AIS or aquatic invasive species are non-native plants animals that were either accidentally or purposefully brought from other regions of the world and over populate or take over an area due to that lack of their usual competitors that would keep their populations in check. Aquatic seeds/plant fragments were first introduced into our waterways most often by hitchhiking in the bilges of large ships, spread by water birds or people who wanted them in their ponds or aquariums but later dumped them.
Invasive species harm the ecosystem by out competing natives for food, sun and space. Many native plants provide food and shelter for insects and animals disrupting the food chain and reducing biological diversity. They can also cause issues for recreation and the general aesthetics of a water body.
Fast growing. Forms thick mats that choke out native vegetation & impact swimmers, boaters & fish.
Union Lake is currently on the Infested Waters List for Eurasian Milfoil
Prolific invaders, clogging/damaging to hard surfaces like docks, boat motors. Sharp shells can cut swimmers feet.
Grows dense mats at the water’s surface that out competes native aquatic plants and could also affect water salinity levels.
The pressure many of our lakes see from recreational users can take a toll. As mobile as we are, (fishermen, boaters, paddle boarders, kayakers, etc...) we hop from lake-to-lake with ease. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) or nonnative plants, animals and sometimes fish are finding ways to spread along with our movements. The easiest mode of transportation for AIS is unfortunately by interaction with us.
On their own, invasive species expand territory fairly slow. With our help AIS are able to travel like jet-setters! Often they can be found attached to boat motors, (A) the watercraft itself, (B) trailers, or still floating within the live-well or bilge water. (C)
Give customers a reason to do business with you.
Drain water from boats, motors, live-wells, even bait buckets before leaving the lake. Don't let AIS piggyback in bilge.
Remove plants, mud, and other debris from your watercraft and trailer. Don’t allow any natural matter to be transported to other bodies of water. Remember... watercraft does not just mean boats. Kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, jet skis, etc... they all are capable of transporting AIS.
Any dock equipment moved from one lake to another must be dried on land for at least 21 days before it is placed in new lake. This includes docks, boat lifts and swim platforms.
If you think you might have spotted an aquatic invasive species... report it! Early detection is the key to limiting the spread. Feel free to contact
us if you think you’ve found something fishy.
East Polk SWCD
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Protecting water and natural resources