When winter arrives and lakes freeze over, the true test of your love of fishing becomes apparent. Winter sportsmen are out in their shanties, drilling holes in the ice in the hopes of reeling in the “big one.” Those of us who live in areas of frozen lakes know that fish tales do not end when the boats are put away.
While these fishermen take to the lakes though they need to be aware that the threat of the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) does not go away. Eurasian watermilfoil which is capable of living and growing under the ice while other invasive species may simply be dormant, they can easily be spread from one water body to another.
There are steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread:
- Thoroughly inspect and clean all fishing equipment, line, hooks, nets, scoops and augers after each use.
- Drain all water from equipment and containers containing fish prior to leaving the ice.
- If you are using live bait, buy it locally from a licensed bait dealer and dispose of any unused bait properly.
- Pack out your waste from the ice and dispose of it in appropriate waste containers.
- Dry all your equipment for 5 or more days or disinfect it with an appropriate disinfection solution.
Do your part to stop the spread.