In December of 2006, the DNR approved an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Education and Prevention grant for the Burnett County Lakes and Rivers Association (BCLRA). This 2 year initiative focuses on the automated monitoring of 7 boat launches on five lakes in Burnett County (Johnson, Lake 26, Mud Hen, Big Wood, and Yellow Lake (3 launches)). The monitoring equipment is manufactured, installed, and maintained by Environmental Sentry Protection, LLC (ESP). The 5 lake associations, BCLRA, Burnett County, and ESP committed to providing 50% of the resources for this project through a combination of volunteer effort, resources, and payments.
This grant by the Burnett County Lakes and Rivers Association for key lakes in Burnett County is designed to leverage traditional Clean Boats Clean Waters (CBCW) practices as well as new tools such as 7x24 monitoring and distributed educational materials in a multi pronged effort to stem or prevent the advance of aquatic invasives from boaters into these lakes.
Project goals and objectives
1) Develop and present educational information to fishermen visiting bait stores
2) Identify a clear Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) clean off zone at each launch
3) Educate visiting boaters on procedures that they should follow to clean their boats
4) Install Internet Landing Installed Device Sensors (I-LIDS) to capture launch usage statistics
5) Determine compliance of visitors with removal of AIS prior to launching
6) Evaluate how effective a monitoring tool is in ensuring visitors follow procedures
7) Identify specific boaters who violate laws regarding transport of AIS
The main goals of the program are to:
- Reduce the risk of AIS introduction into these lakes through a 7x24 presence, education, and modifying boater behaviors with respect to launching aquatic plants
- Identify AIS violators who had attached weeds on their boat and trailer while launching.
- Improve public education on AIS, including notifying violators of illegal launching
Over 6900 video sequences were captured from 5/5-10/18/07.
Why Monitor? The Risk of New Aquatic Invasive Species
Wisconsin Lakes face threats from many varieties of AIS such as Eurasian watermilfoil, Hydrilla (newly discovered in Indiana, and Wisconsin), and Zebra Mussels that cling to weeds. Residents of infested waters spend tens of thousands of dollars annually in the battle to manage these invasives.
Zebra mussels have spread to 55 boating accesses in Minnesota, 100 lakes in Wisconsin, and 227 lakes in Michigan. These invasives carry significant impact to lake ecology, property values, recreational enjoyment, and native species. Zebra mussels have no control technique that can be used to eradicate their presence once they infest a lake. Zebra Mussels siphon plankton at the base of the food chain impacting fisheries. They die off and litter shorelines with razor sharp edges and foul smell. Therefore it’s clear why identifying strategies that can be leveraged to get boaters to clean their boats is important.