MyNorth News Service
(Press Release provided by Michigan DNR)
Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed June 28-July 4 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in an effort to raise awareness about the need for citizens to take action to stop new introductions and to control the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).
AIS are non-native organisms that either intentionally or unintentionally become established outside their normal range and harm lakes, rivers, wetlands and the Great Lakes. Everyone enjoying Michigan’s waters has a role to play in protecting the state’s waters from AIS.
AIS Awareness Week will include the second annual AIS Landing Blitz, an outreach event for boaters. The Michigan departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development will partner with citizen volunteers during the event to assist boaters in preventing the spread of these harmful species and complying with current AIS-related laws. The AIS Landing Blitz will take place at more than 45 boat landings around the state. Boaters, anglers and others enjoying Michigan’s waters can take action by following these simple steps:
Required Actions – It’s the Law in Michigan!
- Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water.
- Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.
- Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
- Don’t transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.
Recommended Actions – Protect Our Waters!
- Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats, trailers and gear and dry equipment before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body, if possible.
- Wash boats, trailers and gear before leaving the access area if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
- Dry boats and equipment for at least 5 days before launching into a different body of water.
- Disinfect live wells, bilges and gear with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water).
A number of new AIS are at Michigan’s doorstep, including two species of Asian carp and several harmful aquatic plants. The Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland waters draw millions of recreational users and tourists and are already dealing with more than 180 non-native aquatic species found in the region.