Boaters reminded to take steps to stop spread of aquatic invasive species

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – This holiday weekend, tens of thousands of boaters will be taking to the waters here in Wisconsin. And numerous environmental groups will be meeting them at boat launches, to keep those waterways safe.

At the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch – vital information is being shared to boaters. From educators like Megan Weller, looking to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.

“We’re all coming out here, making sure boaters are cleaning off their boats, spreading awareness on aquatic invasive species,” said Weller.

Weller works for the DNR and is one of hundreds of educators visiting boat launches all across the state over the next five days.

“There are some Clean Boats happening on Lake Winnebago today, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County,” Weller said.

For the annual Landing Blitz – promoting the statewide Clean Boats, Clean Waters campaign, stressing the importance of keeping boats clean, preventing aquatic hitchhikers like zebra mussels and eurasian watermilfoil.

“So, we are not bringing any invasive species to other lakes, making sure we can all enjoy the waters recreational and fishing for years to come,” said Weller.

Surveys show that most boaters remove plants, mud, and other debris from their boats when they come off the water. But Weller says it doesn’t hurt to remind them.

“I think it’s great. There have been a lot of invasive species spread in all kinds of different waterways throughout the last 10 to 15 years,” said boater Bret Alexander.

The message is simple – when coming off the water, inspect your boat and trailer, remove aquatic plants, and drain water from live wells and motor. Easy steps John Van Beek has been following for years.

“If you’re going to another body of water the last thing you want to do is to contaminate that with an invasive species. It throws off the whole system,” said boater Van Beek.

Thus, the reason for Weller’s mission in Green Bay, reminding boaters they all have a role to play, protecting Wisconsin’s waters.

For the third year, Wisconsin’s campaign is also aligned with the Great Lakes Region Landing Blitz.

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