Boat Inspections

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MCLA Sponsored the Billboards for Clean Boat Clean Waters to raise local awareness of invasive species in 2009.

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
2022 344 743 1328
2021 159 251 390
2020 240 680 1340
2019 372 504 966
2018 432 397 723
2017 621 628 1325
2016 744 1111 2643
2015 544 817 2249
2014 778 731 1608
2013 655 1417 3298
2012 588 1344 3028
2011 162 320 656

Examples of data collected during MCLA boat Inspections

boater understands

Boat Used During Past 5 Days on Different Water Body


boat used on different water body

silver lake inspectionInspectors 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.

Read the Grant Final Progress Report for RCD Boat Inspections PDF 2014

Updated: January 12, 2023 — 8:56 am