Our Work‎ > ‎Clean Water‎ > ‎

Aquatic Invasive Species

The Problem

Central Wisconsin’s lakes are in danger. Exotic plants and animals from other parts of the world can take over our lakes, because their natural predators aren't here to keep them under control. They can spread quickly from lake to lake when boaters and fishermen unknowingly transport them on equipment. Once established, they can spread out of control and threaten the existence of native plants and animals. Our lakes are amazing natural treasures, and they need to be protected to stay healthy. Lake lovers across the region can work together to reduce the spread of non-native invaders and protect the health of our lakes. 

Want to learn more about invasive species in central Wisconsin, or those that water resource managers are worried might arrive soon? Download our aquatic invasive species fact sheets

What We’re Doing

Golden Sands RC&D is currently collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Extension Lakes program, and seven Central Wisconsin counties to implement region-wide aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention programs. We work with individual lake management units to prevent the spread of AIS and to create new control plans, empowering homeowners and lake users alike to help address this problem.  View our latest West Central AIS Report AEPP 445-15.  Appendix materials for AEPP 445-15 are available by request. AIS/native plant lists and maps can be seen by clicking the appropriate county below and then clicking on the waterbody name.  View the new, 2017 Taylor County AIS Plan.
Click to view our Regional AIS Program – AEPP-517-17 summary.
We are implementing county-wide AIS Plans for eight of our nine partner counties: Green Lake, Marquette, Portage, Marathon, Taylor, Waupaca, Waushara, and Wood. To see a list of lakes with AIS issues or the plan for your county, visit your county's website below.
Click on the counties below to see maps of the AIS, and the native plant lists from the lakes in our surveys:
     GREEN LAKE          MARATHON          MARQUETTE        PORTAGE       

WAUPACA             WAUSHARA              WOOD  
Marathon County was originally surveyed in 2010, Waupaca County in 2011, Portage County in 2012.  Waushara and Wood Counties were surveyed in 2013. Marathon County was re-surveyed in 2014 to update distribution lists and maps.  Taylor County was surveyed for the first time in 2015.  Waterbodies are periodically resurveyed as requested or in cooperation with other projects. 

"Clean Boats, Clean Waters" and the "Citizen Lake Monitoring Network" volunteer programs give lake groups and concerned citizens the tools and training needed to monitor for, and prevent the spread of, AIS. These programs have been very successful, and are provided for FREE!
Environmental Education is a priority in our AIS program. We work hard to reach out to our future generations by bringing AIS lessons into classrooms in five of our partnering counties.  To request an AIS lesson for your school, Contact us
Take a few minutes to watch our instructional video on how to manually remove Eurasian watermilfoil! These techniques have been used on many area lakes, and on several lakes, have removed so much EWM that we can't find any more left to remove. One lake has been free of EWM since 2010. View the video here: 

We Need Your Help

Golden Sands RC&D is focused on educating and working with homeowners, anglers, and anyone who uses our lakes. We all need to better understand what is going on and how to do something about the problem of AIS. This problem affects all of us, and it is up to us to keep our lakes healthy for future generations.

Check our events page for Volunteer Events in your neighborhood.

Like us on Facebook to hear about volunteer opportunities.

Donate to keep Wisconsin waters clean.
Visit our Store so you can grab a pack of AIS Playing Cards while they're hot!
Our AIS playing cards are fun and educational, and include 13 color photos of AIS with descriptions. They are made in the USA and they support our Regional AIS Program!