The focus on unwanted invasive species in our lake is important. One key objective identified in the Potato Lake Management Plan is the prevention of the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). The Potato Lake Association has been very active with Hubbard County COLA in an aggressive AIS prevention plan. Last year COLA received a Minnesota DNR Grant to support several projects. This year COLA received another grant. For reference, the three 2010 grant funded projects are:
1) A Public Awareness project to sponsor three “STOP AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS” billboards on major highways in the area and to place public service announcements (PSA) on local radio stations. You will hear most of the PSAs on KXKK (92.5) in Park Rapids and on KBHP (KB101) in Bemidji. Other stations connected with KB101 will also run some of the PSAs. New large DNR signs will be placed at launch sites.
2) A Customized Public Awareness project to procure and distribute SAH signs, AIS ID cards, laminated AIS display cards, fish rulers, and pamphlets to area resorts, and a unique Hubbard County AIS Z-fold pamphlet for general distribution. This is a continuation of the 2008/2009 projects.
3) A dedicated DNR watercraft inspector (620 hours) project will be funded for Lake Emma and Arago Township lakes. This is a project in partnership with the Lake Emma and Arago Twp Boards. The Lake Emma Twp Board has contributed $1500 through a Healthy Lakes Grant and Arago Twp has provided $720 for the project. Lake associations will contribute $1500 to help support this project. The project will provide about 170 hours of dedicated inspection time at our Potato Lake launch sites this summer. A summary of the 2009 inspection results are provide in the AIS Link on the PLA website.
Most of the COLA and Potato Lake Association sponsored work is to raise public awareness and provide some prevention focus. HOWEVER…THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF AIS TO OUR LAKE IS FOR EVERY RESIDENT TO FOLLOW THE SIMPLE RULES OF:
“INSPECT, DRAIN, CLEAN, DRY” BEFORE PLACING A WATERCRAFT INTO THE LAKE. ENCOURAGING YOUR LAKE GUESTS TO DO THE SAME IS VERY IMPORTANT.
If you need more information on AIS please contact Ken Grob or Dale Kunz.