Ottawa County Park officials organized an event to educate boat owners about invasive species in local waters. The “Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz” will take place for two weeks in a row starting today and finish on July 10th.
Invasive species are a public concern since they alternate local environments and harm native flora and fauna. For the last couple of years, this issue has affected several states in the country, and Michigan is not an exception.
The lake is also a great gathering point for tourists and boat owners, who might be affecting Lake Gogebic environment without knowing.
By traveling through different lakes, without properly washing their boats, anglers and sailing enthusiasts are helping invasive species spread through local waters. As local officials explain, is just like spreading the flu between humans.
The primary objective of the Blitz is to teach boat owners, about invasive species, how do they spread, the effects they have on different environments and primarily to teach them prevention methods.
“It’s imperative that people know they should wash their boat. If you take your boat, to another body of water, in less than a week invasive species might start to spread,” said Kathy Lowery, the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Lake Gogebic to Maine News.
Local boat owners can obtain a free boat wash at the Grand Haven’s Riverside Park on the weekend of July second and third starting at eight a.m. and the week of July 9th and 10th at 4 p.m.
The initiative is the primary and first countermeasure to avoid invasive species and maintain a proper water hygiene in Upper Michigan. Local waters have been suffering an imbalanced ecosystem because of invasive species.
In Michigan Lake, officials have detected an invasive seaweed called Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels. An invasive plant called the European frogbit is also located in Michigan waters, and it can be identified by its heart-shaped leaves.
The European frogbit affects boat traffic and endangers local species of fish, thanks to its thickness. With the Blitz, local authorities hope to raise awareness of invasive species in the lakes so boat owners can help in the prevention of this matter.
Boat owners can also prevent invasive species from striking by removing aquatic plants stuck on boating equipment and trailers before touching the water. Draining wells, disposing unused bait in trashes and not in the water and putting fishes only in waters they were found.
Source: Regal Tribune