Users of two popular Jefferson County lakes will start their summer with patrolling state conservation wardens and Jefferson County water teams seeking to slow the spread of damaging aquatic invasive species. 

Lt. John Sinclair, of the Wis. Department of Natural Resources’ Bureau of Law Enforcement, says the Rock River Warden Team will be working Rock Lake on June 21 with Jefferson County’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspectors. They also will have a presence Lake Koshkonong the same day.

June 21 is the first day of summer.

“Wardens value these partnerships with the county and the citizens who share the goal to protect Wisconsin waters. These dedicated patrols won’t stop with the June weekend, and will last through the summer,” Lt. Sinclair said.

Sinclair said wardens will enforce laws to stop the spread of these species as needed, and also will be stressing education among the boating public. These species can cause tremendous destruction and can be spread to lakes and rivers via boats and boating equipment or from water in live-wells and bait buckets.

“Many non-native species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil have found their way into Wisconsin’s waterways. These species can inflict incredible damage to local ecosystems, industry and tourism,” Sinclair said. “This is why these state-local partnerships are so important to prevent, contain and control the spread. The more you know about these invaders, the more you can do to help stop the spread to Wisconsin's precious waters.”

Patricia Cicero, the Jefferson County Water Resources Management Specialist, says these educational events are critical to stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species. “Recreational boaters and fisherman learn to inspect their boats and equipment, remove any species they find, drain water from live-wells, and never move live species away from a launch. Together we can protect our valuable water resources.” 

To learn more about the invasive species, go to dnr.wi.gov an search: aquatic invasive species.

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