The waters of Wisconsin belong to all of us. Invasive species can impact outdoor recreation, such as fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, and water-based activities. They can damage a wide array of environmental services that are important to recreation, including, but not limited to, water quality and quantity, plant and animal diversity, and species abundance. While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. In some cases the competition is about rates of growth and reproduction. In other cases species interact with each other more directly. Keeping the aquatic plant community healthy, while removing the invasive plants, is a difficult and challenging task. All persons using our state waters need to comply with the current state rules which prohibit the transporting of aquatic invasive species on boat trailers and other equipment.
Today, nearly every corner of the globe is impacted both economically and environmentally by invasive, exotic plants. Plants that occur outside of the area where they evolved are considered non-native or exotic. Occasionally, when plants are introduced into a new area, they become invasive and are able to flourish and replace the existing vegetation. This uncontrolled growth threatens native plant communities, degrades fish and wildlife habitat, restricts recreational activity, and reduces agricultural yields. Exotic weeds are becoming a considerable economic burden to everyone, and we all share the responsibility of preventing the spread of invasive, exotic plants. You want to be on the watch for “Plants Out of Place“.
A community of aquatic plants is part of what makes a healthy lake ecosystem. We are beginning to see aquatic plants in a new light, for their beauty and ability to protect and nourish a lake. These plants are the binding thread in a watery tapestry of life. There is a growing realization of the importance of a strong, diverse community of aquatic plants in a healthy lake ecosystem. For more information see “Water Plants“.
Aquatic Invasive Species: It’s everyone’s job to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Wisconsin lakes. Whether you are a boater, angler, paddler, seaplane pilot, water gardener/pond owner, nursery owner, aquarium enthusiast, or even a teacher, you have a very important role to play in keeping Wisconsin’s lakes free of aquatic invasive species. See this document for help in identifying “Aquatic Invasive Species” (AIS).
Terrestrial Invasive Plants: Everyone deserves to enjoy Wisconsin’s great outdoors. Our woods, prairies and wetlands are part of our legacy. Whether you take to the woods or just enjoy your own backyard—there are some simple steps that you can take to prevent the spread of invasive species. See this document for help in identifying “Terrestrial Invasive Plants“.
Wetland Invasive Plants: OHWM is short for Ordinary High Water Mark. The OHWM is the point on the bank or shore up to which the water, by it’s presence, wave action or flow, leaves a distinct mark on the shore or bank. The mark may be indicated by erosion, destruction of, or change in vegetation or other easily recognizable characteristics. See this document for help in identifying “Wetland Invasive Plants“.
The Wisconsin DNR web site has additional information about “Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species” on their web site.
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