waskington state lake images

Conference Program Archive

2017 Conference

WALPA celebrates three decades of annual gatherings in Spokane!

WALPA conference attendees headed to the east side of Washington in October to gather for the organization’s 30th annual conference on the shores of the Spokane River. The conference theme – “Lakes: A Valuable Public Resource” – provided an appropriate frame for numerous talks involving lake management, research, protection, recreation, and more. More than 70 attendees from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and beyond enjoyed listening to presentations, participating in workshops, browsing posters and photographs, and of course meeting other lake enthusiasts.

The conference kicked off with an afternoon of technical workshops. The first workshop focused on invasive plants and animals in lakes. It included a lecture illustrated by a display of specimens as well as other resource materials, and concluded with an informative Q & A session. The later workshop took participants to Lake Arthur on the Gonzaga University campus for a lake sampling session. Special thanks to Jim Gawel of the University of Washington – Tacoma for providing the boats that made this workshop possible. After the workshops, participants shared beverages and appetizers at the Globe Bar and Grill in downtown Spokane, which donated a portion of the evening’s proceeds to WALPA.

Laura Laumatia from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Lake Management Department started off the conference’s second day with an engaging plenary discussion about the Coeur d’Alene Lake Management Plan. Presentations that followed covered more local limnological topics, as well as discussions on volunteer monitoring, toxic algae, invasive species control, and more. The conference’s Spokane location allowed numerous Idaho lake managers and enthusiasts to attend and present their work.

At the annual lunchtime business meeting, Past-President Jim Gawel briefed conference attendees on WALPA Board activities over the past year, while newly-minted President Rachael Gravon gave a glimpse into what the Board hopes to accomplish in the near future. Many thanks were expressed to exiting Board members Marisa Burghdoff, Randy Hadland, and Andrew Child, all of whom have provided many hours and invaluable contributions to WALPA over their years of participation. Warm welcomes were given to new and returning board members Sally Abella and Avery Shinneman. Board Director Anthony Gabriel recognized this year’s scholarship winners: Michael Lawlor (Dave Lamb Memorial Scholarship), Tim Taylor (Nancy Weller Scholarship), and Anna Shampain (WALPA Undergraduate Scholarship).

The 2017 Secchi Disc Award was affectionately presented to Harry Gibbons, one of WALPA’s founding members. Harry’s long career in lake and reservoir restoration and management (not to mention all of his stream and river restoration work) has been devoted to bettering the science of lake management and advocating for lake protection in Washington and across the country. Harry was unanimously voted the recipient of this annual award recognizing exceptional service to lakes.

Winners of the student poster and presentation contest ($50 award each) were Kenneth Burkart and Tim Taylor for oral presentations, and Michael Lawlor, John Leffrido, and Anna Shampain for poster presentations.

The much-loved social and auction event on Thursday evening provided conference-goers a chance to unwind, enjoy tasty food and beverages, and engage in a bit of friendly competition over the many items generously donated to the auction and raffle. Monies raised from this event fund student scholarships, research, and outreach.

The WALPA Board extends a huge thank-you to all attendees, presenters, sponsors, and Board members for their contributions to yet another successful annual conference. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Portland for a joint conference with the Oregon Lakes Association (OLA)!

2017 WALPA Conference Program

2016 Conference

Lake folks converge on Bellingham for WALPA’s 29th annual conference

WALPA headed north to Bellingham in October to host its 29th annual conference at the Four Points Sheraton. This year’s theme was “Lakes – Reflections of Change.” More than 90 members — lake managers, professionals, students and lakeside residents — attended to share their lake management knowledge and network with others from around the state.

The conference started with an afternoon of workshops on macroinvertebrate and phytoplankton identification, for which participants could receive continuing education credits. Jim Helfield and Joan Vandersypen from Western Washington University (WWU) provided attendees a hands-on lesson on macroinvertebrate identification. Robin Mathews, also from WWU, gave a glimpse into the fascinating world of phytoplankton identification, focusing on cyanobacteria.

Macroinvertebrate and phytoplankton ID workshop

Dr. Michael Brett, a professor from the University of Washington, kicked off the conference’s first full day with a thought-provoking plenary talk on “How do we balance the (possibly) conflicting goals of phosphorus removal, ecosystem services and sustainability in the Spokane River Basin?” Dr. Brett’s talk sparked meaningful discussions throughout the conference. After the plenary, participants heard great presentations about lake monitoring, lake management, outreach and education, problem bacteria and invasive species, current student research, and a special focus on nearby Lake Whatcom. With many excellent speakers, the conference once again proved to be a perfect forum for learning about the variety of lake research and management issues across the state.

During the lunch business meeting, WALPA board members gave updates on the progress made in public policy, by-laws, membership and scholarship committees, as well as efforts to establish a state volunteer monitoring program. The group congratulated WALPA’s 2016 scholarship winners: Vincent Jobin from the University of Washington, Zach Klein from the University of Idaho and Randi Bowman from Lewis-Clark State College. Changes in the WALPA board were announced for the coming year. Rachael Gravon was chosen as President-Elect, Jim Gawel will step in as President, and Jen Oden was elected Treasurer. Past President Ellen Preece and outgoing board member Susanne Martin were recognized and thanked, and incoming board members Jenifer Parsons and Lizbeth Seebacher were introduced.

Gene Williams was presented with the 2016 Secchi Disk Award for his outstanding work in lake management and protection. Gene, recently retired, has spent the last 28 years creating a diverse and innovative lake management program in Snohomish County, working on water quality monitoring, outreach, lake restoration and invasive aquatic plant control. He is also the longest-serving board member in WALPA’s history, collectively volunteering over 10 years on the WALPA Board.

Gene Williams at Lake Stevens

The social hour Wednesday night was a great place for informal discussion, student posters and our fourth annual raffle and silent auction, made possible by donations from more than 20 businesses! The silent auction and raffle were followed by an exciting live auction for an InSitu SmarTroll, a YSI ProDSS, and a Hach Hydrolab HL4. In all, the event raised more than $10,000 to support WALPA’s mission and fund student scholarships.

Students from across the region had a big presence at this year’s conference throughout the talk and poster sessions and won prizes for their work:

  • Best undergrad poster – Kellen Maloney (UW Bothell) Investigating the ability of substrates inoculated with mushroom mycelium to reduce fecal coliform bacteria contamination in surface water
  • Best graduate student poster – Tim Taylor (WSU) Evaluating the precision of lake-dwelling brook trout age structures
  • Best undergrad presentation – Anthony Endresen (UW Tacoma) Phytoremediation of arsenic by aquatic plants in contaminated urban lakes in the South-Central Puget Sound Region
  • Best graduate presentations (tied) – Andrew Child (WSU) From farm to table: tracking availability and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in freshwater zooplankton in northeastern Washington lakes and Vincent Jobin (UW) Landscape position defines lake water level fluctuations in response to past climate in the Pacific Northwest

The conference concluded with a field trip to Lake Whatcom led by staff from the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County. The field trip showcased a variety of programs working together on lake protection in the Lake Whatcom watershed.

2016 WALPA Conference Program

2016 Conference Abstracts

2015 Conference

WALPA’s annual conference sets the stage for a successful future.

Lake managers, professionals and lakeside residents converged on beautiful Walla Walla for the 28thannual WALPA conference at the end of October. In total, more than 90 members attended to sharpen their lake management knowledge and network with other lake-minded people. This year’s theme of Looking Back to Prepare for the Futureprovided a great framework for evaluating our organization’s progress and setting us up for a successful future.

The conference kicked off with a plenary talk exploring the thirty years of WALPA history from 1986 – 2015. WALPA veterans Harry Gibbons, Rob Zisette, Gene Williams, Sally Abella, Bijay Adams, and Jim Gawel explored the successes, challenges, and future of WALPA. Major themes included the importance of lake funding in the state, the need to work with lake groups and citizens, and the significant progress that a small group can make. The milestones noted by the plenary speakers and more than 30 other past and current WALPA members will be available online for everyone at www.walpa.org under “About Us.”

Technical sessions started on Monday with two intensive training workshops attracting about 50 participants. Harry Gibbons and Shannon Brattebo of TetraTech, Inc. teamed up to give a phosphorus inactivation workshop about the ins and outs of alum treatments and similar techniques. Attendees wanting to enhance their plant and algae identification skills benefited from a hands-on presentation by Jenifer Parsons and Ben Peterson (plants), and Rachael Gravon and Karl Bruun (algae).


Students presented an array of great topics at the poster session.

The second and third days of the conference were filled with topics including lake management, data analysis, lake pollution and toxics, and nutrient cycling. Highlights included the introduction of Washington State Department of Ecology’s new lake data website. Jenifer Parsons walked us through this “one-stop shop” for Ecology’s data on plant and water quality monitoring, grant funding history, and aquatic herbicide use for lakes around the state. Joan Hardy from the Washington Department of Health brought us up to speed on the latest in toxic algae research. She concluded her talk by introducing and asking for feedback on Ecology’s initial efforts to develop 303(d) narrative criteria for cyanotoxins for adoption in Washington’s Water Quality Criteria.

