Residents who use Wisconsin's lakes and rivers are invited to see a new aquatic invasive species plan put together by the DNR.
Wisconsin's plan is available for use by the public after receiving approvals from the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Wisconsin last completed an AIS management plan in 2002. State AIS outreach specialist, Tim Campbell, says the latest plan builds on the work of the previous plan.
Campbell says some of the old problems remain but a few new invaders have also arrived...
"...What we've learned as our program has evolved is species of concern will change over time but the pathways don't. Our new invasive species plan focuses on the new invasion pathways of concern. So no matter what species people are concerned about in a given year, we're still making progress to reducing risk across all the different invasive species..."
Campbell says the general public can help stop the spread of of invasives. He says if every boater cleaned their boats thoroughly, it would be a tremendous step forward. He says gardeners, too, can help by not sharing their plants and to dispose of them properly before they spread. He says buying native plants is best. He says there's an economic impact...
"Depending on the numbers you look at, the impact of invasive species from an economic perspective are in the millions of dollars to billions of dollars, depending on how you calculate it. What I really like to focus on is these changes to our environment not only change the way our lakes and rivers function but also impact our Wisconsin way of life of really enjoying our lakes and rivers..."
The plan can be found by visiting the DNR website to and searching for "Aquatic invasive species efforts" page. Printed copies are also available.