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DNR asks boaters to be mindful of invasive species with annual Drain Campaign

Volunteers will be at 300 boat landings across the state reminding those coming out of the water to drain their boats of any water to stop aquatic hitchhikers
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 8:24 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -

With the fourth of July around the corner, many are planning to hit the water. That’s why the Wisconsin department of natural resources wants to remind boaters to be mindful of spreading invasive species with their annual drain campaign.

Due to COVID-19 this year the summer campaign is undergoing slight changes, as it merges with the Landing Blitz campaign during the week of the fourth of July to target boaters during one of the busiest weeks of the year.

“We’re expecting a pretty busy weekend so that’s why it’s important that we are out here now so that we can get that outreach to as many people as possible and making sure that everyone is going out is avoiding spreading those invasive species,” Selina Walters, an aquatic invasive technician with Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council said.

Throughout the week DNR Staff, Clean Boats, Clean Waters staff, and volunteers will be at 300 boat landings around the state, reminding those coming out of the water to drain their boats of any water, and stop aquatic hitchhikers by removing any aquatic plants, mud, and animals from equipment.

“It’s just really important to make sure you are cleaning off your boat and don’t have any weeds and draining your Livewell, draining all of those waters because you could potentially spread aquatic invasive species. And it’s easy to avoid doing that. But once they are in lakes it is hard to get rid of them. "

While the group would usually provide towels and pamphlets, for social distancing purposes this year they will only be providing reminders.

The DNR said no matter where you launch to always remember to do these things before you leave:

  • Inspect boats, trailers and equipment for attached aquatic plants or animals
  • Drain all water from boats, motors, livewells and other equipment
  • Never move fish away from waterbody
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash
  • Buy minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer

The transportation of aquatic invasive species is illegal in Wisconsin. To learn more visit DNR.wi.gov and search “Invasive Species.”

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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