The Great Lakes are home to more than 180 aquatic invasive species.
With more species on their way Governor Snyder has announced that the week leading up to the 4th of July is now considered Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in Michigan.
Throughout the week , the Michigan DEQ will be stationed at public boat launches offering tips and assistance on properly cleaning your equipment.
Kevin Walters is an aquatic fisheries biologist at the Michigan DEQ. He says although it’s a long fight against invasive species, the DEQ is not losing.
“I don’t think so at all. I mean, uh, even if we’re only delaying the introduction of a species, we’re still saving money ultimately. When things like Eurasian Water Milfoil get into a lake it becomes a problem for boaters and anglers, moving boats around, being able to fish in open water. If we can delay that, or prevent that entirely through things like clean, drain, dry I definitely don’t think it’s a losing battle.”
Walters also says controlling a certain species’ impact is more complicated than simply eradicating it from the ecosystem.
“Ya know those are both goals that the state has. In some situations there are certain species that we feel like if we found them in a certain location or a certain abundance that they could be eradicated. But prevention, preventing things from getting here in the first place. Preventing what’s already here from moving around, is another huge piece of that pie, and something I really like to promote.”
The DEQ will also spend the week teaching anglers the best ways to help control invasive species locally.
For more information on the week of awareness visit the DEQ here.