Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week is July 2-8; Fourth annual Landing Blitz launches Saturday

Contact: Kevin Walters, MDEQ Aquatic Biologist, waltersk3@michigan.gov, 517-284-5473
Agency: Environmental Quality

June 28, 2017

During this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Awareness Week, members of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as well as dedicated volunteers will hold public education events at more than 60 boat launches across the state.

The fourth annual AIS Landing Blitz helps prevent the spread of harmful AIS by encouraging boaters and anglers to comply with laws and best practices.  AIS are nonnative aquatic plants and animals that disrupt the natural ecosystem, tourism and the economy. 

With recent discoveries of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in the Au Sable, Boardman and Pere Marquette rivers, AIS Awareness Week takes on an added importance.  Many invasive species, including New Zealand mudsnails, are easily spread by boaters and anglers using their equipment in multiple bodies of water without properly cleaning it.

The Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland waters draw millions of recreational users and tourists annually and already face negative impacts from numerous AIS. Anyone enjoying Michigan’s waters can take action to prevent the spread of AIS by following some simple steps.

Required actions – It’s the law in Michigan

  • Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water.
  • Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
  • Don’t transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.

Recommended actions – Protect our waters

  • Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats and trailers and dry equipment before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body if possible.
  • Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry boats and equipment for at least five days before launching into a different body of water.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with bleach solution of 1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water.

Events at boat launches are weather and volunteer availability dependent. For an up-to-date list of events contact Kevin Walters at 517-284-5473 or waltersk3@michigan.gov.

For more information about AIS Awareness Week, the AIS Landing Blitz, or to view the Governor’s proclamation, visit Michigan’s invasive species website at www.michigan.gov/invasives.

 

Additional contact: Melody Kindraka, MDEQ Public Information Officer, kindrakam1@michigan.gov, 517-284-6716