The Lake Ecology Field Day which is sponsored annually by the Forest County Association of Lakes (FCAL) was a good educational experience for high school students from Crandon, Laona and Wabeno Environmental Science classes.  Lake Ecology Day took place on Tuesday, September 17th from 9AM until 1:30PM at the Veterans Memorial Park on the south end of Lake Metonga. 

Crandon HS, under the guidance of Mrs. Kay Coates, had 42 students signed up to attend.  Laona sent 15 students under the supervision of Mr. Steve Kircher, and Wabeno sent 11 students under the direction of Mrs. Liz Watson.  The students were assigned to eight groups with students from all three schools in each of the groups.  The eight groups rotated through 9 workshops through out the morning.  4 lucky students per rotation received tickets which had been issued at random, to ride on the shocking boat that was provided by the Sokaogon tribe and was captained by Fish Biologist Mike Pruell.

The other eight learning stations included a pontoon boat ride to an Eurasian Water Milfoil bed where the students learned about the various invasives such as milfoil, zebra mussels and rusty crayfish as explained by Les Schramm and Harry Resch.  Station number 2 was a class on aquatic macroinvertebrates led by RT Krueger of Northern Lakes Service.  Station 3 was co-led by Chad Mullis of the FC Sherriff’s Dept. and Brad Dahlquist of the WDNR.  They taught about laws and regulations for boaters and fishermen.  Amber Butterfield of the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC) taught the importance of and techniques for decontaminating watercraft that are moved from lake to lake.  The USFS sent two representatives to teach about the important role that bats play in our ecology.  Jennifer Mabrier from the FC Potawatomi Educational Department taught about lake stratification.  Retired Crandon High School science teacher Cindy Edlund returned to lead a workshop on biomagnification.  Station number 8 was led by Michelle Gobert who represented the FC Forestry Department and FC 4H, teaching about the importance of trees in the shoreline environment.  She took photos of each person who attended her workshop as they got to help plant a tree.

A large round of applause must be given to all the students and their teachers for the interest shown and the cooperation given by all during the day.  All presenters and those helping to set-up this very worthwhile event are to be commended on a job well done.  FCAL members are grateful for the opportunity to coordinate this fun, “hands-on” day of learning.

Article submitted by FCAL members Harry Resch and Pam Schroeder