White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

WICOLA AIS Coordinator Attends AIS Conference

Minnesota lakes and rivers are among the state’s greatest natural assets. Yet aquatic invasive species (AIS) today threaten the quality of these legacy resources for the enjoyment of future generations. Preventing and limiting the spread of these aquatic invaders is critical to the future of Minnesota’s water resources.

Larry Thomforde, WICOLA AIS Coordinator, recently attended the Aquatic Invaders Summit Conference in St. Cloud on January 20-21. In addition to Larry, the Ely area was well represented. St Louis and Lake Counties sent delegations as well as the lake association from Burntside Lake. In total, over 400 people attended the conference, including our downstream neighbors in Canada.

Minnesota has pledged to aggressively fight the spread of AIS with $10 million annually in prevention aid to counties which, working with their local partners, will plan and implement programs to prevent and limit the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The conference provided an opportunity for Larry to hear about the biology of aquatic invasive species and also learn about measures of prevention and treatment. Much of the conference was devoted to listening to the counties and lake associations which have already implemented prevention and treatment measures, tell about the successes and failures they have experienced. This part of the conference was particularly valuable as the border lake counties continue to expand a program to fight the spread of AIS.

An after conference hours meeting was convened by the representatives of the Rainy River - Headwaters Watershed. This included representatives from Beltrami, Cook, Itasca, Koochihing, Lake of the Woods, St Louis, Lake and Roseau counties, the Minnesota DNR, Lake Superior Sea Grant, Lake of the Woods International Watershed Coordinator Kelli Saunders, Lake County Commissioner Rich Sve and the Burntside and White Iron Chain of Lakes. This group shared thoughts and ideas that will help coordinate an AIS watershed plan that is in the best interest of our waterway and has the best chance of success.

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