Students from across Washington and Idaho had a big presence at this year’s conference throughout the talk and poster sessions. There was a tie for best student presentation. Sarah Burnet won for her talk on The need for multiple within-lake sites to determine rates of internal loading from sediment cores.Andrew Child took home both an award for the best student talk (Tracking long-distance atmospheric smelter waste deposition in remote lakes) and the graduate student poster prize for his work on sockeye salmon spawning in Lake Roberta. Corey King and Rebecca Rigg won the undergraduate student poster prize for their work developing a nutrient model for Waughop Lake. All of the students won big, though, with the success of the student scholarship fundraising auction.

visioning session for vol monitor at conf

Conference attendees meet in smaller groups to discuss WALPA’s future direction at the visioning session.

One of the most exciting sessions was a WALPA “visioning session” where attendees met in smaller groups to discuss WALPA’s future direction, focusing on membership, legislative initiatives, and volunteer lake monitoring. Session participants discussed improving legislative communication and statewide lake funding, increasing membership, working to better include Idaho members, starting a statewide volunteer lake monitoring program, and hosting a citizen workshop for the western part of the state. The WALPA Board will use the ideas generated to direct our work for both the short- and long-term and will be looking for members to volunteer for these committees.

As always, the conference also provided the venue for our annual business meeting, including the presentation of the Secchi Disk Achievement Award. This year two long-time WALPA members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the science, management, and protection of lakes. Sally Abella won for her extensive work on lakes in King County both during her years of research and as a lake specialist with King County. The second recipient, Maggie Bell-McKinnon, received the award for her tireless efforts to support and protect lakes at the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The business meeting also marked a farewell to Board members Chris Knutson (past-president), Frank Wilhelm, Karl Bruun, and Isabel Ragland. New Board members elected include Timothy Clark, Chhay Mam, Joan Hardy, Andrew Child, and Sandra Mead. Jeremy Jenkins will serve as the new President-Elect and will begin planning for next year’s conference soon. Amy Martin will also be transitioning onto the Board to replace Jeremy as Secretary.

2015 WALPA Conference Program

2014 Conference

With nearly 90 people attending, the Applied Limnology conference (WALPA’s 27th annual) was a great venue for exchanging ideas and learning about the work different groups are doing across the state. Conference attendees at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan included representatives from tribal staff, universities (students, teachers and researchers), lake associations, local citizens, government, and others interested in Washington and Idaho lake issues. Thanks to all the sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers and speakers who, along with the participants, made the event a great success! 

chelanThe conference started on October 30th with workshops on general limnology and on invasive species (both plant and animal), for which participants could get continuing education credits. The conference’s location was perfect for the general limnology group to try hands-on sampling techniques on Lake Chelan. Thanks to Jim Gawel, who brought boats from the University of Washington – Tacoma to make this possible.

Dr. Stephanie Hampton, Director of the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach at Washington State University, led off the first full day of the conference with a plenary talk on Lake Baikal. The plenary was followed by presentations on Harmful Algae Blooms, Nuisance Aquatic Species and Hot Topics in Lake Restoration and Management.

At the business meeting, BiJay Adams received the 2014 Secchi Disk Award for his outstanding work in water management and protection. BiJay deserved the award for many reasons, but especially for his key role in WALPA’s multi-year effort to reduce phosphorus in Washington State. There is now a limit on the amount of phosphorus allowed in dishwashing detergent (must be under 0.5%).

We also thanked retiring board members Jonathan Frodge, Josh Wozniak and Tom Woolf, and introduced new board candidates. A highlight was the announcement of the winners of the 2014 scholarships — Megan Skinner from Washington State University and Mark Sorel from University of Washington. New board members are Rachael Gravon and Jennifer Oden.

The social hour Wednesday night was a great place for informal discussion, student posters and our second annual raffle and silent auction, made possible by all kinds of donations from more than 20 businesses! The silent auction and raffle were followed by an exciting live auction for a Hach Hydrolab HL4 and a YSI DO probe. In all, we raised over $7,000 to support student research and scholarships. We also awarded prizes for student work at the conference. The Best Undergraduate Student Poster went to Shantelle Reamer from the University of Washington – Tacoma and the Best Graduate Student Poster went to Andrew Child from Washington State University. Katie Coyle from the University of Idaho took the honors for the Best Student Presentation.

The conference wrapped up with presentations on Fish Ecology and Management and Nutrient Management in Lakes. We had many great speakers this year and the conference once again proved to be a perfect forum for learning about the variety of lake research and management issues across the state.

