In 2018, WAPOA had a very active program of inspecting boats at accesses, in cooperation with partner organizations.
We paid for boat inspections this last summer at six busy accesses on the Whitefish Chain. Boat inspections were done by both “LGU” inspectors co-ordinated by Crow Wing County, and by DNR Level I and II inspectors.
More than 15,000 boats were inspected.
Though boaters are getting better about not transferring invasive species we still have boaters coming to the access with the drain plug “in.” That boat can carry infected water from the previous lake. Boaters are also appearing for launch with zebra mussels on the boat or trailer. Invasive plants can also be transferred by just a leaf fragment floating off a trailer bunk into the lake.
And it’s not just boats that need inspection. Perhaps even more likely to transmit invasive species are floats, docks, and other waterfront equipment that spends a whole season in infested water. These are difficult to clean properly. By law, there is a waiting period of at least 21 days before these can be put back in the water. Don’t buy trouble by bringing infected equipment to your own beach.
In 2018 costs to WAPOA, and partner organizations, of providing access inspections for the Whitefish Chain were in the area of $ 35,000. It would not be possible to achieve all this without the generous contributions of regular members and business members. Contributions above and beyond the usual membership investment are much appreciated.
It is much less expensive to keep “invasives” out than to bear the much larger annual expense of treating aggressive invasive plants. There are lake associations in the state, infested with invasive plants, that are looking annually at 6-figure costs of treatment.