Overview of WAPOA fight against invasive species

Working to keep invasive species out of our waters

 

  • WAPOA  met with Minnesota State legislators and testified before a key committee in the most recent legislative session explaining the need for more State funding for access inspections and other local efforts to combat invasive species.  Other important lake groups did the same.   Their educational efforts may explain the great increase in direct local aid that the legislature passed at the end of the session.
  • Most Lake Service Providers (dock installers and other waterfront workers) are now certified by the DNR. WAPOA, BLAISTF, and other stakeholders worked to get this legislation passed.Training and certification for Lake Service Providers (dock installers and other waterfront workers) became required by law in 2012.  People working on your waterfront now have been provided the knowledge necessary to avoid carrying invasive species to your waterfront.
  •  WAPOA in 2013 paid for 2600 hours of boat inspections at accesses on the Whitefish Chain by DNR inspectors. It took a combination of three different grants plus money donated by our members. That inspection program continues in 2014.
  • In a cooperative program WAPOA arranged for the DNR to train 72 volunteer inspectors for the summer of 2013 and about 60 in 2014.
  • WAPOA co-ordinated the summer schedule of the volunteer boat inspectors at 7 accesses
  • WAPOA continued distributing remaining packets of invasive species information to boaters using area accesses.
  • Zebra mussels were discovered in the Chain in 2013. WAPOA kept its members and the public informed about every significant part of this discovery and the steps that needed to be taken as result of the discovery.
  • WAPOA ran informational notices in area newspapers about invasive species.
  • WAPOA arranged for and installed invasive species alert signs provided by the DNR
  • WAPOA continued to emphasize that there are invasive species other than zebra mussels, especially Eurasian watermilfoil, and that vigilance must continue.
  • WAPOA pays trained aquatic plant specialists to search during each summer growing season for invasive plants at more than 30 high-risk lake sites, like boat accesses.  If there is an invasion of the plant Eurasian watermilfoil we want to know as soon as possible.  Early detection, when spread is still limited, would be very useful in containing or eliminating this aggresssive plant.

 

AIS sign, Whitefish Chain

Whitefish Chain, AIS sign, aquatic invasive species

WAPOA volunteers checked boats at accesses for invasive species

 WAPOA volunteers, partnering with the DNR, completed their sixth season spending countless hours educating and helping boaters check their boats & trailers at the public accesses.

Eurasian watermilfoil can hitchhike on the boat and trailer, and the destructive zebra mussel can be carried in the boat, motor, bilge, live wells, and bait containers.

Help us by volunteering, and by letting your friends and neighbors know the importance of being vigilant about the prevention and spread of AIS.

 

  • WAPOA hired professional plant experts to search for early invaders

WAPOA uses a portion of your membership dollars to hire professional plant experts.We contract PLM Professional Lake & Land Management to do regular inspections on the one-acre of lake water immediately surrounding the boat access ramps, resorts and marinas — the high-risk areas.

We have them do this on over 30 locations both on and off the Chain twice each year.  If we can catch it soon enough, there may be hope of treatment and containment.

 

  • WAPOA distributes packets of invasive species information directly to boaters
    WAPOA partnered with Crow Wing County Lakes And Rivers Alliance to obtain a nearly $11,000 grant to enhance public awareness of the dangers of AIS to Whitefish Area lakes.Volunteers assembled 10,000 bags of AIS educational and informative materials and handed out them to boaters in 2011 and 2012, placing these bags on boat trailers found in the public access parking lots.

Remaining bags were distributed in 2013 and 2014.