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  • WATERLINE - December, 2014

    Lake Chelan provides the perfect setting for the 27th WALPA 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!


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  • WATERLINE is the newsletter of the Washington State Lake Protection Assoc. (WALPA).
    Send submissions to Polly Freeman at polly_freeman@msn.com

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