Landing Blitz planned to fight invasive species on lakes

Citizen volunteers and aquatic invasive species experts will be teaming up to educate boaters and conduct free boat checks during the weekend of July 4 at boat landings throughout Wisconsin so the boaters 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 30-July 3 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, 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. 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 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,” said Michele Sadauskas, Oneida County’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 (limited exceptions apply. Visit www.dnr.wi.gov and search for “bait laws.”),

Landing Blitz is a state-wide effort that focuses on the high traffic holiday weekend, however, citizen volunteers of Sheboygan County can continue to educate boaters throughout the boating season.

Glacierland RC&D, a nonprofit organization that addresses environmental concerns, has been awarded a Wisconsin DNR Surface Water Management Grant for aquatic invasive species education, prevention, and planning for Sheboygan County.

If you would like to get involved in AIS programs carried out on lakes and rivers near you please contact the local AIS coordinator, Mackinzi Beaty at Mackinzi. beaty@sheboygancounty.com.


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