AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES

With the amount of non-resident boat traffic that comes to our lakes via the remaining resorts, and the number of fishing boats from the public boat landing on county Highway B, it is amazing that the lakes have experienced no infestation of invasive plant species. The plants that have received the most attention in Vilas County are Eurasian water-milfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, hydrilla, and purple loosestrife. The accompanying pictures can assist even a novice in the respective plant identification. Note: there is a milfoil plant, northern water-milfoil, that is native to our lakes and that picture is included for comparative identification purposes.

KNOW WHERE YOUR BOAT HAS BEEN AND WHERE YOU ARE TAKING IT.
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  FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF WATERBODIES IN VILAS AND ONEIDA COUNTIES AND THEIR CONTENTS OF INVASIVE SPECIES

This information is now available on the High Lake boat landing kiosk off of County Highway B.

 

Additionally, invasive species are not limited to just aquatic plants. Our lakes have a significant presence of rusty crayfish which were inadvertently introduced by fishermen years ago using the crayfish as bait. Remnants of unused bait containers were dumped into the lakes at the conclusion of fishing outings, ultimately resulting in the extensive propagation of the species. Of recent concern is a microscopic species known as spiny water fleas that is starting to infest some of our area lakes (e.g. Trout Lake). As a potential source of food for our lakes bait-fish, the structure of this organism makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be digested, thus negatively impacting the entire fishery in our lakes. KEEP SPINY WATER FLEAS OUT OF OUR LAKES – DRAIN AND CLEAN YOUR LIVE WELLS, BAIT BUCKETS, AND BOAT HULLS. Finally, our lakes do contain both Banded and Chinese Mystery Snails.

The best strategy to avoid “invasives” taking hold in a lake, is to deter them from ever being introduced to the lake, through public awareness and education. In 2015, HFRLA began participating in an ever-expanding program called Clean Boats Clean Waters. This initiative trains college-level students, who will be stationed at public boat landings, to engage boaters on the impacts of transporting invasive species from lake to lake as they both launch and re-trailer their boats. Key to their activities is inspecting boats and trailers for extraneous plant material and making sure that fishermen and boaters empty live wells and other water- retention devices. The association’s work has also included a public awareness booth on “invasives” at the weekly Boulder Junction flea market, training programs to association members, and the distribution of “awareness” flyers at the High Lake public boat landing.

Eurasian Water-Milfoil
Curly-Leaf Pondweed
Purple Loosestrife
Hydrilla
Rusty Crayfish

IF YOU IDENTIFY POTENTIAL INVASIVE SPECIES IN OUR LAKES

 CONTACT US BY HITTING THE “HOT-LINE” BUTTON.