By: Joanne M. Haas/Bureau of Law Enforcement
Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens will be at Waukesha County’s boat landings, and bait, sport and dive shops this Saturday as part of a collaborative group effort to protect Wisconsin’s waters from destructive aquatic invasive species.
The DNR’s decontamination unit also will be stationed at the Pewaukee Boat Landing, ready for any boat owner looking to have their vessel power cleaned for free.
“It’s a well-known fact that Wisconsin has some of the best water resources in the world,” DNR Southeast Regional Warden Kevin Mickelberg says. “It’s also a well-known fact how much damage aquatic invasive species can do to the state’s fisheries, tourism industry and outdoor recreational opportunities for all.”
This is why the wardens are partnering with Clean Boats-Clean Waters, local coordinators of AIS programs, DNR Water Guards and area lake associations in this weekend’s public outreach day to stop these pests.
Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark says again this year the warden service is working to stop the transport of these unwanted species from lake to lake. "These regional events are to help educate everyone about the importance of stopping these species -- and how to do it," Stark said. “We have good compliance in Wisconsin, but if there’s one person who doesn’t follow the law and knowingly transports AIS, it undermines everyone else's efforts.”
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native species such as Eurasian water milfoil, Zebra mussels, Asian Carp and the fish disease - viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).
The invaders spread when people transport plants, animals and water between water bodies. Wisconsin law requires before leaving a waterway users remove all attached plants and animals from their boats and equipment and drain all water, including in live wells and buckets, so that smaller organisms like zebra mussel larvae are not transported. There are some exceptions for bait transport.
It is unlawful to transport boating equipment on a highway with aquatic plants or animals attached.
See regulations here: /topic/invasives/boat.html