Environmental Conservation

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
103 South Main Street, 10 North
Waterbury, VT 05671
802-241-3798 (office)
802-498-3051 (mobile)

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 16:30:48 -0400
From: Ann Reid
Subject: Non Native species monitoring

Great Bay Coast Watch has just joined the MIMIC program with ME-RI-MA-CT-VT contact for the whole scoop..

Adrienne Pappal
Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
251 Causeway St.
Boston, MA 02114

Ann S. Reid
Coordinator Great Bay Coast Watch
Kingman Farm Hse/UNH
Durham,NH 03824


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 14:40:50 -0700
From: Erick Burres
Subject: Fwd: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?


In CA many Aquatic AIS are tracked through Citizen monitors engaging in bioassessment. Many groups are involved in monitoring vegetation which would include Plant-AIS, certain species are tracked separately. Special protocols and training have been offered through university extension for Eur-Asian mussel monitoring (Valerie Borel, Watershed and Wildland Fire Education Coordinator, University of California Cooperative Extension-Los Angeles, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA  90022, 323-260-3851, . CA Dept of Fish and Game has fish monitoring protocols that are sometimes used by volunteers. Some partnerships have involved citizen monitors and CA Parks in removing Aquatic-AIS. I assume that they measured their effectiveness.


Erick Burres
Citizen Monitoring Coordinator
SWRCB- Clean Water Team

Visit the Clean Water Team at:

You can self-subscribe to the Clean Water Team’s E-Mailing List. To subscribe visit and check the box marked
Citizen Monitoring Program/Clean Water Team.

Contact me at:
Desk (213) 576-6788
Cell (213) 712-6862
Fax (213) 576-6686

320 West 4th Street, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Leave a Reply