Thursday, January 28, 2010

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHS) in Lake Superior

You may have heard yesterday's news from Cornell University that scientists had found the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv), which causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species in fish from Lake Superior.

Press release from Cornell.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued this press release on the scientific findings.

To learn more about this disease in the Great Lakes, read Wisconsin Sea Grant's Phil Moy's questions and answers on the topic.

WDNR has a Web site on VHS.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Featured Web site: The Lower Fox River Basin

The Lower Fox River Basin encompasses 638 square miles in northeastern Wisconsin. The basin stretches from northeastern Winnebago County to the mouth of the Fox River in Brown County. The Lower Fox River originates at the outlet of Lake Winnebago and flows northeast for 39 miles where it empties into Green Bay. Click here to view a 360 ° panoramic view of the mouth of the Fox River where it empties into the bay.

Learn about what is happening in this river basin:


Monday, January 25, 2010

The care and feeding of your frog

Wisconsin's Water Library receives many questions form children and adults alike on how to care for a frog. We love to help our patrons with those questions. On that note, library staff would also like to offer a few titles you might consider buying if you are thinking of getting a frog for a pet:

Reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates : an identification and care guide Hauppauge, NY : Barron’s: 2001. Hobbyists will appreciate this pictorial identification guide and basic husbandry manual covering more than 250 species, subspecies, and color morphs of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. All animals shown in this volume can be purchased at pet stores and other outlets. The authors advise on the do s and don ts of purchasing, proper caging, and correct feeding.

Frogs, toads, and treefrogs : everything about selection, care, nutrition, breeding, and behavior Hauppauge, NY : Barron’s: 2007. Terrarium keepers will find advice from two of the country’s leading experts on amphibians, their housing, care, and breeding in this helpful title. This book is a title in Barron’s extensive line of Complete Pet Owner’s Manuals . Heavily illustrated with color photos and instructive line art, these books present information on housing, feeding, health care, the title animal’s traits—and where applicable, on grooming, training, and breeding.

Frogs and toads / By Steve Grenard. Hoboken, N.J. : Howell Book House: 2008. The authoritative information and advice you need to have frogs and toads as pets. Include easy-to-care for breeds and intriguing, exotic varieties. 2nd edition.

These books and more are all available for checkout from the library. Please send an email to askwater at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reflect on Wisconsin's Maritime Past

With commercially navigable waterways on three sides, Wisconsin has a deep maritime past. From the small Mississippi River ports of La Crosse and Prairie du Chien, to the much larger Great Lakes facilities at Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Duluth-Superior, Wisconsin residents have been sailing, steaming, and hauling goods over our water for generations.

As this year's shipping season closes and lake boats prepare for the winter layup, now is good time to reflect on Wisconsin's maritime history with resources available at Wisconsin's Water Libary and the University of Wisconsin's Digital Collection Center (UWDCC).

The Water Library maintains a number of recommended reading lists. Check out this one on Great Lakes Ships and Shipping.

UWDCC includes a collection and digital portal dedicated to Wisconsin's "proud and colorful" maritime history. Learn more on their Great Lakes Martime History Project here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ALA announces award winning books

The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The winner for 2010 is "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead and published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. The novel is about twelve-year-old Miranda who encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.

The The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is also awarded annually by the ALSC division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year's winner is "The Lion & the Mouse," illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney, published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers. The screech of an owl, the squeak of a mouse and the roar of a lion transport readers to the Serengeti plains for this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop's classic fable. In glowing colors, Pinkney's textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two unlikely friends.

For a complete list of awards from the American Library Association, visit their Web site.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


What a great name for a Web site... The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has great resources and activities here for kids and teachers. The EEK! (Environmental Education for Kids) Web site (link) is geared toward schoolchildren in grades 4 though 8 and their teachers.

Some highlights you shouldn't miss:

Water Wonders has lots of activities to learn about the wet world we live in.

The amphibians section for kids has a whole lot of great information on frogs and toads (a favorite of Water Library patrons).

Find out what critters stay "snug in the snow" in our cold state...

The Teacher's Pages are chock-full of resources on a wide range of topics. And don't miss the new Climate Change Guide from DNR for grades 7 through 12.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to askwater at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Non-point pollution hearings coming soon

The Wisconsin DNR will soon hold a series of public hearings on proposed revisions to administrative rules regulating non-point pollution. Administrative rules implement the statutes enacted by Wisconsin Legislature and have the full force and effect of law. Look here for a list of upcoming hearing locations.

The proposed changes would--among other things--create new agricultural standards to further limit the amount of fertilizer and manure carried into water bodies. They would also allow municipalities more time to meet the requirement that they reduce the amount of stormwater pollutants.

Furthermore, new performance standards are being proposed: the Phosphorus Index and Tillage Setback. The Phosphorus Index is a planning tool for assessing the potential of croplands, pastures and winter grazing areas to contribute phosphorus to the nearest waterbody. The Tillage Setback performance standard is designed to protect the structural integrity of streambanks and shorelines from tillage operations and to prevent the direct application of sediment to state waters.

Learn more about the proposed administrative rule changes—and the Wisconsin Buffer Initiative that recommended many of them—at the following websites:

Nonpoint Source Program Administrative Rules

Wisconsin Buffer Initiative

Public hearings set on DNR's proposed runoff rules

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11th is Aldo Leopold's birthday

January 11th marks the 123rd birthday of the conservationist and naturalist, Aldo Leopold. As UW Digital Collections notes in the introduction to his archives, "Aldo Leopold is considered by many to have been the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century. Leopold's legacy spans the disciplines of forestry, wildlife management, conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, restoration ecology, private land management, environmental history, literature, education, esthetics, and ethics. He is most widely known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, one of the most beloved and respected books about the environment ever published. The Leopold Collection houses the raw materials that document not only Leopold's rise to prominence but the history of conservation and the emergence of the field of ecology from the early 1900s until his death in 1948."

In honor of his legacy, AquaLog encourages you to read some of this incredible writings, visit his digital archive or take a moment to think about some of his incredible contributions to our earth.

Follow this link to visit the Aldo Leopold Archives.

Read a book by or about him (all area available for checkout from the Water Library):

Aldo Leopold : protector of the wild / by Della Yannuzzi. Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, 2002.

Aldo Leopold's odyssey / by Julianne Lutz Newton. Washington : Island Press/Shearwater Books, c2006.

Correction lines : essays on land, Leopold, and conservation / Curt Meine. Washington, DC : Island Press, c2004.

The river of the mother of God and other essays / by Aldo Leopold ; edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1991.

Read more about the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Friday, January 8, 2010

California's gravity and groundwater

With 1.2 quadrillion gallons, Wisconsin is groundwater rich. Yet our sizable supply is not infinite. According to the Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council's 2009 Report to the Legislature, groundwater use was estimated during 2005 to be 986 million gallons per day -- 380 million gallons per day greater than withdrawals estimated for 1979 (p. 91). While Wisconsin remains groundwater rich, we're using more each year.

Wisconsin isn't alone in accelerating groundwater use. Using gravity-sensing satellites, a new report offers insights into the increasing rate of groundwater depletion in California's Central Valley.

Using data collected by NASA's GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites, which can discern and measure the movements of water both above and below the ground by detecting minute changes in gravity, the San Joaquin and Sacramento River basins lost more than 31 cubic kilometers of water between October 2003 and March 2009. A cubic kilometer is about 264.2 billion gallons, enough to fill 400,000 Olympic-size pools.

Since 2003, the Central Valley -- and its major mountain water source -- the Sierra Nevadas -- have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir.

Read more about the findings:

NASA Data Reveal Major Groundwater Loss in California

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Feature: Wisconsin County & Municipal Web Mapping Sites

From David Hart, Wisconsin Sea Grant:


Most county governments in Wisconsin (63 of 72 or 88%) have developed publicly accessible, interactive web mapping sites. An additional five counties have sites in development. This web site provides a means to access those that are available to the public and to track those sites in development. It does not attempt to inventory county government web sites that provide only tabular access to tax assessment records.

County web mapping sites can be accessed by clicking on the pink counties on the map below. Counties with web mapping sites in development are colored in yellow. Links to county web mapping sites, county web mapping services, and municipal web mapping sites are provided in the tables below the map and will open in a separate browser window.

Interactive web mapping sites in Wisconsin can also be discovered and accessed through other sources. The Wisconsin Land INformation Clearinghouse (WiscLINC) is maintained by the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office. Click on the Catalog tab. Under the Search dialog, choose Select All under the Places Menu and choose Interactive Maps for the Resource Type. You can also search for web mapping services. Jerry Sullivan of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources maintains a comprehensive guide on Streaming Web Mapping Services to Your Desktop (November 2008). Several Wisconsin regional planning commissions keep track of county and municipal web mapping sites in their region, including the Southeastern Wisconsin RPC, the Bay-Lake RPC, the East Central Wisconsin RPC, and the North Central Wisconsin RPC.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

From Wisconsin's Water Library - new books

We hope the dawn of the new decade finds you well. The Water Library has made a resolution to read more in 2010, which shouldn’t be too difficult since the thermometer hasn’t reached into the double digits (Fahrenheit) lately.

Please checkout our new book list. There is plenty to read to keep you busy through this long Wisconsin winter.

And if you have heard a lot lately about Asian carp in the Chicago Shipping and Sanitary Canal and wish to learn more, you might want to take a look at this Web page - from Wisconsin Sea Grant's own Phil Moy. Dr. Moy has been an expert on this issue for a long time and will give you a balanced perspective on the issues. The library also has an extensive reading list of books about various aquatic invasive species.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ice and snow is everywhere

Located on the icy shores of Lake Mendota, the largest of Madison's four lakes, Wisconsin's Water Library can't help but contemplate water in its frozen phase. Whether pancake, brash, white, black, or frazile, ice and snow is everywhere. They are inescapable elements of our wintry landscape.

If you ski, skate, sail, "shanty-up" -- or just enjoy reflecting on our frozen world -- here is a random assortment of ice and snow-related resources:
Ice fishing recommended reading list from the Water Library
"Ice Safety" from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources"

Guide to snowflakes

"Great lakes ice rhythms" by Jennifer Yauck of the Great Lakes WATER Institute