Kayaking and the A.I.S.
|Checking all of the fasteners on the Slayer.|
|A DNR wader cleaning station.|
I had invited Tristan the fishing manager from Orvis of Madison out for a little urban run and gun in pursuit of bass and carp. While we were out he brought up what the speaker had said the night before about buying a second pair of waders and boots to help stop the spread of AIS in Wisconsin waters. More specifically he was talking about how everybody almost seemed to laugh at the idea. He wondered whether or not people cared enough about the waters they fished. "Would they be willing to change their habits as anglers?" he said, "Would they be willing to reach for their wallets if it meant keeping the waters they call home healthy?" Tristan is probably the smartest guy I know in real life and he recently wrote a great post probing deeper into this thought over at the Caddis Hypothesis. I read the post on break at work last night and when I finished it, the wheels in my head started turning.
I travel quite a bit doing the things that I do. Just this season my kayak has been in 15 different bodies of water. Some of these waters are known to have AIS issues. Zebra mussels, asian carp, New Zealand mud snails, and curlyleaf pondweed are just a few of the AIS species that my kayak could have came into contact with this summer alone. I began wondering if I'm doing enough to make sure those aquatic hitchhikers don't follow me home. Then in the garage this morning I found those weeds in my kayak and I started to worry.
|Take the time to thoroughly clean your boat after each fishing trip.|
Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to all bodies of water nationwide. Their presence also raises a lot of questions about an anglers responsibility to the waters that they love. What about you? What things are you doing as an angler to help prevent the spread of AIS? Do you own two sets of waders? Clean your boats with bleach? Maybe you have some other tips that may help your fellow anglers keep invasive species at bay? Leave a comment below and let me know. If you want more information about AIS issues in your area check out the DNR website for your state.