Help Prevent the Invasion: Learn How to Inspect Your Watercraft June 21st

June 18, 2009
Sue Jones, 224-3764 (office), 469-9280 (cell), jones.susan@co.dane.wi.us; Marcia Hartwig, 224-3746, hartwig@co.dane.wi.us
Land & Water Resources

(Madison, June 18, 2009) Aquatic invasives are harmful to the health of Dane County’s lakes, rivers and streams. They crowd out native plants, alter the ecosystem and in some cases, kill native fish through disease. Many of these invasives spread from one body of water to another via watercraft or anglers. As part of Invasive Species Awareness Month and the 15th annual Take a Stake in the Lakes Days, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Guard warden Greg Stacey will demonstrate how boaters, canoers, kayakers and anglers can take some simple steps to ensure that their watercraft are free of invasives on Sunday, June 21st at 2:00 p.m. at the Lake Farm Park landing on Lake Waubesa.

“We are fortunate to have so many bodies of water suited for recreation in Dane County,” said newly-elected Watershed Commission chair Melissa Malott. “It’s fun to take your boat or fishing equipment to explore new waterways. All of us at the Dane County Watershed Commission and the Office of Lakes & Watersheds simply ask that boaters and anglers help us in our efforts to prevent the spread of existing invasives and to keep new ones from coming in,” Malott concluded.
The Plan to Prevent and Control of Aquatic Invasive Species in Dane County
The Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds is completing preparation of an aquatic invasive species prevention and control plan (the review draft of the plan can be found at http://danedocs.countyofdane.com/webdocs/pdf/lwrd/lakes/AIS_Plan.pdf).The County will implement the plan by working together with stakeholder groups, surrounding counties and the state to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in Dane County waters.

The plan will serve as a guide for Dane County and its partners in combating problems caused by aquatic invasive species that are already here, such as Eurasian water milfoil, and in preventing the introduction of others, such as Asian carp and Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia. The Office of Lakes & Watersheds will submit the plan to the Wisconsin DNR this month. If the plan is approved by the DNR, Dane County will qualify for state funding to implement the plan. “We are looking forward to getting to work on this plan, but we need the help of everyone who enjoys swimming, boating or fishing to do their part,” said watershed management coordinator Susan Jones. “Together, I know we’ll make some great strides in controlling these invasives.”

Tips for Boaters and Anglers to Reduce the Spread of Aquatic Invasives
Greg Stacey offers the following actions boaters and anglers can take to assist in the efforts to keep invasive aquatic species from spreading or being introduced to Dane County lakes, rivers and streams:
Inspect and remove aquatic plants, animals and mud from your boat, trailer and equipment.
Drain all water from live well, bilge, motor, etc.
Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.
Wash boat and equipment with high-pressure or hot water OR dry boat and equipment thoroughly for five days.

The watercraft inspection demonstration and aquatic invasives education are part of the 15th annual Take a Stake in the Lakes Days, June 6-21, an annual series of community events, activities and hands-on workshops that highlight the importance of the lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands to the quality of life in Dane County. For more information, visit takeastakeinthelakes.com.