Officials Pleading With Boaters On West Lake Okoboji To Take Extra Precautions

Wahpeton, Iowa — The discovery of Eurasian watermilfoil in Millers Bay, the harbor, and canals of West Lake Okoboji, along with brittle naiad that was found in the lagoon at Triboji, has local and state officials putting out a special plea to boaters.

Kim Bogenschutz, aquatic invasive species program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says it’s critical to clean all vegetation from boats and equipment before moving out of the infested areas to make sure the invasive aquatic plants aren’t spread into the main part of West Lake Okoboji.

She reminds everyone it is illegal to possess or transport prohibited aquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian watermilfoil, in Iowa. Boaters must also drain all water from boats and equipment before leaving a water access and must keep drain plugs removed or opened during transport.

In a press release, Mike Hawkins, fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR, says they are working on a management plan and working with local stakeholders and communities to develop a plan of action for the coming weeks. He says they’re “getting permits in place in case the community and DNR decide that a herbicide treatment of the canals and lagoon is the best option.”

Courtesy Community First Broadcasting Station KUOO



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