Underwater image of Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) in Lake Leelanau a topic covered during AIS Prevent Week

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Week 2022

The 2022 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Week begins next week! Join the Lake Leelanau Lake Association (LLLA) from June 26 to July 7 as we share information on how to prevent the spread and keep AIS out of our lakes. This week focuses on raising awareness about preventing the spread of AIS through recreational boating and water activities.

The LLLA will be participating in AIS Prevention Week through the State of Michigan’s Great Lakes Regional AIS Landing Blitz. We will be hosting two Landing Blitz events throughout the week.

Our Landing Blitz events will be on July 6, 2022 at the Bingham Boat Launch and on July 7, 2022 at the Narrows Boat Launch — both events are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bingham Boat Launch is the site of our first Boat Cleaning Station, where we will demonstrate how to use our high-pressure air CD3 system to clean your boat.

During these events, the LLLA will be there to share information on how to keep AIS out of our lakes — keep an eye out for people with LLLA name badges. We hope to see you at the boat launches so we can share this important message with you.

Preventing the Spread of AIS

As a state defined by the Great Lakes and our inland lakes, rivers, and streams, protecting our water resources translates to the protection of our freshwater for recreation, tourism, fishing, public water supplies, manufacturing, agriculture, and many other uses. During our Landing Blitz events, we will be helping to spread the information relevant to the new 2019 Michigan State Law that requires:

  • Making sure watercraft and trailers are free of all aquatic organisms and plants before transporting or launching.
  • Removing drain plugs and draining all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells before moving watercraft.
  • Avoiding releasing unused bait into the water.
  • Releasing fish only into the same water body where they were caught to avoid the spread of invasive species and fish diseases.

If we all pay attention to these small but important measures, we can contribute to limiting the spread of invasive species between our beautiful water bodies.

"Millions of dollars are spent each year in Michigan to control the impacts of aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, sea lamprey, and Eurasian watermilfoil. It only takes a few minutes to do a walk-around of your watercraft and trailer and drain water to make sure everything is clear of material that doesn't belong." — Kevin Walters, Aquatic Biologist at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

A graphic with watercraft check points for boaters to prevent the spread of AIS

AIS Prevent Resources

To learn more about AIS prevention, please use the following resources:

  • Visit LLLA’s Invasive Species page to learn more about Eurasian Watermilfoil, its impact, and the efforts taking place to prevent the spread in Lake Leelanau.
  • Watch the “Clean it up, drain it out, dry it off: Boating hygiene for the 21st century” webinar recording.
  • Register today for the 2022 AIS Landing Blitz.
  • Sign up for Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters Grant Announcements — sign up here.
  • Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters website, Facebook page, and Instagram page.
  • MSU's Mobile Boat Wash program is open for scheduling for the 2022 season.
  • Apply to be part of the MSU Mobile Boat Wash crew this summer. View the application here.
The Yellow Flag Iris is an invasive species plant with yellow flowers

Watch Out for Yellow Flag Iris

Now is the time to check your shoreline for Yellow Flag Iris, a beautiful but invasive plant. Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) is a wetland plant that is especially showy during its short blooming period, which is happening right now. This lovely yet invasive plant has been transplanted into well-watered gardens all over the world and has widely escaped. Similar to cattails, the Yellow Flag Iris colonizes in large numbers, forming very dense (almost impenetrable) thickets, outcompeting other plants. It can be difficult to remove if left unchecked.

Although very similar in structure and height to its native cousin, the Blue Flag Iris, once budded or blooming the yellow flower gives itself away. Once it goes to seed, the seeds will float to another shoreline and easily germinate, producing several dozen to several hundred rooted rosettes and flowering shoots connected by durable rhizomes that can be hard to remove.

The best approach to removing these plants is to dig a wide area around the base to make sure that you get all of the rhizomes. We recommend checking the infested area next summer to ensure that it has not returned. Because it is an invasive species, Yellow Flag Iris should be disposed of in the trash, never in a compost pile. Burning is also not recommended, as it can still re-sprout after being burned. Be sure to wear sturdy gloves whenever handling this plant. Its resins can irritate the skin.

Lastly, scout out your neighborhood and let your neighbors know about this beautiful but invasive plant and the need to remove it right now when it is easily identifiable.

Should you have questions about the Landing Blitz events or AIS Prevention Week, please, contact us at [email protected] or submit a message via our contact form.

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