Wisconsinites invited to join statewide citizen science water monitoring event

Wisconsin State Farmer
Angelique Dahlberg, St. Croix River Association, is pictured during Snapshot Day 2017.

Water lovers of all ages can join a statewide search for aquatic invasive species from 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Aug. 18 at more than 16 sites. 

The fun, hands-on effort, known as Snapshot Day, relies on participants to monitor local lakes and streams at designated sites across the state, for signs of non-native plants and animals that pose risks to Wisconsin waterways and wildlife.

“For the fifth annual Snapshot Day we hope to see brand new faces joining friends and neighbors in the field. Our volunteers are our early detectors, they are the first line of defense in aquatic invasive species prevention,” explained Natalie Dutack, Watershed Groups Manager at River Alliance of Wisconsin. “By spotting threats early they help managers to prepare a rapid response. By taking part, you’re helping to protect the health of Wisconsin’s waters for everyone to enjoy,” Dutack continued.

In Polk County, the St. Croix River Association (SCRA) is gearing up for their fifth year hosting this event.  

“Snapshot Day is a great opportunity for community members to get out and work together to check our streams and rivers for potentially harmful invasive species. Last year, we found an Asian clam the furthest north it’s been documented in the St. Croix. Understanding where these species are is invaluable to resource managers–and understanding what is out there and why it could be harmful is invaluable to our communities,” Angelique Dahlberg, Invasive Species Program Lead at SCRA stated.

Snapshot Day volunteers get hands on experience in 2017.

Snapshot Day is a collaboration between River Alliance of Wisconsin, UW Extension’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network, the Wisconsin DNR and more than 15 local partners.

Join the hunt

Nearly 200 volunteers are expected to join the hunt for invasive species, which include escaped or intentionally released water garden and aquarium species that can choke out our rivers and streams and impair vital habitat. Information collected by citizen volunteers will be provided to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to inform and guide further monitoring and response efforts.

Coordination of this event is made possible with generous support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources through an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Education, Planning and Prevention grant.

Following a brief identification training, volunteers will disperse to collect samples at critical monitoring sites and then reconvene to report what they found.

No experience is necessary and training is provided. This is a free event. Recommended for ages 8 and up, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Register and see all event details at

Advance registration is recommended by Aug. 3 to help coordinators build monitoring plans, but registration will remain open until Aug. 17.

Site locations

There are 16 Snapshot Day sites and counting around the state this year. 

Sites are located in Menasha, Sheboygan, La Crosse, St. Croix Falls, Barnes, Waupaca, Cross Plains, Florence, Chilton, Waukesha, Shawano, Ashland, and Oconto.

Additional sites coming soon to Menominee, Oneida, Vilas, Chippewa, Winnebago, and Fond du Lac counties.