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March 17, 2018

Wisconsin’s Involvement in the Cold War


I find myself fascinated with the Cold War era and the impact Wisconsin has had on this time. I also see the impact as I work in IT Security for Master Lock. Wisconsin’s businesses today see the impact of cyber war second hand and that is largely stemmed from the political result of the build up from the cold war with Russia and China. How did we get here and how does it impact Wisconsin?

Following the end of World War II, the world experienced an era of severe political unrest. The fall of Nazi Germany, and the subsequent surrender of its allies allowed the United States to take a quick breath of victorious relief, but the national reassurance of winning the war proved to be short lived. Tensions began building elsewhere in the world. The Soviet Union established itself as a global superpower, and its political ideologies clashed heavily with those of the United States. As both of these entities strived to spread their influence, they opposed each other like oil and water. Both sides steeped themselves in a palpable fear that their opposition aimed at world-wide expansionism, leading to other combative wars, ideological implementation, and ultimately the lingering possibility of nuclear warfare.

This schism of beliefs did not pertain only to the US and the Soviet Union—it divided Europe and some parts of Asia as well. Shortly after the Truman Doctrine and the formation of NATO, the Korean War broke out, which was spurred on by North Korea’s spontaneous invasion of South Korea, aided by the USSR and China. Since South Korea held an alliance with America, the United States felt required to respond, however, it was done with hesitation. By the time war was declared on the US’s behalf, North Korea had almost engulfed the entirety of the South—America’s involvement was a necessary move in regards to actively subduing the spread of communism and saving South Korea’s freedom. On June 27, 1950, President Truman officially announced he would be ordering troops as a means of assistance. The number of US forces grew to an astonishing 5.7 million by the time the war concluded, of which 132,000 derived from Wisconsin. 801 of the 132,000 were killed in action in pursuit of freedom, and an additional 4286 were wounded. Several Wisconsinites became prisoners of war and perished due to North Korea’s inhumane treatment of captured soldiers. Although South Korea was able to push back North Korea’s advancements with the help of America—and an armistice was signed between the divided countries—the conclusion did not feel like a victory, as the enemy was not truly defeated. Tensions were still high. Europe still buzzed with uncertainty and political division, and this war would prove to be only the beginning of the nuclear era.

During this time, a familiar Wisconsin military division was prepping for the unknown. The 32D Red Arrow division, which consisted mostly of Wisconsin National Guardsmen, was mobilized for the first time since World War II, and their training began immediately in Fort Lewis. For several months, these men did not know what their destination would be, or if they would be sent overseas at all. Milwaukee resident Tony Eckenrod reminisced about his service during the Cold War saying, “We initially thought we were going to go to Vietnam and that changed. Supposedly we were going to go to Korea and that changed. And we stayed right where we were, training in case something else did come up.” Ultimately, the Red Arrow Division did not experience combat throughout the entirety of the Cold War, and after 10 months of training, they were allowed to return to their homes.

The war allowed dread to fester. The idea of communism for westerners at this time was enough to strike fear into their hearts. This mainstream fear even earned its own name which knitted itself into Cold War history—The Red Scare. This atmosphere shaped the minds of many people—especially those who were in positions of political power. The Red Scare gave rise to several staunch anticommunists who took matters to the extreme in the hopes of eradicating any form of communism in the west. Oftentimes, the means of going about this were not ethical or politically correct, but it did send a definite message. Communism was not, nor would it ever be, tolerated on American soil.

Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy was an archetypal example of staunch anticommunism during this era. In 1950, he was thrown into the spotlight when he gave a speech, in which he declared that he knew of hundreds of communists that were operating not only on US soil, but in the state departments themselves. The senate immediately launched an investigation in regards to his statement, but found that his words were baseless. There was no proof of this, but McCarthy continued accusing people of being involved in the communist party. This witch-hunt, in addition to his ideologies, became known as McCarthyism, and shed light on the sheer volume of toxic paranoia that was seeping into America’s political atmosphere. By the end of McCarthy’s personal investigations, over 2000 government employees had been terminated from their positions. His tactics and unsubstantiated claims continued for a period of five years, and led to the ruin of many professional careers. Anyone called before McCarthy’s committee during this time was publically black-listed, and connoted as untrustworthy, and a possible communist sympathizer. Eventually, the Senate voted to denounce McCarthy’s behavior, and that is when his power began to dry up. Soon, McCarthyism and his tactics were no more.

America’s general involvement in the Cold War dissipated to some degree in the following decade. From 1954-1961 most of the political conflict was occurring on European soil, and in a two year timespan, the Warsaw Pact, Hungarian Revolution, and Suez Crisis occurred. In 1957, the Soviet Union initiated the space race by launching a dog into space via Sputnik II, which captured the attention of the world as a whole. America developed a burning desire to keep pace with them. Manitowoc, Wisconsin experienced the space race first-hand when debris from the USSR’s Sputnik IV landed in the street after a controller malfunction. It is humorously noted as the only time in which America was “invaded” during the Cold War. Unfortunately, the space race was one of the more peaceful parallel events that was occurring during the buildup of something much more serious—the precarious dance with technologies that had the potential to initiate World War III, and decimate entire countries.

It was well known since the beginning of the cold war that both the US and the Soviet Union housed nuclear warheads, but as time progressed, the possibility of their use grew dangerously close. Many people responded by building fallout shelters to protect themselves in the event of an attack. Several of these shelters still exist, and many can be found dotted around Wisconsin. The fear of nuclear war was real, and justifiably so, but it was not until October 14th, 1962, that this fear began to materialize. On this day, a US spy plane took notice of a nuclear weapons facility that was being constructed in Cuba. This was due in part by the Soviet Union, who secretly deployed several warheads to Cuba in response to the Bay of Pigs (a failed attempt by the US to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist government). Upon this discovery, America set up naval blockades to prevent more warhead shipments from reaching Cuba, but this was seen as an act of aggression. The Soviet Union, as well as Cuba, insisted that these missiles were for defense purposes only, but the US still demanded their removal. Over the course of thirteen days, America and the USSR were at a standoff.

Defense became a primary focus for Wisconsin leading up to this point in time. Prior to the Cuban Missile altercation, the Milwaukee area was outfitted with eight different missile bases which housed SAMs known as AJAX Nike missiles. They were established as a means of intercepting enemy missiles and warheads, should their paths had found their way over Wisconsin territory. However, after much consideration, these eight bases were reduced to three, and the AJAX missiles were replaced with something a bit more capable—Nike Hercules Missiles, which were designed to carry nuclear-based payloads. Upon the ignition of the Cuban Missile crisis, Wisconsin was primed to utilize these missiles at a moment’s notice. These warheads existed quite literally in the backyards of Milwaukee residents—prepped to launch, and ready to defend. Ultimately, the Cuban Missile Crisis was averted when Nikita Khrushchev, representing the Soviet Union, publically announced that the missiles in Cuba would be removed, thus circumventing a nuclear war.

Unfortunately, the end of this event did not mean the end of the Cold War itself. The world’s playing field was still shifting platonically in regards to politics and ideologies. There was still unrest, even after the relief of a subverted nuclear war, and Just three years after the Missile Crisis, the decade-long Vietnam War was sparked as a consequence of America’s lingering belief that communism was continuing to spread. 57,000 men from the Badger State served in Vietnam, of which over one thousand lost their lives. Of course, the Vietnam War was met with disagreement even on behalf of American citizens. It was a divisive war in a time where many simply wanted peace. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is exemplary of this, as it became one of America’s most radical campuses in regards to the opposition of the war. Students protested the Vietnam War on a grand scale, and in some cases, these protests turned violent. There was even one instance of a bomb being detonated by a small group of students, which led to the death of a college physics professor. Although the Vietnam War did incite violence amongst America’s own people, the reasons were somewhat justified. The war was expensive, caused millions of deaths, and the US was fighting a losing war. The Vietnam War was finally concluded via the Paris Peace Accords, and on a verbal basis through Richard Nixon himself. It proved to be a devastating defeat for the US.

After the Vietnam War, the world began to self-regulate. Although there was still some residual tension left behind from the multitude of events that occurred in such a short period of time, the political unrest and general fear began to subside. There were still a few events which caused pockets of chaos—the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, and Tiananmen Square—but several countries began to realign. Gorbachev adhered to his policies of openness and freedom of speech, the Berlin Wall fell, and Czechoslovakia’s communist government was overthrown in a peaceful manner via the Velvet Revolution. In 1990, Eastern and Western Germany united as a single county, and one day after Gorbachev’s resignation, the Soviet Union has been officially dissolved. This marked the end of the world’s most potentially deadly era.

Although the Cold War was not classified as a World War, the entire globe was involved to some degree. From entire countries down to the state-level, nearly everyone played a role in this several decade-long period of time. Of course, every US state offered their unique support, but Wisconsin epitomized the various facets of the Cold War. From its involvement in Korea, to the chaotic protests during the Vietnam War, there is an abundance of Cold War history that can be derived from the Badger State.

Wisconsin had a major impact in the Cold War and we will continue to have influence in the current and upcoming Cyber Wars.


~Michael Goetzman




Sources Used

March 17, 2018

Microsoft Surface Products Decision


After visiting Microsoft’s headquarters for the first time two weeks ago (March 2018) and while on-site learning more about their product vision and goals, I found myself shopping for a Microsoft surface, this is the breakdown of their product line and how each style would apply to my life.


Surface products offer a series of various windows personal computers, touch screens and interactive whiteboards developed and designed by Microsoft. They are manufactured by Pegatron and are premium, intended as examples to Windows OEMs. The Microsoft surface device consists of 2-in 1 detachable notebooks, hybrid tablets, interactive whiteboard and all in one convertible desktop with their various accessories which are all unique in different ways. Other than the first generation devices the surface and surface two all other surface PCs are Windows ten operating system compatible and also use Intel processors.

This family consists of six main device lines. The surface line which has hybrid tablets with an optional stylus pen and detachable keyboard accessories whose latest model uses a SoC processor, and an Intel Atom. Its latest model is the surface 3. The surface pro has hybrid professional tablets and uses optional accessories like the detachable keyboard. Its latest devices are the surface pro: which is 7th generation does not use a stylus pen and uses an Intel Core series processor. The surface laptop: this is a 13.5-inch touchscreen notebook that runs on windows 10S but has room for the upgrade to windows 10 pro. The surface book: this is a notebook which has a detachable screen. Discrete graphics are configured with its base, and its display is independently operable and supports the stylus. The surface studio: this is an all in one desktop, 28inch that can adjust and become a digital drafting table with an on-screen surface dial support and a stylus. A surface hub: it’s an interactive touch screen whiteboard that’s designed to collaborate. The most recent surface lineup has four families that define their respective categories. They are the surface pro (2017) surface laptop, surface book, and surface studio


Surface Pro (2017)

Surface pro according to Foley, Mary Jo (2017) is a multi-mode device, that looks like its predecessor surface pro 4, its price ranges from $799 to $ 2699, its surface pen costs $100, and its type cover costs $ 160 and is both sold separately. Its name and shape are familiar, and despite losing its model number, it retains the signature and the dimensional features than surface pro 4. The pen, the kickstand, and the detachable type cover give complements the device distinctive look. The device m3 and the i5 models are fanless and thus will appeal to users that do not appreciate the occasional fan noise.  The surface pro is A PC that does act and functions as a tablet. The pen is crucial, and Microsoft advertises the ability of the surface pro to shapeshift from a laptop mode to a studio mode and finally to the tablet mode.

Surface Laptop

This according to Hardawar, Devindra (2017) is a highly mobile PC, and it doesn’t transform into a tablet. Its price ranges from $999 to % 2199. Its main competitors are the Dell XPS13, MacBook Air and Samsung notebook 9. It has an Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard and has multicolor options which range from cobalt blue to burgundy which make it stylish. This laptop is Microsoft’s first ever and it’s specially created for buyers that value mobility more than they value computing power. It runs on windows 10S and has better specs than its competitors. It weighs less, and its battery life can serve 2 and a half longer than its competitors. It has a full touchscreen, windows hello facial recognition and also supports the biometric signing in. the screen size is 13.5 inches although it has a lower resolution than the surface book

Surface Book

A surface book according to Ackerman, Dan (2017) is a convertible that feels like a professional grade laptop. Its price ranges from $1499 to $3299. Its main competitors are the MacBook Pro and the Dell XPS15. It has discrete GPU option with a solid base. Its way bigger than the other surface devices more expensive and also performs better. It runs on windows, and it’s also a touchscreen. The surface book is like a laptop that feels like a tablet mainly because you can change it into the laptop mode sign up documents and mark up PDFs. The surface book is configured to the Nvidia GPU which is an option on some i5 configurations. This makes it perfect for the graphics professionals and anyone else using onboard graphics. Its base is stable and secure to type on. Its battery is hefty, and the updated performance base incorporates an upgraded Nvidia GPU and a more extended battery raising the battery life with at least four more hours. It weighs about 3.34 pounds heavier than its competitors but the added weight assists in the workability and the performance. It has a dynamic fulcrum hinge used in supporting its screen and uses the zero gravity hinge for rotation and also standing up at the 20-degree angle on the table position

Surface Studio

This according to Moynihan, Tim (2016)  is an all in one desktop PC. Its 28 inches and has the thinnest LCD ever created for an all in one device. A surround sound system and a processor are found it its compact base. The screen is mounted on the compact base using a flexible four-point hinge. This design allows for downward folding to a 20degree angel which ultimately helps the user to interact with the PC at their comfort physically. It runs on Windows 10, and its price ranges from $2999 to $4199


In the end, naturally, I want them all. I will continue to seek out which product best fits my lifestyle. Stay Tuned!

~Michael Goetzman





Hardawar, Devindra (2017). “Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is built to beat Apple’s MacBooks.”

Foley, Mary Jo (2017). Microsoft’s  Surface Pro launch marred by supply shortages.

Moynihan, Tim (2016). “Look at Microsoft’s Fancy Surface Studio All-in-One PC”

Ackerman, Dan (2017). “Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s $999 flagship for Windows 10 S”

March 10, 2018

Microsoft Security: Latest Updates


Microsoft security according Microsoft (2017) helps defend the computer against network threats including transmitted exploits like worms, viruses, Trojans and other malicious software’s. It also provides with free spyware protection. Microsoft security is vital because it protects the information on the PC and also caters for the general health of the computer ultimately assisting programs to run softly and smoothly. The most common computer threats come from installing freeware that they may have downloaded while downloading a free desktop application and people opening unknown emails, the email may contain links on their attachments that could potentially add malware and viruses into your system.

The method how Microsoft prepares its latest security is by updating the software. Different standard terminologies are used when describing software up to date. Critical update is a neither fix shared widely that concerns some particular problem that is neither security related nor critical bug. Definition update: this is a software update that is frequent and is commonly released. It contains database that is the products definition. These definition databases are used in the detection of specific attributes such as junk mails, phishing websites, malicious codes and a driver. A definition is software’s that are used in the control of the output and the input of the device (Microsoft 2017).

Feature pack: this is the functionality of a new product that is first distributed first outside the product release content, and later it’s included typically in the release of the next full product, this is done to make sure that it will function well before investing heavily in it. Security update:  this is a fix that’s widely released for a security-related product specific vulnerability these security vulnerabilities are rated by how severe they are, and it’s indicated on the security bulletin as either critical, moderate or low. These updates are made available by Microsoft to customers to download. The security updates contain the Microsoft knowledge base article and the security bulletin. Service pack: this is a cumulative set of all security updates, hotfixes, critical updates and updates that are all tested. It also contains fixes on internal problems after product release and could also carry the customer requested features and design changes.

Tool: this is a feature or a utility that helps in completing tasks. Update rollup: this is a pack of cumulative and tested security updates, hotfixes, updates and critical updates packed together for smooth deployment. It targets a particular area or a product’s component. Security only updates: this is an update that collects the monthly security updates of a specific product that addresses vulnerabilities that are security related and distributed through the system center configuration, windows server update services, and the Microsoft update.  It automatically downloads and installs in the windows update settings. Preview of the monthly roll-up. This is cumulative and also tested set of updates that are distributed through windows update system and others, this review is product specific, and it addresses non-security updates that are new which include fixes from the monthly roll up. It’s displayed under monthly quality preview roll up and when downloaded or installed its labeled optional update.

Microsoft continually updates its antimalware definitions to continually tweak detection logic and covers the latest threats. This enhances the antimalware solutions and its ability to identify threats accurately. There is need to use the latest definitions and set it automatically for updates. The windows defender antivirus receives an update as part of the windows update. If there is no option on automatic download one can manually trigger the download and apply all the latest definitions. With the windows 10, one must select check for updates to check for the newest definition s from the windows Defender Security Centre. The newest anti-malware definition is version1.263.457.0 released March 10, 2018, 6.32 AM UTC. Different Windows operating systems use different definitions it’s then necessary that one selects a version that matches their operating system or even an environment in which you can use the definitions.

Patch Tuesday is the day when Microsoft releases its security and patches for their software’s and their operating systems. It happens every second Tuesday of the month, and it’s also referred to as the update Tuesday. The last one occurred on February the 13th 2018 and consisted of thirty-three individual security updates and fifty-one issues that involved correcting issues on the Windows operating systems and their other software’s. The next patch will happen on the 13 March 2018. The updates given on patch Tuesday are critical since they update files they believe have bugs and could allow malicious acts to be carried out on your PC. Everyone that uses or their computers run on the Microsoft operating system the 32 or 64bit including windows 7, 8, 8.1.10 and the version of windows that is server supported.


~Michael Goetzman




Microsoft (2017) Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-013 – Critical retrieved from…/security…/securitybulletins/…/ms1

Microsoft (2017) Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-056 – Critical retrieved from

Microsoft (2017) Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-061 – Important retrieved from

March 2, 2018

Wisconsin’s Rare and Endangered Fish


The Wisconsin basin consists of three main drainages; Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. It is home to over 160 fish species, most of which are rare and endangered. It is home to unique fish species and as a result, most of its species are listed in the natural heritage working list. These species have become rare because of a combination of several factors. The factors include habitat degradation, habitat loss, disturbance sensitivity, exploitation, genetic problems, predation, parasitism, and competition. Some of the rare species found in this basin are located along the edge of their main ranges. Climate change and invasive species also profoundly impact on the rare species and is expected to become even one of the most significant factors in the future. The reason why the fish species and other animals are unique to Wisconsin is the vibrant ecosystem that has diversity and availability of their food and the excellent climate that allows these animals to thrive.

Some of the rare fish species in the Wisconsin basin according to Dave Bosanko (2007), include the skipjack herring, lake sturgeon, yellow perch, catfish, pumpkinseed, salmon and trout, and smallmouth bass. Others include the white bass and rock bass bullheads, northern pike, wallet western sand darter, American eel, cisco, short jaw cisco, crystal darter, blue sucker and gravel chub. The lake chubsucker, mud darter, bluntnose darter, least darter, banded killifish, star head topminnow, goldeye, pallid shiner, black buffalo, longear sunfish, striped shiner, redfin shiner, shoal chub are also some of the unique species. The list also includes species such as the river redhorse, black redhorse, pugnose shiner, Ozark minnow, slender madtom, gilt darter, paddlefish and Pygmy whitefish among others. In this document, we will be discussing some of these rare fishes, their description, distribution, spawning, and angling.

Skipjack Herring

Scientifically referred to as Alosa chrysochloris, this unique fish species, according to Becker, George (1983), is very bright silver, but their backs are darker, and the tips of their jaws contain black pigments with around 1-9 black spots on their upper sides. The most visible of these spots are found just directly behind its gill opening. They have a long body and are laterally compressed. The mouth is large and terminal and extends below the middle of the eye. Their dorsal fins are placed directly above their pelvic fins, and just like all the other Alosa species, they lack the dorsal ray of the Dorosoma species. Their bellies’ single rows of scales are folded over the edge giving the belly a seemingly sharp saw-like edge. The only difference between the skipjack and the alewife is that it has a larger mouth and its body is more elongated. They belong to the Clupeidae family. The skipjack grows to between 12-16 inches in adulthood but can also reach 21 inches with 3.5pounds.

The skipjack herring are known to spawn between May and July and their spawning period can be prolonged. It is a freshwater fish mostly found in larger rivers. During high tide, they avoid high waters by congregating in the clearer waters and creek mouths, and they feed primarily on small fish channel shiners and mainly emerald. This fish has almost become extirpated in Wisconsin, and its re-establishment is underway. (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

Lake Sturgeon

It is scientifically referred to as Acipenser fulvescens and is one among the 25 sturgeon species (Dave Bosanko, 2007). The lake sturgeon’s taste buds are situated on the rubbery and the prehensile lips. These sensory organs help the lake sturgeon to locate its bottom-dwelling prey.  It has no teeth thus it vacuums up its food and swallows whole. It mostly feeds on live insect larvae, metazoan organisms, and worms including leeches. The lake sturgeon is an evolutionary bottom feeder. Its shape is streamlined, and its skin bears rows of bony plates on both the back and the sides. The fish has an elongated spade-like snout that it uses to stir up sediments and substrates at the lake bottoms and river beds while feeding. The lake sturgeon grows up to 7.25ft and weighs over 240lb.

Lake sturgeons live long; approximately 55 years and only reach sexual maturity after ten years. They reproduce by swimming in circles around each other and shaking vehemently. The male will only stop circling when he has released the fertilizer, and the female lays her eggs. In Wisconsin, the lake sturgeon is rare and has been going through an effort of restoration. The USFWS takes the following measures while restoring the lake sturgeon: distribution, recording abundance, age, the health of the species and growth. It, however, will take years to confirm if the fish has started to naturally produce due to its extended period before it reaches sexual maturity (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

The lake sturgeon were once targeted as a nuisance bay catch for damaging fishing gear and later targeted by commercial fishermen when their eggs and meat became prized. Their catch rates have faced many environmental challenges including flood measures, pollution and dam construction. The sturgeon upon returning to the lakes and rivers in which they were born in to spawn every spring found spawning shoals destroyed by deposition of silt from lumbering and agriculture as well as blocked tributaries thus threatening their existence.

Yellow Perch

Scientifically known as Perca flavescens, the yellow perch according to Becker, George (1983), is found in all the three drainage basins in Wisconsin; the Mississippi River, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It’s a glacier lakes species, widely distributed except in southwest Wisconsin. This is a native fish with two dorsal fins that are separated into soft-rayed and spiny portion; it has yellow sides, has no canine teeth and has seven blackish bars on the sides.

They are members of the perch or the Percidae family, and due to their reputation of having tasty meat, they have become the most frequently caught game fish in Michigan and precious addition to the products of the great lakes. They mostly prefer the shallow waters not more than 30 feet deep. Given a choice, they prefer to live at 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature. Perch adult average length is 10 inches with a weigh between four to ten ounces. Despite the varying adult size, the yellow perch is a prolific breeder. Its size and growth ultimately depend on habitat productivity and population density. Overcrowding causes stunted growth of the yellow perch, and they may not grow beyond 6 inches in adulthood thus a controlled harvest program is recommended. This benefits both the fish and the anglers. (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

The yellow perch reach their sexual maturity at four years for the female and three years for the male.  They usually spawn in April after ice out and early may when the water temperatures are between 45-52 degrees. The spawning coincides with that of the suckers and is closely followed by the walleyes spawning.  The yellow perch do not construct nests but lay their eggs in gelatinous strings over the fallen trees in the shallows, roots and dense vegetation.

The yellow perch are bottom feeders that bite slowly and deliberately. They eat almost everything although their favorites include planktons, minnows, insect larvae, and worms.  The yellow perch remain active all winter under ice offering the ice anglers great opportunity to catch them. Tackles used in capturing the yellow perch ranges from a fly rod or a simple hand line in summer to a short jigging and whippy rod in winter.  The yellow perch moves in schools numbering up to their hundreds. The spawning areas provide the ground for the best perch fishing (Slow Sprint, 2010).


According to Slow Sprint (2010), the walleye is a freshwater fish, scientifically referred to as Sander vitreous. The walleye species was initially confined in the more extensive waterways and the vast lakes of Wisconsin. There was an excessive restocking of the walleye fingerlings and fry that occurred early in the Wisconsin waters and partly obscured the species original distribution.

The walleye spawning migration according to Dave Bosanko (2007), begins when the water temperatures hit between 38-44 degrees Fahrenheit soon after the ice goes out. Their spawning occurs between April and May. The breeding reaches its peak ordinarily when the water temperatures are between 42-50 degrees Fahrenheit. The walleye broadcasts its eggs and does not exercise any parental care making it a non-territorial fish during spawning.

Walleyes feed primarily on minnows although small bullheads, leaches, small plugs and night-crawlers fall in their favorite bait feeds. They stay in deep, clear waters during the day and move into the shallow waters at night. In turbid waters, walleye can be caught any time of day, and they are the most highly prized game fishes in Wisconsin. Even in murkier waters, the walleye is good at hunting small fish.

