Vilas Co. to use hot-water pressure washers to fight AIS this summerSubmitted: 03/07/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Vilas Co. to use hot-water pressure washers to fight AIS this summer
EAGLE RIVER - Interns with hot-water pressure washers will greet boaters at some Vilas County lakes this summer.

The DNR awarded the county a grant to start the new program.

Most of the county's 21 interns from UW-Oshkosh will work to remove aquatic invasive species by hand from boats. But a few will use the new pressure washer.

"These units are much more effective placed in locations where you have those small-bodied invertebrate AIS, where you might not be able to see them," said Vilas County Lake Conservation Specialist Cathy Higley.

For example, invasive spiny water fleas are invisible to the eye. But the pressure washers can clear boats of the pests.

Boaters will see stations at Star, Plum, Trout, and Big Muskellunge lakes this summer.

Vilas County's grant was a piece of more than $200,000 given to groups in the county to fight aquatic invasive species.

The money will go to AIS education, prevention, and planning projects. The DNR requires groups to match its funding through cash or donated time.

"In looking at this, there's a fair amount of cash going in," Higley said. "Or, it can be made up with volunteer match. A lot of times, people will put in Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteer efforts as match."

About $100,000 also went to the Clean Boats Clean Waters program at various lakes in the county.

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