Citizen volunteers and aquatic invasive species experts will team up to educate boaters about preventing the spread of harmful species during Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz on June 6 and 7, 2014, at boat landings around the state. The Landing Blitz is sponsored by the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with local organizations to kick off Michigan’s annual Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
At Higgins Lake, the Higgins Lake Foundation, Higgins Lake Property Owners’ Association, Huron Pines and the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly will be on hand with various exhibits and demonstrations to help educate boaters about AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species).
In addition 90 high school science students from Roscommon Area Public Schools will be in attendance on Friday to participate and enjoy a hot dog lunch provided by Koegels, the Higgins Lake Foundation and the DNR MacMullan Center.
Boaters will learn simple steps they can take to help prevent the spread of unwanted aquatic plants and animals such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels by cleaning, draining, and drying boats and equipment.
Aquatic invasive species crowd out native species, disrupt lake ecosystems, and interfere with boating, fishing, and other recreation. Boaters can unknowingly transfer invasive species and fish diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), to new waters when they don’t clean boats, trailers, and other recreational equipment. To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and protect Michigan’s aquatic resources, boaters, anglers, and others enjoying Michigan’s waters are required to:
- Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment, and boat trailers before launching a boat.
- Drain live wells, bilges, and all water from boats before leaving a boating access site.
- Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
- Never transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.
The Landing Blitz will be conducted at the launch ramp and the boat wash site at the North Higgins Lake State Park.
For more information about aquatic invasive species in Michigan visit michigan.gov/AquaticInvasives