Exotic plants and animals 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, fishermen, waterfowl hunters, trappers, or other lake users unknowingly transport them on equipment. Once established, they can spread out of control and threaten the existence of native plants and animals.

Click here to see which aquatic invasive species can be found in lakes within each county.


Golden Sands RC&D is collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Extension Lakes program, and eleven Central Wisconsin counties to implement region-wide aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention programs. These programs are funded by two different programs through the DNR. One is the original AEPP (AIS Education, Prevention & Planning) Program that nine counties are still working under through the remainder of 2021. The other program is the new LMPN (Lake Monitoring & Protection Network) Program that all AIS Coordinators will be switching to following the completion of any AEPP funding.

As of January of 2021, Golden Sands RC&D’s AIS team has rolled out the new LMPN program by collaborating with Juneau and Columbia Counties. This program is meant to empower the community to learn about and protect their water resources and have a professional on hand to answer questions, host trainings and, in general, be a resource for the community.

The AIS program provides many helpful tools for people who live, work or simply enjoy recreating on the water or in wetlands.  Citizens, lake & river residents, boaters, anglers, waterfowl hunters and trappers are among the many groups that can learn to identify AIS and take precautions to prevent their spread.

Sometimes AIS projects fall outside the boundaries of our current grant funding.  Our knowledgeable staff is available to complete these projects as contracted services.  Feel free to contact us to see how we can work with you.




  • Lake Districts

  • Lake Associations

  • Friends/Group Organizations

  • Concerned Citizens

  • Private Land Owners

  • Local Government

  • Businesses

  • Schools


  • AIS early detection/monitoring surveys

  • Point Intercept Aquatic Plant surveys (PI surveys)

  • AIS education/presentations for your class or organization meeting

  • AIS identification and removal training

  • Scuba diving teams for AIS removal

  • Purple Loosestrife & Eurasian water milfoil bio-control

  • Assistance with AIS lake management & strategic plans

Partnering with the community helps us prevent the spread of AIS and to create new control plans to help address this problem. If you suspect you have an AIS problem, are interested in having us give an AIS lesson for your school, lake association meeting etc., or are interested in any of our services please Contact us.

Hamerla and Cisar_AIS Team April 2021(1)

Clean Boats, Clean Waters and the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

are programs designed to help prevent the spread of AIS and detect new AIS populations early. Here at Golden Sands RC&D we provide the training for volunteers to participate in these wonderful programs. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

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Grant Reporting

Click here to view the 1st Reimbursement Summary of our 2020 Regional AIS Program AEPP-617-20.

Management & Strategic Plans

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Green Lake County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Marathon County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Marquette County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Portage County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Taylor County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Waupaca County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Waushara County.

Click here to view the 2020 revised AIS Management Plan for Wood County.

Click here to view the 2019 revised Golden Sands Regional AIS Strategic Plan.

Recent Point Intercept Aquatic Plant Survey

Click here to view the 2020 Crystal Lake, Marquette Co PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Lake Helen, Portage Co PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Lake Emily, Portage Co PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Springville Pond, Portage Co PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Esadore Lake, Taylor Co Full PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Esadore Lake, Taylor Co CLP PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Silver Lake Scandinavia, Waupaca Co PI.

Click here to view the 2020 Lake Joanis, Portage Co PI.


Learn more about the numerous invasive plants and animals that have already invaded some of our lakes in Central Wisconsin, and others pose a threat to our state in the future.

These 1-2 page fact sheets are designed to be easy to read and reproduce. All of these fact sheets may be reproduced and distributed free of charge. 

Download All Fact Sheets Here

Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea)

Banded mystery snail (Viviparus georgianus)


Big-eared Radix (Radix auricularia)


Brittle naiad (Najas minor)


Carolina Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)


Chinese mystery snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis)


Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)


Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)


Faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata)


Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)


      Flowering rush comparison photos


Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)


Japanese Hops (Humulus japonicus)


Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)


New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)


Phragmites  a.k.a. common reed (Phragmites australis)


Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)


        Purple Loosestrife Bio-control Planning


Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)


Spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus)


Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)


Water chestnut (Trapa natans)


Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)


Water lettuce (Pistia Stratiotes)


Yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata)


Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)


Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)


Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species isn't a concern only for boaters. Click here to learn more about how AIS impacts your favorite hobby/sport and what you can do to help prevent accidentally spreading these harmful plants & animals.


Educating our youth on AIS is important; having the materials readily available for our educators makes it easy! There are eight chapters. The lessons start with basics on the importance of water and move into more specific information about invasive species and how they affect the ecosystem. Click here to view and download the lessons!


Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) is an extremely invasive plant that spreads by fragments that break off the plant, float away and re-root themselves. Early detection and manual removal are very effective at eradicating new populations of this plant. Click below for some removal instruction and EWM resources.

EWM Removal Instructional Video

Manual EWM removal brochure


If you have a new population of one of these aquatic invasive species to report, or you'd like more information about our AIS program please contact Chris Hamerla, Regional AIS Coordinator, by email/phone at OR


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