Walleyes are yellowish gold and dark olive. They have a spiny dorsal fin and many sharp teeth. The characteristic that most distinguishes them is their unusually large marble like eyes that help them efficiently locate their prey by reflecting light while hunting at night. They grow to about 35 inches and weigh 20 pounds in their adulthood. It is important to note that the walleyes grow much faster in warmer climates and their lifespan rarely exceeds ten years. In the cold waters, the walleyes grow much slower and can reach up to the age of 20 years. The bigger sized Muskies and the northern pike are the most probable walleye predator. Walleyes in Wisconsin are caught using the following fishing methods: jig and live bait combination, bottom bouncer and spinner combination, slow death, swim baits and casting crank baits onto windy, shallow rock structures. (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

Walleye fishing is fun, but the fight has not made it enjoyable, but it is the challenge of finding the best way to lure then and the presentation that makes them strike. Walleye is a wily fish and has tricks up its sleeve when hiding. The rewards of the search are worth it especially if you were looking to eat the catch since the walleye is one of the best tasting freshwater fish in Wisconsin. They are nocturnal and so fishing at dawn, dusk or night offers the best chances for landing a catch. The one thing that excites anglers about fishing the walleye in the fresh water is reeling up the walleye and seeing its eyes flash as it approaches the surface.

American Eel

The American eel according to Becker, George (1983), is also referred to as the Anguilla rostrata. It is a slender snakelike fish and is covered with a mucus layer making it appear slimy and naked despite it having minute scales. It has a long dorsal fin that continuously runs from the middle of the back. The dorsal fin is similar to the ventral fin. Its pectoral fin is located near the midline and is relatively small, and it has no pelvic fins.  The American eel varies in color from brown shading, olive green, greenish yellow and white or gray belly. Eels living in clear waters are often lighter than those residing in tannic, dark acid stream.

The American eel prevails in fresh water but enters the Atlantic Ocean for the spawning migration to the Sargasso Sea. The spawning takes place away from the shores where the eggs hatch. A female American eel lays up to 4million buoyant eggs and dies immediately after egg-laying.  The early stages larva develops into the leptocephali which move towards North America morphing into glass eels and reentering the fresh water system of the Wisconsin basin. Here they grow into yellow eels until they are old enough to begin the migration once more, (Slow Sprint, 2010).

American eels according to Schmidt, J. (1922), are bottom dwellers and hide in tubes, burrows, masses of plants and snags. During their freshwater stages, they are found in rivers, streams, silt-bottomed lakes, as well as coastal bays, oceanic waters, and estuaries during migration and spawning. They burrow themselves in mud during winter and enter into the torpor stage which is the stage of total inactivity when temperatures go below 5 degrees C. the American eels life cycle has six stages namely the eggs – leptocephali  -glass eels – elvers- yellow eel- silver eel. They have an excellent sense of smell, and they depend on it to find food.

Scientists have raised concerns on the dwindling American eel population which has dropped to dangerously low levels. Biologists are doing their best trying to unearth how specific factors are affecting the American eel’s population, but their elusive nature makes it hard for them to capture and get crucial life history information and data from the eels.

It is however evident that the complex life and most especially specific stages pose broad ranges of threats, for example, being a catadromous the productivity of the eel is solely dependent of free downstream passage for their spawning migration. Considering the dams and the human-made barriers erected on the rivers, we can then agree that this is no smooth sailing and it decreases diversity and habitat availability. Their productivity is also dependent on the availability of different habitations allowing growth and maturation, (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

The eel’s sex ratio in the population is also a big problem this is because the females and the males live in different habitats and an impact on one region can greatly affect the other regions numbers. They are also very sensitive to oxygen that is poorly dissolved, and contamination from heavy metals like dioxins and chlordane and also pollution can cause reduced productivity due to the serious toxicity. Construction of agricultural facilities and dams is detrimental to the habitats diversity and availability; dredging affects their population distribution, migration, and availability of prey. Excessive harvesting and overfishing of juvenile eels affect their local population. Other natural threats include interspecific competition, parasites, and pathogens and changes the oceanographic conditions, (Schmidt, J. 1922).


Cisco is also known as lake herring and scientifically referred to as Coregonus artedi. It is a member of the salmon and the trout family. It inhabits the middle water regions in the great lakes and the inland lakes. Its body is long and elongated with two dorsal fins. The Cisco has a long lower jaw with a pointed snout, (Dave Bosanko, 2007), and the side view is decidedly elliptical. They have iridescence on their sides which are a faint purple to pink, blue-green to grey backs and their below is white. The color on the fins varies, and generally, the caudal and the dorsal fins are darkly pigmented.

The Cisco form spawning schools once the temperatures drop in the fall. This happens to be in the months of late November and early December. They begin to spawn once surface ice begins to form, and they spawn at a depth of three to ten feet deep or even more in-depth. The male gets to the spawning ground first and leaves before the females. Eggs are then deposited at the bottom and abandoned. They develop slowly in the low temperature and when spring breaks up the surface ice they hatch. The fry feed on zooplankton and small insects as well as algae. The male and the female then grow at the same rate with the females living longer and on average reaching a larger size than the males. The average weight an adult can achieve is less than a pound, but in some waters, the Cisco grows to larger sizes and may even reach and exceed five pounds.

Cisco is however preyed on by the larger northern pike, lake trout, walleyes and yellow perch. The Cisco’s are a crucial part of the great lakes ecosystem and its food chain. In the 19th and the 20th century, the ciscos were a significant part of the great lakes fishery, but the numbers have since then drastically dropped. They are mostly caught by the anglers in the fall when they gather in their spawning schools, (Slow Sprint, 2010).

The Cisco is a cold water fish and is likely to be found in the deep lakes with good water quality. The population may have declined due to biotic interaction by the invasion smelt, the loss of the oxy-thermal habitat by land use changes, climate variation and eutrophication and decline in the gillnet catch rates. Difficulty in modeling its extirpation and tan acute extirpation event can mark longtime environmental conditions, (Wisconsin DNR, 2007).


The Goldeye according to (Slow Sprint, 2010), is a unique fish with huge eyes and large sharp teeth. It’s a very bright silverfish, its large eyes have a gold coloration on the iris, and it has sharp teeth on its jaws and tongue. Its dorsal fin has around ten rays and starts just behind the anal fin front edge. The Goldeye has a pointed edge or a fleshy keel on their belly. The edge is found between the pectoral fins, and it goes all the way to the anus. The Goldeyes gold coloration on the iris, elongated body, the more extended keel on the body and the dorsal fin that starts behind the anal fins front are the only differences between a mooneye and a Goldeye. They are nocturnal, and their eyes are adapted to the dim lights of their turbid habitat, (Becker, George, 1983).

The Goldeye comes from the Hiodontidae family it’s also referred to as the bony tongue. Its scientific name is Hiodon alosoides. The adults grow up to an average 17 inches but can reach 20 in good waters. They averagely weigh between 1-2 pounds, but in good waters, and they can reach 3 pounds. The Goldeye prefers large rivers for habitat, and they are tolerant to the turbid waters and the clay silts. They cannot, however, tolerate chemical and industrial pollutants. They are either found below dams or in the areas with swift currents. Due to its tolerance to the turbid waters, it was found in abundance more than its close relation the mooneye. It feeds on small aquatic invertebrates and small fish like the grasshoppers, fireflies, moths, mollusks, crustaceans, shrews, frogs, trout perch, mice, perch, and darters

They are known to spawn in late March and early April min areas with swift currents allowing their eggs to keep drifting in water until they reach the hatching maturity. Research has shown that today. They are mostly found in the Mississippi River, lower Wisconsin, and lower Chippewa River. Their population has dramatically decreased in the recent years, and the main reason for this decline is the quality of water that has deteriorated in the upper Mississippi river due to chemical and industrial pollutants. They are also targeted and preyed on by the walleyes, the northern pike, mammals, and birds, (Dave Bosanko, 2007).

Longear Sunfish

The Longear, according to Slow Sprint (2010), is scientifically referred to as Lepomis megalotis, from the Centrarchidae family. It’s a deep bodied, thin sunfish, flexible with an opercula ear flap are more elongated as adults. They have a variety of coloration that includes black olive to rusty brown, and its belly and breast are yellow to orange-red, with lighter sides. Its sides and back have specks of orange, yellow, blue, and emerald. Breeding males are bright orange below and iridescent green above, and their pelvic fins are blue-black while the ventral fins are rusty orange. As adults, the Longear sunfish can grow between 2.8- 3.7 inches.

The Longear sunfish according to Wisconsin DNR (2007), prefers a habitat with moderate aquatic vegetation, clear, shallow and still stream waters, lakes, and rivers at average temperatures. They feed on aquatic insects, fish eggs microcrustaceans, mites, mollusks, small fish and filamentous algae extensively found at the water surfaces.  They are mostly located in the northeast, south-east and east-central Wisconsin mainly in Lake Michigan and Mississippi River drainage basins.

They spawn during peak water temperatures in June all through August. Their males build nests in hard mud or sand and defend the territory. Their eggs hatch within five days and the offspring reach sexual maturity within the second or third summer. Their population is too sparse to compete with other fishes or even become their prey. Their existence is mostly threatened by big agriculture projects going on in the area where water pollution is inevitable. They are also intolerant to turbid water. Young anglers love to keep them as pets. They resemble other sunfishes, and it’s hard to differentiate them, (Becker, George, 1983).

Redfin shiner

Scientifically known as the Lythrus umbratilis is a member of the minnow family (Cyprinidae).  According to Becker, George (1983), its coloration is light olive to steel blue with a reddish tint in breeding males and silvery sides. They have a small dark spot at the base of the back dorsal fin. They also have a blunt snout, and their eyes are large. Like all the other minnows, the redfin shiner is a crucial link in the freshwater ecosystem and its food web. They usually eat algae and insects, and they are in turn consumed by wading birds, larger fish, and turtles. They inhabit and can survive well in turbid waters that are laden with silt but not during the breeding season. Many people refer to any small fish as minnows. However, only the Cyprinidae family are real minnows. The members of this family include the shiner, dace, chub, and the stone-roller. The goldfish found in Asia are also members of this family. North America has 231 species of the minnows.

They reach their sexual maturity in the second or third summer after hatching. They spawn from the end of April all through to August. They nest their eggs on previously used sunfish nests and live for a maximum of three years. The scent of the fluids that had been released by the sunfish during their spawning attracts the redfin shiners that congregated in large schools near the surface. A male redfin shiner will then defend the territory until a female comes along and spawning occurs, (Becker, George, 1983).

Redfin shiners live in streams and rivers with gravel and sand bottoms and some little vegetation. They are found in Mississippi River and the larger great lakes region. They are used by anglers as bait in catching sports fish such as crappie and bass and are also used in freshwater aquariums.


Of the Wisconsin 160 species of rare and endangered fish, some species are great concerns to myself and organizations around me.  One of the primary duties of the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation is to offer authorization, permits, and licenses for activities that involve the unique and the endangered species. DNR programs have also been put in place to try and restock the fishes in their natural habitat. In the effort to boost their population the authorities are met with challenges that are beyond their powers to change. These are mostly the environmental and the climate variation like the change in water temperatures, oxy-thermal habitat loss, silting and eutrophication. Other challenges like water pollution by use of chemicals from agricultural farms, the building of dams that block the fish breeding programs and overfishing are solely human-made.


~Michael Goetzman






Becker, George (1983) Fishes of Wisconsin retrieved from

Becker, George (1983) Fishes of Wisconsin: walleye retrieved from

Dave Bosanko (2007) fish of Wisconsin Field Guide (Fish Identification Guides)

George C. Becker (1983) Fishes of Wisconsin

Schmidt, J. (1922). “The breeding places of the eel.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B

Slow Sprint (2010) Freshwater Fishing Know Before You Go

Wisconsin DNR (2007) Understanding Cisco Decline in Wisconsin’s Inland Lake…/TimParks_UnderstandingCiscoDeclineinWisconsin’sInlandL…

Wisconsin DNR (2007) Longear sunfish in Wisconsin retrieved from…







February 20, 2018

Wisconsin Lawyer Fish


Wisconsin Lawyer (Burbot) is a little-known delicacy. Its white, firm flesh resembles that of the haddock or the cod is a favorite of the locals and tourists of Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin. The lawyer contains omega three fatty acids (EPA+DHA) at 45 gms in every eight ounces. The lawyer liver oil contains vitamin D potency that is just as high as the one acquired from the cod liver. The liver is also believed to contain high vitamin A and D. The liver of the lawyer is about 10% of its whole body and its six times bigger than the liver of the other freshwater fishes. The Burbot is considered a very rough fish. And its fishery is unregulated. This is because it has a low market demand and what is fished is used in local restaurants.

The low market demand is brought by the fact that most people do not know how to prepare the fish and its unattractive appearance also contributes to its under-utilization. The flavor, the texture and the appearance of the flesh resemble all the other codfishes. It has a white, firm, flaky flesh that’s mildly flavored. It’s very low in oil and also free from bones. It’s, therefore, the kind of meals that are relished by those that desire foods low in fats and high on proteins. The burbots large liver is hardly ever used mainly because the people lack knowledge of its health benefits. The liver contains quite a substantial amount of the easily digestible oil that is rich in vitamins A and D.( “10 fishy facts about burbots”, 2015).

Research by Rummykhan (2012) found that when a fisher gets back with his burbot catch, there are so many appetizing recipes that they could prepare. The most common recipes are frying the fish or roasting the chunks and then dipping them into butter. There are also other recipes that are hardly prepared that would help people appreciate further the fishery resources found in our lakes and rivers. The most common top of the stove recipe entails sprinkling prepared filets with pepper and salt. Roll them in cornmeal or flour or even in a mixture of the both. In a heated skillet place the fillets side skin facing down. Let it cook until brown then turn over and brown the other. Reduce the heathen cook for 15-20 min or until it’s done. The amount of time taken depends on the thickness of the fillet. Coating the fillet with cornmeal gives it a crispier crust than that of the flour. You could also deep fry, boil, steam, Creole, hash, and Cream with butter and vegetables. Burbots oven recipes include boiled fillets, soufflé. Dorothy’s casserole, roll with cheese sauce, stuffed tomatoes, sandwich and salad, molded salad, loaf, stuffed burbot roll, deviled burbot, burbot potato salad, broiled burbot sandwich. These are just a few of the recipes that could spice up and encourage more people to appreciate the lawyer’s fish delicacy

The lawyer according to Froese, Rainer, and Pauly, Daniel, (2006), is a mystery, an enigma and a freshwater fish like no other. It’s also known as the freshwater ling, burbot, the lawyer, lingcod, Coney fish, eelpout, and Mariah. The lawyer fish species is commonly related to the cusk and the common marine ling. It’s the sole member of genus lota. It is a member of the codfish family which are the essential food fish ever existing. Just like its saltwater cousins, the lawyer fish descended from the north. It is a fish of ice wracked stormy waters. The lawyer prefers cold water, deep, darkness and secret hiding places. The lawyer is a winter spawner; it moves in the shallows at the darkest in the night and spawns under the ice. They also spawn in streams and lakes, the smaller lawyer fish almost a foot long is found commonly in cool and cold streams. They are naturally nocturnal and feed during the dead of night.

Burbots live under ice for sometimes in the year, and they need these freezing temperatures to breed. The life of a lawyer fish is timed on a weird cycle: the winter, the wind, the outer darkness and finally the midnight sun. The lawyer fish is a devourer (“10 fishy facts about burbots” 2015).; it’s an ambush predator it attacks and swallows anything that comes its way whether living or dead. Typically, the burbot fish can live in either river or lakes as long as the temp is below seven degrees, the water is clean and oxygenated, and there is plenty of food. Their favorite hiding places are the shipwrecks, rock crevices, and logs. Where there is no cover, the burbots hide in circular, wide, crater-like depressions that have been excavated by generations of burbot. Many burbots survive all year round in the clean cold rivers south of the Arctic. The lawyer fish also thrives well in the lakes and rivers of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia.

The burbot appears like a cross between an eel and a catfish; it has a serpent-like body renowned by a single barbell on its chin. It has a long body laterally compressed with single tube-like projections from its nostrils and a flattened head. The mouth is quite wide with many small teeth on both the upper and the lower jaws.  It has two dorsal fins one being short and low while the other is much bigger. The anal fin is long and low. It has a rounded caudal fin, fan-shaped pectoral fins and finally, the pelvic fins are quite narrow with an extended second fin ray. The lawyer fish according to Froese, et al. (2006) has small fin relative to its body size which shows that the fish has a benthic lifestyle which is low endurance while swimming and the inability to endure strong water currents. As a benthic fish, the lawyer fish tolerates various substrate types which include sand, mud, rubble, silt boulder and gravel while feeding. They also create extensive burrows in the substrate for daytime shelter. The eyes of the burbot appear glassy white and reflective like the zombie eyes, other times the eyes look dark and alive.  From the lower jaw grows a single whisker-like barrel that it uses to probe the mud, the substrates and the scents of their next victim

The reason why burbot fish is also referred to as a lawyer fish is that it is as slippery as a lawyer. It has this odd habit where it wraps its slimy tails around the arm and hand of the unsuspecting anglers like a pseudo slimy lawyer who shakes your hand with his both hands. The lawyer fish takes four to seven years to reach sexual maturity. The spawning season starts in December and ends in March under extremely low temperatures or under ice between one and four degrees. The lawyer fish spawns multiple times though not every year. Like all codfishes, burbots spawn in winter. Some of them migrate out of the lake into the connecting tributaries streams just to spawn. The others spawn on shoals and rocky reef within their home lake. The migratory and the non-transient burbot population may be harbored by a single lake during the spawning period. (“10 fishy facts about burbots”, 2015).

The male lawyer fish rubs the sound producing muscles against their swim bladder producing a drumming noise that attracts their mates. The sound is exactly like that of the grouse drumming. It’s amazing how difficult it is to predict the time to spawn. The southern population spawns way earlier than those in the north. It’s not known what natural phenomena trigger the migration and the spawning but many believe that it could be the dark moons, the full moons, equinoxes the day length or even the water temperature. Establishing this timeline is vital to the mastery of your local burbot population. The smaller males start arriving at their spawning destination weeks before spawning time. The larger females are only visible a few days before and after spawning

The lawyer fish according to Froese, et al.(2006) doesn’t have a precise nesting site rather it releases its sperms and eggs into the water column to drift and just settle on their own. Many males during spawning gather around one or two females and form a spawning ball. Males and females simultaneously writhe in open water and release the eggs and the sperms. The incubation period is dependent on the water temperatures and could take between thirty and one hundred and twenty-eight days. The fertilized eggs drift away until they settle on the voids and the cracks of the substrate. Fertility or the productivity of a female burbot depends on the body size and ranges from 63,000 to 3,478,000 eggs per batch. The water temperatures also influence the longevity, rate of growth and the sexual maturity of the lawyer fish. The older and larger burbot fish produce more eggs than the younger and small individuals. Its eggs are young and contained in a large oil globule. The eggs optimally incubate at between one and seven degrees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae’s become pelagic. This means that they passively drift in the open water. Growth is rapid during the first and the second year where they gain around 12 and 10 centimeters respectively. When they reach adulthood the burbot translate from the pelagic habitat to the benthic environment. At maturity, the lawyer fish can have an average length of 40 cm and the weight ranges from 1-12kg.( Froese et al, 2006).

The small burbots in rivers and streams diet on an assortment of invertebrates including caddis flies, scuds, and mayflies. The larger burbot which is likely to be found in lakes diet on other fishes like the bloater, alewife, sculpin, and other small fish. The lawyer fish according to ( Froese, et. al. 2006) has in leech lake Minnesota become a fun sport where people from all over come for the burbot ice fishing contest commonly referred to as international eelpout festival. This tasty but unusual fish has also become a pivot for the winter festivities in Walker Minnesota. The best method used in fishing is the mowing at night. This method is believed to deliver twenty percent more than other methods. This fish may be considered ugly, but the truth is that burbot is a huge, abundant and delicious fish.

~Michael Goetzman



Annual International Eelpout Festival. (2008)Annual International Eelpout Festival.

Froese, Rainer, and Pauly, Daniel, eds.  (2006). “Lota lota” in Fish Base.

Rummykhan (2012) Poor-Man’s Lobster Eelpout/ Burbot Recipe

“10 fishy facts about burbots”(2015). British Broadcasting Corporation.

February 9, 2018

Wisconsin Sturgeon


Among the oldest species of fish known, Wisconsin is home to the larger share of the sturgeon, with Lake Winnebago holding the largest number of Lake Sturgeons in North America. The species is today a valuable source of income for the commercial fishers, with its products, caviar, and meat being of high-quality value with markets in the United States and the world in large. However, just like any other species, it has been dwindling in numbers and needs to be protected lest it goes into extinction. My family likes to participate in Sturgeon Fest held downtown Milwaukee each year hand releasing a baby sturgeon into Lake Michigan. Sturgeon Fest is an amazing organization run by River Edge Nature Center, which is in close proximity of our family north of Milwaukee.

The Sturgeons have fossil records dating back to about 150 million years ago. According to the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center, the Sturgeon’s cylindrical shape, its scutes, and top elongated tail fins distinguish it from the rest of the species. Also, their scaleless bodies that are spindle-shaped become more rounded as the fish progress with time. Wisconsin is known for harboring two species of this kind, the Shovelnose Sturgeon and the Lake Sturgeon (Robins et al.). Though these species have significant similarities, they also have significant differences. Let’s take a look:


The Lake Sturgeon

The young lake sturgeon are gray dorsally, with dusky dorsal and lateral botches. The adults are gray dorsally and white ventrally (Becker 1983). It is mostly found in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior drainage basins. It thrives in large lakes and rivers, living in the deepest mid-river areas in the inland (Enblon 6-8). The sturgeon begin their spawning migration in May, with the spawning taking place over late April and early in March, in the St. Croix River (Eddy and Underhill, 99).This may vary during some seasons, but it is a rare occurrence.

The Shovelnose Sturgeon

It has a body more elongated than that of the Lake Sturgeon, with the upper lobe of tail elongated into a threadlike extension.  The adults are gray dorsally and lighter ventrally (Becker 1983). It is only found in the Mississippi drainage basin, though it is already depleted in Alabama and South Dakota. They spawn during early May and June in Red cedar Chippewa Rivers (Miller 87-102). They swim up to the St. Croix as the Lake Sturgeon, where the conditions best suit the spawning.


Protection of the Wisconsin Sturgeon

From the ancient times, the sturgeon was an enemy of the commercial fishermen. They were considered a nuance, with instances of the fish breaking the nets of the fishermen, so that the fishermen disregarded them and threw them away (Becker 1983). Over time, however, the value of these species has gone up, with there being markets for their caviar and meat (Van Eenennaam, Chapman and Jarvis 277-311). With the threat of extinction, measures are being taken to protect those that are still remaining as well as help them reproduce.

The Sturgeon species live long, and due to this, it takes longer for them to mature, and they further spawn only once every 2-5 years (Mims et al. 2-6). Sturgeon has been added to the Appendix II list of the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), restricting importation or exportation of the species without a permit. For Wisconsin, they are calling for the ‘reestablishment of the species in their original range, where natural production would develop self-sustaining populations. In the Upper Flambeau, for example, efforts to collect and spawn fish from North Fork are undergoing (LeBreton, Beamish, and McKinley). Also, there are efforts to prohibit and limit harvesting (Johnson 60-65), though largely depressed lakes cannot recover through this method, calling for a combination of methods.


The Wisconsin waters hold a precious species of fish, one which has recently proved economically beneficial. Scrambling for a piece of this fortune undermines the self- sufficient reproduction of the fish, calling for protective measures. Since one method will not save the situation, a solution is in the combination of methods such as aquaculture, limited harvesting, and regularized selling. All of this can, however, work only if protective measures are taken from a long-term perspective. Hope you are able to visit the next Sturgeon Fest to help protect these amazing fish right here in Wisconsin.

~Michael Goetzman





References/Work Cited

Becker GC (1983) Fishes of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI, 1052 pp

Anderson, E. R. “Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) management and culture in Minnesota and Michigan.” Proceedings of a Workshop on the Lake Sturgeon. 1987

Johnson, James Edward, and Beth D. McAleer. Protected fishes of the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, 1987.

Enblon, John. A Biological Reconnaissance of the Upper Mississippi River. Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Ecological Services, 1997. Print.

LeBreton, Greg T. O, F. W. H Beamish, and R. Scott McKinley. Sturgeons and Paddlefish of North America. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2010. Print.

Miller, Michael J. “The Ecology and Functional Morphology of Feeding Of North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish.” Sturgeons and Paddlefish of North America 87-102. Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

Mims, Steven et al. Production of Sturgeon. Mississippi: Southern Regional Aquaculture Center, 2002. Web. 2 Feb. 2018.

Peterson, Douglas L., Paul Vecsei, and Cecil A. Jennings. “Ecology and Biology of the Lake Sturgeon: A Synthesis of Current Knowledge of a Threatened North American Acipenseridae.” Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 17.1 (2006): 59-76. Web. 3 Feb. 2018.

Robins, C. Richard et al. A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast Fishes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Print.

Stelzer, Robert S. et al. “Carbon Sources for Lake Sturgeon in Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin.” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137.4 (2008): 1018-1028. Web. 2 Feb. 2018.

Van Eenennaam, Joel P., Frank A. Chapman, and Peter L. Jarvis. “Aquaculture.” Sturgeons and Paddlefish of North America (2004): 277-311. Web. 2 Feb. 2018.

Wisconsin. Department of Natural Resources. The Shovelnose Sturgeon, Scaphirynchus platorynchus (Rafinesque) In the Red Cedar-Chippewa River System, Wisconsin: An Interim Report. Madison: Department of Natural Resources, 1975. Print.

