Clean Boats Clean Waters

Clean Boats Inspector

Preliminary plans are for a Clean Boats, Clean Waters  program (click to visit website) to be implemented at the Silver Lake WDNR launching ramp in 2024.  One of the specific goals of this effort is to prevent or slow the spread of the aquatic invasive species Starry Stonewort from other nearby lakes to Silver Lake.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters is a statewide education program that aims to inform boaters about invasive plant and animal and to enlist boaters to help prevent the spread of those invasive species from lake to lake.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters uses trained watercraft inspectors at public boat ramps during high-use periods to teach boaters how to identify and remove invasive plants and animals before they launch and after they pull out their boats. Watercraft inspectors also collect data that the Silver Lake Management District can use to inform lake management decision or apply for grants. Watercraft inspectors are often volunteers but also include part-time individuals.

The key message of Clean Boats, Clean Waters is to:

  • Remove all attached aquatic plants and animals.
  • Drain all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment.
  • Never relocate live plants or fish away from a lake.
  • Buy live bait and minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer to prevent introducing non-native species.

In Kenosha County, Wisconsin Sea Grant helps lake organizations implement Clean Boats, Clean Waters in addition to other aquatic invasive species prevention programs. They have an AIS Prevention Coordinator located in the Extension Kenosha County office in Bristol.

It is anticipated that the 2024 Clean Boats, Clean Waters program for Silver Lake will be financially supported by a WDNR grant that will go towards hiring and training a part-time watercraft inspector.  The Silver Lake Management District is also expected to support the program.