Introduced

Introduced

Feral goldfish. An illegal crayfish trade gone wrong.  An electric underwater fence that stuns fish in their tracks. On Introduced, we dive into stories of the aquatic invaders that are costing us millions and changing the lakes, streams, and wetlands we cherish and rely on. Join us each week as we learn how these creatures wound up here and meet the people working to protect our waters.
 
Introduced is produced and hosted by Bonnie Willison and Sydney Widell. Send in your questions and comments to bonnie@aqua.wisc.edu.

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Latest Episodes

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Listening through time

Today, on the last episode of season two, we’re talking about climate change, which threatens to upend everything western science understands about native and invasive species. First, we join the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission climate change team as they carefully observe the seasonal relationships between all the beings in the forest. Then we talk to the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu team, who are helping tribal nations find ways to assert their knowledge and adapt to climate change. Finally, we step back 20,000 years to see what paleoecology can teach us about how species move as the climate changes.

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Moss balls and mystery seeds

This week, we dive deep into two news stories that flew under the public’s radar. In the summer of 2020, individuals all over the country started receiving random packages of unsolicited and unidentified seeds. In the spring of 2021, pet stores around the country found that the moss balls on their shelves carried a notorious aquatic hitchhiker. On this episode, we talk to some of the people who devoted months of their lives to dealing with these first-of-their-kind international crises.

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Crayfish crisis (Rerun)

On August 27, 2009, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources gets a call about small lobsters crawling around a neighborhood pond in Germantown. The extent of the problem is more than anyone bargained for.

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The lake on the edge

The miniscule Spiny waterflea was introduced into Madison’s Lake Mendota and lurked undetected for years. This hour, Bonnie and Sydney take a new look at a well-studied lake and try to figure out how an introduced species can float below science’s radar for so long.

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Faith and wild rice

Wild rice faces challenges like introduced species, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change. We learn how the Sokaogon Chippewa Community cares for this wonderfully resilient being. Opinions of our guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

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An appetizer

Sydney debriefs Bonnie on what it was like to filet her very first fish, which happened to be a silver carp.

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On the scent

Canines Betty White and Ernie are training to detect the scent of New Zealand Mudsnail, and Sydney goes bow hunting for flying carp. Also, we talk to a group that is trying to make carp burgers the next popular tailgating food.

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A borrowed fish

Pacific salmon were introduced into the Great Lakes to control nuisance alewives. Now, alewives and salmon are both being challenged by a new wave of introduced species.

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The snail next door

Even the smallest snails can mean big changes for the region’s lakes and streams. We visit the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, where mystery snails encroach on wild rice, and track the spread of New Zealand mudsnail across Wisconsin trout streams.

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Peering Through The Smelt Crystal Ball

Smelting became a beloved tradition after rainbow smelt were introduced into the Great Lakes. How did smelt get introduced, how do they fit into the food web and what happens when humans fall in love with a non-native species?

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Becoming Invasive

Who gets to decide where a species belongs? What does it mean for something to be “invasive?” The term “invasive species” is commonly used by researchers and academics. But as the authors of the Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad – A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu developed the indigenous resilience guide, they spent long hours reckoning with the term “invasive,” along with a slew of other Western terms like “climate change” and “management.” Next, we speak to scholar Paul Robbins, whose personal journey with invasive species started with a flat tire in Rajestan, India. Since then, he’s studied human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management. Lastly, we join a group of reptile and amphibian experts who are debating if a popular pet turtle species, the red-eared slider, should be listed as prohibited or restricted in Wisconsin’s invasive species law. 

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BONUS – The Claws Have the Sweetest Meat

We’re excited to share an episode of Teach Me About the Great Lakes featuring the Introduced team! This episode is all about invasive species generally, and invasive crayfish specifically. TMAGL speaks again with Dr. Brian Roth about his work on invasive crayfish and with IISG’s own Greg Hitzroth about the Invasive Crayfish Collaborative. Plus, in a special bonus, we speak with the hosts of Introduced, a highly produced, episodic podcast about invasive species from our colleagues at Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Today’s guests are Dr. Brian Roth of Michigan State University, Greg Hitzroth of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, and the producers of the Introduced podcast: Bonnie Willison, Sydney Widell, and special guest Tim Campbell.

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Crayfish crisis

On August 25, 2009, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources gets a call about small lobsters crawling around a neighborhood pond in Germantown. The extent of the problem is more than anyone bargained for. Here’s the story of the first red swamp crayfish introduced into Wisconsin.

Thanks to our guests Tim Campbell, Pete Jopke, Tim Zabel, Heidi Bunk, Scott Van Egeren, Esquire Estates residents Doug and Mary, Dr. Jake Vander Zanden, Erin Vennie-Vollrath, Chris Hamerla, Dr. Stephanie Peay.

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Invasives online

After a dive into the world of fish collectors and a conversation with a DNR detective, Bonnie and Sydney want to know just how easy it is to buy aquatic invasive species online.

Special thanks to our guests Ted Judy, Robert Stroess, Tim Cambell and Erika Jensen.

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Flipped

Bold plans to remove invasive species from Lake Wingra and Crystal Lake lead to some unintended consequences down the line.

Special thanks to our co-host Tim Campbell and our guests Dr. Dick Lathrop and Dr. Greg Sass.

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From revered to reviled

How does a group of fish valued in their home range come to be some of America’s most reviled villains? Sydney and Bonnie explore a surprising collaboration between American and Chinese researchers, and see how Ontario is bracing for an Asian Carp introduction.

Special thanks to our guests Duane Chapman, Yushun Chen and Rebecca Schroeder

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The carp are coming (Asian Carp part 1)

Wisconsin Sea Grant takes a trip to the world’s largest electric fish dispersal barriers, just south of Chicago. These barriers are sending electricity into the canal for one purpose- to keep Asian Carp from swimming into the Great Lakes.

EDIT: In this episode, we state that the dense and reproducing carp population is 20 miles downstream of the electric carp barriers. This is incorrect – the dense and reproducing Asian Carp population is located 100 miles downstream of the barriers in the Peoria and La Grange pools of the Illinois River.

Special thanks to our guests Duane Chapman, Tim Campbell, Kevin Irons, Elena Blevins and Titus Seilheimer. Thank you to the US Army Corps of Engineers and Chuck Shea for a tour of the electric barriers. How to identify Bighead, Silver, Black, and Grass Carp Up-to-date information about Asian Carp in the US

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Bringing home the Beetles

When a showy, fuchsia plant runs amok in Wisconsin wetlands, researchers send a tiny beetle to the rescue. But the beetle isn’t native here, either. Resources: Identifying Purple Loosestrife Beetle Smorgasbord and other resources for teachers Raising your own beetles

Special thanks to our guests Molly Bodde, Tim Campbell, Brock Woods and Jeanne Scherer.

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The ones that live in your house

While on a field trip, a UW-Madison class discovers a feral goldfish in a local stream. Their find is only the beginning of Wisconsin’s pet problems.

Special thanks to our guests Rob Mooney, Ben Martin, Dr. John Lyons and Jamie Kozloski.

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Crayfish, cargo and chaos: How we got here

Bonnie takes a time travel tour of the Great Lakes while Sydney follows scientists on a decades-long quest to decipher a Wisconsin legend.

Special thanks to our guests Dr. Dick Lathrop, Carol Warden, Tim Campbell, and Titus Seilheimer.

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Introduced Trailer 

Introduced, a new podcast from Wisconsin Sea Grant, is all about aquatic invaders and stories from our changing waters. Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play.

Credits

Bonnie Willison | Host

Video Producer

What I do at Sea Grant

As the videographer and digital storyteller, Bonnie uses her video and animation skills to showcase the stories of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Sydney Widell | Host

Student Podcast Producer

What I do at Sea Grant

Sydney brings her background in geography and journalism to Wisconsin Sea Grant, where she is the co-producer and co-host of Introduced.