Many people believe the fight against Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is hopeless and they will end up here anyways.

That statement is incorrect, AIS are being spread across the state at a rapid rate due to human transportation. Single fragment of Starry Stonewort or Eurasian water milfoil can be transported though water in your boat if you do not plug the plug, drain the live well, or drain your motor. These single fragments can take root and establish new populations in uncontaminated lakes. Zebra mussel veligers can also be transported in the same manner. Veligers are the free swimming larval stage of a zebra mussel and undetectable to the naked eye. These AIS are not only threatening to our native species but cause potential problems for boaters, fisherman, and swimmers.

Starry Stonewort and Eurasian Milfoil create thick vegetation at/near the water’s surface. This thick vegetation gets tangled in boat propellers and not enjoyable for swimmers. Zebra mussels multiply at a very rapid rate, a single female can produce 100,000-500,000 eggs a year. Once in an adult form, the mussel stage, they have sharp shells. These shells can cut swimmers feet or the pads of dogs. Studies are beginning to show that Zebra Mussels are impacting game fish populations by depleting food sources on the bottom of the food chain.

Please take a few minutes when you leave ANY lake or river to check your boat and trailer for these aquatic invaders. We can continue to protect our lakes and rivers in the area by doing these 3 simple steps:

1. Remove any visible vegetation from your boat & trailer

2. Pull the plug, drain your boat motor, and drain your live well.

3. If your bait has encountered lake/river water either throw it away or replace the lake water with tap water/bottled water.