waskington state lake images
  • WATERLINE - December, 2013

    Joint Lakes Conference Celebrates Collaboration

    By Chris Knutson, WALPA President


    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!

    Gorgeous photos take contest honors at 2013 conference


    Snow Lake MRNP

    Megan Skinner – Snow Lake in Mount Rainier National Park


    Honey at Breintenbush Lake

    Stephen Wille – Honey at Breitenbush Lake (OR)