REGION – The Higgins Lake Property Owners Association (HLPOA) volunteers are joining other citizen volunteers and aquatic invasive species experts teaming up to educate boaters about preventing the spread of harmful species during Michigan’ 4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz on July 1 through July 9, 2017, at boat landings around the state. The Landing Blitz is sponsored by the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with local organizations as part of Michigan’ annual Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
HLPOA volunteers will be staffing the Boat Wash Station just outside the North Higgins Lake State Park on July 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through recreational boating and related activities. This year’ Landing Blitz will build on the previous events.
Boaters will learn simple steps they can take to help prevent the spread of unwanted aquatic plants and animals such as Eurasian water milfoil and zebra mussels by cleaning, draining, and drying boats and equipment.
AIS crowd out native species, disrupt lake ecosystems, and interfere with boating, fishing, and other recreation. Boaters can unknowingly transfer invasive species and fish diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), to new waters when they don’t clean boats, trailers, and other recreational equipment. To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and protect Michigan’ aquatic resources, boaters, anglers, and others enjoying Michigan’ waters are required to:
GÇó Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment, and boat trailers before launching a boat.
GÇó Drain live wells, bilges, and all water from boats before leaving a boating access site.
GÇó Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
GÇó Never transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.
Boaters launching at Higgins Lake are urged to use the Boat Wash Stations at the South Higgins Lake State Park or near the North Higgins Lake State Park. The boat wash station on the North side of Higgins Lake is one minute from the Park entrance and five minutes from the West launch site. It is FREE, with two lanes, two power wash stations, and open 24-7 during the boating season.
Boat wash usage is increasing every year. Boaters can help protect Higgins Lake from the introduction of invasive species by using the boat wash, cleaning, draining and drying their boats. For more information about aquatic invasive species in Michigan visit www.michigan.gov/InvasiveSpecies
The Higgins Lake Property Owners Association, formed in 1935, is one of the oldest lake associations in Michigan and dedicated to protect, preserve and enhance the quality of Higgins Lake and its surrounding watershed. Membership is open to Higgins Lake riparians. For information about the HLPOA, please visit www.hlpoa.org or call 989-275-9181.
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