by Stephanie Boismenue
The Squash Lake Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteers serve to inform and educate the public about how people can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. To accomplish this, the volunteers:
Perform watercraft inspections by checking the watercrafts and equipment for any plants, animals or mud that an invasive may be hiding in.
While performing the inspection they educate the boaters about how and where aquatic invasive species are most likely to hitch a ride on their watercraft and equipment as they travel from lake to lake.
Communicate with the public about the invasive species law – all plants, animals, and mud must be removed from their watercraft and equipment before entering and when leaving a body of water.
Distribute informational brochures
Collecting data from the boaters via a brief survey. The data collected is then entered into a DNR
database. This data helps us and the DNR to better understand boaters knowledge and behaviors regarding aquatic invasive species.
Spread the word “Clean Boats = Clean Waters”.
The Squash Lake Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteer data collection results for 2009 are below. I’d like to note that when asking the survey questions to boaters, we need to do it quickly because the boaters are eager to get going and/or sometimes there’s a line-up of boats waiting to put in or take out. This results in an occasional missed question or notation of the answer.
Total number of volunteers: 22
Total number of volunteer hours spent at the boat landing: 146 hours
Total number of boats inspected: 103 (67 boats leaving & 37 boats entering)
Total number of people that the volunteers spoke to at the landing: 276 people
Was your boat used during the past 5 days on another body of water: 30 Yes, 73 No
After the last time you used your boat, did you take the following preventative steps:
Inspect and remove plants? 80 Yes, 16 No
Drain water? 85 Yes, 12 No
Dispose of bait (to prevent the spread of VHS) 26 Yes, 6 No, 73 N/A
Ice or kill you catch? 13 Yes, 4 No, 82 N/A
Wash your boat/equipment or let it dry for 5 days? 55 Yes, 28 No
Are you aware of the AIS law? 87 Yes, 10 No
If you are aware of AIS, how did you hear about it:
From a volunteer or inspector? 64
Public Service Announcement? 31
Signs at boat landing? 25
Volunteer observation: plants present: 29 Yes, 69 No
Violations occurred and reported: 1