Thursday, June 8, 2017

AIS Drain Campaign

From: Steph Boismenue <>
Date: June 7, 2017 at 3:25:05 PM CDT
Subject: Oneida Co. AIS News 6-7-17
Good Afternoon,

The statewide AIS Drain Campaign is this weekend from Friday, June 9th through Sunday, June 11th.

During the Drain Campaign, the Oneida County AIS Team, along with several lake associations and partnering agencies, will be reminding anglers and boaters to drain their boats, livewells and other gear before and after hitting the lakes. They will also be handing out free ice packs to anglers to aid them in taking this important step. The Drain Campaign aims to increase awareness of and compliance with Wisconsin’s draining laws among anglers, the campaign’s target audience. The campaign focuses on the AIS prevention steps, help anglers understand how and why some of Wisconsin’s worst AIS can spread through transported water, and helps anglers understand the rules on fish and water transport.

Boaters may know to inspect their boat for weeds before entering and when leaving the lake, but they may not realize that they could inadvertently transport one of the worst AIS through water.  Invaders like zebra mussel larvae or spiny water fleas are too small to readily see and can survive to the next lake when water is left in livewells, buckets, bilge, motors or equipment.

Why Give Away Ice Packs? Because once your day’s catch is out of water, the fish are not considered live and can be safely transported home. Since fish need to be kept fresh on the road, ice is an alternative to livewells that’s already preferred by many anglers. Some folks are used to taking their catch home in livewells, but ice is a legal and better way to get those fish home. It stops any bacterial growth, and then your catch isn’t ingesting the fish toxins that concentrate in fouled, low-oxygen water on the way home, which some say affects the taste. You also don’t want that water making it to a new lake. Fish diseases or very small invasive species can get around that way.

Examples of small invasive species that can easily hitch a ride in water are Zebra Mussels and Spiny Water fleas.  Though neither one has been found in Oneida County, they are extremely close to the county line. In Vilas County, the Spiny Water fleas have been found in Trout Lake, Star Lake, Stormy Lake, and Ike Walton Lake. To the East of us, in Forest County, the Zebra Mussels have caused significant damage to Lake Metonga. Anglers are really passionate about protecting their lakes, and will take time to remove and drain invasive species from their boats just because it’s the right thing to do. No one wants to bring zebra mussels or spiny water fleas to a new lake just because they forgot to drain their water.

It takes just a few minutes at the landing to keep our lakes beautiful and our fish healthy. Know the laws and follow the AIS prevention steps every time you leave the water.

INSPECT boats, trailers and equipment.
REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals.
DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, equipment including livewells and buckets containing fish.
NEVER MOVE plants or live fish away from a waterbody.
DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash
BUY minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer. Use leftover minnows only under certain conditions*
*You may take leftover minnows away from any state water and use them again on that same water. You may use leftover minnows on other waters only if no lake or river water or other fish were added to their container.

The Clean Boats Clean Waters Watercraft Inspectors throughout Oneida County have been doing an OUTSTANDING job of educating boaters.  But, it’s important to remain vigilant about educating why it’s important to drain boats, livewells and bait buckets and stop invasive species in their tracks.

If you have questions about AIS or think you may have discovered an AIS that is not known to that waterbody, please do not hesitate to contact me at 715-369-7835.

Enjoy the sunshine and have a great day.

Stephanie Boismenue
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
Oneida County Land & Water Conservation Department
Visit us at: Oneida County Courthouse (second floor),
1 South Oneida Avenue, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501

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