What You Can Do 


Everyone has an important role to play in preventing the spread of aquatic hitchhikers (including the fish disease - viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS)) to and from Dane County waters!  Check out the ideas below and take steps to ensure that your actions are not part of the problem, but the solution! 

1. If you are a boater, angler, paddler, seaplane pilot, water gardener/pond owner, nursery owner, aquarium enthusiast, teacher, follow and share these steps compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

2. If you are a trout angler, follow and share these steps compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to prevent the spread of the New Zealand Mud Snails and other invasive aquatic organisms, and keep trout populations and fishing strong.

3. If you are willing to help with education and outreach, you can distribute educational materials to boaters and anglers, bait dealers and handlers, fish farmers and aquaculture producers. Area schools can develop specific course work and outdoor activities to get students involved in controlling AIS in Dane County waters. June is invasive species awareness month, and this is a great time to get the message out to boaters and other recreational water users.

4. If watercraft inspection sounds like fun to you, you can volunteer in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters training program (UW-Extension Lakes) and get involved as watercraft inspectors at Dane County boat landings. This statewide program is coordinated by UW-Extension, and Dane County’s program is part of this important work to prevent the introduction of new AIS and helping to maintain the quality of our region’s valuable water resources. 

5. If you’d like to be trained to conduct volunteer monitoring for invasive aquatic invertebrates and plants on Dane County waters, visit UW-Extension Lakes' Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring page to learn more. Volunteers are key to helping find AIS populations when they are small so that control costs will be less and the impacts to the environment and recreation will be minimized.

6. If you’d like to get involved with biocontrol of purple loosestrife, you can volunteer to help raise and release beetles in Dane County and then conduct follow-up monitoring to determine how successful the beetles are in controlling this wetland invader.

7.  If you observe violations of state regulations for leaving a water body or launching a boat, please report your observations (WDNR) to the DNR South Central Region water guard (warden) at 608-259-6993 for enforcement.


If you would like to get involved in any of these activities, please contact the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds at 608-224-3730 or lakes@countyofdane.com.