Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aquatic Invasive Species

This Saturday, May 2nd, is the beginning of open water fishing season in Wisconsin. This means an increase in tourism that will provide a much needed boost to the economy, people having fun fishing, and the possibility of the spreading of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Fortunately, it is pretty easy to prevent the spread of AIS, even if they are nearly impossible to get rid of once a lake becomes infected. All that needs to be done is for anglers to check there boats for aquatic vegetation that might be hanging onto the propellers or other places on the boat and remove them before you leave a lake. While this is enough for most AIS, there is one type that requires a different prevention plan. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) is a deadly fish virus that can be transferred from lake to lake in the body of a fish. This means that if you use minnows for bait in one lake, using them again in another lake means that you might be infecting that entire lake with VHS.
Possibly the most important part of the fight against AIS is education. People will not bother to try and prevent the spread of invasive species if they don't know about them or don't know how they are spread. To help this problem, volunteers are being posted at certain lakes to hand out educational flyers and brochures, as well as to check boats for invasive species. With their and your help we can keep most of our lakes free from the invasion of exotic organisms trying to conquer our water system.

For more information about aquatic invasive species please visit these websites:

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