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MAZINAx19IGANPAGE6WINTER20122013MANOOMINWisconsinmanoominseasonendsstrongerthananticipatedOdanahWis.x14UpperClamLakeinBurnettCountyWisconsinisaspecialplace.Theextensivemanoominwildricebedsfoundonthesouthernbaysofthelakemadethisthenumberoneoff-reservationricingharvestinglakeinthestate.Fishermenandwa-terfowlhuntersalsoknewtheycouldoftenfindthequarrytheysoughtonthisproductivelakeaswellthanksinnosmallparttothefoodandhabitatthericebedsprovided.Thensomethinghappened.Aftercenturiesofsupportingricex14includinggoodbedsin2006x14thericeallbutdisappearedin2007.Ofcoursemanoominisanannualplantandoccasionalcropfailuresareaninherenttraitofthespeciessowhiletheinitiallosswasnotedbymanyitdidnx19tsetoffalarms.Buttimewouldshowthiswasnotjustanannualfailure.Thiswassomethingdifferent.Unlikepreviouscropfailuresthistimethericestayedabsent200820092010.Thelakewasfundamentallydifferentinamultitudeofwaysx14fromtheaquaticplantcommunitytofishpopulationstowaterfowlutilization.ThebigquestionwaswhyInitiallyseveraltheoriesfloatedaroundx14includingpossiblecontaminationfromadefunctcranberryoperationupstreamamechanicalweedharvesterrunamokandcarp.Whilethelatterfactorseemedmostlikelythereweredoubtsaboutthecarptheoryaswellafterallcarpwhilenon-nativewerenonewcomertoClamLakehavingbeenpresentinthesystemfordecades.WhywouldtheysuddenlyhaveanimpactnowItx19stakensometimetoputthepiecestogetherbutitlooksliketheanswermayhavebeenfound.Andwhileitx19salwaysriskytooversimplifythecomplexityofecologicaleventsitlookslikecarpareindeedinthemiddleofit.ItisclearfromlookingatthecarpthemselvesthankstosamplingdonebytheDNRthatsomethingcreatedax1cperfectstormx1dofcarpproductionseveralyearsagobecausetherearetensofthousandsofcarpinthelakeandnearlyhalfofthemarefromasingleyear-classofrecruitment.ThebestguessatwhatcausedthissurgemaynotbeintuitivebutthepuzzlepiecessuggestsomethinglikethisAwinter-killorpossiblediseaseeventlargelywipedoutthebluegillpopulation.Withoutbluegillsx14whoareeffectiveconsum-ersofcarpeggsx14carpproductionbloomedandwhenthosecarpgrewtosufficientsizetheyhammeredthericeandotheraquaticplantsbyuprootingthemimpedingtheirgrowthbyincreasingwaterturbidityconsumingtheirseedsorsomecombinationofthethree.OnepieceofevidenceoftheroleofcarpcanbeseenintheremarkableeventthatwasobservedthisyearinClamLakex19ssouthern-mostbay.InaneffortleadbytheSt.CroixTribetheopeningstothisbayhavebeennettedoffforthelasttwoseasonsofopenwaterx14withthenetsgoingupinthespringbeforeappreciablenumbersofcarpenterthebay.Aninitialresponsein2011wasfollowedbyadramaticsightthisyearanextensivebedofmanoominx14andotheraquaticplantsx14thathadnx19tbeenseeninhalfadecadeseephotosbelow.Whiletherecoverywitnessedsofarisencouragingthelakestillhasalongwaystogo.Largebedsofricehistoricallyoccurredinareasthatcannotbeeasilyfencedofffromthecarp.Andwhilethetribestatelakeassociationandothercooperatorsarealsoworkingtoreducethecarppopulationthroughwinternettingithasbeenachallengetoputasizabledentinsuchamassivepopulation.But2012hasprovidedagreatshotofencouragementtoallthosewhohavecommittedthemselvestobringingbackthespecialqualitiesofUpperClamLake.ClamLakericebedsheadingtowardsrecoveryByPeterDavidGLIFWCWildlifeBiologistUpperClamLakex19ssouthern-mostbaypre-2008recoveryofthemanoominbeds.photobyPeterDavidUpperClamLakex19ssouthern-mostbaypost-2012recoveryofthemanoominbeds.photobyPeterDavidOdanahWis.x14The2012Wisconsinricingseasonendedonahighernotethanearlieranticipatedx13likelyduetoacombina-tionoffactors.Thefirstofwhichinvolvedthericersthemselveswhoappeartohaveputforthextraefforttolocatericebeds.With2012beingthethirdyearinarowwithbelowaveragemanoominstandsacrossnorthernWisconsinextraeffortwasneededtoreplenishpersonalmanoominreserves.SeconditalsoappearsasthoughmoreharvestersareturningtotheCommissionx19swebsitetohelpguidetheirharvestingefforts.Thesiteprovidedupdatedinformationonlakeopeningsaswellascropabundanceinformationatsitesacrossthecededterritory.Pickerswereabletoavoidtripstounproduc-tivelocationsandconcentratetheireffortswheresuccesswasmostlikely.Finallymildcooperativeweatherthispastfallalsocontributedtotheincreasedharvest.Thelackofrainandstrongwindsduringtheweeksofharvestmeantlesslossofripericeseedtoweatherevents.GreatweatherduringthelongLaborDayweekendwasespeciallywelcome.PreliminaryanalysisofrespondentstotheWisconsinwildriceharvestsurveyindicatesthat14countiesinWisconsinhadsuccessfulharvestwithatotalof57differentsiteswithreportedharvest.ThetopharvestingsiteswerebothinTaylorCountyx14MondeauxFlowageandChequamegonWatersFlowageakaMillerDamwhileTheThoroughfareinOneidaCountysawthemostharvestingtrips.The190surveyrespondentsaveragedabout21poundsperharvesttripincompari-sontoonly9poundspertripin2010.Themajorityofrespondentsharvestedatotalof50poundsorlessthisricingseason.SitesofnotewereRadiganFlowageinDouglasCountywherelowwaterlevelslefttheseed-richplantsstandinginmudflatsthatdidnotallowcanoepassage.UpperClamLakeinBurnettCountyshowedthefirstsignificantresponsetorestorationeffortsthatareunderwaythereseearticlebelow.AndMudLakeOaklandTownshipBurnettCountywasinthetop10harvestsitesindicatingthattheculvertrepairprojectafewyearsagomayberectifyingwaterlevelissues.ByLisaDavidGLIFWCManoominBiologistMondeauFlowageTaylorCountyWisconsinwasamongthetopmanoominharvestingsitesfor2012.photobyPeterDavidx1cWhiletherecoverywitnessedsofarisencouragingthelakestillhasalongwaystogo.Largebedsofricehistoricallyoccurredinareasthatcannotbeeasilyfencedofffromthecarp.x1d