The state's waters are open again for another boating year, but the DNR's top aquatic invasive species person says staying vigilant will slow the spread of unwanted plants and critters.
The DNR's Bob Wakeman says boaters are required to inspect their boats and equipment before they launch to see what plants might be attached to the boat. He says be sure to drain water from vehicles, boats and equipment...
".....you're not allowed to leave the boat launch area with water in your cooler, well, or live well or bilge. This is where viruses can ride between lakes. Drain that water. If you need to put your catch on something, put it on ice....."
Wakeman says there has been some positive news about aquatic invasives...
"....we have completed a pretty extensive field survey of lakes in Wisconsin and the rate of aquatic invasive species spread in Wisconsin has flattened off. It's not increasing. That's the good news. The downside is we want to see that rate of spread decrease...."
Wakeman says anglers should buy minnows from a licensed bait dealer. He says you can take the minnows away from the body of water, but you must use them on the same body of water. He says 75 percent of state lakes remain free of Eurasian Water Milfoil and 90 percent of them don't have Zebra Mussels.
The DNR website has more information on stopping the spread of invasive species of all types.