Help Stop the Silent Invaders
Everyone can help prevent the spread of AIS! Whether you are a boater, angler, paddler, seaplane pilot, water gardener/pond owner, nursery owner, aquarium enthusiast, or even a teacher, you have a very important role to play in keeping Wisconsin’s waterbodies free of AIS.
Boaters, paddlers, and anglers, before launching, after loading, and before transporting on a public highway, you must:
- INSPECT your boat, trailer, and equipment.
- REMOVE any attached aquatic plants or animals
- DRAIN all water from boats, motors and all equipment
- NEVER MOVE 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* For more information visit dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/prevention.html
These steps also benefit YOU by:
- Protecting your engine from overheating and propeller from fouling,
- Protecting your boat performance, gasoline consumption, and overall watercraft and equipment investment.
- Protecting your waterfront property value, swimming area, and your health.
- Protecting fisheries, native species, and aquatic ecosystems.
- Saves millions of dollars in water supply and electric-power generating equipment maintenance.
- Finally, it enables you to comply with Wisconsin law. The few minutes required to INSPECT, REMOVE, DRAIN, AND NEVER MOVE contributes to the overall long-term health of our natural and human environments.
TIPS & TRICKS TO HELP YOU PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION AND SPREAD OF AIS.
- Learn to identify invasive species in your area. Report any sightings to your County Land and Water Conservation Department or the Department of Natural Resources.
- Identify pathways that lead to the introduction of multiple species, sharing these findings with family, friends, lake group, and partners and work to close these pathways.
- Remove invasive plants and exotic ornamental plants on your property and plant native plants in their place.
- Clean hiking boots, off-road vehicles, tires, and other outdoor gear before you go to a new area.
- Never release aquarium fish, snails, and plants, live bait, or other exotic animals into lakes and streams.
- Clean construction machines before moving to a new job site. The mud and soil stuck to the machines can harbor seeds from invasive plants.
- Do not move firewood! Buy it where you will burn it or gather it on-site where permitted.
- Inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment and remove any attached plants, animal, mud, and sand. Drain all water from boats, motors and all equipment. Never move live fish away from a waterbody and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
NON-MOTORIZED WATERCRAFTS & INFLATABLES
CLEAN off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from watercraft, gear, paddles, floats, ropes, anchors, dip nets, and trailer before leaving water access.
Scrub hull using a stiff brush. Rinse watercraft, trailer and equipment with high pressure hot water, when possible.
DRAIN water from watercraft, sponges, bailers, and water containing devices before leaving water access.
DRY everything five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill small species not easily seen OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
SCUBA DIVERS / SNORKELERS
CLEAN off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from pontoons, cross members, steps, transom, rudders, chine, wheel wells, mooring ropes, wires, and cables. Scrub off any floats with a stiff brush. Rinse landing gear with high-pressure hot water, when possible. Landing in marine waters, if moving between freshwater bodies, can be an effective method of killing freshwater aquatic invasive species.
At water take-off:
After water take-off:
DRY water from floats before take-off.
CLEAN off visible plants, animals and mud from swimsuits, masks, goggles, floats, and beach toys.
DRAIN water from toys or other water-containing devices before leaving water access. DRY everything five days or more, OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
In Wisconsin, the Invasive Species Identification, Classification, and Control Rule (NR 40) classifies invasive species in Wisconsin as Prohibited or Restricted and regulates the transportation, possession, transfer, and introduction of those species. dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/ss/ss1160.pdf . This rule also establishes “Preventive Measures” to show actions we can take to slow the spread of invasive species. The Invasive Species Rule covers over 128 species and affects everyone in Wisconsin.
Prohibited Invasive Species:
- Not yet in the state or only in a few places
- Likely to survive and spread
- Potential to cause significant environmental or economic harm or harm to human health
- Eradication and prevention is feasible
- Regulations: Cannot transport, possess, transfer or introduce without a permit. Control is required. DNR may order or conduct a control effort.
Restricted Invasive Species:
- Already widely established in the state
- Causes significant environmental or economic harm or harm to human health
- Complete eradication is unlikely
- Regulations: Cannot transport, transfer or introduce without a permit. Possession is allowed except for fish or crayfish. Control is encouraged but not required.
Under the Invasive Species Rule, any viable part of the species is regulated. Certain exemptions do exist with these regulations. Please consult the DNR website or DNR staff for clarifications.