The incoming board has a number of ideas for its work in 2015, including increasing student scholarship awards, increasing the diversity of WALPA’s membership, continuing to find grant money for volunteer lake monitoring programs and taking a more active role in social media via Facebook and Twitter. If you have other ideas about board priorities, contact Ellen Preece at eppreece@wsu.edu. Also, please “like” WALPA on Facebook and keep an eye on our social media as we use it more.

Thanks to everyone who made the 27th WALPA meeting a success. We look forward to seeing a wonderful group again next year!

2014 Final Program

WALPA 2014 Abstracts

2014 Gold Conference Sponsors:

2013 Conference


The 2013 joint WALPA/Oregon Lakes Association (OLA) Conference held October 16-18 at the Hilton in beautiful Vancouver, Washington was a great success. This year’s theme of Collaborative Lake Management was exemplified by the joint conference and collaborate we did (sometimes with a cold beverage in our hands)!

The conference brought together more than 150 WALPA and OLA members from Washington, Oregon and Idaho and featured a wonderful group of presenters from federal, local, state and tribal agencies as well as universities, consulting firms, lake associations and vendors. Concurrent sessions covered topics ranging from harmful algae blooms to invasive species, urban lakes to student research. As always, the presentations were top-notch. One of this year’s best was the plenary talk from Charlie Crisafulli about ecosystem responses following the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.

Conferences like these do not happen without lots of work from many different people. Thanks to the OLA and WALPA board members for their hard work in setting up the conference. Board members collaborated in organizing the sessions as well as securing many wonderful items for our raffle and auction, which raised over $7,000 for the annual scholarships distributed by WALPA and OLA! Tickets were purchased for the bucket raffle and winners were called during our Thursday evening social hour. (Thanks to our social hour sponsors YSI, Hach Hydromet and Aquatechnex.) Beverages were sipped, stories were told and prizes were won by many excited individuals. The live auction took place Friday morning during the session break and that’s when the bidding wars broke out. I would like to thank Hach Hydromet, YSI, and all the other donors for providing some great items that raised a significant amount of money for these important scholarships.

The social hour also gave attendees the chance to view some great posters put together for the conference. This year we awarded gift certificates for the best student posters from Oregon and Washington. Congratulations to Oregon winner Connor Driscoll (OSU) for his poster on ”Putative novel cyanophage genomes identified from a Microcystis bloom” and Washington winner Andrew Child (WSU) for his poster “Does hypolimnetic oxygen restoration affect the amount of methane-oxidizing bacteria consumed by lake invertebrates?” Our photo contest also had two winners: Steve Wille and Megan Skinner both submitted beautiful pictures (featured in this issue of Waterline) that shared the top prize.

On a more somber note, this year marked the passing of former WALPA member and lakes professional Dave Lamb. Many people had fond memories and stories to share about Dave; thank you to Rob Zisette for saying a few words about him during lunch on Thursday. To honor Dave, the WALPA board has renamed the WALPA scholarship the Dave Lamb Memorial Scholarship. WALPA also awarded the Nancy Weller Memorial Scholarship; each scholarship is now $1,000. Congratulations to Ben Cross of WSU for winning the Nancy Weller scholarship and to Ricardo Sanchez-Murillo from University of Idaho, who won the inaugural Dave Lamb Memorial Scholarship.

Beth LeDoux

Beth LeDoux was honored with this year’s Secchi Award.

This year’s Secchi Award winner was Beth Ledoux, who served eight years on the WALPA Board and two terms as President. Beth has been a lake advocate for many years and was instrumental in passing the ban on phosphorus in both fertilizer and dishwasher detergent. Beth’s outgoing personality and enthusiasm were evident as she testified before Senate committees and worked tirelessly to reduce nutrient loading in Washington lakes. Beth is a much-deserving recipient of our annual award and we are proud to honor her.

The 2013 conference also meant saying farewell to long-standing (and repeating) Board member/President BiJay Adams. BiJay has served multiple terms as President and director and is well deserving of some time off (although I’m sure I will still need to pester him for his WALPA expertise). Also leaving the WALPA Board are Aaron Nix, Elizabeth Johnson, Jeff Tepper and Shannon Brattebo, whom we thank for their dedicated service. With these friends leaving the Board, we have the chance to welcome new officers and directors this year. These include President-Elect Ellen Preece, Secretary Jeremy Jenkins and returning Treasurer Josh Wozniak. New incoming directors Amy Martin, Siana Wong and Marissa Burghdoff will join returning board members Randy Hadland, Frank Wilhelm, Karl Bruun, and Isabel Ragland.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who attended the conference. The highlight of the conference every year for me is getting together with other lakes professionals and like-minded individuals, sharing expertise and swapping stories. This conference does a great job of gathering a diverse group of attendees who bring so much experience from so many backgrounds. I always appreciate the advice and opinions of our members. If you have suggestions for our next conference, please feel free to email me at chris.knutson@kingcounty.gov. Although we haven’t yet selected the location for our 2014 conference, I am sure it will be a great one and I look forward to seeing you all there!

2013 Final Program

WALPA 2013 Abstracts

2013 Gold Conference Sponsors:

  • HACH Hydromet
  • YSI
  • AquaTechnex

2012 Conference

The 25th Annual WALPA Conference on October 24-26 in Wenatchee was a great success thanks to all its sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, speakers and attendees! For those who couldn’t make it, let me fill you in on what you missed. Nearly 100 WALPA members attended, representing a wide array of federal, state, tribal, county and municipal agencies responsible for lake management as well as university faculty and students, analytical labs, lake associations, consulting companies, NGOs, lake management companies and companies demonstrating the latest monitoring methods and technologies.

This is one of the few conferences I know that brings together absolutely everyone working in, on and for a natural resource issue. That makes the WALPA Conference an outstanding place to network! I always come away from this meeting with new ideas for lake management, new collaborators to work with, new monitoring techniques to try, and new contacts to call after the tables are broken down and we have all driven back to our homes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The speakers this year were just stellar! As an educator I like learning new things, and like a kid in a candy shop I like it all! I saw great presentations on beavers, shiners, and algae, floating islands and alum, aquatic plants and nutrients, PCBs, mercury and cyanotoxins, invasive plants and animals, and lakes from Spirit Lake to Lake Chelan to Moses Lake to Lake Ketchum. I really enjoyed the session showcasing student research and the presentations by past WALPA scholarship winners.

And no, it was not all work, but don’t tell the bosses! Everyone knows that if you want to find the people who do the real work of natural resource management, just look for the best watering hole! Thanks to the folks who helped stuff registration packets with one hand while holding their beverage of choice in the other. We definitely supported the local economy by filling the longest and loudest table on Wednesday night, only to surpass that on Thursday by filling half a restaurant! On Thursday we also got a chance to rub elbows, look at posters and lake photos, and chat with the wonderful vendors and conference sponsors while sampling local wine and cider. Thanks to Hach-Hydromet for sponsoring that social event!

This conference also marked my transition into my new position as President of WALPA, trying to fill the VERY big shoes of BiJay Adams and Beth LeDoux. I still get to pick BiJay’s brain as he continues on the WALPA Board for another year (at least!) as Past-President, but we will all miss having Beth there! Beth will take a well-deserved break from WALPA leadership after six years. She is looking forward to attending the conferences and actually getting to listen to talks instead of running around behind the scenes. We also say goodbye (for now) to Moya Joubert and Katie Messick as they end their terms on the Board, but we hope to see both of them at the conferences as well. We say hello to our newest Board members, Thomas Woolf, Susanne Marten and President-elect Curt Carpenter (see bios in this issue), and we welcome back returning Board members Jonathan Frodge and Josh Wozniak. For more info on all your WALPA Board members, please check out our full WALPA website.

While I got to hear from WALPA members at the conference about ideas for the Board to work on this next year, I would love to hear from more of our members as well!  Please email me at jimgawel@uw.edu and let me know what you are interested in. You can also “like” WALPA on Facebook and stay connected to what we are working on and how you can help. Some of the ideas we heard at the conference included advocating for funding for in-lake management options, developing and sustaining volunteer monitoring programs, gathering information on dredging as a management option, and disseminating outreach and education materials to members. While I can’t promise we’ll get around to everything this year, we’ll do what we can, and we will call on some of you to participate as well. We are still working on the location for our 2013 WALPA Conference, but we hope to see you all there. I promise that it will be fun and well worth your time!

2012 Final Program

WALPA 2012 Abstracts

2011 Conference

The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) and the Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA) teamed up on the NALMS 31st International Symposium in Spokane Washington on October 26-28, 2011. It had been nearly 20 years since NALMS came to the Northwest, and the Convention Center, on the banks of the Spokane River, offered the perfect venue. The symposium presented a variety of educational and technical information on the theme of Diverse and Sustainable Lake Management.

Welcoming NALMS to Spokane was Andy Billig, State Representative for Washington’s Third District in the heart of Spokane. Representative Billig discussed his efforts as the prime sponsor of HB 1489, a bill that eliminated unnecessary phosphorous in lawn fertilizer, reducing toxic algae blooms and making waterways across the state, including the Spokane River, safer for people, wildlife, and pets. Dr. John Stockner, of Eco-Logic Ltd. and the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, kicked off the conference with a plenary talk on how lakes react to nutrient imbalances caused by both excesses and losses of needed nutrients. Over two days, participants chose from dozens of presentations on lake issues from cyanobacteria to noxious weeds to aeration and modeling. Four concurrent sessions full of impressive talks and information from around North America ran throughout both days of the conference.

Apart from the formal program, networking opportunities allowed people from the scientific, environmental, recreational, residential, government and other communities to compare notes on important water management issues. At a Wednesday night reception sponsored by Hach Hydromet, attendees socialized while checking out the impressive poster sessions from students and colleagues around North America. On Thursday, the NALMS annual banquet featured the McManus Comedies starring Tim Behrens and based on the writing of humorist Patrick F. McManus, whose stories describe his life growing up in Idaho and eastern Washington.

With 480 attendees, the symposium was a huge success, but would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. These included: the US Army Corps of Engineers, Aquarius Systems, Avista, Freese and Nichols, Golder Associates, HAB Aquatic Solutions, Hach Hydromet, Herrera, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, PhycoTech, Princeton Hydro, Smith Root, Spokane County Utilities, Spokane River Stewardship Partners, Spokane Riverkeeper, Sweetwater Technologies, Tennessee Valley Authority, Washington Department of Ecology – Shorelands & Environmental Assistance Program and Washington Department of Ecology – Water Quality Program.

Both members and board members of WALPA were instrumental to the success of the event as they served on the Local Host Committee, putting together an impressive list of talks and presentations, recruiting wonderful sponsors and keeping the symposium fun. At the annual business meeting during Friday’s lunch, WALPA board members discussed possible changes to the aquatic weed permit fee and to WALPA’s membership structure (stay tuned), congratulated retiring board members, welcomed new board members, and reviewed changes to the website and Waterline. Plenty of discussion ensued and the incoming board has a full slate of issues to contemplate at its next meeting.

Thanks to everyone who made the NALMS 31st International Symposium such a success!

Download the Final Program

2010 Conference

Annual conference in Tacoma spotlights low impact development and stormwater management

On September 9th and 10th, WALPA members from across the state converged on the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus to learn about lake and watershed studies around Washington. Curtis Hinman, an Associate Professor with Washington State University Extension, and Affiliate Faculty with WSU Department of Natural Resource Sciences, kicked off this 23rd conference with a fantastic plenary talk about low-impact techniques used around the state. This set the tone for the following session on Low Impact Development, which showcased an excellent mix of techniques that address the needs of development both west and east of the Cascades.

Other highlights from the first day included an aquatic plant session that was highly popular thanks to the great talks and the continuing education credits offered for pesticide license holders who attended. Another first-day session covered short and long-term monitoring projects, including one in Spokane County that uses snowmobiles to collect samples through the winter. Speaking of long-term, the first day also included reports on the Centennial Grant Projects.

At the WALPA business meeting, the board discussed everything from retiring board members to legislation. No votes were needed, so members aired a video about the City of Spokane to entice WALPA and NALMS colleagues to next fall’s NALMS conference slated for Spokane.

The first day wrapped up with a terrific no-host social at the Harmon Brewery right next to campus. WALPA members filled the back tables to discuss the day’s presentations and catch up with colleagues from across the state.  Many of the WALPA student attendees and speakers gathered at one table and it was networking in action! The comfortable atmosphere made the evening seem more like a gathering of old friends than a formal “icebreaker” event.

The second morning was filled with concurrent presentations – more on aquatic weeds and, in keeping with the conference theme, a stormwater session. The last talks were dedicated to cyanobacteria — always of interest to conference attendees. This session featured a talk by the Seattle citizens’ group Friends of Green Lake, who reported on their recent study of cyanobacteria. Gene Williams and Marisa Burghdoff shared new data and procedures, especially their use of a phycocyanin meter to try and predict blue-green algae blooms.

The conference concluded with a field trip organized by Chris Burke of the City of Tacoma and Jim Gawel of the University of Washington, Tacoma. The tour took WALPA members around the city to look at stormwater management techniques and LID projects – both in progress and complete. Jim also took the group to Lake Wapato in the heart of the city and discussed the challenges of managing an urban lake.

The caliber of the presentations, the delightful social and the informative tour made this WALPA conference one of our best. WALPA sends thanks to our sponsors who support our mission and help us grow, and especially to all the speakers who gave their time to participate in the conference.

2010 Conference Program

2010 Premier conference sponsors include:

2009 Conference

Spokane Conference a Success!

On September 22nd and 23rd WALPA members gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Spokane to catch up with the goings of colleagues and fellow members and to hear speakers on a variety of topics. Citizens, tribal staff, consultants, lake association members and government officials—more than 110 people altogether—attended the annual conference, this year called “Healthy Watersheds and Clean Lakes-Working for a Sustainable Future”.

2008-2009 WALPA President Jonathan Frodge kicked off the event with a welcome and a call to action for WALPA members to be more engaged. Ideas included leading an effort to reinstate a statewide lakes program and working on lawn fertilizer legislation to keep lakes clean. Andy Dunau, from The Spokane River Forum followed up on Jonathan’s suggestions with a tough love pep talk that spoke to the need of implementing actions to follow the research. Also included in the opening session was exciting news from NALMS President Harry Gibbons confirming that the 2011 NALMS International Symposium will be held in Spokane! We look forward to this exciting event, as it proves to be one for the ages.

At Tuesday’s lunch, Glen Rothrock from Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Dale Chess from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe spoke about the Coeur d’Alene Lake Management Plan and the multi-faceted approach needed for such a large undertaking.  The history of the Coeur d’Alene basin, with a once thriving mining and timber industry leaving a legacy of nutrients and minerals throughout the waterways, truly left the mark that our lakes are indeed often the repositories of what goes on in the watershed.  Dale Chess also spoke of a new model developed for the LMP which is designed to improve the understanding of the entire lake ecosystem as well assist in predicting water quality trends as management strategies are implemented.

Other sessions at the Spokane conference covered topics from community and volunteer work to aquatic invasive species to toxic cyanobacteria. Members also gathered for cocktails, snacks and networking Tuesday night and for a business meeting at Wednesday’s lunch. At the business meeting new board members were selected, WALPA’s public relations work on the Dish Detergent Phosphorus Ban was discussed, and any unanswered questions were satisfied.

Eight vendors sponsored this year’s conference including Hach Hydromet, Earth Friendly Products, Clean Lakes LLC, AquaTechnex, , Aquatic Environments Inc., Northwest Aquatic Management, LLC, Electronic Data Solutions, Cygnet Enterprises NW Inc. , and Lakeland Restoration.  We also received sponsorship from Washington Department of Ecology. These generous sponsors helped make the 22nd annual conference a great success – thank you!

We are still working in the initial stages of planning for next year’s conference, but rumor has it we will be heading to the west side of the state for WALPA 2010. Stay tuned and make space on your fall calendar now!

2009 Conference Program

2009 Premier conference sponsors include:

2008 Conference

WALPA 2008 Conference – Where rubber meets the road

Peter Goldmark, candidate for Lands Commissioner, kicked off the 2008 WALPA conference on September 30th. During his plenary speech, he tackled some very difficult questions that are concerns to lake managers and residents, like who is responsible for land at the bottom of lakes and how logging has been handled in past contributed to major floods. It was a great speaker for a year that is full of elections and political activity, even here within WALPA.

On the science side of things the first morning, members earned pesticide license recertification credits attending sessions learning about aquatic plant management issues and emerging aquatic plants, such as phragmites and milfoils (and its hybrids) susceptibility to herbicide. Lake Modeling and Data was also a popular session that ranged from TMDL modeling to eutrophication models. It was an opportunity for WALPA members to learn what strides have been made in lake science and what challenges face them as they try to protect and restore this valuable resource.

There were well attended sessions that focused on new/student work and community activism. Conference attendees were treated to learning how 2007 WALPA scholarship winner, Kelly Turner spent her summer in the North Cascade alpine lakes studying benthic macroinvertebrates for her master’s thesis at Western Washington University. WALPA members truly enjoyed hearing about student projects and meeting with the scholarship winners. We also had the pleasure of having citizens who are directly involved with the management of their lakes come and speak to us about how a community can organize to face some to the more challenging management issues. Some of the lakes are facing issues of noxious aquatic weeds and how the community has come together to survey, manage, and educate about the issues. Another lake community, Crystal Lake in Snohomish County, is using money generated by community timber harvest revenues to monitor the water quality and survey their lake.

The second day was filled with lake monitoring updates, toxicity in lakes and lake management issues. Lunch on the second day introduced the new WALPA board members and officers and included a short but productive business issues. Arlen Harris, the WALPA lobbyist, came and talked to the group about WALPA’s work down in Olympia. WALPA is very involved in passing two bills in this legislative session – one that is banning the use of phosphorus in residential fertilizers and the other asking the state to do a study that assess the needs of a state run lakes program. Both of these bills were introduced last year in 2007 and will be reintroduced in 2008. He talked about the importance of contacting your legislators and staying on top of the issues so that WALPA can pass these two very important bills (for more information go to www.walpa.org/legislation).

