May 31-June 2, 2019
Keep you fish for the kitchen on ice!
Draining livewells can stop invasive species and protect our waters!
Anglers will be reminded to drain livewells, bait buckets, motors and bilges before leaving a boat launch or fishing access during the statewide Drain Campaign on May 31-June 2, 2019. Water left in the boat and other equipment can transport fish diseases and aquatic invasive species (AIS) between lakes, rivers and streams. For the second year, it’s easier than ever to bring the message to new fishermen of all ages as the Drain Campaign coincides with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Free Fishing Weekend, June 1-2.
During the Drain Campaign, Clean Boats, Clean Waters boat inspectors, regional AIS partners and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource staff will talk with anglers and boaters at launches around the state. At many lakes and river accesses, they will also hand out free icepacks and other Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! items while they remind people that icing is the best way to keep fish fresh.
“Ice is a great alternative to keep your fish fresh on the ride home,” says Bob Wakeman, the statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, adding that ice is already preferred by many anglers, since it stops bacterial growth and helps to protect the flavor of your catch. “Anglers are passionate about protecting their lakes and know the right thing to do is to remove all plants and animals and drain water from their boats. That includes draining from livewells and buckets which helps keep microscopic invasive species and diseases from moving between lakes and rivers.”
Fishermen are the best messengers to spread the word to other anglers by modeling prevention steps to those new to the sport as well as to others who don’t know the law and reasons behind it. Those who use social media can also spread the word about the importance of draining livewells and other equipment by posting photos and messages using #JustDrainIt.
The following steps are required by law to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:
- INSPECT boats, trailers and equipment for attached aquatic plants or animals.
- REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals.
- DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, and 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.
- Only use leftover minnows when either 1) fishing with them on the same body of water or 2) on other waters if no lake/river water or other fish have been added to the container.
To learn more about invasive species and their impacts to Wisconsin’s waters and economy, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/invasives.