WRISC aims to reduce the spread of invasive species

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - For lakes in upper Michigan and Wisconsin invasive species are a big concern and its one coalition's goal to get the issue at the top of boaters' minds.

"There's several that are introduced that have had quite profound impacts on ecosystems and has really changed the entire Great Lake ecosystem," Lindsay Peterson a Coordinator with the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition explained to TV6 News.

To help prevent the further spread of these species, the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition suggests a three strep process - clean, drain and dry.

“Making sure that we are cleaning our equipment. So inspecting our trailers and boats for any plant material or mud,” Peterson said. “Draining is really important as well. What that does is prevents microscopic organisms from being transported in water. Then also drying."

Another recommendation is to let your equipment dry for at least five days before using it again. Many organisms cannot live outside water for that long.

"We wash our boat between boating outages simply so we're not transporting from one lake or river to another,” An Iron Mountain boater, Bruce Romagnoli, said. “We typically go to the local car wash and get out there with the power washer and spray it all down. It helps just cleaning everything out as well."

The coalition travels from lake to lake with four portable pressure washers to help show boaters how to start the process.

"So how these work is they have the tank of water, they have a motor and a spray hose that can be used to wash down watercraft,” Peterson explained. “It takes about three minutes to decontaminate a boat. This is a really quick and easy thing. It's also free."

Taking those three minutes after a day on the water can make a world of difference for U.P. lakes.

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