It certainly was hot at boat launches, with July coming in as the warmest month on record for the lower 48 States. The extreme heat contributed to drought, fish kills and pavements buckling, as well as breaking numerous local temperature records throughout Wisconsin. Yet hundreds of Landing Blitz participants kept their cool during the busiest time of the boating season, the July 4th holiday week between June 28 and July 8, and pulled off the largest ever such effort.
Keeping pace with the heat, this year’s 4th annual Landing Blitz set some of its own records. Data is still coming in, but as of August 23rd the outreach achieved was…
- Boats inspected: 12,514 (11,555 in 2011)
- Hours of effort: 5,852 (4,942 in 2011)
- Participating lakes: 200 (90 in 2011)
- Boaters contacted: 26,085 (26,982 in 2011)
This was a true team effort with representatives from LakeAssociations, Boy Scout troops and local, county and state agencies all working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species into Wisconsin waterways. These lake defenders successfully conveyed to boaters and anglers the need to:
- Inspect their watercraft,
- Remove any plants, animals or mud,
- Drain all water from their boats, live wells, and motors, and to
- Never Move live fish away from a waterway.
Boaters seen taking these preventive steps were rewarded with a Landing Blitz towel. At some launches, participants used portable decontamination units with heated, pressurized spray to clean boats for free. All this activity generated articles, news reports, and interviews about the Blitz in more than 27 media outlets across the state.
While the Landing Blitz focused on the busiest time for boating, these same lake defenders are on the launches week after week keeping the heat on aquatic invasive species and preventing new introductions before they enter our waters. The Department offers a profound “Thank you” to all of the volunteers in this year’s Landing Blitz. Your efforts are invaluable in keeping Wisconsin’s waters healthy. For a full list of participating groups please see the 2012 Landing Blitz web page and to learn how you can join in efforts to “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” visit our Prevention web page.