February 8, 2018

Wisconsin’s War Efforts: WW II


America’s political neutrality in World War II dissolved in the early morning of December 7, 1941, when over three hundred Japanese aircraft roared over the island of Oahu. Their mission was direct and succinct—to take Pearl Harbor by surprise and inflict as much damage as possible. Due to the unpreparedness of the naval base, and the sheer unexpectedness of the attack, the end result proved to be devastating. The event, in which the US suffered 2,335 military casualties, immediately incited a response on behalf of America, and on the following day, Franklin D. Roosevelt officially declared war. My grandfather from Platteville, Wisconsin lied about being 18, like many others, after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and signed up to defend our country by fighting in the Pacific.

After Pearl Harbor, America’s participation in World War II shifted the very foundation of the country. The states focused its attention on defeating the root axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The American economy became retooled for war, and there were integral changes occurring at societal and industrial levels. The war effort became unceasing, as did the motivation for victory, which was ultimately achieved by September 2, 1945 after the fall of Nazi Germany and the subsequent surrender of its allies.

America is often viewed as a holistic superpower throughout the entirety of World War II’s history, but there is one major concept that is often overlooked. The US was still operating at a state level, and each state was unique in regards to its contribution to the war. Nebraska’s large airfields, for example, were vital for training pilots and crew members. Coastal states such as California and Florida provided the foundation for a strong navy. However, there is one Midwestern state in particular whose importance in the war proved to be multifaceted—the Badger State, Wisconsin.


By the time the war had concluded, over 300,000 Wisconsin residence involved themselves in the armed forces, of which roughly 8,000 lost their lives. In addition, nearly 13,000 Wisconsin soldiers were wounded in the conflict.  The 32D ‘Red Arrow,’ an infantry division which composed itself primarily of National Guard soldiers from Wisconsin, participated in World War II from the very conception of America’s involvement. The Red Arrow is noted as the first unit to be sent overseas in its entirety, as well as one of the first US divisions to experience ground combat. Their efforts were momentous, comprising of four separate campaigns throughout the war. Not only were they the first, they were the last as well—the division fought to the very end of the war, even after the official surrender of the Japanese. By the time they returned, the 32D Red Arrow division decorated itself with eleven Medals of Honor, 157 Distinguished Service Crosses, and thousands of other awards including Silver Stars, Purple Hearts, and Legions of Merit.

Wisconsin’s endeavors did not pertain only to overseas combat. Most of the Badger State’s contributions to the war were happening, quite literally, on their very own soil. The agricultural industry skyrocketed as the US military prepped itself for combat, and Wisconsin farmers received millions of dollars in order to keep up with the demand for fresh produce and other goods. This demand was spurred on by Wisconsin’s labor force as well. Through the efforts of the farmers, citizens could focus less on food availability, and more on wartime production.

The facet of production proved to be Wisconsin’s strongpoint during World War II, as the state was capable of turning out a variety of goods. Due to its geographical location—bordering to two of America’s deepest lakes—some of the largest naval production facilities existed here, and ship and submarine building became a primary focus. Munitions were also made in historically large quantities in Wisconsin during this time. The city of Baraboo gave rise to the Badger Ordinance Company after a $65 million dollar authorization on behalf of Franklin D Roosevelt himself. The construction of this manufacturing plant preceded America’s involvement in the war by a few months, but as soon as war was declared, this facility became the largest singular producer of ammunition in the entire world. It contributed millions of pounds of smokeless powder, rocket propellant, and rocket grain, which were used primarily in hand grenades and M1 rifle cartridges.

Wisconsin, as well as many other states, entered a time of economic prosperity during (and following) the war. Women entered the workforce en masse as soldiers left the country to fight, driving down unemployment rates and ushering in a new era of industrial production. By the end of World War II, Wisconsin businesses had received nearly five billion dollars’ worth of orders pertaining to the war effort.

There is one aspect of Wisconsin’s World War II involvement that is often hidden away by its many layers of history. It is something that even the citizens of Wisconsin themselves were made unaware of at the time due to its secrecy. By the end of the war, Wisconsin had intermittently housed around 40,000 prisoners of war throughout the state (nearly ten percent of all POWs in America). The transferal of England’s war captives to American soil originated from a rumor, which suggested Hitler had plans of sending weapons via airdrop to various camps in order to spark retaliation. At the time, the decision—although driven by fear—was best for both countries.

Major pre-existing military camps, such as Fort McCoy, served as housing facilities for these prisoners of war, which consisted primarily of Germans, Koreans, and Japanese. Most of these POWs “paid their keep” by helping production efforts, especially in regards to agriculture, and in some instances they would work side-by-side with Wisconsin’s labor force. This further benefited the state’s ability to produce food and military goods, and helped bolster their economy.

The state’s decision to not disclose these POW camps to the citizens was due in part to the uncertainty of their response. Because tensions were so high, the possibility of violence on behalf of those who lived in Wisconsin was a definite possibility. That said, those who did know, and those who worked alongside them, treated these prisoners of war respectably. Many people donated goods, and in most cases, these POWs lived in relative comfort. There are several firsthand accounts from Wisconsinites, such as Alice Schmidt, that their interactions with these prisoners were always positive, and never met by fear.

Following the war, several POWs, especially those from Germany, did not want to return back to their country. Wisconsin’s economic stability and vocational opportunities were highly desirable to those whose home countries were in shambles from the conflict. Indeed, several eventually returned to settle in Wisconsin post-war, and establish their lives there. Many who did move back stayed in contact with the citizens they befriended and worked with.

World War II in its entirety was a time of indescribable destruction and uncertainty on a global scale, however, it simultaneously allowed America to ban together in pursuit of a common goal. Each state and its respective citizens put forth their unique strengths and proved to the world what America was capable of. Wisconsin stood at the forefront of this effort, and solidified itself as a very important cornerstone of the United States’ involvement in the war.

~Michael Goetzman





October 17, 2017

Windows 10 Security Tools

As more organization migrate to Windows 10, Security is important as ever, here are some thoughts on Windows 10 security:

Windows defender advanced threat protection protects, investigates, detects and responds to data breaches and advanced threats on your network (Kevin beaver 2017). It provides an all-rounded post-breach protection, prevention, detection, and its ability to respond altogether within a single end to end solution. Its protection is built in the cloud as well as deep into windows. It provides the best performance in class while eliminating the need for complex infrastructures and 3rd party agents. It fuses in data science, deep OS expertise and the power of Microsoft intelligent security graph to adapt and protect the orchestrate remediation and changing threats.

Windows 10 now has a foothold in the software enterprise. It’s therefore important to learn the tools that are available for their day to day security. The rule 80/20 depicts that 80 % of the problems are created by 20% of the weaknesses. The problem mostly comes somewhere in patches, passwords and user behaviors. When vulnerabilities are found on the windows 10 system by IT, they are then sure that the same vulnerabilities exist everywhere. There are open source tools that assist the IT in understanding the systems security gaps so as to gain greater controls over the windows 10 desktops. To do this Windows 10 security tools must meet the enterprise needs.

Vulnerability testing and analysis: in windows 10 deployment management vulnerability scanners can be the company’s greatest asset. This is because they work well on the ongoing and the periodic basis for internal benefits that come between the security reviews.

Microsoft baseline security analyzer v2.3: this is a Microsoft software tool that determines the security state by assessment of the less secure security setting and the missing security updates within the Microsoft Windows, and the windows components such as the IIS Web server, internet explorer, SQL Server and Microsoft office macro settings. Vulnerability assessment also referred to as the less secure setting are evaluated based on the hard-coded set of file checks and registry. The Microsoft baseline security analyzer v2.3 is not necessarily created for windows 10 but it provides great insights into the vulnerabilities in the system. (Kevin beaver 2017)

File locator pro: mythic soft file locator pro is a search tool that is extensive enough to dig among the contents and the variety of files to find a specified piece of data. It’s available in both the 64-bit and the 32-bit versions. Its basic user interfaces consent using DOS expressions, Boolean searches, exact word matches and regular expressions to find content and particular file names within those files.  The real strength of the File locator pro is in its expert user box located upper right. By clicking it opens five more tabs with the search options which include created and last assessed dates, date ranges for the modified checking files with the hidden, search within the archived and compressed files and read-only system. It also has a help file that is well laid out, and a wizard that constructs the search terms.

Metasploit: this is penetration testing software that allows one to use the attacker’s weapons against them. It utilizes the database of exploits that is ever growing and safely stimulates real attacks on your own network then uses it to train their security team to stop and spot the real attacks. Metaspoilt pro makes it way easier in the collection and the sharing of the information required in in the conduct of an efficient and successful penetration test. (Microsoft ,2017)

Netscantools pro: this  according to Microsoft (2017)  is an assimilated collection of internet information network and gathering utilities for research IPv4  addresses, network professionals, IPv6 addresses, domain names, hostnames, email addresses and manual tools.

