“Stop Spiny” campaign focuses on anglers

Anglers are encouraged to wipe down their gear after a day at the lake to prevent the spread of a very small invasive specie.

According to an article submitted by Beltrami County Aquatic Invasive Species Lakes Technician Bruce Anspach, spiny water fleas, a type of zooplankton, can disrupt the natural food chain by devouring the micronutrients that sustain and grow native fish species.

Once established in a lake, there is no treatment that will eradicate them.

The “Stop Spiny” campaign suggests anglers wipe down their fishing line with a rag, as the spiny water fleas tend to adhere to things that move through the water, such as fishing line, downrigger cables, and the mesh bag of landing nets.

“Fishermen use the type of gear that can easily pick up and transport spiny water fleas,” Anspach said.

“So besides increasing awareness, we’re encouraging anglers to actively stem the spread by wiping down their gear after a day on the lake.”

The zooplankton is opaque and may be seen as a sort of shimmering cluster on the rod tip after the angler reels their line onto the spool.   

Boaters and anglers, particularly those who are likely to launch on a different body of water within four days, are encouraged to make use of one of the many courtesy decontamination stations made available to them around the state. The system uses a hot (140 degrees) low-pressure wash to clean the hull and the outboard’s lower unit, and flush the livewells, baitwells and plumbing system, free of charge.

“Beltrami County’s permanent station is located at 2400 Middle School Dr. in Bemidji,” he said. “Ideally, we’d like boaters to give us a call (218-760-8519) as they approach the access ramp to let us know they’re on the way.”

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