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MCLA is a regional leader in the prevention and spread of the invasive species threatening our lakes. MCLA conducts boat inspections, maintains boat cleaning stations and works with the DNR to help inventory and control the spread of AIS.
MCLA, with a DNR Clean Boats grant sponsored by Glacierland Resource and Conservation Development, hired two part-time boat inspectors in 2015. The inspectors, along with Tom Ward-AIS Coordinator, talk to boaters regarding steps they need to take to reduce the spread of invasives:
- 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.
In 2022, over 1300 people were educated about steps to prevent the spread of invasives and 743 boats were checked at local boat launches.
After several years of AIS education and inspections, the knowledge level with boaters on inspecting and cleaning is very high. Placing fish on ice vs. taking them home in water has improved significantly sense last season. However, from 15–20% of the boaters are first-time boat owners or just getting back into boating and are in need of knowing the Clean Boats steps.
Our inspectors focused this year on the education emphasis by identifying with boaters which lakes are “spreader lakes,” treating all water as contaminated and emphasizing the use of our boat cleaning stations and bleach solution treatment. We also have several lakes with hybrid EWM that we do not want spread to other lakes. English lake has had consecutive herbicide treatments of hybrid EWM with very little success in controlling this invasive.
Ongoing Manitowoc County Boat Inspections
|Year||#Hours||#Boats Inspected||#People Contacted|
Examples of data collected during MCLA boat Inspections
Boat Used During Past 5 Days on Different Water Body
Inspectors estimated that over 20% of boaters are not familiar with “Clean Boats, Clean Waters” inspection procedures. Also, 72% of the boaters were not contacted more than once during the boating season. Based on this information, there remains a need to maintain a presence at our boat launches to insure compliance and train new or incoming boaters to prevent a continued spread of new invasives.