The 4th of July is fast approaching, and that means an increase in boater traffic on our stunning Oneida County waterways.
Unfortunately, with this increased traffic, the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) can also increase. Eurasian water-milfoil, Curly-leaf pondweed, Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), Zebra mussels and other harmful aquatic invasive species can be spread unknowingly from lake to lake by fishermen, boaters, and other water recreationists. These species can and do change the diversity of our lake ecosystems, interfere with water enthusiasts, and have the capacity to negatively affect property values and our local economies.
However, there is a legion of volunteers, county and state staff, and other passionate citizens working hard to protect and educate the public on the threat of AIS. Each weekend these individuals monitor the boat landings throughout Oneida County to help people understand how not to spread AIS and fish diseases from one waterbody to another. For the 4th of July holiday, 21 different organizations, covering over 28 lakes, will be conducting boat inspections at local landings.
But these organizations do not stop when the July 4th celebrations are over. These organizations, along with many others, will continue to perform boat inspections throughout the summer season, educating residents and non residents alike on how they can protect our splendid lakes and rivers.
Following these simple steps can keep our Oneida County lakes and rivers healthy and vibrant:
– INSPECT boats, trailers, and equipment
– REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals
– DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment
– NEVER MOVE plants or live fish away from a waterbody
Enjoy the beautiful water resources we are so very fortunate to have in Oneida County, but please take a bit of extra time to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Each and every one of us can help….let’s all do our part!
For more information, call Oneida County AIS Coordinator Michele Sadauskas at (715) 365-2750, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.