Regional Aquatic Invasive Species program returns to Lincoln County
FOR THE TOMAHAWK LEADER
LINCOLN COUNTY – New funding is bringing the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program back to Lincoln County. The funding comes through an Aquatic Invasive Species Education, Prevention & Planning (AEPP) grant awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Lincoln County is now included in a Regional AIS program which provides service in central WI including Green Lake, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Taylor, Waupaca, Waushara and Wood Counties. Regional AIS Coordinator Chris Hamerla, with Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council Inc., will be working with residents on AIS related issues.
The Regional AIS program provides many helpful tools for people who live, work or simply enjoy recreating on the water or in wetlands. Citizens, lake & river residents, boaters, anglers, waterfowl hunters and trappers are among the many groups that can learn to identify AIS and take precautions to prevent their spread. These are the groups Hamerla hopes to work with. Cleaning footwear and equipment is an important method of preventing the spread of invasive species. Just as important is teaching people how to identify AIS and to report observations.
A number of years ago Seven Island Lake was struggling to locate a population of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM). A musky fisherman noticed a bed of plants in deeper water and reported it, which led to volunteers manually removing the plants.
Purple loosestrife biocontrol, Clean Boats Clean Waters watercraft inspections, native aquatic plant trainings, invasive species monitoring and invasive species presentations are a few services provided through the Regional AIS program. Meetings, presentations and trainings are currently being scheduled. Lake groups, intrigued citizens/sporting groups and volunteers interested in setting up events or with questions can contact Chris Hamerla at Golden Sands RC&D at 715-343-6215 ext. 704 or by email at [email protected]