Nessus vulnerability scanner: also referred as expose. It specializes in the vulner5ability assessment and continuous monitoring of the products. The Nessus vulnerability scanners line of products includes Nessus manager which is an on-premises virtual and physical appliances for the management of the vulnerability, Nessus cloud a service offering software, Nessus professional which is a software that runs on the laptops or the clients device, and Nessus home a free version that’s aimed for consumer use. Other than vulnerability scanning Nessus includes cloud environment, web application, and mobile device scanning. It also provides auditing of control systems, malware detection, compliance checks and configuration auditing.

Soft perfect network scanner: this is a universal IPV6/IPV4 scanner with an extensive range of advanced features and options for general users and system administrators that have interest in computer security. It scans ports, pings computers has flexible filtering, it discovers shared folders and has display options it can easily retrieve any information concerning network devices through SNMP, WMI, HTTP and PowerShell. It also scans registry, remote service files and performance counters latter transporting the results either through JSON and XML Kevin beaver (2017)


~Michael Goetzman



Microsoft (2017) intelligent security retrieved from

Kevin beaver (2017) Windows 10 security tools to have handy retrieved from


August 27, 2017

The Coco Blockchain Framework

Can Coco Framework Allow The Use of Blockchain Technology in Enterprises?

Microsoft is one of the companies that have embraced the need for blockchain technology in modern business. In fact, in the past, Microsoft has tried to integrate blockchain friendly business-as-a-service platforms in Azure. Bill Gates even mentioned as early as 2014 that Bitcoin is actually better than currency. And Microsoft is far from stopping in exploring the potential of Bitcoin technology.

Microsoft is involved in yet another blockchain tech related project. This time around, Microsoft announced the newest blockchain protocol in the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework. It is an open source system that aims to provide large-scale blockchain networks for businesses and other organizations.

Its ultimate goal is for enterprises to be able to adapt the blockchain technology and the distributed ledger technology seamlessly into their system. The Coco framework aims to minimize the complexity of implementing blockchain protocols.

What it aims is to make transactions faster and increase their overall confidentiality in the blockchain. According to Mark Russinovich, technology chief at Microsoft Azure, he mentioned that Coco has been designed for confidential consortiums wherein nodes and actors are not only declared but also controlled.

He also mentioned that “ Coco presents an alternative approach to ledger construction, giving enterprises the scalability, distributed governance and enhanced confidentiality they need without sacrificing the inherent security and immutability they expect”.

The Coco Framework is expected to work with any blockchain ledger protocol. Among the initial implementations will include Ethereum, R3’s, Corda, Hyperledger Sawtooth, and JP Morgan’s Quorum. Coco is also expected to work with hardware-based trusted execution environments. This includes Intel’s Software Guard Extensions and Windows Virtual Secure Mode (VSM).

1,600 transactions per second

Coco is expected to be capable of going beyond 1,600 transactions per second once it has been integrated with the blockchain network. Also, an interesting feature about the Coco Framework is the fact that it aims to have members to vote on everything that matters when it comes to the blockchain software. This means that it allows simplification of governance decisions on the part of its users.

Is it a game changer?

“We’re going to remove a lot of barriers, the scalability barrier, the privacy barrier and the security barriers, so now companies that are building blockchain technologies can focus on what adds value to their business.” Microsoft

What exactly makes it a game changer? One common problem for companies is the reality that there is no unified approach when it comes to the blockchain technology when applied by enterprises. For instance, there are many kinds of blockchains. Unfortunately, not all blockchains are interoperable to one another.

Though a lot of businesses are looking to adapt existing blockchain protocols, unfortunately, many of these options still fail to meet business requirements. A lot of blockchain protocols would require complex development techniques in order to fit in the operational and security needs of these companies.

Basically, what Coco Framework offers is its ability to connect existing blockchains. Mark Russinovich mentioned that “We have listened to the needs of our customers and the blockchain community and are bringing foundational functionality with the Coco Framework”.

Is Coco bringing Blockchain closer to real world use?

Given the common usage of cryptocurrencies in today’s world, it is undeniable how a lot of companies are now looking to tap into the adaptation of blockchain technology. Between the years 2015 and 2016 Gartner mentioned that client inquiries about the blockchain technology increased by 600%.

Though there is a growing interest in the blockchain technology, successfully adapting it is another story. Microsoft is one of the few companies that is slowly becoming blockchain-ready. Could Coco make the adaptation of blockchain technology by businesses a reality? What could be the next steps for Microsoft after Coco?

~Michael Goetzman

August 20, 2017

Microsoft & Stratis Platform


Blockchain tech is still relatively new but big companies are already taking notice. Since Bitcoin has recently reached the $3,000+ mark and more cryptocurrencies are becoming popular among speculators and long-term investors alike, it is safe to assume that people are curious to what blockchain has to offer in the future.

One of the companies that is already taking notice is Microsoft and this isn’t really something surprising. Microsoft has posted job descriptions for new team members investigating blockchain technologies. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking to use distributed ledger in order to assist two billion people worldwide with no bank accounts. In addition to this, Bill Gates is a strong believer digital currencies. He even mentioned in 2014 that “Bitcoin is better than currency”.

Microsoft BaaS

As for Microsoft, they are now looking to build a business-friendly blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform. Given that blockchain is relatively new, there is always that element of surprise that market leadership is still up for grabs.

Microsoft has been integrating BaaS modules into Azure, which is its cloud computing platform. Looking at its exterior, it is a cloud-based, modular, and has been based on an open-source code. Though it can work with different kinds of protocols, it has shown preference towards the ethereum blockchain. In fact, it has been soft-launched during an Ethereum event in 2015.

A lot of partnerships have been made with startups that made use of ethereum. In addition to this, Microsoft has been a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which is a move towards exploring business adaptations of blockchain technology.

Unfortunately, experts have seen Microsoft’s involvement with Ethereum as a risk. Ethereum, which was developed by the Ethereum Foundation, is something that Microsoft is not a part of. This means that the Ethereum Foundation can change the underlying code without any input coming from Microsoft. In fact, a bug can entirely shake up the confidence on companies that have used an ethereum-based system.

Public vs. Private Blockchain

Because of these potential problems that might occur dabbling with public blockchains, IBM, on the other hand, has a different stroke when it comes to its Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform. The IBM blockchain leaned towards Hyperledger’s Fabric codebase. Unlike Ethereum and Microsoft, IBM played a major role in writing a large part of its code.

Aside from being a private blockchain, IBM is a member of the steering committee that governs Hyperledger’s codebase. This means that IBM’s consent and contribution plays a major role in case they make certain changes.

Microsoft-Stratis Partnership

Given the possible problems with Ethereum, enter Stratis into the picture. One of Stratis’ board members, Mahesh Chand, is a 12-time Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional). As the recipient of the Microsoft MVP, it is possible that Mahesh Chand’s technical knowledge of Microsoft Products can be considered an advantage how both Stratis and Microsoft can work together.

In addition to this, Mahesh Chand is also the founder of C# Corner, which is the most popular online community for Microsoft programmers and developers. With his participation on Stratis, it provides them Microsoft access to a great number of C# programmers that can potentially build advanced decentralized apps.

Stratis in Azure Marketplace

By the end of June, Stratis announced that they’ve completed the Microsoft Azure Certification for the Azure Marketplace. The Stratis Full Node is now public for both Windows and Linux users. What it does is help businesses that run on both Windows and Linux environments to run their blockchain related apps smoothly.

The goal of Stratis is to allow the financial sector and businesses create their custom blockchain applications in a simpler and faster way than how other blockchain projects are developed.  What Stratis offers is the creation of a private blockchain that can be launched by third party organizations. These blockchains are then secured on the main Stratis Blockchain.

Among its advantages include synchronizing a full Stratis Node in just a few minutes. Also, it offers combination with other Azure resources in order to improve performance and reliability for its users. This will also allow developers to use their C# and .net knowledge since Stratis is based on these two technologies. And since it makes use of C#, it becomes simpler than the traditional C++ Bitcoin Source Code.

According to Stratis supporters, despite Stratis entering relatively new, it has been showing great potential. Having all the tools that can be used by both small and large businesses, it has the ability to create blockchain based apps that are custom made for its users.  How do you think Major Corporations like Microsoft will bond with blockchain and stratis platform into business competitive advantages?

I’ll discuss in an upcoming article Microsoft playing with an Ethereum-Based Protocol called ‘Coco’.

~Michael Goetzman