The conference closed with a bang. The room was packed, yet again, for blue-green algae talks. Kathy Hamel, of DOE, gave a talk about the state blue-green algae monitoring program and its successes in 2008 while Joan Hardy, of DOH, gave a talk on the recreational standards set by the state for algal toxins. Both Neil Harrington, form Jefferson County, and Ray Hanowell, Pierce County, gave talks on how toxic blue-green algae’s have affected their area lakes and what they are doing to manage it. This was the final wrap-up session to an exciting and very informative conference.

Jacob McCann, of Spokane County, is WALPAs president-elect and conference planner. According to the leaked planning details, the 2009 conference will be on the east side this next year, most likely in the Spokane area. Stay tuned and we hope to see everyone in 2009!

2008 Conference Program

2008 Premier conference sponsors include:

2007 Conference

On October 18th and 19th WALPA members gathered at Campbell’s Resort in Lake Chelan to celebrate twenty years as an organization and to hear speakers on a variety of topics. Citizens, tribal staff, consultants, lake association members and government officials—more than 90 people altogether—attended the annual conference, this year called “Lakes – Bringing Science and Communities Together”.

Jonathan Frodge from King County kicked off the plenary session suggesting directions WALPA could take as we head into our next 20 years. Ideas included leading an effort to reinstate a statewide lakes program and working on lawn fertilizer legislation to keep lakes clean. Senator Ken Jacobsen followed up on Jonathan’s suggestions with a presentation about developing meaningful and successful legislation.

At Thursday’s lunch, Bill Jarocki from the Boise State Environmental Finance Center spoke on “Saving Time and Finding Money to Achieve Results: A Watershed Approach.” The talk focused on work his team has been doing to help people fund environmental enhancement and protection projects. Tools available include a searchable database of financial resources for watershed restoration in Washington and other states, a planning tool to help estimate project costs and a program that allows users to implement a long term financial strategy to meet strategic goals.

Other sessions at the Chelan conference covered topics from community and volunteer work to new legislation updating the state Shoreline Master Program to the ever-popular blue-green algae.

Members also gathered for cocktails and networking Thursday night and for a business meeting at Friday’s lunch. At the business meeting members selected new board members, met the new presidents, and asked general questions of the board and other members.

Ten vendors sponsored this year’s conference including Hach Environmental, Clean Lake LLC, AquaTechnex, TG-Eco-Logic, Aquatic Environments Inc., Northwest Aquatic Management, LLC, Electronic Data Solutions, Solar Bee and Cygnet Enterprises NW Inc. These generous sponsors helped make this year’s 20th anniversary conference a great success – thank you!

Next year’s conference is still coming together, but will be on the west side of the state in the fall Stay tuned and make space on your fall calendar now!

2007 Conference Program

2007 Premier conference sponsors include:
Hach Environmental
Clean Lakes, Inc.
Washington Department of Ecology


2006 Conference

The Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA) and the Oregon Lakes Association (OLA) held a regional conference with support of the North American Lake Management Society and the Portland State University Center for Lakes and Reservoirs. The Pacific Northwest Regional Conference was held at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on September 13th and 14th, 2006. This regional conference offered a unique opportunity to learn the concerns and challenges experienced by other Pacific Northwest states while forging connections among lake and resource managers, researchers, and citizens.

2006 Conference Program


2005 Conference

WALPA’s 18th annual conference was held at the Mirabeau Park Hotel in Spokane, Washington, from March 30 – April 1, 2005.  The conference theme was Lake Stewardship in the Pacific Northwest.

2005 Conference wrap-up (as part of the June 2005 issue of Waterline)


2004 Conference

WALPA’s 17th annual conference was held at the Lakeway Inn in Bellingham, Washington, from March 31-April 2, 2004.  The conference theme was Lakes Solutions for the 21st Century.

2004 Conference Program


2003 Conference

WALPA’s 16th annual conference was held at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan Washington from April 2–4, 2003.  The conference theme was Lakeside Livingand the conference included two full days (Thursday and Friday) of concurrent sessions that followed two tracks of interest.

2003 Preliminary Program and registration form


2002 Conference

WALPA’s 15th annual conference on lakes, reservoirs, and watersheds was held in Olympia at the WestCoast Olympia Hotel on April 3 – 6, 2002. The conference was very successful, thanks to the efforts of many.

2002 Conference Program


2001 Conference

WALPA’s 14th annual conference was held in Spokane, Washington from April 4 through 7, 2001.  The conference theme was Lakes, Reservoirs, and Watersheds with a Special Focus on Federal Initiatives.

2001 Annual Conference Program

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