Invasive species are plants and animals which are not native to our lake, and which have no natural predators in our environment. Many Michigan lakes have seen an influx of invasive species, from the zebra mussel to plants like the Eurasian watermilfoil, and even diseases which can wipe out entire fish populations. Like viruses, these invasive species can be carried into our lake from boats that have not been properly cleaned, including fragments of the plants on propellers, plants and animals stored in bilge areas, and even the dumping of bait buckets into our lake after fishing in other lakes which have been infested.
What can you do to help prevent the spread of invasive species? Here's a few simple tips:
- Don't dump "things" into the lake. Dispose of fish or plants from aquariums or other lakes on land. Also, be sure to avoid the storm drains, which can drain back into the lake.
- Don't bring bait fish from other waters into our lake.
- Drain your boat completely when leaving any lake.
- Clean your boat properly, removing all plant materials and mud (which can hide plants and other species) from the boat as well as the trailer, paddles, bumpers, ropes, etc.
- Use a pressure washer, water over 104 degrees, or a bath of vinegar or salt water for the necessary length of time needed to kill these species.
Here are a few more resources that might be helpful: