Volunteers Safely Gather to Detect Invasive Species Across Wisconsin

Aug 27, 2020 | Aquatic Invasive Species, Members

Every summer water-lovers from across the state join forces to search for aquatic invasive species in Wisconsin’s rivers, streams, and lakes.

Snapshot Day—as this statewide scavenger hunt of sorts has been dubbed—has been a summer tradition for many folks for years. However, back in March, the question as to whether this important monitoring event could happen in the midst of a pandemic was on the table.

Luckily, with some creative programming tweaks, an abundance of safety precautions, and the support of willing and enthusiastic volunteers and site leaders, we overcame the obstacles and were able to successfully hold Snapshot Day 2020.

On August 15th, 150+ citizen scientists donning masks and staying a safe distance apart monitored 234 sites at 24 locations all over the state.

This one-day event provides a treasure trove of data to the Wisconsin DNR that guides future management plans. Previous Snapshot Days have led to the early detection of new invasive species and newly-impacted waterbodies.

This event is made possible with the help of the Wisconsin DNR, UW-Division of Extension, the Alliant Energy Foundation, and our 20+ partners that host events all over Wisconsin. We are thankful for everyone’s continued support and involvement.

The 2020 data are still coming in, but in the meantime, you explore the virtual “story map” of Snapshot Day 2019 to learn more about aquatic invasive species, see what volunteers found, and read the biographies of the folks leading the charge.

We’re thrilled that so many Wisconsinites donated their time, garden rakes, and binoculars (among other things!) to help protect the waters they love in the midst of a pandemic.

We hope you can join us in 2021!