Boat inspectors to be at Yahara Lakes boat landings from Friday July 1 through Monday July 4

June 29, 2011
Sue Jones, 224-3764 (office), jones.susan@countyofdane.com
Land & Water Resources

Effort aims to prevent spread of aquatic invasive species

(MADISON, WI  June 29, 2011) Dane County watercraft inspectors will be educating boaters and conductingfree courtesy boat checks from Friday July 1 through Monday July 4 on Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa to assure that boaters do not accidentally spread Eurasian water-milfoil, zebra mussels, and other aquatic invasive species.

The inspectors, who are a mix of paid Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds staff and volunteers, will be rotating among several of the busiest boat landings to help boaters understand Wisconsin’s invasive species laws and what they must do before leaving.

“Dane County is a great place for fishing and boating. By following simple steps, we can preserve the quality of our lakes for future generations to enjoy,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. 

Invasive species can crowd out native species, disrupt lake ecosystems, and interfere with boating, fishing and other recreation. The main way that invasive species and fish diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) spread to new waters is aboard boating and fishing equipment and live fish or water moved from one waterbody to another.

The inspectors, who have been trained through Wisconsin’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, will demonstrate the required prevention steps boaters must take, provide stickers for boaters to place on their trailer posts to remind them of these steps, and will talk about Wisconsin invasive species and VHS laws.  “Watercraft inspection is one of the important steps that we are taking to implement Dane County’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention and Control Plan,” said Sue Jones, Dane County Watershed Management Coordinator.  The Plan is available at http://danewaters.com/resource/InvasiveSpecies.aspx

Boaters, anglers, and others enjoying Wisconsin waters are required to: 

INSPECT boats, trailers, and equipment.

REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals.

DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment.

NEVER MOVE plants or live fish away from a waterbody. *

*Limited exceptions apply.  Visit www.dnr.wi.gov  and search for “bait laws”

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