July 2016 – MCLA will once again participate in the Landing Blitz planned for the July 4th Weekend. Citizen volunteers and aquatic invasive species experts will be teaming up to educate boaters and conduct free boat checks during the weekend of July 4th at boat landings throughout Manitowoc County. The teams will inform the boaters so they do not accidentally spread Eurasian water-milfoil, zebra mussels, and other aquatic invasive species (AIS).
Throughout the eighth annual Landing Blitz inspectors stationed at many high use boat landings from June 30th-July 3rd will help boaters understand Wisconsin’s invasive species laws and what steps to follow to avoid spreading invasive species.
During last year’s holiday, inspectors contacted 23,000 people and inspected over 10,000 boats across the entire state. Inspectors included citizen volunteers, state and local AIS staff, wardens and water guards, and numerous lake associations. They were organized by the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters program.
Invasive species can crowd out native species, disrupt lake ecosystems, interfere with boating, fishing and other recreation, and cause economic harm. The main way that invasive species and fish diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) spread to new waters is when boating and fishing equipment, or live fish or water is moved from one waterbody to another.
Inspectors will demonstrate the required prevention steps boaters must take, provide educational prompts to remind boaters of these steps, and talk about Wisconsin invasive species and VHS laws. Boaters found already practicing the prevention steps can again be rewarded with a free microfiber boating towel.
“Boaters are always delighted to get these towels and know they are doing the right thing,” – Tom Ward, Manitowoc County Lakes Association’s AIS coordinator.
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. *
Volunteers and lake residents are invited to accompany inspectors. If you can help out with greeting boaters contact MCLA