Boating and fishing awareness activities to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week July 3-9

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More than 70 boat landing events are planned across the state to mark this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 3 through July 9. Raising public awareness of the effects of harmful non-native aquatic plants and animals is essential to protecting Michigan’s ecosystems, tourism, and economy.

Landing events are part of the ninth annual Landing Blitz, where representatives from state departments and local partners such as lake associations and cooperative invasive species management areas give boaters tips to prevent the spread of species invasive and comply with recently updated laws. Similar AIS Landing Blitz events will take place in each of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week to raise awareness of this important issue.

You can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by following these simple steps:

Actions required – it’s Michigan law

  • Remove all aquatic organisms, including plants, from watercraft and trailers before launching or transporting.
  • Remove all drain plugs and drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks and livewells before transporting a boat.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.

Recommended additional actions – protect our waters by following these steps

  • Clean boats, trailers and equipment of plants, debris and mud before leaving the access area. Dispose of material in a trash can or otherwise away from the body of water, 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 five days before heading out to another body of water.
  • Sanitize livewells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water).

A drawing of a fishing boat on a trailer with labels indicating where boaters should search for and remove water and debris.

A short EGLE video of a final Landing Blitz shows how easy it is to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers.

“Boaters and anglers can play a key role in helping prevent the spread of invasive species,” said Kevin Walters, Aquatic Biologist at EGLE. “Instead of spreading invasive species, we’re asking people to help spread the word about simple steps that can be taken while recreating on Michigan waters.”

Boat launch events are dependent on weather and volunteer availability. Contact Kevin Walters for a list of events.

AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by EGLE’s Water Resources Division, in partnership with the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development, federal agencies, and private and nonprofit organizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week or the AIS Landing Blitz, visit the Michigan Invasive Species website at Michigan.gov/Invasives.

The Michigan Invasive Species Program is implemented cooperatively by the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Natural Resources.

/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions follow.

Flash landing: Volunteers help a boater clean, drain and dry a watercraft during a previous flash landing event in Manistee, Michigan.

Zebra zapper: To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, boaters should remove debris or drain water from each of these points on a boat and trailer.

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