Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:18 pm
MICHIGAN — Asian carp and other invasive species found in the water continue to threaten Michigan and environmental organizations hope to spread awareness during Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed the week of June 28-July 4 Aquatic Invasice Species Awareness Week with the goal of helping make Michigan residents aware of the threat Asian carp and other species pose to the Great Lakes and other Michigan waters, and inform residents of the need to take action to prevent or control the introduction and spread of these species.
In a press release, distributed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), on behalf of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), aquatic invasive species are defined as non-native organisms that establish themselves outside of their normal range, intentionally or unintentiaonally.
When introduced to these new locations, like lakes, rivers and wetlands, they can harm the location, as well as species inhabiting the area.
Featured during Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week is the second annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz. Through this program aimed toward boaters, the DEQ, DNR and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will all partner together with volunteers to help boaters in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species and assuring compliance with laws in place to prevent the spread.
The Landing Blitz will occur at 45 boat landings around the state.
Some of the laws and actions to prevent the spread of invasive species, as required by the state, include:
• Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and trailers before placing the boat in the water.
• Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.
• Dispose of unused bait in the trash, do not release bait in the water.
• Do not transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.
Though anglers are not required by law to follow them, a series of recommended actions have also been compiled to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, including:
• Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats, trailers, gear and dry equipment before leaving the access site. Dispose of these materials in a trash receptacle or other means away from the water body.
• Wash boats, trailers and other equipment before leaving the access area, if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
• Allow boats and equipment to dry for at least five days before launching boat into a different body of water.
• Disinfect live wells, bilges and other equipment with a solution made of approximately a half cup of bleach and up to five gallons of water.
These additional invasive species awareness events come as Michigan waters face threats from several invasive species, including two Asian carp species and a number of aquatic plants.
Michigan’s inland waters and the Great Lakes attract millions of visitors annually and with 180 invasive species found in the region already, it is important to prevent the spread and introduction of additional species.