Letter: Working together on lakes
After reading the story called "Area lakes threatened" in the West Central Tribune this week, I need to write another letter. All lake users need to work together to prevent the spread of invasive species. Pointing fingers at fishing tournaments does not solve this problem. What it does say is "Not on my lake."
Lake associations should say, "What can we do to work with the fishing tournaments and fishing organizations?" Tournament participants are aware of aquatic invasive species. Tournament sponsors have requirements to prevent the spread of AIS. Tournament boats are inspected before entering and after leaving a lake.
I am a member of Little Crow Anglers. We sponsor a walleye tournament on Green Lake each year. Terry Frazee said the Green Lake Association offers to provide high-pressure and high-heat decontamination for tournament boats. Little Crow Anglers have not been contacted, or offered this service for our tournament. Tournament organizations would welcome this service.
Lake users need to look at the whole AIS problem. Tournament boats are a small percentage of watercraft using the lake. Watercraft include pontoons, sailboats, fishing boats, jet skis, kayaks, and canoes. Now, think about all of the equipment and toys in those watercraft that can have AIS attached.
Docks, boats, swim rafts, beach toys, swim buoys are bought, sold and transported by residents on a lake. Are lakeshore property owners willing to have new rules to restrict the sale of any water-associated equipment without thorough cleaning and inspection first? Think about the dock support with zebra mussels inside. They cannot be seen. The dock seems clean but it has not been inspected. Zebra mussels can live for a couple of weeks out of water under the right conditions. This dock is sold and transported to another lake. What has just happened? Now where are the fingers pointing?
From the article it appears that lake associations are really more interested in keeping tournament anglers and boaters off their lakes. I would rather we work together to stop invasive species.