Volume 2 2012

Kathy Kline
Kathy Schmitt Kline. Photo: Amy Schreck.


Survey to Check Out Consumers’ Knowledge of Fish Facts

What’s on your dinner plate? Yellow perch or rainbow trout? If yes, how often does it show up on your family’s menu? Do you know if it’s wild-caught or farm-raised?

A new Sea Grant consumer survey is trying to ferret out some answers to these questions, and more. It’s part of a new campaign to raise awareness about the safety and sustainability of local Wisconsin fish from neighborhood grocery stores.

A good place to begin that awareness-building is to learn what questions consumers may have about things like how to select and prepare local fish, nutritional benefits and health risks, and how fish are raised or harvested commercially.

Kathy Schmitt Kline, an outreach coordinator, is heading up the project that will deploy the survey in Madison-area grocery stores as a pilot study through the next few months. Survey results will inform the development of websites, fact sheets and other products to provide science-based information to answer consumers’ local-fish consumption questions.

Sea Grant Programs Team Up to Produce Areas of Concern Video

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are currently 49 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC), sites where water and sediment quality have become severely degraded. There are 30 AOCs in the United States, 14 in Canada and five shared by both countries.

And chances are good that residents have absolutely no idea they may be living in one. Or that efforts to clean up the water and sediment are occurring in and around their own communities. 

That’s why Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and University of Wisconsin Sea Grant are teaming up to produce a public information video that’s designed to inform anglers, boaters, marina operators and local businesses of the benefits that can come from a remediated AOC.

The video, funded by a grant from the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, will feature several Great Lakes AOCs, including the Sheboygan River AOC, the Milwaukee Estuary AOC, the Muskegon Lake AOC and the Grand Calumet River AOC. Caitie McCoy, a social scientist with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, will interview people who live and work in these AOCs, and UW Sea Grant videographer John Karl will shoot and edit the footage into a five- to seven-minute video.

McCoy and Karl plan to use the video to raise awareness about the process and benefits of remediation. One of their goals is to recruit potential non-federal partners to participate in current and future remediation projects under the Great Lakes Legacy Act. Filming and interviews will occur in 2012.

UW Sea Grant Maps Angler Safety Near Lake Michigan Trap Nets

The waters of Lake Michigan are just that much safer for recreational anglers due to UW Sea Grant’s map distribution of commercial trap net sites near Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Door counties. Last spring and summer, there were 3,500 visits to seagrant.wisc.edu and an additional website, and 1,000 maps were distributed through bait shops and at boat landings. Another 35 posters went up along shorelines.

The maps indicate net coordinates and depths. They help prevent entanglement, which can be extremely dangerous if anglers and/or their equipment become wrapped up in the system of net, buoy lines and anchors that may be more than a quarter-mile long. The nets are designed to catch whitefish and allow non-target species to be released unharmed.

In 2012, the trap net awareness efforts will continue with more maps, posters and downloadable information so that more people can safely enjoy the bounty of Lake Michigan.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents