New trivia game teaches about Wisconsin’s lakes

April 11, 2012

by Bob Mitchell

Can a musky eat a duck? Are jellyfish found in Wisconsin waters? What was the largest fish ever caught on hook and line in the state?

You can learn the answers to these and hundreds of other intriguing questions about Wisconsin's waters by playing Wisconsin Lakes Trivia. The new game features facts about the history, wildlife and recreation associated with the state's lakes, with an emphasis on lakeshore ecology.

Photo: Trivia card

Here is one of the trivia cards from the new game.

It was developed as part of an effort to encourage lakeshore property owners to adopt natural shorelines to protect water quality and wildlife habitat, explains Bret Shaw, an environmental communication specialist with UW-Extension and the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.

Residential development has changed the face of northern Wisconsin shorelines over past decades, bringing manicured lawns, artificial sandy beaches and other alterations that threaten the health of these waterways, Shaw says. Restoring buffer zones of native vegetation along the shore can help protect lakes against these threats.

"Our research showed people love their lakes, and the top reason they buy and keep their lakeshore properties is to spend time with family and create memories with their children and grandchildren," he says. "Our goal for the game is to make learning about lakes something fun that families can do together."

And unlike a lot of informational brochures and booklets, this is something people are likely to hang on to.

"A lot of environmental education material gets thrown away after people read it. We wanted to create something more durable that people can use and enjoy for years," says John Haack, a UW-Extension natural resources educator who is Shaw's partner on the project.

Wisconsin Lakes Trivia consists of 102 question-and-answer cards, with four questions per card, along with a die, score sheets and instructions. The game can be played with two or more individual players, or two or more teams of players.

Questions were written and reviewed by lake experts throughout the state representing organizations such as the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Madison and the Burnett County Land and Conservation Department.

The Wisconsin Lakes Trivia Game is available at the UW Extension Learning Store. View samples and order online here.