From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon representatives from six different agencies and local organizations will be at the Holland Lake boat launch to present a workshop. They will provide residents and visitors with information and demonstrations about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). At the workshop, people will find out how threatening Aquatic Invasive Species are to our quality of life in the West and how to help stop their invasion.
A number of components regarding AIS will be presented during the two hours. The presenters will teach how to inspect and clean water recreation equipment. This is the single most important action that private citizens can take to help prevent the introduction of AIS to our waters. Once AIS infest a water body, the cost to combat them or mitigate their harmful effects is huge. These costs include water quality, recreational opportunities and higher cost for consumers in areas such as utilities and agricultural products. There are so many issues that negatively affect our daily lives but AIS does not have to be one.
Be at Holland Lake at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, bring a lunch. Don’t forget a towel and even a boat to make a day of it. Bringing a lawn chair is suggested. Kids are welcome, too. There will be a kids’ station to get them involved in caring for their lakes at an early age. For more information call Swan Ecosystem Center at 754-3137.
Clark Fork Coalition is partnering at this event. Below are some suggestions for helping stop AIS.
First and foremost, inspect, clean and dry your boats, boots, and gear after you get out of a river or lake this summer. Here are some tips on how to keep our waters free of harmful invasive species, like Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra and quagga mussels, and other unwanted water weeds:
- Look for any plants, mud, dirt, or animals (especially snails or mussels) on your boat, trailer, waders, or other water-related gear.
- Drain all the water from your boat right where you take it out, including the bilge, motor, and live well. Never transfer water from one water body to another.
- Wash your boat, trailer, and all water-related gear to make sure they aren’t carrying unwanted plants of critters. Use high-pressure and hot water if you can.
- Air-dry your boat and equipment for as long as possible between trips to rivers and lakes. Aquatic invasive species can’t live long outside of water.
- Discard unwanted bait or fish carcasses in trash cans on land, and never into the water. Never transport aquatic plants or animals from one water body to another.
- Stop at state-sponsored inspection stations if you see them on the road. The Lower Clark Fork region has mandatory check stations to prevent the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, but you might also see some voluntary check stations roving near popular waterways this summer.
- MAKE IT EASY:At the least, keep a bucket handy on your boat or in your car. You can scoop out water from the river or lake you just left, and wash mud and debris off on the shore before you leave. That way you won’t carry potential invaders to another water body.
Sponsored by: Missoula County Weed District, Clearwater Resource Council, Swan Ecosystem Center, Blackfoot Challenge, Flathead Basin Commission, Whitefish Lake Institute, Clark Fork Coalition, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks