Lake protection agencies receive AIS grant moneySubmitted: 10/23/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

RHINELANDER - Northwoods lake agencies will get nearly $500,000 dollars from the state to fight aquatic invasive species.

The largest sum, $122,576, will be used to fight invasive species in the Unified Lower Eagle River chain of Lakes. The money will help with removal.

It will also help keep the unwanted species from spreading.

Michele Sadauskas, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Oneida County, says prevention is the key.

"We're trying to put that money into prevention to stop it from even getting into a lake," Sadauskas said.

Sadauskas says 10 percent of lakes in Oneida County have invasive species.

The grant money will help pay for people to get rid of the species before they can spread.

"What we're trying to do is find it quick and manage it," Sadauskas said. "If we find it quick enough, we can just even hand pull the Eurasian (water milfoil) out of the water to where we don't have to use chemicals."

That's because chemicals are expensive. It can cost nearly $1,000 dollars an acre to treat lakes with invasive species.

Groups in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Price county received a total of $487,185 to handle aquatic invasive species.

A Minocqua/Kawaguesaga Lake proposal was not accepted. The group requested $199,958 for invasive species clean up. Despite the recent denial, the group has received $341,986 from the Wisconsin DNR over the years.

Sadauskas will use the funds to hire limited term employees for the summer to help spot and deal with invasive species.

The Oneida County Land and Water Department will host two Clean Boat, Clean Water workshops and present to schools to promote prevention of AIS.

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