Dennis Gasper Plymouth

To the Editor

If there is a silver-lining with Asian Carp it is the awareness about aquatic invasive species (AIS) they have brought about. Many people are talking about these carp and most have the opinion that they aren’t good and we certainly don’t want them in our local inland lakes or Lake Michigan.

Most of us are well aware that it was human actions that allowed AIS to get into the Great Lakes and from the Great Lakes into our local lakes and streams. These human actions include the creation of the Welland Canal, dumping of ballast water from huge cargo ships, dumping of water from live wells, dumping of aquariums and the intentional stocking of carp. Once a lake is infested with an AIS, it is pretty much doomed to have that infestation forever.

The Minnesota DNR reported their AIS violations dropped from 31% to 20% in 2013. One in five boaters still violate the laws so education and law enforcement is still needed. Trained watercraft inspectors found over 1200 boats with plants attached and 134 boats with zebra mussels attached.

The key today is ‘prevention’. We need to prevent introducing new species into our lakes. You can be part of the solution by following the AIS rules and laws you see posted at all of the area boats landings. These laws require you to inspect and remove all plants, animals and materials from your boat, trailer or equipment. You must drain all water from your boat and equipment and never move live fish.

The key to prevention is ‘education’ and I’m looking for a few good volunteers to help educate our boaters on how to prevent spreading AIS in Sheboygan County. Whether you are a high school student, retired or anywhere in between with an appreciation and love for our lakes; you can qualify to become a trained Clean Boats/ Clean Waters volunteer. Training classes will begin in late April so please contact me, get involved and become part of the solution. I will only ask for 15-20 hours of your time for the entire summer.

Contact: Steve Klock (Aquatic
Invasive Species Coordinator)
com or call 946 5921.

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